Jackson and Longstreet: Leading Men of the CSA
Through the actions of Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet, two of the most distinguished generals in the Civil War, the Confederate States of America benefited greatly. These two men battled greatly at Lees side and were capable leaders. Although they both fought much with Robert E. Lee and with each other and were both strategical and tactical geniuses, they had different ways of fighting.
Jackson and Longstreet fought much along Robert E. Lees side and with each other. Stonewall fought with Lee in the Rappahannock Campaign, at Chancellorsville, along with many other battles (Encarta). After Jackson lost his arm from a bullet wound, Lee said, he has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right, (Southall, 94). Longstreet fought with Lee in the Peninsular Campaign, at Gettysburg, at the Seven Days Battle, and in other confrontations (Bowman, 86). These men fought alongside each other at the First Bull Run, Second Bull Run, and at the Battle of Antietam (Bowman, 89). This conjunction in battle won many victories for the Confederacy.
Two of the most tactical generals in the Rebel army, Thomas Jackson and James Longstreet planned and acted upon great schemes of action. When
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planning the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, Jackson first showed his military intuition (Encarta). His strategy involved attacking forces in the valley to diverge reinforcements to the Virginia peninsula, where Longstreet and Lee were fighting at the time (Southall, 82). When fighting at Chancellorsville, Stonewall led his troops around the right flank of the Union troops and dominated the corps there (Bowman, 79). He once said, Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, (Encarta). Longstreet had come to believe in the strategic offense and tactical defense, and opposed Lees plan of attack on Gettysburg (Southall, 107). He was proven correct after the invasion was repelled and the Rebels lost the turning point of the Civil War. He also helped plan other attacks throughout the war. These plans of action aided the South in winning many battles.
Although they were somewhat similar, Jackson and Longstreet fought differently. Stonewall fought independently well, as he led his troops alone at Harpers Ferry, Cross Keys, and at Port Republic (Bowman, 95). He also rallied his troops well and put harsh discipline upon his soldiers (Southall, 120). When Longstreet was dispatched alone to Tennessee, he displayed a lack of ability (Bowman, 90). When working with other leaders Longstreet succeeded (Encarta). But later he became assertive in his views and criticized other officers, such as Bragg at Chickamauga for not taking advantage of his victory, but did not take action himself (Southall, 146). Although both were capable soldiers and leaders, Jackson fought independently better and led his troops substantially.
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Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet were two of the greatest generals in American history. Their similarities and differences were both small and large, and they distinguished them as excellent military leaders. They fought along Lee and each other, were great strategical and tactical leaders, but fought differently, helping the Confederacy win many battles.