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Confederate Struggle for Command: General James Longstreet and the First Corps in the West (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series) Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
James Longstreet is one of the more controversial Southern generals. Very few are neutral when talking about the man. Both his actions during and after the war-generated controversy. The passage of time has done nothing to diminish the controversy surrounding him. Longstreet's actions in the West are an important part of the controversy, with both sides finding reasons to applaud or condemned him. The author, without talking sides, has written a comprehensive history of this period that is intelligent, accurate and very readable.
First, we are shown Longstreet's association with JE Johnston, Louis Wigfall and Jefferson Davis impact the western campaign. This foundation is vital in understand Longstreet's role in the anti-Bragg faction and in Davis' mishandling of these problems. This is put into context with the readiness of army officers to bypass the chain of command and the use of important political figures. Longstreet was used to this and was no different than his contemporizes when he took part in this.
Second, we have a very good history of I Corps operations in Chattooga and East Tennessee. This is an under reported area which the author places in both a military and political context.Read more ›
It hurts the credibility of a book when a writer oversteps his or her practical knowledge. Mendoza does this in a few spots in this book. One instance, which I totally disagree with, is at Chickamauga he states that Longstreet made a blunder by missing an opportunity to go through a gap. He calls it a blunder, and then says in the same paragraph it is understandable based upon the densely wooded terrain. So really it was not a blunder because no one could see a gap in the woods? As a reader I wondered where he came up with this unfounded criticism. Looking at the notes one sees they are all secondary source opinions of earlier authors.
At Chattanooga Mendoza also thinks that Longstreet was supposed to have prevented the Union forces from coming into Lookout Valley, and stop the Union from setting up a supply line through there. Bragg was the army commander, so that was his job to make a decision about what to do about the "Cracker Line." Not Longstreet's. Again, Mendoza followed what earlier secondary sources claim.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book that functions both as a much needed narrative of the entire experience of First Corps in the West and an analysis of Longstreet both as a Corps commander and... Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by Ipy
The book is a look at Longstreet's command relationships in the West. It follows James Longstreet and the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia while they served in eastern... Read morePublished on March 10, 2010 by Mark Longstroth