Matt Cobb

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The concept of a Servant Leader is fascinating because it seems to be an oxymoron. How can one be a servant if they are to lead? This seems even stranger when placed in the context of military leaders. Robert Greenleaf argued that "The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead."' Individuals such as Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. immediately seem to fit the definition for servant leaders. Each individual involved with the military serve their respective commanders, government, and country. This does not make every military leader a servant leader. Rather, it is the reasoning behind their actions which demonstrate the qualities of a servant leader.

Once the Army of the Potomac obtained effective leaders, they were able to bring the full weight of the North against the Army of Northern Virginia. With sound leadership. Grant was able to make the manufacturing and manpower disadvantage devastating to the Southern cause. It was the leadership of both sides which shaped the course of the War between the States, and ultimately decided the outcome. The Civil War provided an outlet for many leaders to develop. Many of the leaders of the war, continued to lead after the war in an effort to heal the wounds and make the Union whole. Leaders on both sides, Lee with his work in education, Grant and McClellan in their political lives all made a difference in the post war era. Just as their leadership made a difference to the men whom they were endeared to. Their names will live on in the annals of American history as men who were willing to lead when the country most needed leadership.