The Army Of Northern Virginia

I CSA Army Corps

I Corps came into existence when Lee reorganised the army In 1862 after the Seven Days' Battles. While Jackson's II Corps manoeuvred brilliantly to set up the opponent during the Second Manassas Campaign, it was I Corps that provided the powerful knockout punch.

Lieutenant-General James Longstreet, an undistinguished student at West Point and a former U.S. Army paymaster, at age 43 proved a skilled and fearless battlefield commander for the Confederates.

At the Battle of Sharpsburg, I Corps fought a bloody defensive battle. On this field, Lee greeted its commander, James P. Longstreet, with a rare departure from his usual reserve, embracing him with the words "Here's my old war-horse at last." By occupying good defensive ground at Fredericksburg, the Corps conserved Confederate lives and helped repel Union assaults. For Longstreet, promoted to lieutenantgeneral in October 1862, Fredericksburg was a tactical model showing how the Corps would compete with the numerically superior Federal army.

Half of the Corps was on detached service around Suffolk, Virginia during the Chancellorsville Campaign.

16 Staff and Field Officers

McLaws' and Anderson's Divisions remained with Lee's army.

In the reorganisation following Jackson's death, the Corps shed Anderson's Division but, unlike the other two infantry corps, otherwise remained intact. The Corps' divisional command structure also enjoyed a constancy unlike its sister corps. The same divisional leaders - McLaws, Hood, and Pickett - commanded the same basic forces at Fredericksburg and at Gettysburg.

Officers and men trusted Longstreet. They understood that while he was personally fearless on the battlefield, he believed victory came from thorough planning rather than reckless heroism. Longstreet, in turn, was undoubtedly the most seasoned and reliable of Lee's remaining lieutenants. While he supported Lee's bold strategic offensives, he wanted to manoeuvre to obtain a favourable defensive position that would compel a Union attack. In this predilection lay the seeds for misunderstanding and disaster.

June 30 found Hood and McLaws at Greenwood, about 14 miles from Gettysburg, and Pickett guarding the rear at Chambersburg another 11 miles distant.

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