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THE

Defender Picks

 

MARDI

August 22nd

Murder Ballads

Euclid Records, 5PM

Book signing with Dan Auerbach and Gabe Soria

 

DIY Fermented Foods

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Fermented dairies, like kefire, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, and more

 

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 8PM

Galactic drummer's side project

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Future funk stars

 

Treme Brass Band

d.b.a., 9PM

See the legendary band on their home turf

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 10PM

2 sets by the Grammy-winning brass band

 

Smoking Time Jazz Club

Spotted Cat, 10PM

Trad jazz masters

 
 

MERCREDI

August 23rd

Wine Down Wednesdays

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6:30PM

Free yogalates at the Mint

 

The Heart of Herbalism

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Syrups and immune health

 

Trapper Keeper

Side Bar, 8:30PM

Local improv music duo, feat. Dr. Jeff Albert

 

Trainspotting

Bar Redux, 9PM

Free screening of junkie masterpiece

 

Chris & Tami

The New Movement, 9:30PM

TNM's founders perform weekly free show

 

Vixens & Vinyl

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

Burlesque dance party

JEUDI

August 24th

Summertime Blues

Shops at Canal Place, 5:30PM

Young professionals meet-up with blues, brews, and BBQ

 

Architecture & Design Film Festival Kick-Off

Contemporary Arts Center, 5:30PM

Opening night party and film

 

Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Sweet Olive String Band

 

Ambush Reggae Band

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Local roots reggae group

 

Royal Teeth

Tipitina's, 9PM

Feat. Merci Raines and No True Scotsman

VENDREDI

August 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5PM

Feat. The Pfister Sisters

 

Exotic Races

Fair Grounds, 5PM

Races feat. ostriches and camels

 

More Lovely and More Temperate

Valiant Theatre and Lounge, 6PM

Performance of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets

 

Lil' WeezyAna Fest

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Gucci Man, Rich the Kid, Kodie Shane, YoungBoy NBA, and Lil Wayne

 

Drive-In On the Patio

Bar Redux, 9PM

Campy and cool movies, The Wasp Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and The Giant Gila Monster

 

Little Maker & Mr. Universe

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Feat. special tribute to The Band

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Prytania Theatre, 12AM

Feat. NOLA's foremost shadow cast The Well-Hung Speakers

SAMEDI

August 26th

It's About TIME

Studio Be, 6PM

Artist conversation about oppression via symbols like the monuments

 

New Pride Pageant

Cafe Istanbul, 6PM

Honoring Mr & Miss New Orleans Pride 2017

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

SuperDome, 7PM

The Saints and Texans go head to head

 

Rick & Morty Marathon

Bar Redux, 9PM

Outdoor binge session for Dan Harmon's animated series

 

Swamp Motel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Album release party for Louisiana rockers

 

Vox & The Hound

One Eyed Jacks, 10PM

Pop group, feat. psych band Midriff and Naughty Palace


Who Comes Next?

James Longstreet, Traitor to the Lost Cause



Each week, historian Sean Michael Chick will highlight some of the country's unsung heroes or pivotal figures during the Civil War era who could serve as replacements following the takedown of New Orleans' Confederate monuments. This week, learn about James Longstreet, the controversial Confederate general who later became a noted Republican and key figure in the Battle of Liberty Place. 

 

Few generals, blue or gray, had as long and controversial a career as James Longstreet. Born in South Carolina, he grew up on a cotton plantation until he was nine and was sent to live with relatives in Georgia. He attended the elite military academy West Point (where he was roommates with future Union General William Rosecrans) and became lifelong friends with Ulysses S. Grant while they were in school and, later, stationed in Jackson Barracks, Missouri. Grant ended up marrying Longstreet’s cousin, Julia Dent, where Longstreet was likely a groomsman at the wedding. In 1848, Longstreet married Louise Garland and had ten children with her. Before the Civil War, Longstreet was a veteran of the Mexican-American War, serving in the 8th U.S. Infantry. He led the charge at Chapultepec, and was injured in his attempt to carry the American flag across the warring countries’ parapet.

 

When the war came, Longstreet was not enthusiastic about the secession from the Union but ultimately sided with the Confederacy, resigning from the U.S. Army in June 1861. Although born on a plantation, Longstreet was not a hardcore pro-slavery advocate and was likely drawn to the Confederacy for reasons of localism. In our modern age of globalization and easy travel, it is hard to understand the importance of locality and family ties. George Thomas, a Virginia General who stayed loyal to the Union, was disowned by his family. E.M. Forster once wrote, “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” For many blue and gray, it was less a question of slavery, union, and state’s rights, and more about community.

 

Longstreet fought in nearly every major battle in the eastern theater, becoming Robert E. Lee’s right hand man (Lee’s nickname for Longstreet was his “Old War Horse”). He was most noted for his role in the Confederate victories at Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and the Wilderness. Even in defeats such as Antietam and Gettysburg, Longstreet proved to be a superb commander. He could be difficult though, and he carried on bitter feuds with several fellow generals, in particular Braxton Bragg, Evander McIvor Law, and Lafayette McLaws. At Appomattox Court House, Longstreet advised Lee to surrender, assuring him that Grant would give them good terms. Longstreet did add “General, if he does not give us good terms, come back and let us fight it out.”

 

After the war Longstreet resumed his friendship with Grant and moved to New Orleans, becoming President of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad. Among Confederate officers, there was much debate on how to respond to Reconstruction. Some took up neutrality, others resistance, both legal and illegal and often a mix of the two. Another type sought reconciliation with the new order. Most prominently, Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard denounced violent opposition to Reconstruction and were open to some reform in Southern politics and society.

 

Longstreet went a step further. He became a Republican and surveyor of customs in New Orleans in 1873. He aligned himself with Henry Clay Warmoth, P. B. S. Pinchback, and Algernon Sidney Badger in the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, against Oscar J. Dunn. Grant and Warmoth hoped Longstreet’s old army comrades, particularly in the Washington Artillery, would defect — and for a time they did.

 

Longstreet, never one for tact, had begun to question some of Lee’s decisions during the war, particularly at Gettysburg. Jubal Early, a Confederate General and the creator of the Lost Cause mythos, attacked Longstreet mercilessly. Lee died in 1870 and his deification was underway. It was not that Longstreet did not hold Lee in high regard; he named his son Robert E. Lee Longstreet. Yet, he had the temerity to point out that Lee was not flawless. Daniel Harvey Hill, himself a critic of Lee, hated Longstreet for switching political sides. Both men made him into a kind of Confederate Benedict Arnold, a traitor to cause, comrades, and the South. Early and Hill effectively destroyed Longstreet’s reputation.

 

In 1874, Longstreet took command of the outnumbered Metropolitan Police as they prepared to fight the Crescent City White League in what would become the Battle of Liberty Place. Longstreet arranged his men on the French Quarter side of Canal Street. Although he had artillery and Gatling guns, the White League was able to utilize snipers to pick off the police. Longstreet tried to stop the fighting but he was wounded. Longstreet, in bad health and under constant threat, left New Orleans in 1875.

 

The rest of Longstreet’s career was anticlimactic. He held minor posts under Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt, including as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. He converted to Catholicism during an 1877 visit to New Orleans and married 34-year-old Helen Dortch when he was 76 years of age. He also wrote his memoirs, but they were bitter and earned him a whole new generation of enemies.

 

Longstreet remained a man without friends after the war. To anyone with a Unionist, and particularly an Emancipationist, vision of the war, he was just another traitorous Southerner who got off easy. To the Lost Cause he was the man who, despite his talents, betrayed the Confederacy, first by losing at Gettysburg and then by joining the Republicans. Only Longstreet’s soldiers and the reconciliationists had much love for him. As their vision took center stage in the 1960s-2000s, Longstreet became a hero, or at least a respected figure. In 1998 a statue was erected to him at Gettysburg; it is one of the only honors he has received.

 

Longstreet defies easy categories. He was among the Confederacy’s best generals, but his heart was not in the cause and after the war he embraced Reconstruction. This is not to say Longstreet was for true racial equality. He saw blacks as inferior and their votes as a means to an end, a position rather similar to that held by Warmoth and many Republican politicians.

 

Longstreet’s place in history is as a spoiler. He cannot be assigned a single stereotype. In his time, Early and Hill could not see how honest criticism of Lee was not the same as condemnation. In our time he does not conform to a rising moralistic and Manichean vision of America’s past. Whether or not Longstreet should be honored in New Orleans is debatable; he was a Confederate general and not a radical Republican. Yet, it should not be forgotten that at the Battle of Liberty Place he chose to side not with his former comrades, but with the very people the Confederacy sought to keep enslaved. In doing so, he risked death, was nearly killed, and lost many friendships and his reputation among white Southerners. He paid a price far higher, and with graver consequences, than many of us will ever know in our more “enlightened” age.

 

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily