Monday, September 24, 2012
Longstreet's wife and children had returned from Texas, his last duty station prior to the war and were living with friends in Richmond, Virginia.
Early in 1862, during a scarlet fever epidemic in that city, three of the four Longstreet children (Mary Anne, James, and Augustus Baldwin) died within eight days. The blow was almost too much for Longstreet; he hurriedly went to Richmond. It was some days before he could leave his wife and 13-year-old son Garland, who were devastated by the tragedy.
The loss affected the general greatly. An aide noted that his "grief was very deep," while others commented on his change in personality. Because the Longstreets were too grief-stricken, General George Pickett and his fiancée LaSalle Corbett made the burial arrangements.
In addition to sons Garland, Robert Lee, and James Jr., Longstreet had an additional son and daughter after the war. They were Fitz Randolph born in 1869, and the couple's tenth and last child Maria Louisa born in 1872. Although Louise and James had lost five children during their years together, the five living in 1872 all lived to adulthood.
In January 1890, Maria Louise Longstreet died at the age of sixty-two at Gainesville, Georgia.
Photo: Maria Longstreet and Sons
Photograph taken at Hall County, Georgia, 1870