"Top of the morning to you," from Gen. Longstreet

Eleanor Rose

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I have always loved this story from, "Lee and Longstreet at High Tide." Written as an introduction to the book by Gen. Dan Sickles, it seems quite appropriate to share on St. Patrick's Day. Hope you enjoy!

"I trust I may be pardoned for relating an incident that reveals the sunny side of Longstreet's genial nature. When I visited Georgia, in March, 1892, I was touched by a call from the General, who came from Gainesville to Atlanta to welcome me to his State. On St. Patrick's Day we supped together as guests of the Irish Societies of Atlanta, at their banquet. We entered the hall arm in arm, about nine o'clock in the evening and were received by some three hundred gentlemen with the wildest and loudest "rebel yell" I had ever heard.

When I rose to respond to a toast in honor of the Empire State of the North, Longstreet stood also and leaned with one arm on my shoulder, the better to hear what I had to say, and this was a signal for another outburst. I concluded my remarks by proposing,— "Health and long life to my old adversary, Lieutenant- General Longstreet," assuring the audience that, although the General did not often make speeches, he would sing the "Star-Spangled Banner." This was, indeed a risky promise, as I had never heard the General sing. I was greatly relieved by his exclamation:"Yes, I will sing it." And he did sing the song admirably, the company joining with much enthusiasm.

As the hour was late, and we had enjoyed quite a number of potations of hot Irish whiskey punch, we decided to go to our lodgings long before the end of the revel, which appeared likely to last until daybreak. When we descended to the street we were unable to find a carriage, but Longstreet proposed to be my guide; and, although the streets were dark and the walk a long one, we reached my hotel in fairly good form.

Not wishing to be outdone in courtesy, I said, —"Longstreet, the streets of Atlanta are very dark and it is very late, and you are somewhat deaf and rather infirm; now I must escort you to your headquarters. "All right," said Longstreet; "come on and we'll have another handshake over the bloody chasm."

"When we arrived at his stopping-place and were about to separate, as I supposed, he turned to me and said, —"Sickles, the streets of Atlanta are very dark and you are lame, and a stranger here, and do not know the way back to your hotel ; I must escort you home." "Come along, Longstreet," was my answer.

On our way to the hotel, I said to him, "Old fellow, I hope you are sorry for shooting off my leg at Gettysburg. I suppose I will have to forgive you for it some day." "Forgive me?" Longstreet exclaimed. " You ought to thank me for leaving you one leg to stand on, after the mean way you behaved to me at Gettysburg."

How often we performed escort duty for each other on that eventful night I have never been able to recall with precision; but I am quite sure that I shall never forget St. Patrick's Day in 1892, at Atlanta.
 
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Eleanor Rose

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That sounds a little suspicious to me.
Poor @Rebforever! You are such a duine brónach! My Irish friend tells me that means, sad person. It's St. Patrick's Day. This is a great story. And you already know I love General Longstreet! Why are you trying to rain on my parade? No worries though. Your comments or suspicions regarding the General always just encourage me more. Top of the morning to you!

My favorite story and the reason why I cannot hate Dirty Dan Sickles.
Me too!
 

amweiner

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My favorite story and the reason why I cannot hate Dirty Dan Sickles.
I have posted it in some anti-Sickles threads, but it seems it needed to be posted here to get the appropriate acclaim!
Thank you @Eleanor Rose!!
Dirty Dan is kind of a likable rogue....a Han Solo/Batman/Dirty Harry/Tony Soprano mashup. We gotta love us some Dan!
 

War Horse

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My favorite story and the reason why I cannot hate Dirty Dan Sickles.
I have posted it in some anti-Sickles threads, but it seems it needed to be posted here to get the appropriate acclaim!
Thank you @Eleanor Rose!!
Now wait a minute. We are talking about Dan Sickles here. Believe me, he had ulterior motives whenever being kind. I do love this story and agree Sickles and Longstreet had some sort of friendship. I find it odd to say the least. A professional soldier and a politically appointed soldier finding commonality? His kindness to Hellen does not surprise me however :smile:
 
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. I do love this story and agree Sickles and Longstreet had some sort of friendship. I find it odd to say the least.
Nobody is all good or all bad. True friendship means to recognize the flaws in the other one and still hold on.
Okay, Sickles led a life of extremes, but did nothing I could not find at least some kind of understanding for... I'm convinced that many people are"guilty" of the same vices (jealousy, passion, hatred, vanity, overwhelming self-confidence) but try to sweep them under the carpet. Sickles did not. It might be a different sort of honesty, a less beautiful one, but still a kind of honesty. I think Longstreet recognized that. From one underdog to the other.
 
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Rebforever

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Poor @Rebforever! You are such a duine brónach! My Irish friend tells me that means, sad person.
Nope, you just don't know me!

It's St. Patrick's Day.
Yep, we here in the valley are used to saint patricks day. Potato planting which was done by all who wanted to eat the next winter.

This is a great story.
Believe what you want as I do.

And you already know I love General Longstreet!
How do you know the story is true?

Why are you trying to rain on my parade?
If historical facts causes it to rain!!

No worries though.
It seems as you are after making a personal attack on me without knowing me at all!

Your comments or suspicions regarding the General always just encourage me more.
I NEVER discourage anyone from reading anything about the War for Southern Independence.

Top of the morning to you!


Me too!
And may you and your family have a Blessed Easter!
 
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Eleanor Rose

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It seems as you are after making a personal attack on me without knowing me at all!
Sorry for my late reply, but I was on vacation when you made this post. It is never my intention to make a personal attack on you or anyone and I apologize if it has appeared that way. Admittedly, I am passionate in my defense of General Longstreet just as you are in your retorts. We only know each other through the posts we read and sometimes I get the feeling you really enjoy injecting a negative comeback to positive posts about the General. You may very well prove me wrong in the future. At any rate I always enjoy the banter and never take it personally. I hope you do too.
 

KansasFreestater

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My favorite story and the reason why I cannot hate Dirty Dan Sickles.
I have posted it in some anti-Sickles threads, but it seems it needed to be posted here to get the appropriate acclaim!
Thank you @Eleanor Rose!!
Not to mention that Dirty Dan was the primary force behind getting the Gettysburg battlefield preserved.

He had his own egotistical reasons, for sure. But I have to admit I'm grateful to him for at least that one thing. (That, and I wish he could have been in charge at Chancellorsville instead of Hooker!)
 
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KansasFreestater

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I have always loved this story from, "Lee and Longstreet at High Tide." Written as an introduction to the book by Gen. Dan Sickles, it seems quite appropriate to share on St. Patrick's Day. Hope you enjoy!

"I trust I may be pardoned for relating an incident that reveals the sunny side of Longstreet's genial nature. When I visited Georgia, in March, 1892, I was touched by a call from the General, who came from Gainesville to Atlanta to welcome me to his State. On St. Patrick's Day we supped together as guests of the Irish Societies of Atlanta, at their banquet. We entered the hall arm in arm, about nine o'clock in the evening and were received by some three hundred gentlemen with the wildest and loudest "rebel yell" I had ever heard.

When I rose to respond to a toast in honor of the Empire State of the North, Longstreet stood also and leaned with one arm on my shoulder, the better to hear what I had to say, and this was a signal for another outburst. I concluded my remarks by proposing,— "Health and long life to my old adversary, Lieutenant- General Longstreet," assuring the audience that, although the General did not often make speeches, he would sing the "Star-Spangled Banner." This was, indeed a risky promise, as I had never heard the General sing. I was greatly relieved by his exclamation:"Yes, I will sing it." And he did sing the song admirably, the company joining with much enthusiasm.

As the hour was late, and we had enjoyed quite a number of potations of hot Irish whiskey punch, we decided to go to our lodgings long before the end of the revel, which appeared likely to last until daybreak. When we descended to the street we were unable to find a carriage, but Longstreet proposed to be my guide; and, although the streets were dark and the walk a long one, we reached my hotel in fairly good form.

Not wishing to be outdone in courtesy, I said, —"Longstreet, the streets of Atlanta are very dark and it is very late, and you are somewhat deaf and rather infirm; now I must escort you to your headquarters. "All right," said Longstreet; "come on and we'll have another handshake over the bloody chasm."

"When we arrived at his stopping-place and were about to separate, as I supposed, he turned to me and said, —"Sickles, the streets of Atlanta are very dark and you are lame, and a stranger here, and do not know the way back to your hotel ; I must escort you home." "Come along, Longstreet," was my answer.

On our way to the hotel, I said to him, "Old fellow, I hope you are sorry for shooting off my leg at Gettysburg. I suppose I will have to forgive you for it some day." "Forgive me?" Longstreet exclaimed. " You ought to thank me for leaving you one leg to stand on, after the mean way you behaved to me at Gettysburg."

How often we performed escort duty for each other on that eventful night I have never been able to recall with precision; but I am quite sure that I shall never forget St. Patrick's Day in 1892, at Atlanta.
I think their friendship began at the Gettysburg 25th Anniversary Reunion four years earlier.
You'll love this, if you haven't seen it already: http://john-banks.blogspot.com/2017/01/no-man-more-honored-longstreets-1888.html
 

cash

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It's a wonderful story, and if it was true it would be even better, but coming as it does from Dan Sickles, it has to be taken with a huge grain of salt, although it is verifiable that both Dan and Pete were at Gettysburg postwar for reunions, and it was a time when men partook of adult beverages at a prodigious rate, leading to conditions that would make the story believable.
 


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