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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

Notices and Announcements

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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  #16  
Old 21 Apr 04, 21:38
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Re: Re: Best Revolutionary War General

Quote:
Originally posted by Janos
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).
Not sure if he was a general per se , but I believe that he fit the description of a "field general" that is, one who proved his great ability, both tactically and strategically. he was very insightful and adaptable, tailoring his actions to the terrain, the opposition, and the resources to hand.
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  #17  
Old 10 Aug 06, 17:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Williams
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.
Agreed. I'd go with Washington. He wasn't the greatest military tactician but he kept his army intact and in the field oftentimes with only the force of his personality and will to make it happen.
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  #18  
Old 10 Aug 06, 19:22
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I would want Washington in charge, with Corps Commanders, Benedict Arnold, Nathaniel Greene, and the Marquis de Lafayette. I would want Dan Morgan at what he did best, in command of the light troops/riflemen/skirmishers.

I would want Anthony Wayne as one of my Brigade Commanders. I would put Horatio Gates in Command of a Provost Guard around headquarters. You would want to keep Gates as close as possible to make sure he was not stabbing you in the back.

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  #19  
Old 11 Aug 06, 12:04
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As is always the case with these types of polls it begs the question: "Best at what?"

The hypotheticals lead one to assume we are talking about best at leadership on the battlefield. Under that scenario I would go with Benedict Arnold although Dan Morgan is a very close second. Best at operational strategy I would go with Nathaniel Green. However, the overall nod has to go to Washington. Every thing logical says the British strategy of wearing down the colonists will to resist and thus bring about the collapse of the rebellion. What Washington did was manage to maintain a force in being, however precariously, so that that never happened. As a resuilt of this, it was, in the end, the British will that was worn down and the revolution was successful.
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  #20  
Old 16 Aug 06, 23:02
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too easy too pick washington i thought beyond initial reaction.
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  #21  
Old 16 Aug 06, 23:07
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worst by far was clinton not renforcing cornwallis at yorktown even with several times asking.
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  #22  
Old 17 Aug 06, 00:09
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It seems to me that Mr Washington is easily the best general. I believe that winning in the end counts for something, doen't it?
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  #23  
Old 30 Nov 15, 02:02
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I think Arnold was the best Field General. He was a very brave and determined leader. Even his defeat at Valcour Island proved to be a strategic victory as it postponed the British invasion down the Hudson Valley until 1777when the Continental army was stronger and more prepared.

After him, I would think Greene, Morgan, and Putnam. Washington being the best overall leader.
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  #24  
Old 30 Nov 15, 09:01
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Voted Washington because he grasped the strategy that as long as he kept an army in the field he would win the war.
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  #25  
Old 03 Dec 15, 23:01
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I went with Washington.

While there were some excellent generals that emerged, I dont think any general on either side, had as much to contend with as Washington did.

That he did so successfully is a phenomenal achievement.

Cheers

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  #26  
Old 04 Dec 15, 09:47
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This was a tough one for me because I don't think there was one overarching great general who could do it all. It came down to Washington and Morgan for me. Washington might not have been the best a winning individual battles but he arguably did more to win the war than anyone else simply by keeping the army together throughout the war. He certainly had his moments of brilliance too though. In the end I settled on Morgan for his tactical genius in spite of his relatively smaller strategic contribution. Cowpens is a textbook work of art and I've always been fascinated by his rifle corps and the way he employed them to make a mark on the battlefield out of all proportion to their size, such as at Saratoga. If the question had been most important or influential it would have been Washington but if we're just going by best, then it has to be Morgan for me.
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Old 04 Dec 15, 20:43
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Greene because of everything he did, tactically, strategically and as Washington's best logistics aid even before the southern campaign. Look at what each one did over the whole war, and some of the candidates are easily eliminated.George is a close second.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 12:51
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What about Von Stueben?

No other genral stuck to his guns and actually did the job he was put there to do with more effect.

Without Von Stueben, the Continental Army were just an untrained, underpaid, ill diciplined rabble who wouldn't listen to their officers. All the wonderful strategy in the world wasn't going to produce results until that core of regular soldiers at Valley Forge was turned into something other than an underfed mob, sans coulottes,, (without trousers)

I actually voted for Lafayette, because it was his influence that persuaded his French aristo 'pals' to open French government coffers and finace the war, leading to better pay and rations, new uniforms, in fact, professionalizing what was looking like just another revolt that was turning sour in the annals odf British Colonial history. French shipping gave the Continental Navy some real teeth, by making it possible for the Royal Navy to have no say in the outcome, or no further influence than it already had.

French money did more to win that war than any other single factor, so how do you quantify that in real terms? Lafayette's arrival gave the French aristocracy something to crow about, and talk about around their dinner tables; such gossip was equally effective in persuading the French Crown to support the war effort in a meaningful way.

Anyhow, thats my take. Without such outside influence, the continental army would have stayed the Continental Militia, and not won a single engagement in the lattter period of the war. Only opinion, though.

As for Washington "holding the army together", could he have done this without the cash to pay everyone, or the food requisitions to feed them all, or to buy the arms that american cottage industry could not manufacture of itself?
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  #29  
Old 19 Dec 15, 17:05
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I cast a vote for Daniel Morgan. His victory at Cowpens is considered a great tactical victory. In addition to that, I find Morgan to be more instrumental in the Saratoga campaign than Arnold.
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Old 23 Dec 15, 19:00
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You left out Lord Stirling!

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