Who Do You . . . Hate??
A few months ago I was asked by Tamela Baker, the editor at America’s Civil War, to put together an article on the “Generals We Love to Hate”. The idea was to choose six generals (the number she estimated could be accomodated in the proscribed word-length) that students of the Civil War hate and explain why this was the case. Her specific vision was expressed this way:
Civil War buffs love to blame particular generals for lost battles and campaigns—McClellan, Bragg, McDowell, etc. Why do we like to hate them so much, and do they deserve it? Pick a couple from each side and examine what made them pariahs—and whether hindsight should rehabilitate their Images. Pick three from each side, 500 or so words on each, and a 500-word intro for about 3,500 words.
As soon as I accepted the assignment, it was clear that there were two approaches I could take to the subject: choose the six generals *I* hate or the six generals I believe are most hated by students of the Civil War. The fact that George McClellan appears first in the article and Henry Halleck does not appear at all should be enough for informed readers to realise which approach I took on this. I also followed Tamela’s direction to include generals from both the North and South. Not surprisingly, it proved much, much easier to identify hated Yankees than hated Rebels and I ended up with four from the North and two from the South on my list.
Anyway, I just finished my final revisions on the essay, so it should be appearing fairly soon. Thus, I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to reveal too much of my list or reasoning right now. Still, I was wondering: What do the folks in the blogosphere who follow Civil Warriors think about this question? So, I throw it out to you. Take either or both of the approaches to the question. Who do you think are the most hated generals? Or, who do you hate? Why? Should be fun to compare what you have to say with my list when it comes out.