Originally Posted by northern light
I think Arnold was the best Field General. He was a very brave and determined leader. Even his defeat at Valcour Island proved to be a strategic victory as it postponed the British invasion down the Hudson Valley until 1777when the Continental army was stronger and more prepared.
After him, I would think Greene, Morgan, and Putnam. Washington being the best overall leader.
Field general at what level? "Wing" command (if in the Continental Army)? Division Command? Brigade? Regiment? One just cannot compare Washington to Arnold because of the difference in span of command.
Thus Washington can only be compared to Gage, Howe, Clinton, and Carleton at the strategic level. With Artemis Ward thrown in for good measure.
After that it gets complicated.
For example Continental Field Army Commanders (off the top of my head) at different times during the war were:
Washington (in duel roll as field army commander): Main Army
Montgomery: Canadian Army
Thomas: Canadian Army
Sullivan: Canadian Army, Eastern Army, and Western Army
Greene: Southern Army
Gates: Canadian/Northern Army, Southern Army
Schuyler: Northern Army
Howe: Southern Army
Lincoln: Southern Army
Spencer: Eastern Army
Lee: Southern Army
Note that the Canadian and Northern Armies were actually one in the same, but had different designations during the war.
Amongst Wing (or "Corps") commanders there were:
John Sullivan, Nathanael Greene, William Alexander, Horatio Gates, William Heath, and Charles Lee.
It is only until we reach division command does Arnold come into play, and his contemporaries (not counting division sized Armies) were Arthur St Clair, William Heath, Joseph Spencer, Nathanael Greene, John Sullivan, Anthony Wayne, Benjamin Lincoln, Adam Stephen, Horatio Gates, Alexander McDougall, Israel Putnam, William Alexander, Lafayette, Charles Lee, and John Thomas.
Given that organizational doctrine diverged during the war it is difficult to compare British and American "division" commanders, because a British division might actually be a "corps" in some instances.