Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 9, 1864 (Friday): Longstreet Offers His Resignation

General James Longstreet

Richmond, January 9, 1864.
General ROBERT E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, Orange C. H., Va.:
    GENERAL: Lieutenant-General Longstreet has asked to be relieved from his present command and corps. Would you advise his exchange with Lieutenant-General Ewell? Please answer for information of the President.
     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

     S. COOPER,
     Adjutant and Inspector General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 32, Part 2, Page 539.

Longstreet was not happy with the authorities in Richmond, who he felt were not giving due consideration to his thoughts on strategy.  He offered his resignation, likely not believing it would be accepted.  Lee replied the next day that he did not do the reasons Longstreet offered to resign, but did not believe he could easily be replaced or that an exchange with Ewell would be beneficial to the troops of either corp.  In his post war memoirs he mentions this offer in connection with the promotion of Edmund Kirby Smith to rank him as a full general, however the Confederate congress had yet to approve the promotion of a sixth full general.

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