Robert Barnwell Rhett

Part of the Cool Civil War Names series. We’ve got ourselves a good ol’ fashioned fire-eater here. And like fire itself, this brand of demagogue was a useful tool only until it burned its wielder. A lawyer by trade, Rhett entered public service in 1826 as a South Carolina state legislator and continued as state… Read more Robert Barnwell Rhett

Thurlow Weed

Part of the Cool Civil War Names series. This guy, for better or worse, was like the Karl Rove of his time. The sources differ on the details about his life, but we know that before he turned into the Turd Blossom of the mid-19th century Weed apprenticed as a printer and editor of various… Read more Thurlow Weed

Jubal Early

Part of the Cool Civil War Names series. There’s so much Civil War in this guy it makes me want to cry. “Old Jube” (as Robert E. Lee would later come to call him) and his brawny beard fought early and often in the war between the states, but for reasons you wouldn’t suspect from… Read more Jubal Early

Rufus Saxton

Part of the Cool Civil War Names series. Saxton was, in the argot of youth, the bomb diggity. A Massachusetts native, his father was a transcendentalist, feminist, and abolitionist, which helped form Rufus’ anti-slavery sentiments from a young age. He graduated from West Point eighteenth in this class, then spent the rest of his antebellum… Read more Rufus Saxton

Zebulon Baird Vance

Part of the Cool Civil War Names series. This guy had ambition. Studying law by 21 and in the North Carolina House of Commons by 24, Vance made friends and won elections with his oratorical skills and soon entered Congress as the youngest legislator and one of the few Southern supporters of the Union. This… Read more Zebulon Baird Vance