The nominees are:
- Jeb Stuart: Lee’s eyes and ears, who might have even made a good corps commander had he retained command of Jackson’s corps after Chancellorsville (note the Gettysburg what-ifs usually shy away from that possibility). His performance during the Gettysburg campaign remains the most controversial part of his Civil War career.
- Nathan Bedford Forrest: Forrest has his fans, and not always for the right reasons. Moreover, he did not play well with others, and it’s a good question whether he made that much of an impact strategically. Still, the man could fight, and fight well.
- Wade Hampton: There are those who believe that Hampton might have been better than Stuart, and that he performed well after Stuart’s death. Others may claim that he never had a chance to display his talents for long in an independent command in Virginia.
- Joe Wheeler: Wheeler’s men did a lot of damage. Of course, white Georgians claimed that his men forgot that they were on the same side.
- Anyone else come to mind? For you Romeos out there, there’s Earl Van Dorn. And if you like nepotism, Fitz Lee’s reliable.