Discussion A misused asset Braxton Bragg

atlantis

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Davis really blundered when he didn't bring in Bragg to replace Johnston after seven pines. Lee was best suited for adjutant to Davis or command in the west. Bragg having the confidence of Davis would have made the ideal commander for dept. of northern Virginia. Unlike Lee, Bragg had no connection to Va. and thus no emotional baggage forcing him to make costly futile assaults like the 7 days campaign.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Location
New York City
Don't consider that scenario as likely. To begin with, it assumes that the outcome of the Seven Days battles was a failure, and that a Bragg commanding would have been able to successfully repel an inevitable siege of Richmond by McClellan. Despite the high casualty rate and blundering errors in execution, the Seven Days battles was a strategic success for the Confederacy as it effectively ended McClellan's Peninsula campaign. Does anyone foresee a realistic scenario where Bragg could have done better? Secondly, while Lee did not yet have the exalted reputation he would eventually develop, he was still a renowned leader among the Virginia political establishment; not appointing him to command the ANV in place of Johnston would have been considered a major snub to the Virginians, let alone appointing an out of state commander who had no apparent backing by the Virginians. That drawback would have be exacerbated even more given Bragg's management difficulties with assembling and maintaining a well oiled officer corps.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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Location
los angeles ca
Davis really blundered when he didn't bring in Bragg to replace Johnston after seven pines. Lee was best suited for adjutant to Davis or command in the west. Bragg having the confidence of Davis would have made the ideal commander for dept. of northern Virginia. Unlike Lee, Bragg had no connection to Va. and thus no emotional baggage forcing him to make costly futile assaults like the 7 days campaign.
Davis really blundered by agreeing to secession. After that the only choices were bad choices.
Leftyhunter
 

Ole Miss

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To have Bragg instead of Lee commanding the Army of Northern Virginia would have been a colossal mistake! Bragg could not get along with Bragg! Bragg vs Jackson, both of the Hills, Longstreet and everyone else. Bragg could not get along with the his generals in the West and would have been an unmitagated disaster in Virginia but it would have ended the War early.
Regards
David
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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Location
los angeles ca
Davis really blundered when he didn't bring in Bragg to replace Johnston after seven pines. Lee was best suited for adjutant to Davis or command in the west. Bragg having the confidence of Davis would have made the ideal commander for dept. of northern Virginia. Unlike Lee, Bragg had no connection to Va. and thus no emotional baggage forcing him to make costly futile assaults like the 7 days campaign.
I would argue that in any war military leadership plays an important role but not the most important role in determine which side wins or looses.
Each war is won or lost based on numerous factors and in the case of the ACW military leadership might not even be in the top five reasons why the Condfederacy lost.
Leftyhunter
 

dgfred

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Bragg should have just been an organizer/planner for someone else leading the actual battle(s).
 

atlantis

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Bragg unlike Lee would have had no problem withdrawing south of the James. Defending Richmond imposed a huge and unnecessary cost in lost manpower for the CS. Lee a superior quality officer to Bragg would have no doubt done a much better job saving the all important heartland of the confederacy. Virginia above the James was expendable if your not going to make the Potomac your forward defense line. Making Richmond the capital was a colossal mistake that could only be corrected by forcing the gov'ts hand.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Location
New York City
Virginia above the James was expendable if your not going to make the Potomac your forward defense line.

Really? Lee's decision to make the Rappahanock/Rapidan rivers a forward defense line was a very effective strategy that forestalled any successful Union advance until Grant's Overland Campaign. Additionally, holding the line in northern Virginia, as opposed to in areas south of the James, allowed Lee a useful springboard by which to raid the north in 1862 and 1863. And finally, giving up northern Virginia would have also meant abandoning the Shenandoah Valley, which not only supplied much needed food and forage to the Confederacy, but left undefended, offered federal armies a tailor made invasion route to outflank southern defenses further south.
 

atlantis

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Bragg’s couldn’t Execute. At times he had good plans but he fail at being able to execute them.

Telling the Kids to do their homework after supper is a Great Plan. If you can’t get em to do it, who’s fault is it?
Make them do their homework if they want supper, moderator I am joking.
 

atlantis

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Really? Lee's decision to make the Rappahanock/Rapidan rivers a forward defense line was a very effective strategy that forestalled any successful Union advance until Grant's Overland Campaign. Additionally, holding the line in northern Virginia, as opposed to in areas south of the James, allowed Lee a useful springboard by which to raid the north in 1862 and 1863. And finally, giving up northern Virginia would have also meant abandoning the Shenandoah Valley, which not only supplied much needed food and forage to the Confederacy, but left undefended, offered federal armies a tailor made invasion route to outflank southern defenses further south.
You make good arguments, my counterargument is to win the CS had to avoid defeat and what does that mean IMHO it means the preservation of the army above all. This requires at times the painful choice of giving up ground with the hope of one day regaining it.
 

jackt62

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Location
New York City
This requires at times the painful choice of giving up ground with the hope of one day regaining it.

Giving up southern territory to advancing Union armies with the hope that territory will one day be regained in the wake of retreating federal armies sounds a lot like Jeff Davis' prediction that "Sherman cannot keep up his long line of communication, and retreat, sooner or later, he must. And when that day comes, the fate that befell the army of the French Empire in its retreat from Moscow will be re-enacted." To which General Grant responded: "Mr. Davis has not made it quite plain who is to furnish the snow for this Moscow retreat."
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Bragg didn’t trust the Tennesseans. He wouldn’t have trusted the Virginians either.

Seems silly that Quality of Military Leadership had nothing to do with success.,
My argument is that military leadership in the ACW wouldn't even be in the top five reasons why the Condfederacy lost. I never said military leadership wasn't important but it's the sole reasons why one side wins a conventional was vs loosing a conventional war.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Giving up southern territory to advancing Union armies with the hope that territory will one day be regained in the wake of retreating federal armies sounds a lot like Jeff Davis' prediction that "Sherman cannot keep up his long line of communication, and retreat, sooner or later, he must. And when that day comes, the fate that befell the army of the French Empire in its retreat from Moscow will be re-enacted." To which General Grant responded: "Mr. Davis has not made it quite plain who is to furnish the snow for this Moscow retreat."
Jefferson Davis is what we would today call " a glass is half full kind of guy".
Leftyhunter
 
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