Talk:James Longstreet

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Is it really accurate to describe the southern US as "more Lutheran"? Wouldn't "more protestant" be more accurate? Grant65 (Talk) 12:58, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

I have tightened up certain parts of the article by dispensing with unneccessary words and sentences, together with, IMHO, improper use of language. Furthermore, I have tried my best to remove POVs within it.

Babyrina2 10 Feb 2006


I am in the process of a large update to this article, including extensive footnotes. However, I am starting to fall behind my intended schedule, so I have removed the inuse template from the top of the file. I hope to finish within a week, but others are welcome to jump in in the meantime. Hal Jespersen 21:51, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

My update is now complete, with two exceptions. At the very end of the article there are two sentences that require citations. I intend to remove those sentences in a couple of weeks if no one provides the citations. Hal Jespersen 23:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Family revert[edit]

I have reverted the recent edit about family. Please take care of the following before resubmitting:

  1. Remove duplication. Some of this description is already covered earlier in the article.
  2. Add footnotes for claims, speculation, and data. This is a fully footnoted article and additions need to follow the same degree of citation.
  3. Explain or remove the parenthetical numbers next to the names.
  4. Put dates into the Wikipedia format used throughout the article.

Thanks, Hal Jespersen 21:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Revert Feb 21[edit]

I worked about 20 minutes trying to sort out the two paragraphs of updates some anonymous editor applied this morning and gave up and reverted it. If you would like to reapply any of these changes, please do the following:

  1. Add footnotes in the style used by the rest of the article. Use the name= parameter of the <ref> to handle duplicate notes. Use actual, specific URLs for online articles. Add the Genealogy book to the References section and cite it just by author, as in all other notes.
  2. Do not remove Wiki links from the text.
  3. Do not remove footnotes from the text.
  4. If you have something you disagree with (example, source of his nickname), do not simply delete a footnoted assertion. Adjust the text and footnote to indicate multiple sources differ.

Thanks. Hal Jespersen 20:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Good Article[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b lack of images (does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

Looks good to me, I have no complaints.JRP 01:39, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

GA Sweeps (Pass)[edit]

This fascinating article has been reviewed as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force. Although I found one or two minor issues (detailed below), I believe it still meets the GA criteria and should remain listed as a Good article.

For improvement in the future:

  • There are a couple of areas towards the end of the article that need explicit in-line citations, which I have tagged for your convenience (to be honest, the entire "In popular media" section needs multiple cites).
  • It is recommended not to use decorative quotations (the {{cquote}} template) in Wikipedia articles; these are intended only for call-outs.

Thank you for your hard work. The article history has been updated to reflect this review. Regards, EyeSereneTALK 19:35, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Wounding at Wilderness[edit]

Around citation 44 the article states Gen Longstreet's nasty wound was received about a mile from the local where Gen Jackson was mortally hit. I thought in Foote's third "C.W. Narrative" book he states it was a distance of around four miles. Since his books aren't part of any citations in the article (and sometimes noted for their accuracy) I'm not going to edit anything. Just curious which is accurate, if known. The shorter distance is also more creepy! Kresock (talk) 01:44, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I got out my maps and measured. It is actually 4 miles, so I have updated the article accordingly. (Jackson was wounded near the current NPS Visitor Center, Longstreet on the Plank Road near the intersection with the Brock Road.) Thanks for catching the error. Hal Jespersen (talk) 19:17, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

April 8 edits[edit]

I have made some modifications to the edits of April 8 regarding Longstreet's actions on July 2. The passage cited from Fuller was too rudimentary a description of what happened that morning; Fuller's book on Lee and Grant spends only seven pages on the entire Gettysburg campaign, after all. I added another footnote from Sears and Coddington, both of whom have lengthy descriptions about Lee and Longstreet on the morning of July 2. I also restored the citation from Wert, which had been removed with no explanation. If someone can find a citation from a reputable historian who claims that Longstreet enthusiastically and aggressively prepared for the battle on July 2, citations can be added to that effect. Hal Jespersen (talk) 23:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

First Bull Run and the Peninsula[edit]

I added a NPOV tag, because it seemed to be very, almost too much, pro-Longstreet, especially during the part about Bull Run I and also Seven Days. Anyone else agree? NuclearWarfare (talk) 02:59, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Are your concerns with the last sentence ("He had been established as Lee's principal lieutenant.") or with another part of this section? Clarify please.Kresock (talk) 03:52, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Please provide details of your concerns by May 6. This section contains both positive and negative opinions of Longstreet, based on the sources cited. If you have secondary sources that cite poor performances at Manassas or during the Seven Days, please bring them to our attention. Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Gettysburg[edit]

This part of the article seems rather anti-Longstreet. I do know of some other sources that seem to contradict what is written; Longstreet's delay was indeed unavoidable. Should I add them, or not?NuclearWarfare (talk) 03:02, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

If you have additional secondary sources that make this claim, please bring them to our attention. One such is in the article now, but it's a rather obscure one. Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I have removed the POV warning boxes pending resumption of detailed discussions on this talk page about what the problem is supposed to be. Hal Jespersen (talk) 19:25, 5 May 2008 (UTC)


One of my books (Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography) contains a brief evaluation of the general, and I was wondering if it merits inclusion in this page, perhaps either the legacy section or split up within the article. Here's the relevant part:

"Longstreet was an ambitious, confident, tireless, and capable commander and administrator; an able tactician, he possessed less strategic sense; he was vigorous in battle but a cautious planner; his actions at Gettysburg remain controversial; much respected by his men, who called him 'Old Pete.'"

The mentioning of "tireless" I remember from other works I've read (such as in The Killer Angels , Three Months in the Southern States, and others; especially noted during Sharpsburg) but it isn't in this page, and his military abilities I think are only lightly covered. Any thoughts? Kresock (talk) 02:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

In a biography of this length, adding a one sentence summary from another encyclopedia would be inappropriate. This article attempts to demonstrate Longstreet's qualities by examples within context. If you have some secondary sources that expand on the claim of tirelessness (or confidence or administration), feel free to add them within context. Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:22, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I recall something appropriate from Piston's Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant; I'll see if I can dig up my copy and post it here on the talk page for perusal since it's a sentence or two. Stack Odds (talk) 15:39, 27 February 2010 (UTC)Stack Odds

reversion of July 18 edits[edit]

I have reverted two edits as follows:

  1. The changes about Longstreet at the Battle of Gettysburg removed cited material. If someone would like to offer alternatives views from other secondary sources and add those citations, that would be perfectly acceptable, but it is unacceptable to remove material from reputable sources that is properly cited.
  2. The additions about the Chattanooga campaign are OK on their face, albeit a bit long for the importance of the topic to Longstreet's career, but this is a fully cited article and it is unacceptable to add uncited material to it. If someone would like to add this material with the proper citations from secondary sources, go ahead (but run a spell check on it first, please).

Hal Jespersen (talk) 01:12, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I see that #1 was removed and #2 was at least partially cited, so I have tweaked it up. Thanks. Hal Jespersen (talk) 23:17, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"...Bragg who had no intention of listening to anyone."[edit]

This is not a neutral phrase to include in an encyclopedic statement. There's lots of these kind of interpretive statements in recent contributions by User:110fremont. I remind the user that this isn't about being correct; its instead about proving one's points in any arena of disagreement. If one is going to add non-neutral language to a page, one is expected to bring the citation to prove such assertion. BusterD (talk) 12:01, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Suffolk edits[edit]

I don't have the Knudsen ref, so can't look further into this, but what does this mean?

Longstreet advocated the first strategic movements to utilize rail, interior lines, and create temporary numerical advantages in Mississippi or Tennessee prior to Gettysburg.

Johnston at First Manassas and Bragg prior to Perryville both used rails and interior lines strategically before Longstreet suggested it. And what does Gettysburg, which had no rail traffic involved, have to do with it? Are you saying that Longstreet was the first to suggest movement from Virginia to Mississippi or Tennessee? Certainly President Davis had suggested that previously. Most authors imply that Longstreet was merely looking for his own self advancement in getting out from underneath Lee's command, not promoting a new Confederate "grand strategy" (which is misusing the term in this context). Hal Jespersen (talk) 15:13, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Unless this confusion is reconciled, I intend to remove the passages on August 2. Hal Jespersen (talk) 17:40, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

'Despite Lee's brilliant victory at Chancellorsville, Longstreet once again came under criticism, claiming that he could have marched his men back from Suffolk in time to join Lee.' Not clear. He had been following Lee's orders. Do you mean that Lee came under criticism from Longstreet? Valetude (talk) 10:55, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Infobox formatting problems[edit]

Ever since the infobox was changed from military person to officeholder, there is stray text around Longstreet's picture ([[file: |225px|alt=|James Longstreet]]). Does anybody know how to fix this? Thanks. -Cwenger (talk) 20:35, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

The image= parameter is different for that template (it does not use the "[[File:" coding) and I don't know whether using two stacked images (portrait and signature) is possible. However, rather than simply fixing the images, I would recommend going back to the original template. Longstreet's historical reputation is 99.999% because of his military service, and to lead off with a minor political office really does his legacy a disservice. Hal Jespersen (talk) 22:41, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I resolved this by stacking the two infoboxes, with military person on top and ambassador on bottom. -Cwenger (talk) 18:36, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Perfecto! Thanks. Hal Jespersen (talk) 22:59, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Longstreet and Grant[edit]

People need to be careful when inserting details about the relationship between Longstreet and Grant. Although their friendship is a popular topic for historians to throw out there because of their obvious roles during the Civil War, many of the details are unclear or in dispute, not least of which concern Grant's wedding. The idea that Longstreet was Grant's best man at Grant's wedding has become so ubiquitous within the popular narrative between the two that it is all over the Internet and often even stated to be so without reference by historians. In his 2001 biography of Grant, Jean Edward Smith says that Longstreet was Grant's best man but provides no direct reference. In his 2002 book To America, Stephen Ambrose states that Longstreet was the best man without reference and as if it were simply common knowledge fact. It appears that Longstreet's supposed role as best man at the wedding has been repeated so often in secondary literature that it simply became accepted as fact somewhere along the line. We should be careful with this, lest the Wikipedia article also becomes another beacon of possible misinformation on the subject. Longstreet himself in an interview submitted to the New York Times after Grant's death in 1885 simply said that he had been "among the guests" at Grant's wedding:

We know that neither Grant nor Longstreet ever stated in their memoirs that Longstreet serves as best man at the wedding. So far as I know, there is no letter/book/manuscript/source where either of them stated that he did. Further, as might be understandable, there were slip-ups among the recollections of those who were at the wedding that may have contributed to misnomer. Julia Dent Grant, for example, stated in her memoirs that Sid Smith was one of Grant's groomsmen. This was impossible, being that Smith had died during the Mexican War. Therefore, the editor to Julia's memoirs posited the idea that Longstreet "may have been a groomsman." Just food for thought. I tried to clear up the section as cleanly and succinctly as possible. Harry Yelreh (talk) 23:27, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Excellent job on your edits. A large number of Wikipedia editors are not able to deal coherently with situations where reliable secondary sources disagree. By the way, Wert simply says that he attended the wedding. Hal Jespersen (talk) 00:42, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

In G. Moxley Sorrel's memoirs, Sorrel mentions Longstreet as Grant's best man on page 28. I don't know if he heard this from Longstreet, but given his position on Longstreet's staff the relationship it is possible. Semperpietas (talk) 04:26, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Good analysis[edit] Legacypac (talk) 04:42, 24 August 2017 (UTC)