Civil War Journal

The Boy Generals (16 Apr. 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History | War
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Galusha Pennypacker, Micah Jenkins and Adelbert Ames were among the young men who rose to military prominence during the Civil War.

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Galusha Pennypacker, Micah Jenkins and Adelbert Ames were among the young men who rose to military prominence during the Civil War.

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16 April 1995 (USA)  »

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Effective Documentary.
28 October 2013 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Reasonably good summary of the dozen or so men on both sides who were promoted to the rank of general during the Civil War.

The North gave great importance to seniority and rank, so it was more difficult to leapfrog up the ranks. George Armstrong Custer managed it, partly through skill and partly through self-promotion. He was obedient, stern, and constantly drew attention to himself. All of his superiors thought well of him; not all of his subordinates did.

The Pennsylvanian Pennybaker is another boy general, one of several who made the rank while too young to vote. But, like the deep-think and melancholy Upton, he was not flamboyant enough to continue riding down through American history the way Custer did. I suppose, though, that some Pennsylvanians will be familiar with the name, if not necessarily the historical figure.

Some boy generals made it through family connections. Robert E. Lee had two sons in uniform and both became boy generals, although there's no reason to think they were less than competent. The Confederate Army, unlike the Federals, were more ready to recognize talent and base promotion on its exercise.

Nice job. Sketchy, but good.


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