Finding a Leader… For close to three years Lincoln struggled to find a commander who would fight the war the way it had to be fought. McClellan was fired. Burnside and Hooker were relieved of command and assigned elsewhere. Even Meade, who had success at Gettysburg, was not given the top slot. As West Point graduates, together with their service in the Mexican-American war, these officers had resumes that were impeccable. On paper they looked good, but in action they left much to be desired.
Trying Times for Lincoln… The public was clamoring for a rapid end to the war, and they wanted a warrior god to lead the army against Richmond. The Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War likewise pressured Lincoln, as did every senator and representative in Congress. Daily the newspapers criticized the president, not giving him a moment’s rest, continually badgering Lincoln to find someone to get the job done. In March of 1864, Abraham Lincoln finally decided on his man………clamoring
Your Assignment… Your job is to help Abraham Lincoln, who is commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces, select his general to lead the Union armies in the field. You will choose the individual you feel is best qualified by his education, experience, and background, and who you think may turn out to be the most successful leader.
Let’s Brainstorm! Generate a list of qualifications that you would like to see in a candidate for this position. Essentially…what qualities would YOU look for in a general if you were tasked with making the choice to hire the top military commander Record down your thoughts on a piece of paper Be prepared to share with the class
Let’s Share Your Ideas… As a group, share your ideas in the chat box. What qualifications do you feel are the most important? Which ideas are similar? What might this suggest? What is our final list after discussing this as a group? 1. Quality #1 2. Quality #2 3. Quality #3 4. Quality #4
Candidate #1: “The Young Napoleon” What are some good qualities of Candidate #1? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #1? Born: December 3, 1826, Philadelphia, PA Present Age: 36 Personality/Physical Appearance: In physical stature, he is under average height, yet he always looks the part of a soldier. He is recognized as being very ambitious and has the appearance of being very competent. He is often in conflict with his superiors, and he is arrogant to a fault. He often twists the truth and can make individuals feel inferior.inferior Education: He was admitted to the Univ. of Penn at the age of 13. He entered West Point at the age of 15. He was a member of the Dialectic Society, the top intellectuals of the West Point upperclassmen. He graduated second in his class in 1846. Military Experience: He was mentioned for bravery in the Mexican War with Winfield Scott for taking Mexico City. He served on a special military commission to Europe to study military organizations. While abroad, he studied European armies and wrote extensively on what he observed. With secession, he was made a general of Ohio troops and secured West Virginia for the Union, scoring a minor military victory. Background: He left the army in 1856 and worked for the railroads as an executive
Candidate #2: “The Fighter” What are some good qualities of Candidate #2? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #2? Born: 1814, Massachusetts Present Age: 48 Personality/Physical Appearance: He has a military presence, especially on horseback when reviewing his troops. He is a bachelor. While serving in the peacetime army in California, it was rumored that he drank and gambled. He enjoys parties and loves the company of women. He has a big mouth and is a braggart. He usually regrets later what he says. Education: He graduated from West Point 29 th out of 50 students in the class of 1837. Reportedly, he was a brilliant student, but his behavior was bad and pulled him down in ranking. Military Experience: He fought in the Mexican War from 1846- 1848. During the war he was cited on three separate occasions for gallantry and bravery on the battlefield. He was chief of staff to five different generals and he managed their commands, gaining a wide range of experience. He left the army in 1853. gallantry Background: Congress made him a brigadier general (in command of a brigade) after the Civil War broke out. He served bravely in every major battle in those early months. He fought and won more battles than any other general during his 16-month leadership.
Candidate #3: “The Loyal Southerner” What are some good qualities of Candidate #3? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #3? Born: 1786, Petersburg, VA Present Age: 76 Personality/Physical Appearance: He is six feet five inches in height and weighs over 300 lbs. He is deeply religious. He is called “Old Fuss and Feathers,” because of his delight in wearing fancy gold braids on his uniform. He is a strict disciplinarian and is pompous. He is a tea drinker. He has never had alcoholic beverages all his life.pompous Education: He briefly attended the College of William and Mary. When the U.S. and England were close to war in 1807, he gave up his law studies to join the army. Military Experience: In 1810, he was a captain of the artillery. During the War of 1812, he was a brigadier general and he scored a great victory at Chippewa in 1814. Severely wounded, he emerged as a hero from the British standstill at Lundy’s Lane near Niagara Falls. In 1841, he was named General-in-Chief of the United States Army. Landing at Vera Cruz in 1847, he defeated and took control of Mexico City after several battles. Background: In 1852, he was the Whig Party’s presidential candidate who lost the election to Franklin Pierce. He was the first soldier since George Washington to hold the rank of lieutenant general.
Candidate #4: “Handsome Sideburns” What are some good qualities of Candidate #4? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #4? Born: May 23, 1824, Liberty, IN Present Age: 38 Personality/Physical Appearance: Handsome and physically impressive (6’ tall with broad shoulders), he is regarded as an excellent soldier. A gallant soldier and true patriot, he is considered honest, trusting, and good humored. Education: He was privately tutored by Samuel Bigger, a future governor of Indiana. He attended West Point, excelled in math, and graduated 18 th out of a class of 38 in 1847. Artillery was his chosen branch of service. Military Experience: He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third United States Artillery. In 1847 he was on active duty in the Indian Wars against the Apache in New Mexico. In 1851 he was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He resigned in 1853.commissioned Background: He opened a business, the Bristol Rifle Works, in 1853 in Bristol, RI. There he invented a well-made but expensive carbine that fired metallic cartridges from the rear of the gun. He went bankrupt in 1857. The he was employed with Illinois Central Railroad as branch treasurer, and by 1860 he had cleared all personal debt.
Candidate # 5: “Old Brains” What are some good qualities of Candidate #5? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #5? Born: 1815, New York Present Age: 47 Personality/Physical Appearance: He is a talented administrator and good at paper work. Knowledge of tactics and strategic theory are excellent, but he lacks the fire to make aggressive war. Education: He graduated from West Point in 1839 and served in the military for 15 years. He wrote a book, Elements of Military Art and Science, in 1846. Military Experience: A bookish soldier, he was a headquarters operator who could handle all routine chores competently. In 1861 he was given command of the Missouri Department of War. After Shiloh, he takes command of the western army of approximately 100,000 men, whom he divides into bits and pieces. He tends to hesitate and move slowly and throws away the chance to defeat the Rebels. competently Background: He resigned from the army in 1854. He became a lawyer in California and helped develop the state’s constitution. He returned to the military at the beginning of the war.
Candidate #6 “The Common Man” What are some good qualities of Candidate #6? What are some negative qualities of Candidate #6? Born: April 27, 1822, Port Pleasant, OH Present Age: 40 Personality/Physical Appearance: This man is short in stature and slight in build. People who know him say he is “strikingly unnoticeable.” A quiet man, he seldom shows emotion and hardly ever exhibits rage or passion. He is always calm, has self-control, and is sure of himself.self-control Education: His education can best be described as “standard,” neither brilliant nor poor. As a lad, he liked working with horses, and at West Point developed into an excellent horseman. He graduated 22 nd out of 39 students in the class of 1843. Military Experience: He served in the Mexican War from 1846- 1848, as a quartermaster, supplying the needs of the army. He was involved in the fighting at Monterey and during Winfield Scott’s march on Mexico City. Peacetime duty in California caused him to separate from his family. He slipped into depression and became an alcoholic. He then resigned from the army at the age of 32, over his father’s objections. Background: Failed at both farming and business, he worked as a clerk in the family business (harness and leather goods), which he detested. When the Civil War broke out, he offered his services and was given a command in the West.
Which candidate do you feel would be the best and most successful top general for the Union army? Which candidate do you feel would be the worst and least successful top general for the Union Army? The Best v. The Worst Describe your reasons for choosing this man.
Candidate #1: “The Young Napoleon” General George McClellan He attacked Richmond, but in the famous Seven Days battles he was forced to retreat by Robert E. Lee. He was relieved of his command by President Lincoln after Antietam because he moved so slowly and wouldn’t advance against Lee. He always thought that he was outnumbered by the Confederates, when in reality he had a bigger army and the advantage. In 1864 he lost the Democratic candidate for the presidency. He lost to Lincoln. Some of his former soldiers even voted against him. After the war, he was elected governor of NJ on two occasions. He returned to being an executive for the railroads. For those that favored him, why?
Candidate #2: “The Fighter” General Joe Hooker He strongly stated that the nation needed a dictator to win the Civil War. This did not make President Lincoln happy, but Lincoln gave this man a leadership position despite his remarks. In a surprise maneuver, he attacked General Lee from behind at Chancellorsville. Lee attacked back, causing this general to lose faith in himself and in his plan. He was relieved of his command three days before Gettysburg for not moving against Lee. Boston honored him with a statue. His bachelor lifestyle as a young man has given his name to mean “women of loose morals.” For those that favored him, why?
Candidate #3: “The Loyal Southerner” General Winfield Scott He was a living military hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. He advised President Lincoln and his cabinet to have patience and prepare carefully for the Civil War. His advice was ignored, and the North went into shock after their defeat at the First Bull Run. He created the “Anaconda Plan” to strangle the South by blockade and capture the Mississippi River Valley. He believed the South could be starved into surrender. He remained general only during the first year of the war. He resigned his post in 1862. He retired to West Point and died two years later. For those that favored him, why?
Candidate #4: “Handsome Sideburns” General Ambrose Burnside He did not want to lead the Army of the Potomac, and he initially turned President Lincoln down. He accepted the post the second time he was asked but stated that he was not qualified. To attack the Rebels, he ordered his men to charge up a hill at Fredericksburg. He lost 12,000 men in just a few hours. His officers mutinied against him during the famous “Mud March,” and Lincoln relieved him of his command. Lincoln had him serve in a lesser post. But at Petersburg he fumbled an attack and was once again relieved of his post. He returned to private life and business but gave his name to the fancy style of whiskers called “sideburns.” For those that favored him, why?
Candidate # 5: “Old Brains” General Henry Wagner Halleck He was a good administrator, but his advice on strategy was muddled and unclear. In July 1862, he was appointed to an administrative position to get him away from the front lines, where his lack of experience caused problems for his men. As commander in chief, his skill in training soldiers contributed to the success of other leaders under his command. However, he was not respected by other generals and was very unpopular. President Lincoln named him chief of staff in 1864. He held that position until the end of the war. For those that favored him, why?
Candidate #6 “The Common Man” General Ulysses S. Grant He was appointed to command the Ohio Volunteers and Troops. He took Forts Henry and Donelson on the Tennessee River, demanding “unconditional surrender” of the Rebels. He took a beating on the first day of Shiloh, Tennessee, where it was rumored that he was absent from the battlefield drinking. However, on the second day he whipped the Rebels in return. His troops took Vicksburg, MI, the Rebel “Fortress” on the Mississippi River and captured 30,000 Confederates. At Chattanooga, TN, he attacked and destroyed the Rebels at the Battle of Missionary Ridge. In 1864, Lincoln named him commander of the Union forces. He was the first to be successful in the position. He accepted Lee’s surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox Court House in 1865. Later went on to become the 18 th President of the United States For those that favored him, why?
Wrapping Up… All of these generals were notable historical figures. Some suffered disaster and humiliation at some point in the Civil War, but all managed to overcome adversity and redeemed themselves in some measure. They got on with their lives and coped with whatever lay ahead when the fighting was over. They were all good soldiers, good citizens, and good Americans. They all saw fit to serve their country as best they could. What made Grant so successful where others were not?
Ulysses S. Grant Grant had a knowledge for waging war. He also had the nerve, character, disposition, and personality to send men into battle to die. It was in the carnage and destruction of the Civil War that Grant confronted his destiny. He had finally found his place and discovered what life had intended for him.
Short-Answer Response (6-9 Sentences) After hearing what actually happened to the candidates in real life, what have you learned from this activity? In what ways were you surprised by the outcome of the simulation? Think about: What has this activity taught you about the Civil War? What has this activity taught you about the Union generals? What qualifications are necessary to be a good leader? Are there any qualifications of effective leadership that you previously did not consider to be important, but now do?