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BORN: 1821 in Edgefield District, SC.
DIED: 1904 in Gainsville, GA.
CAMPAIGNS: First Bull Run, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cemetery Ridge, Seminary Ridge, Chickamauga, Suffolk, Chickamauga, Knoxville, Wilderness and Richmond.
Longstreet, James (1821-1904) Confederate General: James Longstreet was born on January 8, 1821, in Edgefield District, South Carolina. He was the son of a farmer, and spent much of his childhood in Augusta, Georgia. In 1833, his father died, and he and his mother moved to Somerville, Alabama. Longstreet was admitted to West Point in 1838. Among his schoolmates were Ulysses S. Grant, Henry W. Halleck, Irvin McDowell, George H. Thomas and William T. Sherman. Upon graduation, in 1842, Longstreet served tours of duty in Missouri, Louisiana and Florida. In the Mexican War, Longstreet served under Gen. Zachary Taylor, then Gen. Winfield Scott. Wounded and brevetted a major during the war, he maintained that rank until June of 1861, when he resigned from the US Army. Although he sought an administrative position in the Confederate army, he was commissioned a brigadier general on June 17, 1861. His skillful leadership in the First Battle of Bull Run led to his promotion to major general on October 7, 1861. While he performed well at Williamsburg in May of 1862, he executed orders poorly at Seven Pines at the end of that month. Longstreet's difficulties at Seven Pines tarnished his reputation, but he was able to recover somewhat with his successes in the Seven Days' Campaign. Once Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate forces, he placed a great deal of responsibility on Longstreet, placing more than half of the infantry forces under him. Longstreet aided Maj. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson in the Second Bull Run Campaign, and took part in the Antietam Campaign. After fighting at Fredericksburg, Longstreet had relatively independent command in the Suffolk Campaign of 1863. After "Stonewall" Jackson died, Longstreet and Lee became even closer, working together to plan the Gettysburg Campaign. After the war, Longstreet would be blamed for the Confederate losses at Gettysburg, although it is not clear that all blame can be rightfully attributed to him. In September of 1863, Longstreet was reassigned to Georgia, and fought well at Chickamauga. At Knoxville, in November, he was unable to defeat the opposing forces. This was a low point in Longstreet's career, and he thought about resigning. By April of 1864, however, he was back on his feet, and playing an effective role in the Battle of the Wilderness. Called "Old Pete" by his troops, and "My Old War Horse" by Gen. Lee, Longstreet was respected by many of his colleagues, although he was often reluctant to take the offensive on the field. After the Civil War, Longstreet became an insurance agent and a supervisor of the Louisiana State Lottery. He held various federal appointments, then settled in Gainesville, Georgia. Longstreet became a Republican, which alienated many Southerners. Nevertheless, he was able to play an important role in reconciling the Democrats of the "Old" and "New" South. He wrote about the war, including the memoir, "From Manassas to Appomattox" (1896). Longstreet died in Gainesville, Georgia, on January 2, 1904.