Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy


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lwhite64

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Hess's new book is a must read for anyone interested in the AoT, though there is still room for more work and a true biography. With that said, here are a few more men who liked Bragg to challenge what Sam Watkins wrote.

Luthor Wyman, Semple's ALA Battery: "Gen. Hardee is at present in command of the army, he is not liked at all by the men. Reports are that Gen. Johnston will take command in a few days with Gen. Bragg as his adjutant general. He will do. A large portion of the army was very sorry to part with Bragg..."

unknown, 17th Tenn:"After the Battle of Chickamauga, Gen. Bragg did not see the regiment until it marched through Richmond in 1864. When as it marched, the regiment saw Gen. Bragg, it cheered him long and loudly. A cloud had then fallen on the fame of Gen. Bragg, and the compliment paid him by the regiment touched him deeply."

Joseph Miller Rand, 41st Mississippi:"Gen. Bragg visited us and dont think I ever saw anyone so welcomely received. The men almost lost their senses they seemed so frantic with joy at meeting their old leader. Gen. B. made a short speech. He I think was looking better than I ever saw him" This was in July of 1864!

LaFayette Bullard, 10th Mississippi:"It is reported that General Braxton Bragg is resigned. I am a frade that it is so...."

Captain John Ellis, 19th LA would write in October of 1863: “Bragg is truly a great man. He metes out justice to the high as well as to the low." Then a few weeks later, “It was an unbending justice Bragg meted out to his generals, his colonels, his captains, and privates alike that brings the ire of officers high in the rank down upon General Bragg. His men love Bragg…His army has been held together, and has been so disciplined and organized by him as to nearly compensate in efficiency what it sadly lacked in numbers. All this is attributable to General Bragg. The papers say he is incompetent. His career and history gives this the lie. They say the army has no confidence in him, but, as I know the men in this army and my acquaintance extends to many brigades including men from every state, I am prepared to pronounce this, like the former, a lie. No army ever had more confidence in its leaders, and Napoleon's guard never followed his eagles more enthusiastically than this ragged army has and will follow the lead of its gaunt, grim chieftain."

QM Sgt. Edward Brown, 45th Ala. Would write on Dec 2nd, 1863:

“I am and always have been a Bragg man and I am sorry to have him leave the army…I guess Longstreet will take command of this army and he may please the people and the army for a while, but I doubt his ability to wield an army like Bragg.”


Brown would again write on Dec 5th, “General Bragg has left us and General Hardee is no in command of the army. I am afraid we have lost more by the change in commanders than we have at the hands of the enemy. I am a great admirer of General Bragg and I regret excessively that he has thought it best to leave the army. And I believe the country will see before a great while that a grave error has been committed by those who have demanded his removal. Whenever he failed to whip the enemy he never failed to bring off his army in safety. It is my deliberate judgment that Braxton Bragg is the greatest General of this revolution. General Lee could loose as many men by his invasion of Pennsylvania as Bragg had in Kentucky yet lee is the man and Bragg is reviled.”

Pvt. W.J. Worsham of the 19th Tenn, wrote in the unit’s regimental history, “Gen. Bragg issued his last order to the men he had commande for the last eighteen months, and whom he had led in several hard fought battles. He was endeared to the men, by sharing with them the hardships and toils of army life, the long marches by day and by night, through rain and sunshine, heat and cold. Often the frozen ground the only bed of repose to the weary body, and with the clouds for the only covering. With these associations crowding his memory it was with a feeling of deep sadness he said farewell. In departing he left with the army his blessings and prayers of a grateful friend. The army was loath to give him up.”
 

nitrofd

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Bragg is considered the worst because of his famous conflicts with his fellow officers.true his personality may not have been the best and he became the Confederate whipping boy.
If you really study him well you see that while he believed in discipline his troops proved to be the best.it started in Mexico when he had his light artillery and the officers under him thought he was a great leader,this included George Thomas and S.D.Lee who became one of his biggest foes,probably had hs mind poisoned by the Kentucky pair of Breckenridge and Bruckner.
When the war started Bragg was stationed at Pensacola,Fl. and through his discipline he trained his troops well.They met with Johnston and at Shiloh his troops preformed better then all the others because of their trainING and they respected him for that.
Hess' book is a very enlightening read and just does not look at him in the negative.another book worth reading is "Braxton Bragg and the Confederate Defeat,Vol.I. if our house was not under major remolding I would supply more info about the book.I have not read Vol.II yet but am looking ford to it as it starts in 1863.
 

James N.

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...Joseph Miller Rand, 41st Mississippi:"Gen. Bragg visited us and dont think I ever saw anyone so welcomely received. The men almost lost their senses they seemed so frantic with joy at meeting their old leader. Gen. B. made a short speech. He I think was looking better than I ever saw him" This was in July of 1864!
Of course by then they had an arguably even much worse commander in Hood, someone who had the "talents" to make even Braxton look good!
 


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