Biographies

Longstreet, James "Pete" - Biography

Confederate General James Longstreet is one of the more controversial figures of the American Civil War. When the secession crisis emerged, Longstreet resigned his commission in the United States Army and offered his services to the Confederacy. By October 1862, Longstreet had risen to the rank of lieutenant general and had become one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted subordinates. Longstreet's action, or inaction, at the Battle of Gettysburg created the controversy that tarnished his military legacy in the eyes of many Southerners. Longstreet opposed Lee's headlong attacks of Union forces during that battle. Following the war, Lee apologists, led by Jubal Early, blamed Longstreet's opposition and subsequent belated attack for the Confederate loss. More recent scholarship has questioned that conclusion and attributed much of the anti-Longstreet sentiment to Longstreet's post-war politics, which were unpopular with many Southerners.

Paine, Thomas - Biography

Thomas Paine was a Founding Father, the philosopher of the American War for Independence, and a true revolutionary. His essays and pamphlets, especially Common Sense, noted for its plain language, resonated with the common people of America and roused them to rally behind the movement for independence. Following the American Revolution, Paine immigrated to Europe where the British government declared him and outlaw for his anti-monarchist views, and where he actively participated in the French Revolution.