Okay, so the Confederacy was pro-slavery among other things. Discussion on this side of the coin can become heated, controversial, whatever. But one thing is for sure, no matter the “right” side or “wrong” side, each power has reasons behind its military strategy. Whether the reasons are based on religion, money, power, political gain, expansion, etc. there are reasons that each side has for making a military move.
During the Civil War, America was still so young, so new, and full of promise and possibilities. We Americans were not the first nation or society to enslave others for our gains. There are many others, and many other societies that were willing to sell their own into slavery. While slavery was the main basis for the Civil War, political factors definitely played a big role in the Confederacy’s and the Union’s military decisions.
While the Union’s victory oversaw the end of the Civil War, the Confederates’ conviction in the belief of their correct action is insurmountable. The Armed Forces of the Confederacy were actually many fielded armies at the time, the most famous being the Army of Northern Virginia, which was led by General Robert E. Lee. He is just one of quite a few top Army leaders.
So here it is, the list of the top 5 Confederate Army leaders:
5. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was a Confederate general who never suffered a direct defeat during the Civil War. And although he never suffered a direct defeat, his effectiveness as a military leader was obstructed in part by a long-standing dispute with Confederate States President Jefferson Davis.
4. General Braxton Bragg was a North Carolina native and served as a career officer in the United States Army and later as a general in the Confederate States Army. He also later went on to serve as Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s military adviser.
3. General Samuel Cooper is little known in the fact that he was the highest-ranking general of the Confederate Army. He served in the Mexican-American War and the Second Seminole War as a United States officer. Upon his joining of the Confederate States Army, Cooper was given a commission as brigadier general and ended up serving as both Adjutant General and Inspector General of the Confederate States Army. Because he was one of only seven appointed to the rank of full general and appointed first and earliest, this is what made him the highest ranking general during the Civil War; he reported directly to President Jefferson Davis.
2. President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis: Jefferson Davis served as Senator of Mississippi and also as Secretary of War, and although he shunned the leading role of presidency and was very hesitant to accept nomination, he later went on to become the president of the Confederate States of America. He also served as the Commander in Chief of the army and navy during the Civil War, and actually went on to appoint Robert E. Lee with a minor position as his personal military adviser.
1. So here we are at #1…guess who? That’s right, General Robert E. Lee. He served as Major General of Virginia’s land and naval forces, brigadier general, and Commanding Departments of Northwestern Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, among other duties.
These are the top 5 Confederate Army leaders as I have studied in American History and through my own research. While the men on this list had trying times during their careers, they all have resignation at some point in common. But when it came to duty during the American Civil War, they stood up and did their jobs—some more effectively than others, but these men worked with the limitations of their time. If there is someone I have not included or someone that should take a place in the top 5 Confederate Army leaders list, please feel free to include them in the comments section.
Also, if you have any other comments, suggestions or questions, please post them below. Thank you.
About the Author: Lauren is a stay at home mom currently working from home as a freelance writer. She is certified in Education with a background in education, writing, and tutoring to help students develop their educational skills. She comes from a military family and writes articles about education, military life, and personal development.