Bishops behaving badly: Civil War Edition

On the NYTimes Opinionator, a profile of Leonidas Polk. In Sewanee, I knew him as the Battling Bishop, but the Opinionator calls him the Fighting Bishop. Either way, he was apparently one of the worst generals in the Confederate Army.

A graduate of West Point, he attended Virginia Theological Seminary and was first the Missionary Bishop of the Southwest, then the first Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana. The article notes the important role he played in founding The University of the South

His portrait hangs (I assume still) in Convocation Hall of the University of the South:

Of his military skills, one historian wrote:

In his history of the Army of Tennessee, Thomas Connelly condemned Polk’s “remarkable ability to evade the blame for situations that were the result of … flaws in his character.” Polk, Connelly claimed, could be “stubborn, aloof, insubordinate, quarrelsome, and childish.” He was, put simply, “the most dangerous man in the Army of Tennessee.”

No word in the article about his skills or gifts as a bishop.

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