Sunday, May 25, 2014

April 18, 1864 (Tuesday): Longstreet Rebuked

General Evander Law

Richmond, April 18, 1864.
General S. COOPER:
    GENERAL: I learn by a note from General Lee that Longstreet has transferred Law's brigade to Buckner, and left it at Bristol. This should be corrected by telegraph. As the charges against General Law are not sustained by the Department he should be restored to his command. Allow me to suggest early action on McLaw's case. He should be with his division. Allow me to suggest General Holmes for the duty of organizing and commanding the reserves in North Carolina. General Lee suggests the movement of Beauregard's surplus forces this way, to be ready to relieve Pickett, who should go to him. As the re-enforcements to the enemy in Florida seem really to have been the removal of the enemy from there, ought not our troops to come on to North Carolina, instead of again being buried in the district system in Georgia and South Carolina?


April 18, 1864.
Major General S. B. BUCKNER,
Bristol, Tenn.:
    Send Law's brigade to Charlottesville to report to General Field. General Law will be relieved from arrest and put in command of it. The charges against him will not be further entertained.

    S. COOPER,
   Adjutant and Inspector General.

Official Records, series I., Vol. 32, Part 3, Page 793.

McLaws had been court martialed, on his charges preferred by Longstreet, for his actions in the Fort Sanders debacle.  He had been convicted on only one of the three charges (for failing to organize his forces for the attack) but Richmond recognized the charges were an attempt by Longstreet to assign blame for his mistakes elsewhere.  Cooper ordered the charges removed.  Longstreet had also preferred charges against Law (for insubordination) and left his troops behind when he returned with the remainder of the First Corp to the Army of Northern Virginia.  In this he was overruled by Cooper and the authorities in Richmond.  McLaws would be transferred out of Lee's Army and Laws was held under arrest for a large portion of the Overland Campaign.

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