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General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier (1993)

by Jeffry D. Wert

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460342,150 (3.9)2
General James Longstreet fought in nearly every campaign of the Civil War, from Manassas (the first battle of Bull Run) to Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, and was present at the surrender at Appomattox. Yet, he was largely held to blame for the Confederacy's defeat at Gettysburg. General James Longstreet sheds new light on the controversial commander and the man Robert E. Lee called “my old war horse.”… (more)
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General James Longstreet: the Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier by Jeffry Wert

★ ★ ★ ½

The Civil War era has always interested me. And I am always amazed on how much there is to learn about the war even after the many books I’ve read on it and the college courses I attended. This book just adds to the details, and quite well. This book on General James Longstreet (a Confederate General that was Lee’s right-hand man and became quite the scapegoat after the Confederates lost) is great addition to the history of the Civil War.

The author delves into the man and his time in remarkable detail. It is obvious the Wert did a lot of research. He is fair and just in his picture of Longstreet and has plenty of accurate information, all written an interesting format that kept my attention. One must pay attention when reading this book. The author goes into quite the fine points when it comes to the battles that Longstreet was a part of. This is good, but if you’re like me and your mind wanders a bit, you’ll start getting confused (I went through a lot of “wait, so who was where and who won what?!”) if the attention isn’t fully there…this also goes for the large amount of names mentioned throughout the battle scenes. Luckily, the author does post maps of the battles for some extra reference for the easily confused (aka ME). I wish that the author would have focused on Longstreet more after her service in the military. I felt like even though Longstreet lived several decades after the end of the war and he dealt with a lot of backlash, there was little information and it was quickly bundled into the end. A good book if you’re into the time period.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
An excellent insight into the in-fighting between the confederate generals as well as an interesting viewpoint in Longstreets accomplishments and shortcomings in the war. ( )
  dswaddell | Sep 23, 2009 |
Very good biography on Longstreet. Wert defends Longstreet against the view that Longstreet was the reason the South lost at Gettysburg. ( )
  JohnnieBurgessJr | Mar 30, 2006 |
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For Jason and Natalie,
with a father's love and pride
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PREFACE
Eleven years after the Civil War, James Longstreet confided in a private letter that "it has been my feeling and opinion, that it would have been better to leave to the historian, and the student of future days, the records of our struggle from which the history should be made; that those of us who bore prominent parts in the struggle should recognize its failure, and should submit to the responsibilities of that failure, as belonging to us all in proportion to our positions and opportunities."
The column of men marched up the street in the warmth of a late spring day.
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General James Longstreet fought in nearly every campaign of the Civil War, from Manassas (the first battle of Bull Run) to Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, and was present at the surrender at Appomattox. Yet, he was largely held to blame for the Confederacy's defeat at Gettysburg. General James Longstreet sheds new light on the controversial commander and the man Robert E. Lee called “my old war horse.”

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