Gen. Longstreet was laboring under several burdens when he set his troops the task of capturing Fort Sanders. One of them was the tragedy of his adult life: the death of his three youngest children from scarlet fever in the winter of 1861-62.
I had scarlet fever in 1946 when I was two years old and spent a week in the hospital with it. I survived because of the antibiotics then newly available for such old bacterial killers. Longstreet’s children were not so fortunate.
Their graves can be found in the officer’s section of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond (where the graves of officers and privates are as segregated as their impromptu ones were on the battlefield). But, according to the Longstreet Society, just who buried the children there is a mystery.