ECW Podcast: James Longstreet and Confederate Cancel Culture

The latest edition of the Emerging Civil War Podcast dropped this week. The latest episode is inspired by a thought-provoking post several weeks ago at the Substack site Civil War Memory.

Confederate Gen. James Longstreet was one of the original victims of “cancel culture”—and he was “cancelled” by fellow Confederates. Historians Kevin Levin and Todd Groce join the Emerging Civil War Podcast for a discussion of Confederate Cancel Culture.
Kevin Levin writes the Civil War Memory blog on Substack (, and Todd Groce is the president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society (
This episode of the Emerging Civil War Podcast is brought to you by Civil War Trails, the world’s largest open-air museum, offering more than 1,500 sites across six states. Request a brochure at to start planning your trip today.
You can listen on Spotify here:

You can listen on Apple Podcasts here:

3 Responses to ECW Podcast: James Longstreet and Confederate Cancel Culture

  1. I find it more than ironic that James Longstreet, the Confederate corp commander who arguably brought the Union closest to irredeemable disaster on several occasions, is now almost indirectly portrayed as a near Unionist poster boy as The Good Ex-Confederate. What is equally ironic is that Union cancel culture started earlier and was if anything more broadly based and terminal. Where have you gone, Don Carlos Buell of Shiloh? Or Porter of the Battle of Gaines Mill, the best fight against long odds since General Davout at Auerstadt? Or William Rosecrans of Corinth, Stone’s River and the Tullahoma Campaign? Or even John Pope of Island #7? Whereas the Confederates in the doghouse such as Magruder, Beauregard and even the egregious Van Dorn received opportunities to gain some measure of redemption: whither Pope? Off to the Great Plains of Minnesota. We won’t mention Porter or the Unfortunate Stone.
    Longstreet was the recipient of some excellent positive press starting not too long after that grouch Early began his campaign of slander. He was well received among his veterans, and had a fierce and literate advocate in his second wife. So don’t cry for him, ECW….

    1. I don’t cry for him at all, but I do think he got hosed pretty badly as the Lost Cause gained traction DESPITE the fact that his own veterans did, indeed, love him. I see it literally in the way the battlefields here around Fredericksburg have been interpreted. He was written out of the story by haters, no two ways about it. You do raise some great examples on the Union side, and I would recommend Frank Varney’s two books as a good starting point for anyone interested in learning more (or you can listen to our podcast episode:

      That said, you can go to Stones River and Corinth and see all sorts of traces of Rosecrans, or you can go to the Seven Days’ battlefields and find traces of Porter. (And, yes, Porter AND Stone both got hosed, too.) If you come to Fredericksburg or the Wilderness, you’d hardly know Longstreet was there, let alone played a pivotal role in both battles.

      1. But was that anti Longstreet bias per se or just the Old Dominion being Virginia? After all, even during the war many of the Confederate governors and non Virginia senior officers complained about Davis’ willingness to pad the payroll with Virginia homies, ignoring their state boys, maybe as payback for the capital move. I keep thinking about D.H. Hill’s perpetual grouchiness on the issue. At least today they are getting their due.
        I have to admit I never observed a paucity of Longstreet markers at either Fredericksburg or The Wilderness, but then again my interest in them, particularly the latter, is fairly recent. I love the work that’s been done at the Slaughter Pen at Fredericksburg, where Jackson (again) was forced to pull his own bacon out of the fire! Thanks for the time you take to read and reply! Cannot wait to August.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: