Baker & Taylor Argues that Longstreet was unfairly blamed for the defeat at Gettysburg
Blackwell North Amer General James Longstreet was Lee's senior lieutenant in the Army of Northern Virginia and the general whose conduct at the Battle of Gettysburg remains a topic of heated debate more than 130 years later. Longstreet first saw action in the Mexican War. He joined the Confederacy soon after the Civil War began and fought in nearly every campaign of Lee's army as well as in a major campaign in the Western theater. He led troops from the brigade to the corps level, at First and Second Manassas, Seven Pines, Seven Days, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Petersburg. He scored a decisive victory at Chickamauga. And at war's end he stood alongside Lee at the surrender ceremony at Appomattox. Longstreet led the First Corps under Lee, outranking the better-known commander of the Second Corps, Stonewall Jackson. "Old Pete," as his soldiers called him, was a superb battlefield commander with great tactical skill. But he has long been blamed, especially in the South, for the crucial Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. Jeffry Wert argues that Longstreet opposed Lee's ill-fated frontal assault on July 3 and that, had Lee followed Longstreet s advice to take a more defensive posture, the battle might have turned out differently. After the war, Longstreet joined the Republican Party and became a political apostate in the South during the Reconstruction era. When he died in relative obscurity in 1904, only his old soldiers remembered him. This is the first full-scale biography of Longstreet in forty years, and it returns him to his position of central importance in the Civil War. Jeffry D. Wert's extensive research included unpublished memoirs, diaries, and letters from several archives.
Baker & Taylor The author of Mosby's Rangers shatters traditional views of the Gettysburg defeat in a revealing examination of the commander of the Confederacy's First Corps, featuring letters and unpublished Southern archive materials.