Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary

By Charles F. Ritter; Jon L. Wakelyn | Go to book overview

JAMES LONGSTREET
(January 8, 1821–January 2, 1904)

Jon L. Wakelyn

“He served the rebel cause from Bull Run to the last day of Appomattox and ended his career as the respected senior corps leader of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia,” stated Thomas L. Connelly and Barbara L. Bellows in 1982 in their reappraisal of famous general James Longstreet. But those authors’ support for Longstreet’s role in the war flies in the face of the near universal negative evaluations of his performance. Few Civil War military leaders who had served so well and so long have received the criticism from military historians that Longstreet has. Even despite the recent Longstreet revival, many scholars continue to insist that he failed the Southern cause when it counted. Some have attributed his shortcomings to an excessively defensive posture in a world of romantic and audacious Cavaliers. Others have claimed that Longstreet’s postwar thoughtless attacks on General Robert E. Lee (q.v.) revealed his wartime insubordination. Still others have mingled what they believed was a lack of enthusiasm for the Confederate cause with his realistic yet naive acquiescence to the plans for Reconstruction of the Northern conquerors. In short, those who have analyzed his career have done so by judging Longstreet’s flawed personal character and his loyalties and generally have dodged an assessment of his accomplishments. In order to give Longstreet’s activities just reconsideration, the life of that great leader requires exploration.

In some ways the story begins before Longstreet was born, during the Revolutionary War era, when William Longstreet, the headstrong Dutchman and failed inventor, stubbornly took his family from New Jersey to unfamiliar South Carolina. William’s son James, the father of the future Confederate general, was born in New Jersey. Young James, born in South Carolina’s Edgefield district on January 8, 1821, was quite obviously destined to come under the influence of those stern Dutchmen. But his father died when he was young, and James’s mother and his father’s cotton-planter brother, the famous humorist and college president Judge Augustus B. Longstreet, together raised him. (Curiously, in his

-249-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 466

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.