Union General Gouverneur K. Warren

Here’s Robert Girardi giving a presentation on Gouverneur K. Warren based on the book he co-authored. Unfortunately, the video starts during the presentation, so we’ve missed a lot of information. Still, I was not impressed. He’s obviously done a lot of research, but his research was geared not to understand but to rehabilitate Warren. We see the same tired old “Terrible Grant who conspired to keep [insert name of favorite general who can do no wrong] down and elevate his favorites.” He doesn’t understand Grant and he is completely biased in his research and presentation.

The video’s description reads, “Robert Girardi talked about the role and reputation of Union General Gouverneur K. Warren during the Civil War. He examined some of the criticisms against Warren for his personality and performance in battle and compared rumor to evidence in primary sources. Due to a technical issue, this program was joined in progress just after it got underway.”

See for yourself: https://www.c-span.org/video/?416997-3/union-general-gouverneur-k-warren

This presentation was part of Pamplin Park’s 2016 Symposium.



  1. bob carey · · Reply

    I always felt that Warren got a raw deal because of Five Forks and its aftermath, however Mr. Girardi seems to think that Warren is one of the top Union Generals of the war. This he is not. Unlike alot of folks I think Warrens best performance was on the James, convincing Lee that the Union Army was still north of the river ,but let’s not forget that it was Grant’s plan.

    1. Unfortunately there are some authors who turn into fans of particular generals and fail to recognize that general’s faults or seek to explain them away. Another common theme is tearing down Grant in order to build up their idol.

  2. Girardi has spoken to the Ann Arbor CWRT a couple of times, and, based on those presentations, I am not surprised at this assessment of his work on Warren.

    1. I take it you had the same impression, Jim?

      1. My apologies for the late response, Al—yes, I had the same impression. I also agree w/ Bert that Warren’s best moment was at Riddell’s Shop. The entire “advocacy” school of history, in which the point of studying X is to tear down Y, really disgusts me.

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