General Longstreet is the father of Sheriff Shorty Longstreet who is fictitious.

General Longstreet appears in The Cowgirl Murders where his fictitious son, Shorty, talks about him  with feeling. Just to be clear, Shorty is fictitious, but the general was a real person. You can now read or listen to the story, as The Cowgirl Murders is available as an audiobook as well as a paperback and an e-book. Here’s an audio version of a short story, Lost on the Trail, which is set about halfway through The Cowgirl Murders and involving several of the characters. I hope you enjoy it and go on to enjoy the whole novel. Any feedback on either will be welcome.

For more about the book, see a previous post.

The cover of the audiobook of The Cowgirl Murders. General Longstreet was a real person, unlike his son, Sheriff Shorty.

, The cover of the audiobook of The Cowgirl Murders. General Longstreet was a real person, unlike his son, Sheriff Shorty.

Here are some facts about General Longstreet (1821-1904).

  1. Longstreet graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1842 and served in the Mexican-American War before joining the Confederacy in 1861.
  2. Some people called him Robert E. Lee’s “Old War Horse” due to his reliability and Lee’s trust in him.
  3. He played crucial roles in many major battles, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg.
  4. Historians and others have long debated his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg, particularly on the second and third days.
  5. After the war, Longstreet joined the Republican Party and supported Reconstruction, which made him unpopular among many former Confederates.
  6. In later life, he served in various government positions, including as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and U.S. Commissioner of Railroads.
  7. His memoirs, “From Manassas to Appomattox”, were published in 1896.
  8. His military acumen is generally well-regarded by historians, but his post-war political stance and the Gettysburg controversy have complicated his historical legacy in the South.
  9. Longstreet’s life and career offer a fascinating window into the complexities of the Civil War era and its aftermath.

What was the controversy over his part in the Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July 1863)?

  1. Critics blame him for the delay in launching attacks on the Union left flank on July 2. Some argue this delay allowed the Union to better prepare their defenses.
  2. He argued with his commander, Robert E Lee. Longstreet  favored a defensive strategy and allegedly was slow to implement Lee’s offensive plans. He suggested moving around the Union left to find better ground, which Lee rejected.
  3. The delayed assault may have contributed to the Confederates’ failure to take Little Round Top, a crucial position.
  4. On July 3, Longstreet coordinated the famous “Pickett’s Charge.” He was reportedly against this frontal assault and implemented it reluctantly.
  5. Post-war blame: After the war, some Confederate sympathizers, particularly those of the “Lost Cause” movement, blamed him for the defeat at Gettysburg, deflecting criticism from Lee.
  6. In his memoirs and other writings, he defended his actions and criticized Lee’s aggressive tactics.
  7. Many modern historians view the criticism of Longstreet as overstated, noting that Lee’s overall strategy was flawed and that Longstreet’s concerns were tactically sound.
  8. His post-war Republican affiliation and support for Reconstruction may have contributed to the intensity of the criticism he received.
  9. This controversy highlights the complexities of military decision-making and the way in which post-war politics and memory can shape historical interpretations.
  10. The debate over Longstreet’s role at Gettysburg continues to be a topic of discussion among Civil War historians and enthusiasts.