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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

View Poll Results: Who was the best?
George Washington 22 33.85%
Charles Lee 3 4.62%
Philip Schuyler 0 0%
Horatio Gates 0 0%
Nathanael Greene 6 9.23%
Anthony Wayne 1 1.54%
Benedict Arnold 6 9.23%
John Sullivan 0 0%
Benjamin Lincoln 2 3.08%
Israel Putnam 1 1.54%
Marquis de Lafayette 5 7.69%
Daniel Morgan 12 18.46%
Sir William Howe 1 1.54%
Sir Henry Clinton 0 0%
John Burgoyne 0 0%
Charles Lord Cornwallis 3 4.62%
Sir Guy Carlton 1 1.54%
Thomas Gage 0 0%
Friedrich Adolph, Baron von Riedesel 0 0%
Other 2 3.08%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 25 Mar 04, 15:44
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Best General of the American Revolution

In your opinion who was the best general of the American Revolution, and why? For hypothetical reasons say the playing field is completely even. Which man would be the best?
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  #2  
Old 25 Mar 04, 17:58
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I voted for Washington hands down. He lead the continental army to victory against the best army in the world at that time. To me his victory at Trenton is a perfect example.
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  #3  
Old 25 Mar 04, 22:42
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Dan Morgan

I like Dan Morgan. His deployment at Cowpens was risky, but ingenius. Then he showed Greene how to do it, too. Washington and Greene would have been my next choices, with Arnold (while he was with us), Howe (at Brandywine), and Putnam (and the other leaders at Bunker Hill) for understanding the need to dig in.
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Old 26 Mar 04, 05:55
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Benedict Arnold

If we're to judge the best tactical leader in the American army during the revolution it would have to be Arnold hands down. His grasp of the tactical situation proved repeatedly to be sound. He skills in managing men and resources were equal to the best England could send against him. Certainly he was not a strategist on a par with Washington whose overall direction truely led the Colonies to victory. Arnold is an unpopular General from the American point of view to say the least...but that is to ignore his real achievements. His action before Quebec and at Valcour and certainly at Saratoga thrust him to the forefront of both skill and valor. Only Anthony Wayne and Morgan appear to have held similar tactical skills. ..but they did not exercise them on the level that Arnold was able to achieve. His ill treatment by Congress and other petty jealousies lead a once proud patriot to become the symbol of treachery. Unfortunate but the stuff of real life.
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Old 26 Mar 04, 10:47
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I voted for Nat'l Greene for his late-war Southern campaign. He was generally ignored by everyone, and operating against guys like Tarleton and in an area where the Brits (boo! Hiss! ) had held sway for a long time. Oh! And by the way, he was innovative and kicked butt
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  #6  
Old 26 Mar 04, 15:19
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Greene was a very good strategist. I think I read somewhere that Washington considered Greene the best he had, and wished that the command of the Army would got to Greene if anything happened to himself.

Wayne was probably the best with the bayonet. His midnight storming of Stony Point with the bayonet was legendary, taking the fort in less than 30 minutes.

And Sullivan's campaign into the heart of Iroquois country was pretty amazing.

Old Israel Putnam is one of my favorites, a hero of the F&I war, his defense of Breed's and Bunker Hills was excellent.
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Old 27 Mar 04, 16:43
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Re: Dan Morgan

Quote:
Originally posted by Tom DeFranco
I like Dan Morgan. His deployment at Cowpens was risky, but ingenius. Then he showed Greene how to do it, too. Washington and Greene would have been my next choices, with Arnold (while he was with us), Howe (at Brandywine), and Putnam (and the other leaders at Bunker Hill) for understanding the need to dig in.
I have to agree with Tom about Dan Morgan. "The Old Wagonmaster" was quite a tactical commander. The fact he was a frontiersman and a little rough around the edges may have kept him from getting his due credit. His riflemen helped greatly in the victory at Saratoga. He was one of the leaders at King Mountain and the victory he orchestrated at Cowpens was a major force in ending British activity in the Southern theater.

Nathaniel Greene won battles in both the Northern and Southern theaters of the war, rapidly learning from Morgan how the conditions in the south differed from the more gentlemanly conflict in the north.

Benedict Arnold's contibutions cannot be overlooked. If he had not disregarded orders the Battle of Saratoga may have gone the other way.

A name not as yet mentioned, Francis Marion AKA The Swamp Fox had a great effect on the southern war with his guerilla tactics.

As a general George Washington was good, not great, but he had the ability to keep his army together and in the field which in the end was probably his greatest accomplishment. He realized to win, he merely had not to lose. To his credit he had his most important victories (Trenton and Princeton) when his army was at its lowest ebb and on the point of disintegrating. A true leader of people if not necessarily the best tactician.
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Old 04 Apr 04, 01:04
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Best Revolutionary War General

A vote may certainly be cast for Ethan Allen. He and his "Green Mountain Boys" confounded the Brits with their guerilla tactics, their superb musketry and their general military ability.
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Old 04 Apr 04, 01:28
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Re: Best Revolutionary War General

Quote:
Originally posted by hogdriver
A vote may certainly be cast for Ethan Allen. He and his "Green Mountain Boys" confounded the Brits with their guerilla tactics, their superb musketry and their general military ability.
Not that it matters, because I believe we can use the term loosely, but was Ethan Allen a general? I always thought he was a captain in the militia (NY? since Vermont wasn't a state yet).
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Old 05 Apr 04, 04:36
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Ethan Allen

Janos...I think he was a Colonel. That was a fairly popular rank for successful Officers during the Revolution. Colonels commanded regiments and sometimes brigades so it was a substantial enough rank to feed a man's ego.
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Old 05 Apr 04, 23:29
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I think Arnold was the best because he led with such bravery. If he wasn't the traitorous bastard that he was, he would have become one of the most famous instead of infamous Americans in American history.
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Old 17 Apr 04, 18:24
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Quote:
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I think Arnold was the best because he led with such bravery. If he wasn't the traitorous bastard that he was, he would have become one of the most famous instead of infamous Americans in American history.
If Arnold had been killed at Saratoga rather than being wounded he would be an American icon to this day.
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Old 18 Apr 04, 13:48
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I am uncertained about your poll and find it misleading. You want a vote on the best general of the war but on an equal playing field in a what if but same time you seem to want the best general in actual reality. Which is it? In the spirit of team play I belatedly decided to participate anyway but please allow an explanation. I voted Washington because as a revolutionary commannder it was he who in my opinon is mostly responible for keeping the war effort alive and setting the example to others on how to win the war. This is the actual reality best general in the revolutionary happening which to the british was not on an equal playing field. Greene is a close second but he was Washington most loyal student. However, being a little off balance by the what if of the equal playing field rule you placed on us you force me to say the Lord Cornwallis is without a doubt the best general of the war. No american commander's army could and did not ever prove successful against him on an equal battlefield. The british regulars when commanded by a competent leader were the most powerful infantry on the face of the earth they only losted the war because it was such an unequal affair for them. Yorktown should not be held against Cornwallis as it was simply a hopeless situation for any commander and it was to prove the Dein Bein Phu of the British. Look at Cornwallis campaigne in south as he marched and fought across Georgia and the Carolina outnumbered and only relying on his skills and the professionalism of his small number of troops. It was remarkable but proved useless waste of lives just like in Vietnam.
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Old 21 Apr 04, 03:26
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Some of these posts bring up a great point... how do you judge a general: Tactical or strategic skill? These generals ranged from strategists to tacticians. Obviously it's best two excel in both areas, but if you had to choose between a strategist and a tactician which do you do?
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Old 21 Apr 04, 09:30
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Quote:
I am uncertained about your poll and find it misleading. You want a vote on the best general of the war but on an equal playing field in a what if but same time you seem to want the best general in actual reality. Which is it?
Out of all of the generals of the American Revolution, who would be the best if they were on an equal playing field, equal quality of soldiers, equal intelligence, etc.
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