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[Illustration: James Longstreet]




FROM MANASSAS TO APPOMATTOX

MEMOIRS OF THE CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA


BY JAMES LONGSTREET,
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL CONFEDERATE ARMY


_ILLUSTRATED WITH PLATES, MAPS, PORTRAITS, AND ENGRAVINGS
SPECIALLY PREPARED FOR THIS WORK_


PHILADELPHIA
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
1896




COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.


_All Rights reserved._


ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY, PHILADELPHIA,
U.S.A.




THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO THE
OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE FIRST CORPS OF THE ARMY
OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

TO THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

In Memory of

THEIR BRAVE DEEDS, THEIR TOILS, THEIR TRIBULATIONS,
AND THEIR TRIUMPHS




PREFACE.


Immediately after the surrender of the Confederate armies engaged in the
war between the States, General Lee undertook to write of the campaigns of
the Army of Northern Virginia while under his command, and asked such
assistance as I could give in supplying reports, despatches, and letters
of his, the originals of which had been lost or destroyed. Under the
impression that they could not be put to better use, such as were then in
hand were packed and sent him. He gave up the work, and after a few years
his death made it impossible that the world should ever receive the
complete story of the Confederate campaigns in Virginia from the noble
mind that projected and controlled them.

Possibly, had I not expected our commander to write the history of those
campaigns, I should have written it myself a decade or so earlier than I
have done. But, personally, I am not sorry that I write of the war thirty
years after its close, instead of ten or twenty.

While I am so constituted, temperamentally, that I could view then almost
exactly as I do now the great struggle in which I bore a part, I do not
know that others, in any considerable number, might have so regarded it at
the earlier periods to which I refer.

I believe that now, more fully than then, the public is ready to receive,
in the spirit in which it is written, the story which I present.

It is not my purpose to philosophize upon the war, but I cannot refrain
from expressing my profound thankfulness that Providence has spared me to
such time as I can see the asperities of the great conflict softened, its
passions entering upon the sleep of oblivion, only its nobler - if less
immediate - results springing into virile and vast life. I believe there is
to-day, _because of the war_, a broader and deeper patriotism in all
Americans; that patriotism throbs the heart and pulses the being as
ardently of the South Carolinian as of the Massachusetts Puritan; that the
Liberty Bell, even now, as I write, on its Southern pilgrimage, will be as
reverently received and as devotedly loved in Atlanta and Charleston as in
Philadelphia and Boston. And to stimulate and evolve this noble sentiment
all the more, what we need is the resumption of fraternity, the hearty
restoration and cordial cultivation of neighborly, brotherly relations,
faith in Jehovah, and respect for each other; and God grant that the happy
vision that delighted the soul of the sweet singer of Israel may rest like
a benediction upon the North and the South, upon the Blue and the Gray.

The spirit in which this work has been conceived, and in which I have
conscientiously labored to carry it out, is one of sincerity and fairness.
As an actor in, and an eyewitness of, the events of 1861-65, I have
endeavored to perform my humble share of duty in passing the materials of
history to those who may give them place in the records of the
nation, - not of the South nor of the North, - but in the history of the
United Nation. It is with such magnified view of the responsibility of
saying the truth that I have written.

I yield to no one as a champion of the Southern soldier wherever he may
have fought and in whatever army, and I do not think I shall be charged
more now than in war-time with "underestimating the enemy." Honor to all!
If I speak with some particularity of the First Corps of the Army of
Northern Virginia, it must be ascribed in part to the affection of a
commander, and in part to my desire to relieve its brave officers and men
in the ranks from unjust aspersions. After General Lee's death, various
writers on the Southern cause combined with one accord to hold the First
Corps and its commander responsible for all adversity that befell the
army. I being under the political ban, and the political passions and
prejudices of the times running high, they had no difficulty in spreading
their misrepresentations South and North until some people, through their
mere reiteration, came to accept them as facts. I simply present the facts
concerning the First Corps in all fulness and fairness, attested by
indisputable authorities, that the public may judge between it and its
detractors.

In the accounts of battles and movements, the official War Records supply
in a measure the place of lost papers, and afford a great mass of most
trustworthy statistics. I am under obligations to General E. P. Alexander,
General G. M. Sorrel, Colonel Osman Latrobe, Colonel J. W. Fairfax,
Colonel T. J. Goree, Colonel Erasmus Taylor, and Colonel J. C. Haskell for
many interesting suggestions.

To Major George B. Davis and Mr. L. J. Perry, of the War Records office, I
am under obligations for invaluable assistance; as also to Mr. Alfred
Matthews, of Philadelphia, for material aid in revising the manuscript of
these memoirs.

THE AUTHOR.




CONTENTS.


PAGE

CHAPTER I.

THE ANTE-BELLUM LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.

Birth - Ancestry - School-Boy Days - Appointment as Cadet at the
United States Military Academy - Graduates of Historic Classes -
Assignment as Brevet Lieutenant - Gay Life of Garrison at
Jefferson Barracks - Lieutenant Grant's Courtship - Annexation
of Texas - Army of Observation - Army of Occupation - Camp Life in
Texas - March to the Rio Grande - Mexican War 13


CHAPTER II.

FROM NEW MEXICO TO MANASSAS.

The War-Cloud - The Journey Northward - Appointed
Brigadier-General - Report to General Beauregard - Assigned to
Command at the Scene of the First Conflict - Personnel of the
Confronting Forces - Description of the Field of Manassas, or
Bull Run - Beauregard and McDowell of the same West Point
Class - Battle of Blackburn's Ford - Early's Mistake - Under Fire
of Friend and Foe 29


CHAPTER III.

BATTLE OF MANASSAS, OR BULL RUN.

Commanders on both Sides generally Veterans of the Mexican
War - General Irvin McDowell's Preconceived Plan - Johnston
reinforces Beauregard and approves his Plans - General Bernard
E. Bee - Analysis of the Fight - Superb Work of the Federal
Artillery - Christening of "Stonewall Jackson" - McDowell's
Gallant Effort to recover Lost Power - Before he was shorn of
his Artillery he was the Samson of the Field - The Rout -
Criticism of McDowell - Tyler's Reconnoissance - Ability of the
Commanding Generals tested 42


CHAPTER IV.

THE CONFEDERATES HOVERING AROUND WASHINGTON.

An Early War-Time Amenity - The Author invited to dine with the
Enemy - "Stove-pipe Batteries" - J. E. B. Stuart, the Famous
Cavalryman - His Bold Dash on the Federals at Lewinsville -
Major-General G. W. Smith associated with Johnston and
Beauregard in a Council - Longstreet promoted Major-General -
Fierce Struggle at Ball's Bluff - Dranesville a Success for the
Union Arms - McClellan given the Sobriquet of "The Young
Napoleon" 59


CHAPTER V.

ROUND ABOUT RICHMOND.

The Defences of the Confederate Capital - Army of Northern
Virginia at Centreville - Aggressive Action - Council with the
President and Secretary of War - Mr. Davis's High Opinion of
McClellan - Operations on the Peninsula - Engagements about
Yorktown and Williamsburg - Severe Toil added to the Soldiers'
Usual Labors by a Saturated Soil 64


CHAPTER VI.

THE BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG.

The Attack on Fort Magruder - Hancock occupies Two Redoubts - The
Slaughter in Early's Brigade - The Fifth North Carolina Regiment
and Twenty-Fourth Virginia mercilessly exposed - A Hard-Fought
Engagement - A Confederate Victory - McClellan not on the Field
the Greater Part of the Day - Hancock called "The Superb" by
McClellan - Johnston pays High Tribute to Longstreet 72


CHAPTER VII.

SEVEN PINES, OR FAIR OAKS.

A New Line of Defence - Positions of the Confronting Armies -
Fitz-John Porter - Terrific Storm on the Eve of Battle - General
Johnston's Orders to Longstreet, Smith, and Huger - Lack of
Co-operation on the Confederate Side, and Ensuing Confusion -
Fatalities among Confederate Officers - Kearny's Action - Serious
Wounding of General Johnston at the Close of the Battle -
Summary and Analysis of Losses 81


CHAPTER VIII.

SEQUEL√Ж OF SEVEN PINES.

The Forces under Command of G. W. Smith after Johnston was
wounded - The Battle of the 1st - Longstreet requests
Reinforcements and a Diversion - Council held - McLaws alone
sustains Longstreet's Opposition to retiring - Severe Fighting -
Pickett's Brave Stand - General Lee assigned to Command - He
orders the withdrawal of the Army - Criticism of General Smith -
Confederates should not have lost the Battle - Keyes's
Corroboration 103


CHAPTER IX.

ROBERT E. LEE IN COMMAND.

The Great General's Assignment not at first assuring to the
Army - Able as an Engineer but limited as to Field Service - He
makes the Acquaintance of his Lieutenants - Calls a Council -
Gains Confidence by saying Nothing - "A Little Humor now and
then" - Lee Plans a Simultaneous Attack on McClellan's Front and
Rear - J. E. B. Stuart's Daring Reconnoissance around the Union
Army 112


CHAPTER X.

FIGHTING ALONG THE CHICKAHOMINY.

Retreat - Lee's Bold Initiative - Lee and his Lieutenants
planning Battle - The Confederates' Loss at Mechanicsville -
Gaines's Mill - A. P. Hill's Fight - Longstreet's Reserve
Division put in - McClellan's Change of Base - Savage Station -
Longstreet engages McClellan's Main Force at Frayser's Farm (or
Glendale) - President Davis on the Field - Testimony of Federal
Generals - Fierce Bayonet Charges - "Greek meets Greek" - Capture
of General McCall - McClellan's Masterly Retreat 120


CHAPTER XI.

BATTLE OF MALVERN HILL.

Last Stand in the Great Retreat - Strength of McClellan's
Position - The Confederates make Poor Use of their Artillery - A
Mistake and Defeat for Lee's Army - The Campaign as a Whole a
Great Success, but it should have been far greater - McClellan's
Retreat showed him well equipped in the Science of War - Review
of the Campaign - Jackson's and Magruder's Misunderstanding -
Moral Effect of the Gunboats on the James River - "There should
be a Gunboat in Every Family" 141


CHAPTER XII.

HALLECK AND POPE IN FEDERAL COMMAND.

Centres of Activity gravitate towards Orange and Culpeper
Counties - Pope's Unsoldierly Preliminary Orders - Jackson's and
Pope's Encounter at Cedar Mountain - Confidence in and Esteem
for General Lee - The Confederate Commander's Plans for cutting
off Pope miscarry - Capture of Captain Fitzhugh with Important
Orders - Longstreet puts General Toombs under Arrest - General
Pope withdraws 153


CHAPTER XIII.

MAKING READY FOR MANASSAS AGAIN.

General Lee modifies his Order of March - Continuous
Skirmishing - Cavalry Commander Stuart gets into General Pope's
Head-quarters and captures his Personal Equipment - His Uniform
Coat and Hat shown along the Confederate Lines - Jackson's
Superb Flank Movement - Confederates capture Trains, Supplies,
Munitions, and Prisoners - Hooker and Ewell at Bristoe Station -
Jackson first on the Old Field of Bull Run - Longstreet's
Command joins passing Thoroughfare Gap - Pope practically throws
Responsibility for Aggressive Action on McDowell - Preliminary
Fighting - General Pope surprised by Jackson - Pope's Orders to
Fitz-John Porter 163


CHAPTER XIV.

SECOND BATTLE OF MANASSAS (BULL RUN).

Battle opened by the Federals on Jackson's Right, followed by
Kearny - Longstreet's Reconnoissance - Stuart, the Cavalry
Leader, sleeps on the Field of Battle - Pope thought at the
Close of the 29th that the Confederates were retreating - Second
Day - Fitz-John Porter struck in Flank - Longstreet takes a Hand
in the Fight late in the Day - Lee under Fire - The Federal
Retreat to Centreville - That Point turned - Pope again
dislodged - "Stonewall" Jackson's Appearance and Peculiarities -
Killing of "Fighting Phil" Kearny - Losses - Review of the
Campaign 180


CHAPTER XV.

THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

General Lee continues Aggressive Work - From Foraged Fields of
Virginia into a Bounteous Land - Longstreet objected to the
Movement on Harper's Ferry - Lee thinks the Occasion Timely for
Proposal of Peace and Independence - Confederates singing
through the Streets of Fredericktown - McClellan's Movements -
Cautious Marches - Lee's Lost Order handed to the Federal Chief
at Frederick 199


CHAPTER XVI.

"THE LOST ORDER" - SOUTH MOUNTAIN.

How the Federals found the Despatch - With every Advantage
McClellan "made haste slowly" - Lee turns back to meet him at
South Mountain - Longstreet preferred that the Stand should be
made at Sharpsburg - The Battle at the Pass - Many killed -
General Garland of the Confederate and General Reno of the
Union Side - A Future President among the Wounded - Estimate of
Forces engaged 212


CHAPTER XVII.

PRELIMINARIES OF THE GREAT BATTLE.

Confederates retreat from South Mountain - Federals follow and
harass them - Franklin and Cobb at Crampton's Pass - A Spirited
Action - Fighting around Harper's Ferry - Its Capitulation - The
Confederates take Eleven Thousand Prisoners - Jackson rejoins
Lee - Description of the Field of Antietam - McClellan posts his
Corps - Lee's Lines advantageously placed - Hooker's Advance on
the Eve of Battle should have been resisted 227


CHAPTER XVIII.

BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG, OR ANTIETAM.

Bloodiest Single Day of the War - Comparison of Casualties -
Hooker opens the Fight against Jackson's Centre - Many Officers
among the Fallen early in the Day - McLaws and Walker in time to
meet Sumner's Advance under Sedgwick - Around Dunker Chapel -
Richardson's Splendid Advance against the Confederate Centre
the Signal of the Bursting of another Storm - Longstreet's and
D. H. Hill's Troops stood before it - Fall of General G. B.
Anderson - General Richardson mortally wounded - Aggressive
Spirit of his Command broken - Wonderful Cannon-shot - General
D. H. Hill's Third Horse killed under him 239


CHAPTER XIX.

BATTLE OF SHARPSBURG, OR ANTIETAM (CONTINUED).

Closing Events of the Great Struggle - Burnside crosses the
Bridge he made famous - Toombs made Gallant Defence, but was
outnumbered and dislodged - The Confederate Brigades from
Harper's Ferry under A. P. Hill in Time for the Final Crisis -
Burnside's Advance arrested by them - The Battle against
Burnside "appeared to spring from the Earth" - "Lee's old War
Horse" - The Killing of a Kinsman at the Bridge seriously
affects General D. R. Jones - The Sharp Fight at Shepherdstown -
Confederates retreat - Casualties of the Battle - Confederate
Losses in the Campaign - Neither McClellan's Plan nor Execution
was strong 256


CHAPTER XX.

REVIEW OF THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.

Confederate Expectations - General Lee's Salutatory to the
People of Maryland - The "Lost Despatch" - McClellan's
Movements - Turn in the Tide of War - A Miracle great as the
throwing down of the Walls of Jericho - In Contempt of the Enemy
the Confederate Army was dispersed - Harper's Ferry a
"Man-Trap" - It diverted the Army from the Main Issue - Lee and
McClellan compared and contrasted - Tribute to the Confederate
Private Soldier 279


CHAPTER XXI.

REORGANIZATION AND REST FOR BOTH ARMIES.

The Confederates appoint Seven Lieutenant-Generals - The Army of
Northern Virginia organized in Corps - General McClellan
relieved, and General Burnside appointed Commander of the Army
of the Potomac - A Lift for the South - McClellan was growing -
Burnside's "Three Grand Divisions" - The Campaign of the
Rappahannock - Getting Ready for Fredericksburg - Longstreet
occupies Fredericksburg - The Town called to surrender by
General Sumner - Exodus of the Inhabitants under a Threat to
shell the Town 290


CHAPTER XXII.

BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG.

Description of the Field - Marye's Heights - Position of the
Troops of Longstreet's Command - General Jackson called down
from Orange Court-House, and Preparations made for a Determined
Stand - Signal Guns at Three o'clock in the Morning announce the
Long-Expected Battle - Burnside's Bridge-Builders thrice driven
back from their Work - The Crossing finally made by Boats -
Federals under Hot Fire enter Fredericksburg - How they obtained
their Foothold on the West Bank of the Rappahannock - Gallant
Officers and Men - Ninety-seven killed or wounded in the Space
of Fifty Yards - General Burnside's Plan of Battle - Strength of
the Contending Forces 297


CHAPTER XXIII.

BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG (CONTINUED).

The Battle-field veiled by a Heavy Fog - Terrific Fighting of
the 13th of December - Forlorn Hope of the Federals - General
Meade's Division of Franklin's Command makes the First
Advance - General French leads against the Confederate Left -
Hancock follows - General Cobb killed - The Sunken Road and Stone
Wall below Marye's Hill - Desperate Advances and Determined
Repulses - Humphreys's Heroic Assault - The Stone Wall "a Sheet
of Flame" - General Jackson loses his Opportunity to advance -
The Charge of Meade's Divisions compared with that of Pickett,
Pettigrew, and Trimble's Columns at Gettysburg - Forty Per Cent.
killed in charging Lines here, and Sixty Per Cent. at
Gettysburg - Total Losses - Peace to be declared because Gold had
gone to 200 - Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia 306


CHAPTER XXIV.

PREPARING FOR THE SPRING OF '63.

Burnside's Abortive Moves - The "Mud March" - General Hooker
supersedes Burnside - The Confederates strengthen their Position
for the Winter - Longstreet ordered to Petersburg - Secretary of
War Seddon and the Author talk of General Grant and the
Confederate Situation on the Mississippi and in the West -
Longstreet makes a Radical Proposition for Confederate
Concentration in Tennessee, thus to compel Grant to abandon
Vicksburg - The Skilful Use of Interior Lines the Only Way of
equalizing the Contest - Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee's
Brilliant Achievement - Criticism - Death of "Stonewall"
Jackson - The Resolve to march Northward - The Army reorganized
in Three Corps - Ewell and A. P. Hill appointed
Lieutenant-Generals 322


CHAPTER XXV.

INVASION OF PENNSYLVANIA.

Plan of the Confederate March North - General Lee hoped to draw
Troops from the South and develop Important Results North of
the Potomac - He wanted Beauregard sent to support the
Movement - The Authorities in Richmond failed to comprehend - The
Value of the "Interior Lines" not appreciated - Spirited Cavalry
Fight at Brandy Station between Stuart's and Pleasonton's
Commands - Engagement of Ewell and Milroy at Winchester - The
Question of Authority for the Cavalry Movements -
Lieutenant-Colonel Fremantle of the Coldstream Guards, British
Army, as a Guest and Observer - The Confederate Advance reaches
Pennsylvania Soil - General Lee issues Orders for a March on
Harrisburg - Municipal Authorities of York and Gettysburg
surrender to General John B. Gordon 334


CHAPTER XXVI.

GETTYSBURG - FIRST DAY.

Information of Federal Force and Positions brought by the Scout
Harrison - General Lee declines to credit it - General Longstreet
suggests a Change of Direction in Conformance with the
Revelation - General Meade had succeeded Hooker in Command Five
Days before Battle - Positions on the Eve of the First Day -
Confederate Cavalry "not in sight" - "The Eyes of the Army"
sadly needed - A Description of the Famous Battle-field -
Generals Ewell and A. P. Hill engage the Federals - Death of
General John F. Reynolds - The Fight on Seminary Ridge - General
Hancock in Federal Command on the Field - Concerning the Absent
Cavalry and Information given by the Scout - Conditions at the
Close of the First Day's Fight 346


CHAPTER XXVII.

GETTYSBURG - SECOND DAY.

The Confederate Commander reviews the Field and decides on Plan
of Battle - Positions on the Morning of July 2 - Night March of
the Federal Sixth Corps - It was excelled by Law's Brigade of
Confederates - The Battle was opened after Mid-day - General Hood
appeals for Permission to turn the Federal Left - Failure to
make the Flanking Movement by the Confederate Right was a
Serious Mistake - Hood, in his usual Gallant Style, led his
Troops forward among the Rocks - Desperate Charges against an
Earnest Adversary - Hood wounded - General Law succeeds him in
command of the Division - "Little Round Top" an Important
Point - "The Citadel of the Field" - It was a Fight of Seventeen
Thousand Confederates against twice their Number - Quiet along
the Lines of other Confederate Commands - "A Man on the Left who
didn't care to make the Battle win" - Evidence against the
Alleged Order for "Battle at Sunrise" - The "Order" to Ewell was
Discretionary - Lee had lost his Balance 362


CHAPTER XXVIII.

GETTYSBURG - THIRD DAY.

The Stroke of Arms that shook the Continent - Longstreet opposed
the Attack as planned and made - The Confederate Column of
Assault - It was weak in Numbers but strong in Spirit -
Tremendous Artillery Combat begins the Day's Fighting - Charge
of Generals Pickett, Trimble, and Pettigrew - Armistead falls by
the Side of the Federal Guns - The Federal Cavalry Charge of
General Farnsworth - The Commander falls with Five Mortal
Wounds - Could the Assaulting Column have been safely augmented
from Longstreet's Right? - Testimony as to that Point - Where
rested the Responsibility for Disaster? - Criticism of the
Battle as a Whole - Cemetery Hill stronger than Marye's Hill at
Fredericksburg - Controverted Points - Casualties of the Three
Days' Fight - Organization of the Forces engaged 385


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE WAVE ROLLS BACK.

Confederates retreat from Gettysburg - The Federals pursue -
Crossing the Potomac under Difficulties - Kilpatrick's Cavalry
Dash on Pettigrew's Command - General Lee thought to rest his
Army in the Valley of Virginia, but Meade followed too fast -
Engagements that harassed the Retreat - General Lee wished to be
relieved of Command, but President Davis would not consent to
the Appointment of Joseph E. Johnston or General Beauregard 426


CHAPTER XXX.

LONGSTREET MOVES TO GEORGIA.

The Author reverts to the Perils and Opportunities in the
West - Proposes to the Secretary of War to reinforce against



Online LibraryJames LongstreetFrom Manassas to Appomattox; memoirs of the Civil War in America → online text (page 1 of 58)