Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Booknotes - "Confederate Struggle for Command"
General James Longstreet has received much deserved criticism for his mixed performance during his half-year plus away from the Army of Northern Virginia in the mountains of East Tennessee. The question author Alexander Mendoza seems to want to answer is just how much of the condemnation is warranted. The general's mistakes and personal failings will be weighed against the influences of the poisonous political and military atmosphere he was thrown into. A balanced assessment is promised. Confederate Struggle For Command: General James Longstreet and the First Corps in the West (Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2008) is rather brief, at around 200 pages of main text, and seems to devote roughly equal space to Chickamauga/Chattanooga, the failed Knoxville Campaign, and Longstreet's subsequent occupation of upper East Tennessee prior to the 1st Corps returning to Lee's army in Virginia for the spring 1864 campaign. At first glance, the bibliography looks impressive, but the maps leave something to be desired.