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Rulers of the South
Rulers of the South
Rulers of the South

Rulers of the South

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12" Wooden Ruler made in U.S.A. of American-grown basswood.

Generals, or general officers, were the senior military leaders of the Confederacy during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. They answered to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy and commander in chief of the Confederate Army, Navy, and Marines.

These men had often earlier military experience. For example, the first entry on our ruler, Albert Sydney Johnston (1803-1862) had previously been general in the Army of Texas, and in the United States Army. He was the highest-ranking officer, Union or Confederate, to be killed during the entire Civil War. President Davis said that the loss of General Johnston "was the turning point of our fate." A general without prior military experience was Tennessee-born Leonidas Polk (1806-1864), bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, who gave up that position to become a major general in the Confederate Army, and became known as Sewanee’s Fighting Bishop.

Probably the best-known name on the list is that of Thomas Jonathan "StonewallJackson (1824-1863). A graduate of West Point, he had previously served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). It is said that he got his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (1861) when he rushed his troops to close a gap in the line and was said to be “standing there like a stone wall”.

For each general we have listed the years of their birth and death, their nickname if they had one (and best-known nickname if they had more than one!), and an important detail about their life, often the battle with which they are most associated.

The “head” is that of Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), originally commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, and ultimately general-in-chief all the Confederate armies. Our image is based on a photograph of Lee taken in 1863 or 1864 by Julian Vannerson (1827-after 1875).

If you like this ruler, you might also be interested in Rulers of the North, Rulers and Patriots, or United States Rulers.