Book Review Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy by Earl J. Hess


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Jamieva

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I just pulled out my two volumes by Thomas Connelly on the Army of Tennessee.these were written 20 years after Stanley Horn's book as I am curious right now to see how much of Horn he uses as primary research source.Connelly is the respected source right now.
I read the 2nd volume of Connelly's in the last 12 months. I'm 99% sure the Hood laudnum stuff is in there.
 

Pat Young

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Thanks for the review Pat, I was planning on buying this anyway. The Western theater has always been a favorite area of study for me, so a balanced study of Bragg is a real treat.

I will say that a new biography of Leonidas Polk is sorely needed. By the way, does anyone know where I can find a copy of "Simon Buckner: Borderland Knight"?
Thanks. Let us know what you think after you read the book.
 

nitrofd

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I read the 2nd volume of Connelly's in the last 12 months. I'm 99% sure the Hood laudnum stuff is in there.
Sam Hood's two book put the fallacy of Hood's laudnum use to rest when the doctors treatment record was printed for the public.the biggest abuser of Hood and laudnum was Wiley Sword in the Confederate Last Hurrah.
After the Hood papers were published Sword had no comment and he recently passed without saying anything.
 
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James N.

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... In his Introduction, Hess writes:

Bragg was not responsible for Confederate defeat, nor was he a monster or an imbecile. It is true he had some glaring weaknesses, but he also had admirable strengths. His impact impact on history was mixed but important, and it is time to attempt a balanced view of it. This book to a degree defends Bragg; it is inspired by a sense of historical justice. In balancing historical accounts, Bragg will inevitably come out the winner because he has suffered such a deficit of goodwill in the eyes of history that his reputation can only go up if one looks at his Civil War career with care.
One early attempt at a Bragg biography or study was in 1969 and called in fact Braxton Bragg and Confederate Defeat, Volume 1: Field Command by Grady McWhitney; supposedly the author was so disheartened after writing about Bragg's early career he put his writing on it aside, never to return! The title was finally completed several years later around 1991 when Dr. Judith Lee Hallock wrote Volume 2. I own a copy of McWhitney's book but read it so very many years ago I remember almost nothing about it other than that it ends with Murfreesboro. I think Bragg's career will ever be linked with failure and the defeat of the Confederacy regardless who's writing about him!
 

Pat Young

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One early attempt at a Bragg biography or study was in 1969 and called in fact Braxton Bragg and Confederate Defeat, Volume 1: Field Command by Grady McWhitney; supposedly the author was so disheartened after writing about Bragg's early career he put his writing on it aside, never to return! The title was finally completed several years later around 1991 when Dr. Judith Lee Hallock wrote Volume 2. I own a copy of McWhitney's book but read it so very many years ago I remember almost nothing about it other than that it ends with Murfreesboro. I think Bragg's career will ever be linked with failure and the defeat of the Confederacy regardless who's writing about him!
McWhiney gets discussed in Hess's new volume, by the way.
 

nitrofd

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Hope you like it.
I have read both volumes of "Bragg and the Confederate Defeat " and all they are trying to do is to be objective about the man.there his no denying that he developed and had many faults but a large amount of the things said about him were not truthful.he had problems with the Senators from Alabama and Mississippi amongst many others along with a lot of newspaper editors who said they were friends of Bragg but would stab him in the back.
I have been looking for a lot of the correspondence from his older brother Thomas who was a past Governor of N.C. who hept warning Braxton of the problem these other politicians were causing him.
He had problems from others who made him look much worse then he was.
Still looking for first hand sources but they are hard to find online,most in collections of papers at many Universities.
 

bdtex

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is successfully resisting scrolling all the way through this thread because he has this book,has not read it yet and has 20+ books in his unread stack. :D
 

nitrofd

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I have read both volumes of "Bragg and the Confederate Defeat " and all they are trying to do is to be objective about the man.there his no denying that he developed and had many faults but a large amount of the things said about him were not truthful.he had problems with the Senators from Alabama and Mississippi amongst many others along with a lot of newspaper editors who said they were friends of Bragg but would stab him in the back.
I have been looking for a lot of the correspondence from his older brother Thomas who was a past Governor of N.C. who hept warning Braxton of the problem these other politicians were causing him.
He had problems from others who made him look much worse then he was.
Still looking for first hand sources but they are hard to find online,most in collections of papers at many Universities.
What I have found out who one of Bragg's biggest supporters was Lois T. Wigfall,a character in his own right.
 

Pat Young

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What I have found out who one of Bragg's biggest supporters was Lois T. Wigfall,a character in his own right.
By Feb. 1863 Wigfall was calling for Bragg to be removed. Hess writes:

“Let Bragg go,” he vainly urged Johnston. “He should not longer remain in command of that Army because he has not its confidence. If you do not want the command Longstreet should have it & Bragg come here to discharge Bureau duty as Lee did or take Longstreet’s place in Lee’s Army.”

Hess, Earl J.. Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy (Civil War America) (Kindle Locations 2689-2691). The University of North Carolina Press. Kindle Edition.
 

Nathanb1

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What I have found out who one of Bragg's biggest supporters was Lois T. Wigfall,a character in his own right.
By Feb. 1863 Wigfall was calling for Bragg to be removed. Hess writes:

“Let Bragg go,” he vainly urged Johnston. “He should not longer remain in command of that Army because he has not its confidence. If you do not want the command Longstreet should have it & Bragg come here to discharge Bureau duty as Lee did or take Longstreet’s place in Lee’s Army.”

Hess, Earl J.. Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy (Civil War America) (Kindle Locations 2689-2691). The University of North Carolina Press. Kindle Edition.
See? He Who Shall Not Be Named was everywhere. :bat:
 

James N.

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See? He Who Shall Not Be Named was everywhere. :bat:
Yes, but this time it's hard not to agree with him! (Except for the silly part about BB going to take Longstreet's place in Lee's Army - aarrgh!)
 


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