The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

What did Mrs. Longstreet have to say?

Helen D. Longstreet was the widow of General James Longstreet, the man who had led the First Confederate Corps at the Battle of Gettysburg. While the newspapers extolled Mrs. Longstreet for making it to Gettysburg in 1913, she sharply reminded them—in words printed in the New York Times—that the women of the Civil War never received the honors they deserved. It was difficult to argue with the nation’s most prominent Civil War widow, but Mrs. Longstreet stumbled badly a day or two later when she expressed her view that “Pickett’s Charge” should really be called “Longstreet’s Charge.” Not only had her husband been against that charge, but he would surely have wished to separate himself from a disaster of that magnitude.

Battles of words were not the only battles at Gettysburg in 1913, however.


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