James Longstreet

Born January 8, 1821 Edgefield District, South Carolina Died January 2, 1904 Gainesville, Georgia

Confederate general Controversial military leader whose reputation as General Robert E. Lee's "old war horse" was shaken at Gettysburg

I ames Longstreet is perhaps the most controversial of the I generals who served the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Longstreet's supporters point out that he fought courageously at many of the war's biggest battles, and that General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870; see entry) had such high regard for Longstreet that he affectionately referred to him as the Confederacy's "Old War Horse." But Longstreet's critics argue that he devoted too much time and energy to trivial political quarrels, and that he did not always do a good job of supporting Lee. Much of this still-lively debate about Longstreet centers on the Battle of Gettysburg, during which he and Lee had a famous dispute over military strategy.

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