Why did Longstreet do poorly in independent command?

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The best thing Jackson ever did for his reputation, was to get killed when he did... even if he was killed because of his own stupidity.
IMHO --You could stay back safe in the rear, but I don't see it as stupid to be wounded while at the front with your troops, while scouting for an attack. Both Longstreet and Jackson were both wounded while planning attacks that if successful would most likely yield great results. At The Wilderness Lee was also in great danger at the front only to be lead away by the Texas brigade.
 

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Scott1967

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It is a settled fact that there are certain individuals who work best with supervision. Longstreet was one of those. He was the south's best corps commander and not so hot in independent command. Lee was the creative tactician and Longstreet was brilliant at executing Lee's plans. What Lee did for Longstreet was to narrow his focus and allow Pete to concentrate on the details of execution at which he excelled.
Even under Bragg *whistles* but he was pretty much in charge himself having the whole left wing of the AoT if they had only attacked in unison they would have routed the Union all the way to Chattanooga .
 

Scott1967

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IMHO --You could stay back safe in the rear, but I don't see it as stupid to be wounded while at the front with your troops, while scouting for an attack. Both Longstreet and Jackson were both wounded while planning attacks that if successful would most likely yield great results. At The Wilderness Lee was also in great danger at the front only to be lead away by the Texas brigade.
Officers of the Civil war lead from the front this was expected of a man of good breeding and intellect , Rankers would be frowned upon this was how it was up until the Second World War.

British Army officers would buy their commissions back in the day all the men asked was if he was from good stock , Most were poor soldiers but it didn't matter to the men.
 

thomas aagaard

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IMHO --You could stay back safe in the rear, but I don't see it as stupid to be wounded while at the front with your troops, while scouting for an attack. Both Longstreet and Jackson were both wounded while planning attacks that if successful would most likely yield great results. At The Wilderness Lee was also in great danger at the front only to be lead away by the Texas brigade.
Being up front during fighting can sometimes be needed.
(For a Brigade commander it is very much part of the job . For a CSA Division commander (or union corp commander) I can understand there can be need of it in a few cases. But above that in the CSA army and you are pretty much failing in your duty)

And being there during periods of no combat is logical to do...

But what Jackson did was just stupid.
Scouting like that after dark is something you tell your engineer officers and staff officers to do.
And he was not only close to the front lines, he passed beyond his own lines and then even more stupid did not return the same way he came. Had he done so the unit there could have been told to expect him to return...

Iam no Jackson fanboy, but he would have helped the CSA cause better by letting his junior officers do their jobs...


Lee did a good deal of scouting in Mexico way beyond friendly lines for General Scott... exactly the way to use young (expendable) staff officers.
 

jackt62

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Although it is not very useful or fair to compare Longstreet with Jackson, a few points must be noted: Jackson became a southern icon early on in the war when the confederacy was seeking heroes. His untimely demise of course, cemented his reputation in history for all time, unlike Longstreet whose decades of post war activity and his response to critics diminished his standing. Jackson also benefited from a catchy nickname (Stonewall), and eccentric behaviors in contrast to Longstreet whose career was steady and reliable. Jackson gets rave reviews for his flank attack at Chancellorsville, but in reality, Longstreet's "hammer" attack at Second Manassas was probably more effective in blowing up the federal line at that engagement.
 

jackt62

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But to get back to the original question, why Longstreet did "poorly" in independent command. In fact, Longstreet exercised true independent command twice: the Suffolk campaign and the East Tennesse (Knoxville) campaign. His command in the first instance was not poor, so it all comes down to Tennessee. Could some of Longstreet's problems in that campaign have resulted from the faulty reasoning behind launching the campaign at all, which was partially prompted by Bragg's efforts to rid Longstreet from Bragg's command in the Chattanooga area? That, and the generally superior defense of Knoxville and Fort Sanders by General Burnside were all considerations.
 
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Being up front during fighting can sometimes be needed.
(For a Brigade commander it is very much part of the job . For a CSA Division commander (or union corp commander) I can understand there can be need of it in a few cases. But above that in the CSA army and you are pretty much failing in your duty)

And being there during periods of no combat is logical to do...

But what Jackson did was just stupid.
Scouting like that after dark is something you tell your engineer officers and staff officers to do.
And he was not only close to the front lines, he passed beyond his own lines and then even more stupid did not return the same way he came. Had he done so the unit there could have been told to expect him to return...

Iam no Jackson fanboy, but he would have helped the CSA cause better by letting his junior officers do their jobs...


Lee did a good deal of scouting in Mexico way beyond friendly lines for General Scott... exactly the way to use young (expendable) staff officers.
Tight lip Jackson did everything in his own way. He was between skirmish line and the regiments. Was planning a night attack, if you take a bullet makes no difference between a sighted shot in day light or random shot in the dark. Your hit. I'm not trying to turn this into a Jackson thread, or Longstreet vs. Jackson.
 

Scott1967

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Tight lip Jackson did everything in his own way. He was between skirmish line and the regiments. Was planning a night attack, if you take a bullet makes no difference between a sighted shot in day light or random shot in the dark. Your hit. I'm not trying to turn this into a Jackson thread, or Longstreet vs. Jackson.
Totally agree , I always thought Jackson was Lee's sword and Longstreet his shield lose one and your only half as effective.
 


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