General Lee Did Say It Wasn’t General Longstreet’s Fault!

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,692
Location
central NC
DhMiAdrXkAE-XIf.jpg

The following is an excerpt from “Longstreet's Courier—Memorable Words of Confederate Leaders--A Time when they were Sorely Tried--What Might Have Been--The Part Played by Hood” by William Youngblood, of Alabama:

For many years I have thought of writing out for the public what I know of the battle of Gettysburg; but the political surroundings of myself and of him conspicuously interested have deterred me. To everyone to whom I have ever told this incident of my soldier's life he has said that I ought to reduce it to writing and give it to the world or to the people of this country--that it might go into the archives. I have determined to tell the story in this way, every word of which is the truth, absolute and pure.

After a hard march of a day and night we approached falling water on the Potomac, where the pontoons had been laid to cross into Virginia. The rain had swollen the Potomac, and all had to cross on the pontoons. I had been out doing courier work all day and night, and arrived at the pontoon a little before daylight, where General Longstreet was on the ground directing the men, wagons, artillery, etc., across. I pushed off to one side, out of the way and out of sight, squatted at the root of a tree, tied my bridle reins to my arm, and did not wake until after daylight, when to my horror, I found myself within a few feet of the river, and my horse so close that one step more would have put him over the bank. I made my way to the bridge. General Longstreet told me to go on across. I went over and up the bluff into the main road. Looking to my left I saw General Lee on his horse, accompanied by some of his staff, watching the pontoon and the men coming across. While there a man whom I did not know rode up and said:

"General, there is a rumor throughout the army that General Longstreet failed in his duty is the cause of our disaster at Gettysburg." General Lee, with firmness and fire, replied: "It is unjust. Longstreet did his duty. Our failure is to be charged to me. My shoulders are broad and can bear it."

*****​
So there you have it folks! General Lee, a man beloved by all the Longstreet detractors, actually said “Longstreet did his duty” at Gettysburg. Maybe this case can finally be put to rest on CWT. Just kidding! I know that isn’t likely. But, you can expect this to become my favorite retort. :giggle:

What do you think of this @War Horse, @GELongstreet, @lelliott19, @Zella, @Rebforever (yes, I really want to know), @FarawayFriend and all the rest who have debated this over the years?



Source: Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXXVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1910. Unwritten History Of The Gettysburg Campaign.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
2,609
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing! :smile:

I am not a military expert by any means, but I've just never seen a persuasive claim for the accusations hurled at Longstreet over the battle.

Truthfully, I have a great deal of sympathy for him. I think we've all been put in positions at work that require you to do something you think is a bad idea (and with a lot less at stake than people's lives).

Personally, I pitch way more of a fit in those circumstances than Longstreet ever could dream of doing. :giggle::D:laugh::roflmao:
 

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,249
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I have not been involved in the past arguments. I do not know the depth of them, their virtues or their contestations, but I do know that General Lee truly blamed himself and wrote to Jefferson Davis about his own removal. Thus said, he was never one to blame a subordinate officer. He did carry the full burden alone, and even with the lost dispatch from Antietam, which has never been fully solved, he wrote General D. H. Hill and personally exonerated him, even though he was not held in high esteem by the General.
Lubliner.
 

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,692
Location
central NC

War Horse

Captain
Forum Host
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
6,559
Location
Lexington, SC
Today is General Longstreet's birthday. I posted a recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Cake in the Food Forum in his honor. Our favorite General loved sweet potatoes. :smile:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/southern-sweet-potato-cake.153329/
Funny, it was one of his found memories of arriving in Tenn to be served Sweet Potato’s for dinner. I have to admit, I’ve always found that an odd favorite memory. I suppose it’s a testament to what he and his men were use to consisting on at the time. I actually forgot today was Old Pete’s Birthday. @Rebforever usually calls me out on it. Thank you for posting.
 

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,692
Location
central NC
Funny, it was one of his found memories of arriving in Tenn to be served Sweet Potato’s for dinner. I have to admit, I’ve always found that an odd favorite memory. I suppose it’s a testament to what he and his men were use to consisting on at the time. I actually forgot today was Old Pete’s Birthday. @Rebforever usually calls me out on it. Thank you for posting.
I wish he could get featured on the front page today. Our poor fella never gets his due. :giggle:
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Messages
10,093
Funny, it was one of his found memories of arriving in Tenn to be served Sweet Potato’s for dinner. I have to admit, I’ve always found that an odd favorite memory. I suppose it’s a testament to what he and his men were use to consisting on at the time. I actually forgot today was Old Pete’s Birthday. @Rebforever usually calls me out on it. Thank you for posting.
Today is my birthday too.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
8,578
Location
Hannover, Germany
I have to admit, I’ve always found that an odd favorite memory
I did not know that (another proof of my ignorance) but I do agree, a bit strange. I never liked sweet potatoes...

But thanks @Eleanor Rose for reminding us all of Old Pete's birthday.
Here comes something @LoriAnn once sent me for my birthday, but I guess Longstreet, who always liked the ladies, was a formidable dancer, too...
so this is fitting for for his birthday also...
_20190108_182124.JPG
 

Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,692
Location
central NC
You sweet potato haters need to put more cinnamon butter (and just plain cinnamon) on them and make sure they're piping hot. If that doesn't help, then sweet taters just aren't your thing. :giggle: They're a great side with pork loin. Of course, there are plenty of foods I dislike too and no amount of sugar, spice, salt, pepper or ketchup can change it.
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top