Worst Civil War General - Semi-finals
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
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Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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VOTING ON THIS LIST IS CLOSED!!!

Final results:
Union
1st Place: McClellan - 34
2nd Place Tied: Banks and Burnside - 12
3rd Place: Pope - 4

Confederate
1st Place: Polk - 19
2nd Place: Bragg - 15
3rd Place: Hood - 12
4th Place: Johnston - 4

To look at the previous lists go here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28352
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28539

This is the semi-final list to determine who will go into the head to head match. They are drawn from the top four worst from the previous two lists. Vote for one Union and one Confederate general. First four are Union, the next four are Confederate, each in alphabetical order.
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1. Board Game: Shenandoah: Jackson's Valley Campaign [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:6857]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Nathaniel P. Banks


Case For: He secured troops, funds, and political support for the war.

Case Against: After being outfoxed by Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley and losing the Battle of Cedar Mountain (possibly Banks's finest moment), he was sent to Louisiana. He led the XIX Corps to the Pyrrhic victory at Port Hudson, and disaster in the 1864 Red River Campaign. He consistently showed poor leadership skills, and his treatment of his black regiments was scandalous.

My Thoughts: Banks was a poor strategist and an even worst tactician. My vote for worst is Banks because I struggle to see any strong points in his generalship. He was a bad leader, organizer, disciplinarian, and battlefield general. At Port Hudson all that was required was a siege; instead he sent men into frontal attacks that would have made Hood blush. At the Red River he was bested by an inferior Confederate force and nearly captured.


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2. Board Game: Fredericksburg [Average Rating:6.40 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Ambrose E. Burnside


Case For: Burnside was usually popular with his men and fellow officers. He never lost the friendship of Lincoln. In secondary, low pressure theaters he won some victories, notably along the North Carolina coast in 1862 and in East Tennessee in 1863.

Case Against: His command of the Army of the Potomac was a disaster, including the humiliating defeat at Fredericksburg. As a corps commander under Grant and Meade he was inadequate.

My Thoughts: Burnside's laid back personality and command style failed him in large battles. At the Crater he planned well for the battle but once the fight commenced he did little to avert the tragedy that followed.


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3. Board Game: Seven Pines [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:5662]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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George McClellan


Case For: McClellan's skill at building an army's organization, morale, and discipline is unparalleled. He created the Army of the Potomac and under his command the army rarely lost a battle.

Case Against: McClellan would win battles, only to see them as close flirtations with disaster. He was consistently delusional and made it impossible for his superiors, Winfield Scott and Lincoln, to work with him. In 1864 he ran for president as a war Democrat although he was given a peace platform by the Democratic Party leadership.

My Thoughts: McClellan is that curious mix of skill and buffoonery, charisma and bad manners. His perceptive analysis at one moment could be canceled out by his delusional paranoia. Thus McClellan came within a hair of victory in 1862, only to lose it all with mostly himself to blame. It would be a personal tragedy if it wasn't for his histrionic hi-jinxes.


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4. Board Game: The Battles of Bull Run [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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John Pope


Case For: Pope won a victory at Island No. 10 and handled the opening weeks of the Second Bull Run campaign well.

Case Against: Pope was outmaneuvered, out fought, and out thought at Second Bull Run. He then attacked Lincoln when he was not given another assignment while blaming Fitz John Porter for his failures.

My Thoughts: Pope would have been fine in division command, but he lacked the brains and moral courage for high command. His management of Second Bull Run is among the worst jobs done by an American army officer.


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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Braxton Bragg


Case For: Bragg's organization skills and harsh discipline helped make many Confederate regiments a cut above the rest. His Kentucky invasion, while repulsed, stopped Buell's offensive into Tennessee and was accomplished at low cost; at Chickamuga he won a costly victory. As Davis's chief military adviser in 1864 he reduced corruption and improved the supply and conscription systems.

Case Against: Bragg's short tenure in corps command was not impressive; as commander of the Army of Tennessee he lost the battles of Perryville, Stones River, and finally Chattanooga. He was not able to take responsibility for defeat, while he was very free in criticizing his subordinates. Under him the army's high command was dysfunctional in the extreme.

My Thoughts: Bragg is a favorite whipping boy of Civil War historians and why not? He suffered from a sour personality, migraine headaches, and an inability to understand that men were flawed. As an example at Shiloh he called the men of the 4th Louisiana Regiment cowards after they charged the sunken road unsupported and ran for the rear. Bragg, however, was also the victim of intrigue from within the army, while at the same time he never had the full support of Davis. Contrary to popular myth they were not friends and the main reason Bragg was not replaced after Stones River was because Davis could not find a replacement. That Bragg's organizational skills were not tapped until 1864 is an example of how the Confederate high command failed to properly use many of its generals.


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6. Board Game: Embrace An Angry Wind [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:6694]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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John Bell Hood


Case For: Hood was excellent brigade and division commander, performing miracles at Gaines Mill, Antietam, and Chickamauga. He showed promise in corps command and after Atlanta fell he managed to distract Sherman for weeks with his march into northern Georgia.

Case Against: Hood lead the Army of Tennessee to destruction, first in a series of attacks around Atlanta, which caused the fall of the city, and then in his invasion of Tennessee in winter of 1864.

My Thoughts: Hood was the worst army commander the south ever had. He asked too much of his men, throwing them into frontal attacks that came for naught. While his subordinates also failed him, notably at Peachtree Creek, Ezra Church, and Spring Hill, he was also responsible for the bigger disasters at Atlanta, Franklin, and Nashville. His failures, filled with tragic bravery, were the last nail in the South's coffin. In my mind he is the undertaker of the Confederacy and a close second for worst in the war.


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7. Board Game: Marching Through Georgia [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:9507]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Joseph E. Johnston


Case For: Johnston was popular with his men and subordinates. His skills at logistics were among the best in the Confederacy and he had a keen strategic mind.

Case Against: Johnston never won a campaign. His attack at Fair Oaks was bungled, and he was partially blamed for the fall of Vicksburg and Atlanta.

My Thoughts: Controversially, I choose Johnston as the worst Confederate general because of the consistent harm he did to the cause. Johnston was usually passive in the face of the enemy, and was quick to withdraw. He fell back to Richmond in 1862; in 1863 he held his ground and watched Vicksburg fall. He was out-maneuvered by Sherman in northern Georgia and forced back to the gates of Atlanta. He also failed to work with Jefferson Davis, who rightfully questioned his abilities and motives. He lacked moral courage with his penchant to blame anything but himself for failure. Why Grant, Longstreet, and Sherman held him in high regard is a mystery to me.


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8. Board Game: No Better Place to Die [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:4340]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Leonidas Polk


Case For: Polk was a popular and brave soldier. He performed admirably at Shiloh and the Atlanta Campaign.

Case Against: In 1861 Polk invaded Kentucky to take Columbus, but he failed to capture Paduch, Kentucky , leaving his position exposed. More importantly his invasion thrust Kentucky over to the Union. He then performed poorly at Perryville, Stones River, and Chickamauga; in each battle he showed himself to be a poor tactician given to piecemeal attacks and insubordination.

My Thoughts: Polk was a constant sore on the South's war effort and the worst case of favoritism shown by Davis. He was made a corps commander although he lacked experience, and Davis refused to relieve him after repeated failures. He intrigued against Braxton Bragg before the later even lost a battle, helping to create the command muddle that overtook the army.


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