Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet Essay

1960 words - 8 pages

As countries prosper, the numbers of problems and the intensity of them also increase, the issue is just unavoidable. As America continued to grow rapidly throughout the the 19th century, certain issues became very disputed in different parts of America and thus came the great (American) Civil War. The Civil War lasted for five years, starting in 1861 and ending in 1865. Three days within this bloody war held the utmost significance: July 1st to July 3rd, the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union won the battle of Gettysburg, after coming back on the second and third day (Shaara, Michael). The loss was often unfairly blamed on one of the Confederate Lieutenant Generals: James Longstreet.
James Longstreet was born a true Southerner in the state of South Carolina on January 8th, 1821 (James Longstreet). Despite being born in South Carolina, most of his early years were either spent in Georgia or Alabama (James Longstreet). Longstreet attended West Point from 1838 to 1842 when he graduated (James Longstreet). He was not the best student; he finished 54th out of his class of 56 but he was very well respected and readily accepted by his peers (James Longstreet). One of his closest friends at West Point was Ulysses S Grant, a future Union Civil War hero and future US President (James Longstreet). When he graduated, he was positioned as a brevet second lieutenant with the 4th US infantry(James Longstreet). Longstreet experienced his first real action in the Mexican War where was also wounded for the first time, from a bullet to the thigh (James Longstreet). Longstreet skied through the ranking system and by 1858 found himself as a Major (James Longstreet).
The Election of 1860 was a Republican victory and Abraham Lincoln was set to take office in 1861. This was extremely pleasing to the North but extremely angered the North. South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana seceded. With most of America sensing a foreboding problem and possibly war, Longstreet decided to pledge his allegiance to the South, where he was from (James Longstreet).. As were many others, Longstreet was not a fan of why this upcoming war were to happen and even simply the split of the nations, but he could not imagine his life without the military in it. Longstreet once expressed his beliefs on the fact that the war was a civil war as he rhetorically asked “Why do men fight who were born to be brothers?”.
The war officially erupted on April 12th, 1861 when rebelling states attacked Union troops stationed at Fort Sumter. Longstreet who had quit the US army in 1861 and offered himself to the seceding states and was placed under General Beauregard as a Brigadier General (James Longstreet). Longstreet took part in two Confederate victories at the first Battle of Bull Run, though with little role (James Longstreet). A few months later Longstreet became a Major General and had control of the Potomac Army (Smith, Karlton). During the Peninsula Campaign...

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