Longstreet’s Command – James Longstreet

James Longstreet

James Longstreet Quotes

Last Updated January 16, 2010

With quotations by Longstreet  first followed by others in alphabetical order of the person making the quote.

“I command the 1st Corps in this Army, if you will take it you are more than welcome to it and I have no doubt but the command of the entire Army will fall to you before Spring.”

Longstreet, James

Oct 5, 1862

Longstreet to Joseph Johnston while near Winchester VA

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg334

“cavalry commanders do not always post artillery and infantry to greatest advantage.”

Longstreet, James

Longstreet From Manassas to Appomattox

Reese, Timothy J.  Sealed With Their Lives The Battle for Crampton’s Gap.  Baltimore:  Butternut and Blue.  1998

photos

“Hit hard when you start, but don’t start until you have everything ready.  I shall be waiting for your gunfire, and be on hand with fresh troops for further advance.”

Longstreet, James

May 6, 1864

Longstreet’s guidance to Sorrel when he gave him command of an attack in the Wilderness

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 202

“Nonsense, General, you are not so badly hurt.  Look about you.  I know you will find at least one man, and with him on his feet report your brigade to me, and you tow shall have a place in the fighting-line.”

Longstreet, James

Sorrel describing an exchange between Longstreet and a very excited General Benning after Chickamauga

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 170

“My part in the battle was comparatively simple and easy, that of placing the troops in the proper positions at proper times”

Longstreet, James

Jun 7 1862

Longstreet’s report Battle of Williamsburg

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 107

“…the general was “a good soldier and brave man and won the hearts of the men on all sides”

a Virginian writing home after First Manassas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 69

“a particularly taciturn man”

an acquaintance

an acquaintance of Longstreet describes him

Wert, Jeffry D. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause. New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2008. Pg 63

“by his presence at the right place at the right moment among his men, by the exhibition of characteristic coolness, and by his words of encouragement to the men of his command, he infused a confidence and spirit that contributed largely to the success of our arms on that day”

Beauregard, P.G.T.

July 1861

Beauregard’s report on First Manassas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 71

“a man of limited capacity who acquired a reputation for wisdom by never saying anything-the story of the owl.”

Blackford, William W.

Stuart’s adjutant William Blackford describing his first impression of Longstreet

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. pg63

“Genl Longstreet is one of the kindest, best hearted men I ever knew.  Those not well acquainted with him think him short and crabbed.”

Blackford, William W.

a member of Longstreet staff describes him

Wert, Jeffry D. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause. New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2008. Pg 63

“Like a fine lady at a party, Longstreet was often late in his arrival at the ball, but he always made a sensation…with the grand old First Corps, sweeping behind him, as his train.”

cannoneer

May 6, 1864

cannoneer describing the arrival of Longstreet at the Battle of the Wilderness  Dame, Rapidan to Richmond, 85

Robertson, James I.  General A. P. Hill. New York:  Random 1987. Pg 246

“Longstreet always gets his corps into some comfortable quarters-while Jackson prefers the bleak outdoors”\

Carter, Thomas Henry

Nov 18 1862

Carter to his wife, Camp near Middleton

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 582

“was actively engaged in the thickest of the fire in directing and encouraging the men under his command and I am satisfied he contributed very largely to the repulse of the enemy by his own personal exertions

Early, Jubal

July 1861

Early writing of Longstreet at First Manassas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 71

“When men saw him coming, they mounted the breastworks and while he rode down the lines made…cheers for the old ‘bull of the woods’ as they love to designate him”

Goree, Thomas

Goree, Longstreet’s Aide p 137

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 582

“forte though as an officer consists, I think in the seeming ease with which he can handle and arrange large numbers of troops, as also with the confidence and enthusiasm with which he seems to inspire them:

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 93

“Genl. Longstreet is one of the kindest, best hearted men I ever knew.  Those not well acquainted with him think him short and crabbed and he does appear so except in three places:  1st when in the presence of ladies, 2nd, at the table, and 3rd, on the field of battle.  At any of those places, he has a complacent smile on his countenance, and seems to be one of the happiest men in the world

Goree, Thomas

Aug 19 1861

Aug 19 1861 ltr to his mother

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. pg84

“has a good deal of the roughness of the old soldier about him, more so I think than… Genls Johnston, Beauregard, Van Dorn, or Smith”

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 94

“he is some days very sociable and agreeable, then again for a few days he will confine himself mostly to his room or tent without having much to say to anyone, and is as grim as you please”

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 94

“if he is ever excited, he as a way of concealing it, and always as if he had the utmost confidence in his own ability to command and in that of his troops to execute”

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 94

“in every battle somebody is bound to run, and that if they will only stand their ground long enough like men, the enemy will certainly run”

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 93

“very reserved and distant towards his men, and very strict, but they all like him

Goree, Thomas

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 93

“You rolled me up like a wet blanket and it was some hours before I could reorganize for battle”

Hancock, Winfield Scott

Hancock describing to Longstreet the latter’s attack on him in the Wilderness.

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. pg207

“what I did notice in you in all the years we served together, was promptness of thought and action equal to your resolution”

Johnston, Joseph

Letter from Johnston to Longstreet after the war

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 107

“I fear that Cousin James Longstreet is taking sides against the administration.  He will certainly commit a grave error if he does”

Lamar, L.Q.C.

a relative of Longstreet writing to his wife

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 94

“Ah, here is Longstreet; here is my old war horse”

Lee, Robert E.

Sep 17 1862

Lee to Longstreet upon his arrival at Lee’s HQ after the fighting ends.  Owen, W. M. In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery of New Orleans

Freeman, Douglas Southall.  R.E. Lee A Biography Volume 2.  New York Scribners, 1934 pg 403

“Here comes my old war horse just from the field he has done so much to save!”

Lee, Robert E.

Sep 17 1862

Lee describing Longstreet upon seeing him after the battle

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 89

“Longstreet is a Capital soldier. His recommendations hitherto have been good, & I have confidence in him>”

Lee, Robert E.

June 8, 1862

Lee writing to Davis.  Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, p 11

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 131

“Longstreet was the staff in my right hand”

Lee, Robert E.

July 1862

Lee describing Longstreet in the Seven Days.  Goree, Goree Letters, p 164

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 152

Armistead Long believed that Longstreet possessed “superior intelligence” but Jackson had an “iron mind” characterized by determination and perseverance

Long, Armistead

Colonel Long in his memoirs comparing Longstreet and Jackson.  Long, Civil War Command p 178

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 163

“so it looks as if Gen Longstreet’s crucial test of fitness of any one to command was his compliance or non-compliance with Longstreet’s ‘suggestions’ — It was a sort of mania of his, and there can be no doubt that he was honest in that belief — for it seemed to make the difference, who it was he advised — if he followed his advice he was worthy, if he did not he was not worthy.”

McLaws, Lafayette

Manuscript marked 9. ASG-LM, 59-60.  Virginia McLaws to her nephew Lafayette McLaws, August 30, 1937, GHS-LM

http://asoldiersgeneral.com/lafayette.htm

“a great soldier, a very determined and fearless fighter”

Moses, Raphael

Journal of Raphael Moses

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 582

“Longstreet’s conduct on this day was magnificent.”

Sorrel, Moxley

Sorrel describing Longstreet at Antietam

Mason, Jack C.  Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army. Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009 pg 186

“Longstreet was seen at his best during the battle.  His consummate ability in managing troops was well displayed that day and his large bodies of men were moved with great skill and without the least confusion”

Sorrel, Moxley

August 1862

describing the Second Manassas Campaign

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 72

“Longstreet’s conduct on this great day of battle was magnificent.  He seemed everywhere along his extended lines, and his tenacity and deep-set resolution, his inmost courage, which appeared to swell with the growing peril to the army, was undoubtedly stimulated the troops to greater action, and held them in place despite all weakness.”

Sorrel, Moxley

Sep 1862

Sorrel describing Longstreet’s actions at Antietam

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 89

“that undismayed warrior…he was like a rock in steadiness when sometimes in battle the world seemed flying to pieces

Sorrel, Moxley

July 1862

Sorrell describing Longstreet in the Seven Days.  Sorrell Recollections p 26

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 152

a most striking figure, about forty years of age, a soldier every inch, and very handsome, tall and well proportioned, strong and active, a superb horseman and with an unsurpassed soldierly bearing, his features and expression fairly matched; eyes, glint steel blue, deep and piercing; a full brown beard, head well shaped and poised.  The worst feature was the mouth, rather coarse; it was partly hidden by his ample beard

Sorrel, Moxley

From Sorrel’s Recollections

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 76

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