A Soldier’s General

One of the better books on Gen. Lafayette McLaws is John C. Oeffinger’s 2001 A Soldier’s General. It’s a “translation” of McLaws’ awful handwriting in his collected letters home.

Therein you find not only McLaws’ side of Gen. Longstreet’s decision to blame McLaws for the Fort Sanders debacle and relieve him from command, but also McLaws’ general opinions about the war.

They could be as extreme as any private’s: “Our pickets and those of the enemy are within speaking distance, and daily listen in silent contempt to the vulgarities of the Yankee soldiery…”

Had the Rebel side of the war, in general, not become as denigrated (“a war for slavery”) as it is nowadays, the book surely would have made a bigger impression. For those who still care, it deserves a look. Pity it’s not available in ebook format.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in "Knoxville 1863", Fort Sanders, Gen. James Longstreet, Gen. Lafayette McLaws and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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