Yesterday, I was asked by someone at work who knew of my interest in the ACW - "Who is your favorite General?"
For such a seemingly straightforward question, I was stumped. I'd quite honestly never thought about a "favorite" ACW General.
The more I thought about the question, the more odd it seemed.
Ask me about my favorite NFL quarterback, and I'll have an immediate answer. (Peyton Manning, of course!).
Ask me about my favorite motorcycle, and I'll have an immediate answer. (Harley-Davidson RoadKing Custom).
Ask me about my favorite movie, and I'll have an immediate answer. (Glory)
But - I'd never even considered having a "favorite" ACW General. That just strikes me as odd. It seems as odd as someone asking me "Who is your favorite corporate executive?", or "Which US Senator is your favorite?". Favorites?
The problem I see with the question is that its such a complex question. How would you have a favorite? Why would you have a favorite? Favorite in which way?
Intriguing personality? Good or bad?
Impact on the war?
In the event, I just mumbled something about not really having a favorite, which was quite true. How do you explain the depth of that question to someone who is lucky to recognize that the North wore blue and the South wore grey....
There are those I admire, those I loathe, those that intrigue me, those that I'd find fascinating to have a conversation with. The list of names that "interest" me as ACW personalities include Longstreet, Meade, Bragg, Burnsides, Upton, Stuart, Hampton, Custer, Gibbon, Rosecrans....in no particular order of admired/loathed/intriguing! Everyone has their good days, everyone has their bad days. I quite often find those who had more bad days than good to be more interesting! It's the "if he'd only just done...." possibility that makes me dig deeper to look at the history behind the stories.