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The Wilderness Campaign$
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Gary W. Gallagher

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780807823347

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807835890_gallagher

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Like a Duck on a June Bug

Like a Duck on a June Bug

James Longstreet's Flank Attack, May 6, 1864

(p.236) Like a Duck on a June Bug
The Wilderness Campaign

Robert E. L. Krick

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the origins, execution, and results of Longstreet's assault, arguing that few attacks during the war better demonstrated the power of a small flanking column to spread chaos through a much larger defending force. Inevitably compared to Stonewall Jackson's famous attack against Joseph Hooker's right flank at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, Longstreet's maneuver involved far fewer men but yielded comparable results. Longstreet was shot down by his own men while attempting to maintain the momentum of his success. Confederates at the time and many later writers speculated that Longstreet's wounding denied Lee an opportunity to drive the Army of the Potomac against the Rapidan River, but several factors would have militated against such a decisive result.

Keywords:   Civil War, military campaigns, flank attack, Confederates

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