It's long been my dream to create a list of Civil War generals who rocked their beards.
But first, an admission: Had I found someone who fit the parameters of this contest and happened to rock the name "General Beard," he would have won.
But, alas, the Beards did not lead folks to their deaths during the War of States' Rights to Enslave People, so I had to depend on Science to determine rankings. After much analyses and mathifications, I produced a clear and final winner.
Starting from the very bottom:
#9: General George McClellan
General George McClellan, creator of the "soul patch" that haunts our hipster populations to this very day, couldn't win a battle, couldn't win a presidency and couldn't win this contest. And still can't. Science says no.
No. 8: General Tecumseh Sherman
General Sherman may have rocked Atlanta, but he ain't rocking his beard, and so he ain't winning this countdown, and he ain't happy about it.
No. 7: General James Lane
General James Lane, who takes the seventh position by default if not by personality. He doesn't really "rock," per se. Let's call it "strum the one-string tub bass." Or whatever you mountain people call that thing.
No. 6: General James Terrill
General James Terrill? Who the hell is General James Terrill? He doesn't seem to know, either. Nice chops, but not enough to rock with ZZ Top. NEXT!
No. 5: Lieutenant General Richard Ewell
AKA, "OLD BALD HEAD." Seriously.
Well done, sir, well done! Golf clap, golf clap. Science gives you 6th place! What? No... don't be sad. Please. Okay, okay, ssshhh... you rock, you really do, so we'll give you 5th place. Just don't tell General James Terrill.
No. 4: General George Sears Greene
General George Sears Greene, Rhode Island's most illustrious Civil War general, rocks a really, really sweet facial do, but he's from Rhode Island and that won't do. Get it? Do? Oh god.
No. 3: General J.E.B. Stuart
General Stuart had it rocking out, dangerously so. True fact: The volume of his beard would have encased his face and suffocated him in his sleep, were it not for all that pig grease he combed through it. But his West Point classmates called him "Beauty," and he let them do that, which leads Science to believe he grew his beard not out of pride, but out of shame. Shame of his dashing good looks. And that, sir? That cannot abide in a list of Civil War Generals who truly ROCKED their beards!
No. 2: General Ambrose Burnside
The front runner! Of course you thought Science would just hand General Burnside the No. 1 spot. He gave us sideburns, after all. But Science, like Magic, cannot be explained.
But if I were to guess... well, he's trying just a little too hard to win this contest, and I hate it when someone really tries to win. He rocks it, but he rocks it like Poison, or Warrant – which is really, really mean to say, but there you go.
And so, without further ado (a do? OH YEAH I DID DO IT AGAIN)...
The Civil War General Who Rocked the Most Awesome Beard:
No. 1: General John Bell Hood
Somewhere in the afterlife, General Hood's armed with a six-string, jammin' on stage with Jerry Garcia, George Harrison and Kid Rock. Really makes you think, don't it?