Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wendy Hamand Venet

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Young


James Longstreet is most often remembered by scholars of the Civil War and Civil War hobbyists as a general who favored defensive tactics over offensive ones and generally loathed launching large-scale assaults. This thesis argues that this common perception is incompatible with the facts gleanable from a close inspection of Longstreet’s war record. By tracing the preparation, execution, and accomplishments of his four largest-scale assaults during the Civil War, I seek to reposition Longstreet in Civil War historiography as the most innovative, creative, and ultimately successful subordinate commander in terms of assuming the tactical offensive.

Available for download on Monday, April 13, 2020