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"Meet James Longstreet "The Formative Years" Topic


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204 hits since 6 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2017 10:39 a.m. PST

"As we've learned in Meet James Longstreet "In the Beginning" James was born in South Carolina while his mother Mary was visiting her Mother-In-Law's on Jan 8, 1821. Within weeks of his birth Mary took James to the Piedmont section of Northern Georgia where the Longstreet's farm laid. This was rough land which required hard work and patients to cultivate. Here young James would spend the first 9 years of his life. It was the kind of land that shaped young men. Here James benefited from the hard work. His older sister Anna and older brother William would both guide and mentor the youngster. Here young James would romp and explore the family's farm fields and near by woodlots. His time here was spent doing chores, hunting, fishing, riding horseback and other playful activities. These years fostered the characteristics of the future general. He grew taller, stronger and rugged with a love for the outdoors. Here he developed independence of thought, self-confidence, self-reliance, and a tireless work ethic. James was reserved in speech and learned the value of blunt talk expressing his opinion in a forthright manor. He possessed little refinement or education. By the time James was 9 years old the Longstreet children numbered 7. James name shake provided well for his growing family. In a region that most farmers grew tobacco and corn without slave labor. The Longstreet's earned a respectable income with cotton, worked by his modest force of slaves. James Sr. realized that with so many children it was important that he plan for their futures. Young James whom the family had taken fondly to calling Peter or Pete spoke often of a military career. Childhood dreams of glory filled his head as he read books about Alexander the Great, Caesar, Napoleon, and George Washington. His father realized his sons dreams could be realized with an education at little expense to the family if James could gain acceptance to West Point. With this in mind his father took young James to Augusta where his bother and family resided. Here the boy could live with his aunt and uncle and attend Richmond County Academy, the state's finest preparatory school. At the time Augusta was the second largest city in the state. It must have been very difficult for 9 year old James to be separated from his bothers, sisters and parents at such a young age. James uncle Augustus was an exceptional man from the very beginning. He reportedly weighed 17 pounds at birth on September 22, 1790. Augustus graduated from Yale University in 1813. From New Haven he went to Litchfield Connecticut spending over a year studying at Judge Tapping Reeve's renowned Law School. He returned to Georgia and in 1815 was admitted to the bar of Richmond County. A gifted conversationalist with a keen sense of humor. Augustus drew clients to his law practice. On March 3, 1817 Augustus married Frances Eliza Parke of Greensville Ga. Augustus and Frances had three children a son and two daughters. In 1821 Augustus was appointed a judge on the superior court and given a masters of arts degree from the University of Georgia. Elective politics attracted young Augustus…"
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