JAMES LONGSTREET Biography - Military related figures


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Name: James Longstreet                                                             
Born: 8 January 1821 Edgefield District, South Carolina                             
Died: 2 January 1904 Gainesville, Georgia                                           
Nickname Old Pete                                                                   
James Longstreet (January 8, 1821 - January 2, 1904) was one of the foremost       
Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to     
General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse." He served under Lee     
as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of           
Northern Virginia in the Eastern Theater, but also with Gen. Braxton Bragg in       
the Army of Tennessee in the Western Theater. Biographer and historian Jeffry D.   
Wert wrote that "Longstreet ... was the finest corps commander in the Army of       
Northern Virginia; in fact, he was arguably the best corps commander in the         
conflict on either side."                                                           
Longstreet's talents as a general made significant contributions to the             
Confederate victories at Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chickamauga, in       
both offensive and defensive roles. He also performed strongly during the Seven     
Days Battles, the Battle of Antietam, and until he was seriously wounded, at the   
Battle of the Wilderness. His performance in semiautonomous command at Knoxville,   
Tennessee, resulted in an embarrassing Confederate defeat. His most                 
controversial service was at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he disagreed with     
General Lee on the tactics to be employed and reluctantly supervised the           
disastrous infantry assault known as Pickett's Charge.                             
He enjoyed a successful post-war career working for the U.S. Government as a       
diplomat, civil servant, and administrator. However, his conversion to the         
Republican Party and his cooperation with his old friend, President Ulysses S.     
Grant, as well as critical comments he wrote in his memoirs about General Lee's     
wartime performance, made him anathema to many of his former Confederate           
colleagues. Authors of the Lost Cause movement focused on Longstreet's actions     
at Gettysburg as a primary reason for the Confederacy's loss of the war. His       
reputation in the South was damaged for over a century and has only recently       
begun a slow reassessment.