One hundred and fifty years ago today, Ambrose Powell Hill saved Lee’s right flank at Antietam with a daring counter-attack against fellow Amborse and fellow beard legend, Ambrose Burnside. Hill was known to don a fiery red shirt in battle to match his bold personality. He died one week before Lee’s surrender in 1865.
After a stint as a revolutionary in 1848 Germany, Carl Schurz served as a forgettable Union General under Oliver O. Howard, Franz Sigel and others. He was also ambassador to Spain, Secretary of the Interior, the first German-born Senator in U.S. history, as well as the inventor of a method of attaching a fake beard to one’s head using the ends of old-timey glasses.
A clean-shaven John C. Breckinridge served as Vice President under James Buchanan in the 1850s. During the war, he led a brigade at Shiloh and Stones River, a division at Chickamauga, commanded in Louisiana and the Shenandoah valley, fought under Lee at Cold Harbor, and served as the Confederate Secretary of War in 1865. Remarkably, he still found time to sprout these lovely whiskers.
Lafayette McLaws had a great big bushy beard.
Born in Georgia, McLaws rose to divisional command under James Longstreet in the Army of Northern Virginia. In many ways, McLaws’ service mirrored that of Longstreet’s. Continue reading
Marsena Patrick exhibited supreme organizational skill in his role as provost marshal and in maintaining his perfectly coiffed beard.
In October 1862, General McClellan assigned Patrick to the post of provost marshal general in the Army of the Potomac. He was tasked with a wide array of responsibilities including Continue reading
Known as “Old Baldy” to his friends, Ewell’s beard and head form a series of peaks and ridges similar to those of the battle lines at Gettysburg.
Richard Ewell fought fiercely under Stonewall Jackson in the Valley Campaign and lost a leg in the aftermath of Continue reading
Lew Wallace’s beard is as illustrative and multi-pointed as his Postbellum career.
As a General in the Union Army, Wallace fought under Grant at Forts Henry and Donelson. Following a controversial command at Shiloh, he was reassigned to the garrison at Washington, D.C where he Continue reading
The thin wisps at the extremity of Alpheus Starkey Williams’ mustache are not unlike the thinly spread lines along the extreme right flank of the Union Army at Gettysburg.
Williams spent much of the war in the Army of the Potomac culminating in his gallant defense of Culp’s Hill Continue reading