From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation

Was there any competition between Longstreet and Jackson?

This has long been debated. The reason is that Longstreet lived longer than almost any of the other top commanders, and his memoirs, published in the 1880s, produced a firestorm of criticism. Most observers at the time did not see any conflict between the two men, who represented such different aspects of the Confederate battle strategy.

Jackson, known to his men as “Old Jack,” was a relentless fighter and perhaps marched his men even harder than he made them fight. A devout Presbyterian, Jackson believed that God was with the Confederates and that his arm would uphold them, even when all sorts of terrible sacrifices were demanded. Longstreet was dispassionate. He, too, harbored a deep religious faith, made stronger by the recent death of three of his daughters to scarlet fever. Longstreet did not put much hope in the Almighty, in foreign intervention, or any other external help. To him, it was self-evident that the Confederates would win or lose on their own.


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