Interview: Longstreet says Early "was a marplot"

lelliott19

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Longstreet on Early w pic.JPG

On the occasion of Longstreet's visit to Antietam in 1893, a correspondent of the Washington Post recorded the General's opinions and criticisms on a number of topics. Here, General Longstreet extols Ewell and disparages Jubal Early.

"Ewell was greatly [A.P.] Hill's superior in every respect; a safe, reliable corps commander, always zealously seeking to do his duty. In execution, he was the equal of Jackson, perhaps, but in independent command he was far inferior; neither was he as confident and self-reliant. Ewell lost much of his efficiency with his leg at the Second Manassas, and was always, more or less handicapped by Early, who, as a division general, was a marplot and a disturber in Ewell's corps."

"Early's mental horizon was a limited one, and he was utterly lost beyond a regiment out of sight of his corps general. How General Lee could have been misled into sending him down the Valley with an army in 1864 I never clearly understood. I was away from the army that summer wounded. Early had no capacity for directing. He never could fight a battle; he could not have whipped Sheridan with Lee's entire army."
According to Merriam-Webster, a marplot is "one who frustrates or ruins a plan or undertaking by meddling." That sounds bad enough, but Longstreet goes on to further deprecate Early. And, apparently, he meant every word of it. In the introduction, the correspondent states that when he "suggested that [the] somewhat harsh criticism of General Early be omitted, the old warrior grimly replied, 'It will be in my book.'" <Up next, Longstreet on Sheridan, Pickett, and Five Forks.>

Note: This post is Part 5 of a series on Longstreet's opinions of various Generals, expressed during an interview with a Washington Post corespondent in 1893. Longstreet's opinions on various generals are posted in separate threads so they can be easily located - Bragg, Early, Ewell, Hill, Joe Johnston, Jeff Davis, Lee, McClellan, Sheridan and more. Here are the links to Parts 1-4, posted previously:
Part 1 - Intro to the article
Part 2 - Longstreet on Bragg
Part 3 - Longstreet on Jackson
Part 4 -
Longstreet on AP Hill

Source: Reprinted from the Washington Post of June 1893, the article appeared in The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, VA.), November 12, 1911, page 3.

@Eleanor Rose @Union_Buff @FarawayFriend @War Horse @novushomus @GELongstreet @LeesWarhorse @Tom Elmore @Coonewah Creek @Yankeedave @Andy Cardinal @PeterT @Zella
If you aren't tagged and would like to know when these are posted, let me know and Ill tag you in future ones.
 
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War Horse

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On the occasion of Longstreet's visit to Antietam in 1893, a correspondent of the Washington Post recorded the General's opinions and criticisms on a number of topics. Here, General Longstreet extols Ewell and disparages Jubal Early.

"Ewell was greatly [A.P.] Hill's superior in every respect; a safe, reliable corps commander, always zealously seeking to do his duty. In execution, he was the equal of Jackson, perhaps, but in independent command he was far inferior; neither was he as confident and self-reliant. Ewell lost much of his efficiency with his leg at the Second Manassas, and was always, more or less handicapped by Early, who, as a division general, was a marplot and a disturber in Ewell's corps."

"Early's mental horizon was a limited one, and he was utterly lost beyond a regiment out of sight of his corps general. How General Lee could have been misled into sending him down the Valley with an army in 1864 I never clearly understood. I was away from the army that summer wounded. Early had no capacity for directing. He never could fight a battle; he could not have whipped Sheridan with Lee's entire army."
According to Merriam-Webster, a marplot is "one who frustrates or ruins a plan or undertaking by meddling." That sounds bad enough, but Longstreet goes on to further deprecate Early. And, apparently, he meant every word of it. In the introduction, the correspondent states that when he "suggested that [the] somewhat harsh criticism of General Early be omitted, the old warrior grimly replied, 'It will be in my book." <Up next, Longstreet on Sheridan, Pickett, and Five Forks.>

Note: This post is Part 5 of a series on Longstreet's opinions of various Generals, expressed during an interview with a Washington Post corespondent in 1893. Longstreet's opinions on various generals are posted in separate threads so they can be easily located - Bragg, Early, Ewell, Hill, Joe Johnson, Jeff Davis, Lee, McClellan, Sheridan and more. Here are the links to Parts 1-4, posted previously:
Part 1 - Intro to the article
Part 2 - Longstreet on Bragg
Part 3 - Longstreet on Jackson
Part 4 -
Longstreet on AP Hill

Source: Reprinted from the Washington Post of June 1893, the article appeared in The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, VA.), November 12, 1911, page 3.

@Eleanor Rose @Union_Buff @FarawayFriend @War Horse @novushomus @GELongstreet @LeesWarhorse @Tom Elmore @Coonewah Creek @Yankeedave @Andy Cardinal @PeterT @Zella
If you aren't tagged and would like to know when these are posted, let me know and Ill tag you in future ones.
Lol, I’m supprised by this. :smile:
 
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Where I work makes it too easy.

Ryan
I didn't know we are colleagues !

But joking aside, I'm gnawing on that sentence from the intervie in Laura's post no. 9: "The command which, under Stonewall Jackson, knew no defeat under Early never knew victory."
Was that really the case? Is it shameless exaggeration due to their personal feud or is there truth in it?
 

Eleanor Rose

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I applauded my favorite general when I read his words about Early. I'm not a Jubal fan. Gee, I wonder why? :giggle:
Seriously, I think General Longstreet's assessment of Early was accurate. Based on what I have read he was indeed a "marplot." Early was aggressive in battle, but he never seemed to learn how to navigate a battlefield. He wasn't good at moving large numbers of men accurately. He also had a short temper and frequently blamed his junior officers for decisions he made that didn't succeed. I have read that when General Lee relieved Early of his command it was because he believed that Early could no longer provide inspirational leadership. Worst of all in my opinion, Early did not accept the surrender at Appomattox. Instead he fled to Texas where he wanted to continue the fight. When it became clear that the South had lost he went to Mexico, Cuba and then Canada. I wish he had stayed there. :giggle:
 


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