Righting the Longstreet Record at Gettysburg

Six Matters of Controversy and Confusion


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About the Book

Follow-up to the award-winning Longstreet at Gettysburg, this collection of new essays addresses some of the persistent questions regarding Confederate General James Longstreet’s performance at the Battle of Gettysburg. Influential interpretations of his actions are evaluated for historical accuracy, drawing on often overlooked primary source material. Points of contention about Longstreet’s July 2, 1863, attack are examined, along with the roots of the Longstreet-Gettysburg Controversy and the merits of Helen Longstreet’s early 20th century attempt to address it.

About the Author(s)

Cory M. Pfarr works for the Department of Defense. He lives in Fallston, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Cory M. Pfarr
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8597-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4869-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Maps by Hal Jespersen x

Foreword by James A. Hessler 1

Introduction 5

Essay 1. The Reverend Jones Pens an Essay: Examining the Roots of the Longstreet-Gettysburg Controversy 7

Essay 2. A Letter to General Sickles: Longstreet’s July 2 Attack 27

Essay 3. The Force of Circumstances: Reconnaissance Activities on Longstreet’s Front, July 2 66

Essay 4. A Severe Case: Diagnosing the Treatment of Longstreet’s Countermarch 94

Essay 5. Under Hill or Longstreet? Anderson’s Division on July 2 121

Essay 6. Suppressed No More: Helen Longstreet’s Lee and Longstreet at High Tide 139

Chapter Notes 173

Bibliography 195

Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Cory Pfarr addresses the enduring appeal of James Longstreet, Robert E. Lee, and Gettysburg in this fascinating new book. Readers will be richly rewarded by the insights found in each of the essays herein.”—David A. Powell, award-winning author of The Chickamauga Campaign trilogy

• “Cory Pfarr picks up the story from his previous work—Longstreet at Gettysburg—and explores period resources of Old Pete’s contemporaries in this latest narrative. Working to place the various comments regarding Longstreet’s performance in context, Pfarr continues to provide a new and balanced approach to understanding General Lee’s ‘Old War-Horse.’”—Michael K. Shaffer, Civil War historian, author, and instructor at Kennesaw State University’s College of Graduate and Professional Education and Emory University

• “Cory Pfarr’s work impresses as the best treatment of the many aspects of Longstreet’s role in the Confederate’s controversial July 2nd attack. He displays an excellent command of both published and unpublished primary and secondary source materials, and of the historical context in which they were created. His meticulous use of primary source evidence to frame his analysis provides a fresh perspective on several persistent questions about July 2nd.”—James S. Pula, Purdue University, editor of Gettysburg Magazine and author of the two-volume Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War

• “Cory M. Pfarr’s work is a powerful demonstration of the historian’s craft. His command of sources is unsurpassed, and his six well-crafted essays provide important insights into how and why historical memory can be manipulated and contested. This is not a partisan defense of Confederate General James Longstreet, but a cogent and balanced examination of controversies relating to the battle which have endured for over 150 years. This important work places Pfarr at the forefront of Gettysburg scholars and will be indispensable for anyone seeking to understand the most famous battle of the American Civil War.”—William Garrett Piston, author, Lee’s Tarnished Lieutenant; James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History