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Longstreet at Gettysburg - A Critical Reassessment
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Author:  krmiller_usa [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Longstreet at Gettysburg - A Critical Reassessment

Received this for Christmas, had taken my family to Gettysburg on several of my annual visits and my daughter knew of my interest in Longstreet from us visiting his statue when they finally put one up for him there in 1998. Author Cory Pfarr presents evidence refuting the myth created by the 'Lost Cause" clique in their bid to deify Lee and get back at Longstreet for his acceptance of the defeat and attempts to reconcile southerners to the loss by blaming him for the loss at Gettysburg.

Being a Pennsylvania boy I am much more interested in the Union generals but always felt Longstreet was ignored in the myth building of Jackson and Lee. Little of this was new for me as I had rejected this myth long ago but it was nice to see someone put it all together in one volume. The author collects information from primary sources to refute the claims of the 'Lost Cause' authors and many of the late 20th century writers who swallowed it hook line and sinker.

Author:  warhorse123 [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Longstreet at Gettysburg - A Critical Reassessment

An excellent read, sir. I have it in my library as well.

Author:  Quaama [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Longstreet at Gettysburg - A Critical Reassessment

I've always subscribed to General Lee's comments in his farewell address to his troops when he said "After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources." If this makes me a 'Lost Causer' then so be it.

I know that Lee continued to correspond with Longstreet after the war and I do not feel that there was any long held animosity between them. I'm also a strong supporter of Longstreet and enjoyed very much reading his memoirs which can be found online for free at and a few other places.

One of my favourite anecdotes about artillery comes from General Longstreet's memoir where he recounts the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam).
"During the lull, after the rencounter of Walker's, Hill's, and Hood's divisions against Mansfield's last fight, General Lee and myself, riding together under the crest of General D. H. Hill's part of the line, were joined by the latter. We were presently called to the crest to observe movements going on in the Union lines. The two former dismounted and walked to the crest; General Hill, a little out of strength and thinking a single horseman not likely to draw the enemy's fire, rode. As we reached the crest I asked him to ride a little apart, as he would likely draw fire upon the group. While viewing the field a puff of white smoke was seen to burst from a cannon's mouth about a mile off. I remarked, "There is a shot for General Hill," and, looking towards him, saw his horse drop on his knees. Both forelegs were cut off just below the knees. The dropping forward of the poor animal so elevated his croup that it was not an easy matter for one not an expert horseman to dismount à la militaire. To add to the dilemma, there was a rubber coat with other wraps strapped to the cantle of the saddle. Failing in his attempt to dismount, I suggested that he throw his leg forward over the pommel. This gave him easy and graceful dismount. This was the third horse shot under him during the day, and the shot was one of the best I ever witnessed. An equally good one was made by a Confederate at Yorktown. An officer of the Topographical Engineers walked into the open, in front of our lines, fixed his plane table and seated himself to make a map of the Confederate works. A non-commissioned officer, without orders, adjusted his gun, carefully aimed it, and fired. At the report of the gun all eyes were turned to see the occasion of it, and then to observe the object, when the shell was seen to explode as if in the hands of the officer. It had been dropped squarely upon the drawing-table, and Lieutenant Wagner was mortally wounded.[66] Of the first shot, Major Alfred A. Woodhull, under date of June 8, 1886, wrote,—

"On the 17th of September, 1862, I was standing in Weed's battery, whose position is correctly given in the map, when a man on, I think, a gray horse, appeared about a mile in front of us, and footmen were recognized near. Captain Weed, who was a remarkable artillerist, himself sighted and fired the gun at the horse, which was struck."
Of this shot, Captain A. B. More, of Richmond, Virginia, wrote, under date of June 16, 1886,—

"The Howitzers have always been proud of that shot, and, thinking it would interest you, I write to say that it was fired by Corporal Holzburton, of the Second Company, Richmond Howitzers, from a ten-pound Parrott."

Author:  warhorse123 [ Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Longstreet at Gettysburg - A Critical Reassessment

Funny. Sherman prophecied this exact outcome BEFORE the war started. Lee said it, yes, but Sherman said it first:

"You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization!
You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it…
Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth-right at your doors.
You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail."
William Tecumseh Sherman

Didn't sound so crazy there, did he? :)

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