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Longstreet's pounting

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  • plosk
    The OR volumes dealing with the period between Chickamauga and the I Corps return to the ANVa are filled with Longstreet s coorespondence to many indivuduals.
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 21, 2003
      The OR volumes dealing with the period between Chickamauga and the I Corps return to the ANVa are filled with Longstreet's coorespondence to many indivuduals.  At one point he received a curt reprimand from Cooper and many of Longstreets charges against subordinates were dropped.  There is no doubt that during this period he alienated many subordinates, antagonized the War Department and Jeff Davis himself.  As early as the Seven Day's Campaign he effectively placed the blame for his blunder on on Holmes.
       
      Longstreet had many fine qualities - the postwar episodes leave no joy for any of the participants - the documented environment is so polluted I doubt the truth will never be known.   Longstreet was a hrad case, he was a troubled and frustrated man, and we can only guess what the loss of his children did to him.
       
       But!  He ranks high in my book for two reasons -
      -the Widow Tapp's Farm on May 6, 1864 and most of all
      -April 9, 1865- when Lee was going to met Grant, Longstreet said - 'Tell him if he doesn't give us good terms, we'll make a fight of it!" (paraphase).
       
      Longstreet needs a long, detailed and well documented biography, free of the post war venom.   He deserves that, he served long and honorabley, fought like hell and a couple of good days like those at Chickamauga and the Wilderness iputs any military man in good standing.
       
      Mark
    • Harry Smeltzer
      ... From: plosk [mailto:plosk@pacbell.net] Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 3:08 PM To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com Subject: [civilwarwest] Longstreet s
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 21, 2003

         

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: plosk [mailto:plosk@...]
        Sent:
        Tuesday, October 21, 2003 3:08 PM
        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [civilwarwest] Longstreet's pounting

         

        The OR volumes dealing with the period between Chickamauga and the I Corps return to the ANVa are filled with Longstreet's coorespondence to many indivuduals.  At one point he received a curt reprimand from Cooper and many of Longstreets charges against subordinates were dropped.  There is no doubt that during this period he alienated many subordinates, antagonized the War Department and Jeff Davis himself.  As early as the Seven Day's Campaign he effectively placed the blame for his blunder on on Holmes.

         

        This and more could all be said of Jackson.  Bud Robertson could not bring himself to accuse Stonewall of pouting, however.  And I don’t think Jackson had a reputation as a pouter at the time.

         

        Longstreet needs a long, detailed and well documented biography, free of the post war venom.   He deserves that, he served long and honorabley, fought like hell and a couple of good days like those at Chickamauga and the Wilderness iputs any military man in good standing.

         

        I think Jeff Wert’s book is just that.  He said he felt he must have given a balanced account, because both the pro and anti-Longstreet camps gave him grief for the book.

         

        Harry



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      • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
        In a message dated 10/21/2003 4:11:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I agree that a factual unbiased biography should be written of Longstreet sans post war.
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 21, 2003
          In a message dated 10/21/2003 4:11:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time, plosk@... writes:

          Longstreet needs a long, detailed and well documented biography, free of the post war venom.   He deserves that, he served long and honorabley, fought like hell and a couple of good days like those at Chickamauga and the Wilderness iputs any military man in good standing.

          I agree that a factual unbiased biography should be written of Longstreet sans post war.  Like all of us, he was subject to making mistakes.  But more than some, he also fought like hell.  In addition, whether he liked them or not, he followed orders.  It might do us good to disect his Knoxville mission, find out the why's and the why not's.  Do this with open minds rather than with tunnel vision.   I admit, I could learn alot more about this campaign and I am sure that I am not in the boat alone.

          JEJ
        • Brian Hampton
          ... There are several problems with Wert s biography, some of which were -- and would be for anyone -- unavoidable, others which were matters relating to topic
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 21, 2003
            At 03:20 PM 10/21/2003, you wrote:

            >I think Jeff Wert's book is just that. He said he felt he must have given
            >a balanced account, because both the pro and anti-Longstreet camps gave
            >him grief for the book.

            There are several problems with Wert's biography, some of which were -- and
            would be for anyone -- unavoidable, others which were matters relating to
            topic focus. It's the latter that causes some still to desire a better bio.

            The unavoidable problems are easily summarized. Relative to people like
            Lee, the two Johnstons, Hood, etc. documentation relating to Longstreet's
            life outside the context of the woah is almost non-existent. Much of what
            once did exist in the form of personal letters, etc. burned with his home
            in the 1890's. Without that documentation, writing a "complete" biography
            is nearly impossible. The criticism that arises is that Wert's book is not
            a complete bio, rather a military bio.

            However, even in that context, Wert's book focuses heavily, to the point of
            exclusion of other topics, on Gettysburg and the controversies surrounding
            it. When he's not explicitly talking about Gettysburg, he still alludes to
            it by way of preamble or postscript. Gettysburg is even invoked during the
            discussion of the assault on Ft. Sanders. It's invoked in relation to the
            dismissal of McLaws. It is the center of everything. I, for one, am quite
            sick of Gettysburg.

            Given Wert's task of assembling the biography of a man whose image had been
            so mistreated by the aura of those three days in July, this is
            understandable. However, in the wake of Wert's and Piston's books, it's
            time to move on. With the focus of this group in mind, Longstreet's
            activities outside the ANV demand more focused attention. There is plenty
            of source material, some of it untapped, almost none of it explored
            deeply. Longstreet's role in the West from the time of his first
            agitations to focus more resources to that theater through his return to
            the ANV in 1864 generally get small chapters or scattered paragraphs in
            books covering this topic. The Knoxville campaign itself could be the
            subject of a book length manuscript. (William Piston, while searching for
            a subject for his doctoral thesis, toyed with the idea of writing such a
            book but abandoned the idea in part because he was advised not enough
            interest existed in the subject.) His complete role with the AoT would
            need to be edited for space.

            And then there is his post-war life, which I realize is out of bounds for
            the subject of this group. Suffice to say he was more than a minor player
            in post-war Southern politics, yet this subject has received little
            attention save for scattered references within the context of the
            Gettysburg controversy and various essays that are hard to find.
          • james2044
            ... have given a ... gave him ... Harry, I m reading Wert s book now. Being a pro-Longstreet person I find him very fair in a warts and all way. He deals
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 21, 2003
              > I think Jeff Wert's book is just that. He said he felt he must
              have given a
              > balanced account, because both the pro and anti-Longstreet camps
              gave him
              > grief for the book.
              >
              >
              >
              Harry,

              I'm reading Wert's book now. Being a pro-Longstreet person I find
              him very fair in a "warts and all" way. He deals with the bad
              things and the good things w/o over stating either.

              James2044
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