Confederate Struggle for Command: General James Longstreet and the First Corps in the West

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Texas A&M University Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 278 pages
Was Lt. Gen. James Longstreet a lackluster, indecisive leader or a victim of political circumstances?

Though traditionally saddled with much of the blame for the Confederate loss at Gettysburg, Longstreet was actually a capable, resourceful, and brave commander, argues historian Alexander Mendoza. Confederate Struggle for Command offers a comprehensive analysis of Longstreet's leadership during his seven-month assignment in the Tennessee theater of operations. Mendoza concludes that the obstacles to effective command faced by Longstreet had at least as much to do with longstanding grievances and politically motivated prejudices as they did with any personal or military shortcomings of Longstreet's.

Longstreet's First Corps parted company with Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia in September 1863. Subsequently, the First Corps contributed decisively to the Confederate victory at Chickamauga. But when Longstreet then joined a group of disaffected generals in denouncing Braxton Bragg, the commanding general of the Army of Tennessee, the resulting imbroglio hampered the effectiveness of the entire First Corps.

Confederate Struggle for Command adds an important layer of nuanced understanding to the career and legacy of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, and will be an enjoyable and informative source for Civil War buffs, military historians, and interested general readers.

 

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

A workmanlike examination of James Longstreet's career in the Western theatre of the war, in which the author gives the man a basically positive assessment as a field commander, despite running afoul ... Read full review

Contents

OUR BEST OPPORTUNITY FOR GREAT RESULTS IS IN TENNESSEE LONGSTREET AND THE FIRST CORPS ROAD TO THE WEST
1
ONE OF THE MOST GALLANT STRUGGLES OPERATION WESTWARD HO AND THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN
27
THE SHAFTS OF MALICE THAT HAVE BEEN HURLED AGAINST HIM LONGSTREET AND THE COMMAND CRISIS IN THE ARMY OF TE...
53
IT IS HARD TO KEEP UP ONES SPIRITS WITH AN EMPTY STOMACH AND WET CLOTHING THE FIRST CORPS AT CHATTANOOGA
75
NO MEN WHO ARE DETERMINED TO SUCCEED CAN FAIL KNOXVILLE NOVEMBER 1863
104
I LONG FOR SOME RELIEF FROM THIS CONSTANT TOIL AND ANXIETY LEADERSHIP CONFLICT IN THE FIRST CORPS 186364
141
BITTER COLD EVERYTHING FROZEN THE FIRST CORPS IN EAST TENNESSEE WINTER 186364
171
CONCLUSION
201
FIRST CORPS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
211
NOTES
215
BIBLIOGRAPHY
251
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About the author (2008)

ALEXANDER MENDOZA, assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Tyler, holds a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

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