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Friday, February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015: AmericanStudying Non-Favorites: Low Five

[Last year, I followed the Valentine’s series with a complementary series analyzing some of the things that just don’t quite do it for me. It was pretty popular, including my biggest crowd-sourced post to date, so this year I’m repeating the series—and repeating the request for your non-favorites for a crowd-sourced post in which we’ll air some grievances!]
Five historical figures with whom I have a bone—or a whole skeleton—to pick. To see the full x-ray, check out those posts!
2)      George Wallace
3)      Rutherford B. Hayes
4)      George McClellan and Andrew Johnson (two for the price of one!)
5)      Andrew Jackson
Crowd-sourced post this weekend,

PS. So bring it on: one more chance to air some grievances ahead of that weekend post!


  1. Gen'l R.E. Lee. Kindly old gentleman of the South, committed treason in defense of slavery.

  2. Ooooh, Civil War character studies, yay! Starting with Forrest I think you were more on track with calling him Chump. He had some minor military successes--and it is an error to call him a "cavalry" officer, his band functioned more as mobile infantry; he was never any use in the traditional cavalry functions of forward scouting and protecting the flanks in infantry battles because he COULDN'T GET ALONG WITH ANYBODY who was inclined to try to give him orders. I will give him credit for flair in speech; I write tonight about five miles from Parkers Crossroads where he was surrounded, clearly doomed. One of his men said "they're coming at us from the east and west both, what should we do?" Forrest replied with words you can find on TShirts in great abundance here in west Tennessee: "Charge 'em both ways!"

    He escaped, most of his men and horses were captured. Pretty much a duplicate of his maneuver at Fort Donelson earlier. He got HIS precious ass out of the jam and the men? He could always round up more. Feh. And as you note, the Fort Pillow slaughter would be enough to cast him on the list of scum forever, for all the weasel-worded excuses that the investigation came up with to let him off the hook in the name of "reconciliation" after the war. /scowl.

    Haven't read the McClellan/Johnson item yet, I will be intrigued to see how you link them. I just note that McClellan was the general of whom Lincoln asked if he could borrow the Army of the Potomac for some constructive actions since McClellan wasn't using them. And then standing as the Democratic candidate for President in 64 was perhaps a bit a display of ingratitude....

    Love your site and will bookmark for future checks. My thanks to NTodd Pritzky for turning me on to it. :)

  3. Well your McClellan/Johnson post was sort of all over the map so I can't think of anything constructive to say about it. But next time you are putting together a list like this and you want to include a pre-, post- and active Civil War figure I nominate Rep./Gen. Dan Sickles for consideration. Oh MY what an interesting time and impact he had...

  4. Thanks for these great comments!

    NTodd, I have a Lee/Longstreet piece along these lines:

  5. Bookmarked, and I shall peruse your entries at length later. Off the top of my head, I'd nominate John C. Calhoun and Chief Justice Roger Taney. - Dan Williams