Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
- Dec 21, 2015
Generation Gap: Former Confederate general James Longstreet and his second wife, Helen Dortch, were 42 years apart in age. This image was taken in 1900, four years before the general’s death.
Longstreet’s Second Lady
By John Banks
APRIL 2018 • CIVIL WAR TIMES MAGAZINE
The general’s remarkable second wife defended her husband’s reputation, championed black rights, and built World War II bombers
Despite being Robert E. Lee’s sturdy lieutenant during the Civil War, James Longstreet was vilified throughout much of the South after the war because of his Republican Party allegiance and service in President Ulysses Grant’s administration. The former Confederate lieutenant general led an almost solitary existence in his mansion set among an extensive vineyard in Gainesville, Ga. His sons had left after their mother Mary Louisa’s death in 1889, and his daughter later married a local schoolteacher, leaving Longstreet in the house with only the company of a servant.
In late July 1897, the 76-year-old Longstreet became smitten with Helen Dortch—his daughter’s friend and 42 years his junior—whom he had met in Lithia Springs, Ga. Soon the press caught wind of rumors that he might take another bride. Longstreet played coy with a persistent New York reporter before he finally confirmed the news.
“The General crossed his legs, looked out over the fields again, and replied: ‘Oh, pshaw! Well, I suppose I might as well give in,’” The New York Times reported. “I am to be married to Miss Dortch at noon on Wednesday in the Governor’s residence in Atlanta. The honeymoon is to be spent in Porter Springs, where I hope you newspaper men will leave an old man to the happiness he has acquired.”
MORE HERE http://www.historynet.com/longstreets-second-lady.htm?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Socialflow
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