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Friday, November 11, 2016

Confederate Field Marshals?

One could win a marshal's baton (the symbol of the rank) by winning a major battle as well as capturing a major fortress.  The Confederacy, however, would have produced fewer field marshals than the Union had the rank existed for them.

General Joseph E. Johnson might have won a marshal's baton for First Manassas.  Nothing he did after that merited one.

General Albert Sidney Johnson did nothing to merit a marshal's baton.

General Robert E. Lee won several victories that could have made him a field marshal--The Seven Days, Second Manassas, the capture of Harper's Ferry, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.

General Braxton Bragg's victory at Chickamauga would have earned him a marshal's baton had the field marshal's rank existed.

What about General Pierre Gustave Toutant "Gus" Beauregard?  His service as unofficial chief of staff at First Manassas would not have made him a field marshal.  His successful defense of Charleston in 1863 might have.  His victory over Beast Butler at Second Drewry's Bluff on May 16, 1864 might have.  His successful defense of Petersburg June 15-18, 1864, also might have.  The Davis Administration would probably not have given him the benefit of the doubt, though--Beauregard and Davis detested one another.