Learning Lincoln On-line


Lincoln and His Generals

The Top Generals                The Unsuccessful Generals

West Point Generals      

Ulysses S. Grant Northern Forces (left)

Robert E. Lee Southern Forces (right)


       The United States had successfully won a war with Mexico in 1846.  Both the North and South were having problems getting along because of the issue of slavery.  The North had the industrial lead, while the South was agricultural, with a dependence on slave labor.  Some southern states had been talking of secession from the Union.  It all came to a head about the same time Abraham Lincoln became President.  A large number of southern and northern generals were graduates of West Point Military College.  They would be classmates and close acquaintances of each other.  Some of these West Point graduates would choose the South to swear allegiance, while the others would choose the North. 


       These questions are divided into three parts:  Unsuccessful Generals, Generals that went to West Point and Successful Generals.   Use these websites to find the answers for each part.

         What is a general?  Click Here

         Alphabetical listing of all Civil War Generals  Click Here

         Who are the Confederate Generals that went to West Point  Click Here

         Who are the Union Generals that went to West Point  Click Here

         The Unsuccessful Generals (Those who failed to follow through on orders)  Click Here


1.  How many generals were appointed by both sides of the Civil War?  Go Here

2.  What were the two general ranks for the Union Army?  Go Here

3.  A third general rank was added when Ulysses S. Grant was appointed.  What was his general rank called?  Go Here

4.  General Grant wore a different insignia on his uniform than the other two general ranks.  What was his insignia, and what were the other two insignias?  Go Here

5.  The Confederate (Southern) Army had four ranks of generals from the beginning of the war. What was the name of each general rank, and what was there insignia?  Go Here

6. Generals were usually assigned to oversee battles in a theater.  What is a war theater?  Go Here (this is the Civil War glossary).

7.  Several of the top Civil War generals had served together in previous American wars, and had gone to military school at West Point.  All were military officers for the United States.  Some would have to choose whether to serve for the North (Union) or the South (Confederacy).  Since they trained together at West Point, many knew each other very well.  Name the two most famous generals that opposed each other in the Civil War, but had both gone to West Point.  You can see an alphabetical of all generals on both sides that went to West Point. 

Click Here for the North (Union).           Click Here for the South (Confederacy).

8.  Go to this "graduating class" listing by year, and find out when Ulysses Simpson Grant and Robert E. Lee graduated.  Did they go to West Point together?  Click Here to find out.

9.  Who was the officer (General or otherwise in-charge) for major battles of the Civil War.  Go Here to find a year-by-year account, and list at least one General or officer that seemed at the top?   

10. Which General of the Army of the Potomac had a problem with not wanting to "go after" the enemy, and irritated the President to the point where he was removed from his position?  Click Here

11.  Ulysses S. Grant would become Lincoln's "winning" General.  Write a story of the General, and his rise to commander of Union forces in 1864.  Click Here

12.  Which battles were these great admirals and generals in-command for Union forces:

Admiral David Porter--Click Here 

Admiral David Farragut--Click Here;

General William Tecumseh Sherman--Click Here

General George Henry Thomas--Click Here

General Ulysses S. Grant--Click Here

General Philip Sheridan--Click Here

13.  Which battles were these great admirals and generals in-command for Confederate forces: 

General Joseph Johnston--Click Here 

General Robert E. Lee--Click Here

General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson--Click Here

General Nathan Bedford Forest--Click Here

General James Longstreet--Click Here 

General J.E.B. Stuart--Click Here

14.  Which generals met at Appomattox Court House to end the war?  Click Here to read about the surrender.

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