James Longstreet: The Old Man

1090 Words 5 Pages
Even if their input could save lives or change the tide of battle, it was internalized and kept to themselves. They never questioned “The Old Man.”
Lee’s right hand man was James Longstreet. A new breed of soldier. Filled with new ideas and having witnessed the changing face of war. Longstreet was a visionary. He envisions a different type of fighting. The style used by Lee, an in your face attack would only lead to two things: death and defeat. His efforts to convince his friend and leader to try his newer tactics are frowned upon. Lee is persistent and insistent. His attitude leaves Longstreet filled with questions and doubts. One of the crucial flaws that beset the Confederate Army was reconnaissance. Michael Shaara begins the book exposing
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Lee was indecisive. The questioning of his tactics, the doubters, and his self-doubt began to shake his confidence. He began to privately question himself. Upon arriving in Gettysburg, the Confederacy encountered the union Army. It was the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Confederacy had the Union on the run. That was the time to capture the town and annihilate the Union. Instead, they allowed the Union to retreat to higher ground. The ramifications of that strategy: Union reinforcements arrive in the form of Chamberlain and Reynolds. Reinforcements renewed the North’s spirits. Also, a division began between Longstreet and Lee. It was time to attack and Lee hesitated. If you have an opponent down, keep your foot on his neck.
2nd Mistake Not occupying Lil Round Top and Big Round Top was a crucial logistical mistake by the Confederacy. The vantage point and protective bolder and wall coverage gave the Union an impenetrable fortress. They dug in and waited for the Rebs to charge. The charge of the Light Brigade. The high perch allowed the Union to see all the Confederate movements. What a tactical
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The Union dug in, brought up its canons, and took target practice. The canons were better than the Confederates. The rifles of the Union soldiers were better. Artillery, armory, reinforcements, and weapons advantages were all favoring the Union. Their fortress could not be breached. 3rd Mistake Knowing the Union was dug in and reinforced, Lee insisted on a frontal attack. Diversionary attacks would be attempted on the flanks, while the main force of the Southern Army attacked the center of the wall/army. They had to travel across Emmittsburg Road in the open, through an open wheat field, then attack the wall. All up hill. By the time they got to the wall, the entire Army was decimated. The ramifications of that fatal error in judgment was the annihilation of the Confederate Army. The fatal wounding of the majority of the Generals. Total destruction of the troop numbers. The loss at Gettysburg planted the seed for defeat of the Confederacy. Gettysburg was the precursor to Appomattox Court House; the ultimate surrender of the

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