At the onset of the American Civil War, senior military leaders on both sides faced a strategic environment that was permeated with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In no area was this more the case than in the Confederacy’s Western Theater. As the principal Confederate army in the west, the Army of Tennessee bore the primary responsibility for executing the Confederacy’s strategy in that theater. During four years of war, two western generals would not only command that army but also be responsible for the entire theater: Albert S. Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston. But what strategic leadership did they provide? What conceptual, technical and interpersonal leadership competencies did they display? Their collective abilities (or lack thereof) to serve as strategic leaders significantly influenced the war’s outcome. In light of our current fight in Afghanistan, in which we have had four commanding generals in as many years, it is worthwhile to examine the Western Theater’s strategic leadership.