Last updated: June 17, 2015
Lafayette McLaws was a U.S. Army officer who resigned his commission in March 1861 to join the Confederate military. He quickly rose through the ranks and by 1862 was a Major General. Soon after his promotion to Major General, he joined Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's First Corps in the Army of Northern Virginia as a division commander and remained with Longstreet for most of the war. In December 1863, he was relieved of his command by General Longstreet after the failed attack on Fort Sanders in Tennessee for "neglect of duty." The Confederate War Department reinstated him after it was determined Longstreet did not have the authority to remove McLaws without a formal court martial. Still, the controversy still led to his reassignment to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army in Georgia where McLaws finished out the war resisting the advance of the Union Army of the Tennessee.