Interview with General Longstreet: On Bragg

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lelliott19

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On the occasion of Longstreet's visit to Antietam in 1893, a correspondent for the Washington Post recorded the General's opinions and criticisms on a number of topics. Here is what General Longstreet had to say about going west, General Bragg, and discipline of the troops at Chickamauga.

"Were the Western Confederate generals jealous of your coming, general?" I asked.

"I do not think the subordinates were," he answered, "for they to a man lacked confidence in Bragg's skill and capacity. They filed a written request for his removal. There were evidences, however, that General Bragg did not like my coming."

"Do you think, general, the troops you took from Virginia behaved any better at Chickamauga than the Western Confederate troops? And were the Western Federal troops you met at Chickamauga any better than the Federals you had habitually met in Virginia?"

General Longstreet thoughtfully answered:
"My troops were better disciplined than most of Bragg's, but I cannot say they were better fighters. I am positive that the Western Federals were no better fighters than their Eastern brethren, and they were not nearly so well disciplined."​

The intro to the article is located here https://civilwartalk.com/threads/longstreet-returns-to-antietam-1893.150861/ Stay tuned for Longstreet's opinion on Early, Ewell, Hill, Jackson, Joe Johnson, Jeff Davis, and more. Oh! I almost forgot.....he also has an opinion on Sheridan! Good stuff! I plan to post Longstreet's opinions of the various Generals in separate threads so they can be easily found.

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

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… "Do you think, general, the troops you took from Virginia behaved any better at Chickamauga than the Western Confederate troops? And were the Western Federal troops you met at Chickamauga any better than the Federals you had habitually met in Virginia?"

General Longstreet thoughtfully answered:
"My troops were better disciplined than most of Bragg's, but I cannot say they were better fighters. I am positive that the Western Federals were no better fighters than their Eastern brethren, and they were not nearly so well disciplined."


I'd like to point out that Longstreet is referring at this point to the men of Thomas' Army of the Cumberland and not any of Grant's Army of the Tennessee. There has been a great deal of competitive comparisons made then and now between Grant's and Thomas' men on this point and it's usually decided that the Army of the Cumberland was indeed more like the Army of the Potomac in most respects including discipline, bearing, conformity to rules, etc.; and that both were superior to Grant's Westerners in those respects but inferior in morale, resourcefulness, and fighting abilities.​
 
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