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Picture of Braxton Bragg, 1817-1876

Picture of Braxton Bragg, 1817-1876


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Picture of Braxton Bragg, 1817-1876

Picture of Braxton Bragg, 1817-1876 taken from a Civil War photograph

Picture taken from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: III: Retreat from Gettysburg, p.601

Return To:American Civil War Subject Index - Braxton Bragg


Braxton T. Bragg (1817 - 1876)

Braxton Bragg was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, one of the six sons of Thomas and Margaret Crosland Bragg. One of his older brothers was future Confederate Attorney General Thomas Bragg.

Bragg visited Evergreen Plantation in Thibodaux, Louisiana, after the Mexican-American War, where he met 23-year-old Eliza Brooks Ellis, known to her friends as Elise, a wealthy sugar heiress. They were married on June 7, 1849.

He was a principal commander in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. He commanded the Army of Tennessee for 17 months, leading them to several defeats and losing most of the state of Tennessee. Throughout these campaigns, Bragg fought almost as bitterly against some of his uncooperative subordinates as he did against the enemy, and they made multiple attempts to have him replaced as army commander. The defeat at Chattanooga was the last straw, and Bragg was recalled in early 1864 to Richmond. After these losses he became military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

On September 27, 1876, Bragg was walking down a street with a friend in Galveston, Texas, when he suddenly fell over unconscious. Dragged into a drugstore, he was dead within 10 to 15 minutes.

Braxton was born in 1817. He passed away in 1876, age 59, and is buried in the Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama

Commands held: Army of Mississippi (1862) Army of Tennessee (1863)

Battles/wars: Second Seminole War

Mexican–American War Siege of Fort Brown Battle of Monterrey Battle of Buena Vista

American Civil War Battle of Shiloh Battle of Perryville Battle of Stones River Tullahoma Campaign Battle of Chickamauga Battles for Chattanooga Second Battle of Fort Fisher Battle of Bentonville


Braxton Bragg (1817-1876)

Of the eight men who reached the rank of full general in the Confederate army Braxton Bragg was the most controversial. The North Carolinian West Pointer (1837) had earned a prewar reputation for strict discipline as well as a literal adherence to regulations. At one time, the story goes, he actually had a written dispute with himself while serving in the dual capacity of company commander and post quartermaster.

His pre-Civil War career was highly distinguished. After seeing action against the Seminoles, he went on to win three brevets in the Mexican War, in which his battery of "flying artillery" revolutionized, in many respects, the battlefield use of that arm. In 1856 he resigned his captaincy-he was a lieutenant colonel by brevet-in the 3rd Artillery and became a Louisiana planter.

His Confederate assignments included: colonel, Louisiana Militia (early 186 1) major general, Louisiana Militia (early 186 1) commanding Department of Louisiana (February 22 - March 1861) brigadier general, CSA (March 7, 1861) commanding Pensacola, Florida (March 11 -October 29, 1861) major general, CSA (September 12, 1861) commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida (October 14, 1861 February 28, 1862) also commanding Army of Pensacola (October 29 - December 22, 1861) commanding Army of the Mississippi (March 6-17, May 7 - July 5, August 15 - September 28 and November 7 - 20, 1862) commanding 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi (March 29 - June 30, 1862) general, CSA (April 12, 1862, to rank from the 6th) commanding Department June 17 - October 24, 1862 and November 3, 1862 July 25, 1863) commanding Army of Tennessee (November 20, 1862 -December 2, 1863) also commanding Department of Tennessee (August 6 - December 2, 1863, except briefly in August) commanding Department of North Carolina (November 27, 1864 -April 9, 1865, but under Joseph E. Johnston from March 6, 1865) and supervising Hoke's Division, Hardee's Corps, Army of Tennessee (April 9 - 26, 1865).

Initially commanding in Louisiana, he was later in charge of the operations against Fort Pickens in Pensacola Harbor. Ordered to northern Mississippi in early 1862, he briefly commanded the forces gathering there for the attack on Grant at Shiloh. During the battle itself he directed a corps and was later rewarded with promotion to full general. As such he relieved Beauregard when he went on sick leave and was then given permanent command in the West.

Having served during the Corinth siege, he led the army into Kentucky and commanded at Perryville, where he employed only a portion of his force. On the last day of 1862 he launched a vicious attack on the Union left at Murfreesboro but failed to carry through his success on the following days. Withdrawing from the area, he was driven into Georgia during Rosecrans' Tullahoma Campaign and subsequent operations.

In September he won the one major Confederate victory in the West, at Chickamauga, but failed to follow up his success. Instead he laid siege to the Union army in Chattanooga and merely waited for Grant to break through his lines. In the meantime he had been engaged in a series of disputes with his subordinates especially Leonidas Polk, James Longstreet, and William J. Hardee that severely injured the effectiveness of the Army of Tennessee. Several top officers left the army for other fields, and Longstreet and Simon B. Buckner were dispatched into East Tennessee. With the army thus weakened, Bragg was routed at Chattanooga and was shortly removed from command. Almost immediately he was appointed as an advisor to Jefferson Davis, his staunch supporter, and maintained an office in Richmond.

Ineffective in the position of quasi- commander in chief, he was dispatched to North Carolina in the waning days of the war. The forces under his command remained inactive during the second attack on Fort Fisher, allowing it to fall. When Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of all forces in North Carolina on March 6, 1865, Bragg was soon relegated to supervision of Hoke's division from his old department. In that capacity he surrendered near Durham Station. For a time after the war he served as Alabama's chief engineer and then settled in Galveston, Texas where he died September 27, 1876, while walking down the street with a friend. He is buried in Mobile, Alabama. He was the brother of Confederate Attorney General Thomas Bragg.


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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02459.05 Author/Creator: Bragg, Braxton (1817-1876) Place Written: Fort Barrancas, Florida Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 November 1861
Pagination: 1 p. 24.5 x 20 cm.

Expresses sympathy for Daniel Ruggles' sickness and his wish that Ruggles is "promoted or assigned the immediate command" of Fort Barrancas. States that Confederate General Mansfield Lovell will "have difficulty in passing the ordeal of Congress."

Braxton Bragg served as a General in the Confederate Army, notably active in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Perryville, and Chickamauga. After suffering defeat at Chattanooga, Bragg was removed from command. In 1861 Bragg was stationed in Fort Barrancas, a fortification constructed to defend the naval yard of Pensacola, Florida.
Ruggles served in the Mexican and Civil Wars. A Confederate Brigadier General, Ruggles is most noted for his successful command of troops in the Battle of Shiloh, 1862.
Lovell participated in the battles of Corinth and New Orleans after losing in New Orleans, he was relieved of command.


Names that grace our streets and monuments often tainted in time

1 of 2 A statue of the Rev. Junipero Serra in a cemetery of the Mission Dolores, which he founded in 1776, in San Francisco, Jan. 16, 2015. Serra established many religious communities, or church missions, along the West Coast in the late 1700s. Indian historians and authors said the missions established in the late 1700s by Serra, whom the pope plans to canonize, suppressed their culture. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times) JIM WILSON/New York Times Show More Show Less

2 of 2 UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1865: Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) American soldier. General in Confederate (southern) army during American Civil War 1861-1865. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images) UniversalImagesGroup Show More Show Less

Naming streets, schools and monuments after prominent people doesn&rsquot usually generate much outrage at the time of the exaltation. But hindsight guided by present-day standards can turn history&rsquos heroes into contemporary miscreants.

Dozens if not hundreds of Robert E. Lee schools and streets, for example, have been stripped of the Confederate general&rsquos name in the South. But such disputes have not eluded California and the Bay Area, and the brouhaha over Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco is one in an ongoing series.

Here are a few names that have ripened into controversy:

Braxton Bragg

Residents of Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast pushed back in 2015 after the California Legislative Black Caucus declared the lumber town&rsquos name racist. Bragg was a Confederate general and slave owner. A name change was rebuffed.

A California State Park historical market sits in front of the Guest House Museum in downtown Fort Bragg Monday July 20, 2015. There is little public support for a name change for Fort Bragg, California after various African American groups objected to the naming after a Confederate army general, Braxton Bragg. Brant Ward / The Chronicle

Junipero Serra

Despite his saintly status in the Catholic Church that led many monuments, schools and statues to bear his name in the Bay Area, Father Serra has become a controversial figure over his torture and suppression of American Indians. Stanford University established a commission to consider renaming dorms, a street and even the university&rsquos address, which bear Serra&rsquos name.


Am I Related to a Confederate General?

"My cousin on my mom's side of the family has done extensive research on our family background. From what she has obtained thus far, it appears as if my mom's family are descendants of Gen. Braxton Bragg (Fort Bragg is named after him). There have been a few challenges trying to see all of the court paperwork to prove it. However, my great-great-great-grandfather lived on the Bragg plantation, and his first name was Tom. Additional information: Thomas Bragg, a homebuilder in Warrenton, N.C., was born May 5, 1778, and died Jan. 31, 1851. He married Margaret Crossland on Dec. 20, 1803, in Warren County, N.C. I also need to find out more about slave Sallie Bragg.

"I'm also looking for information about Frederick William Harrison, M.D., a graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1824 or 1825. He just disappeared until his will in 1863 in Brunswick County, Va." —Gazelle Williams

As you state, Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) was a Confederate general during the U.S. Civil War who is seen by many historians as having been instrumental in the Confederacy's failure in the West. A former U.S. military officer and a North Carolina native, he married Eliza (Elise) Brooks Ellis, a Louisianan who historian Judith Lee Haddock describes as the daughter of a wealthy sugar planter. Using her money, Braxton was also a successful sugar planter in Louisiana who owned more than 100 slaves (pdf).

You state that over the course of your family's research, there have been some difficulties in viewing all of the court paperwork on the Bragg family. You don't specify which types of records have been problematic, but there are a few alternative ways to locate court documents that may be of help in your research. The State Archives of North Carolina have several items pertaining to the Bragg family in their manuscript collection. We located a catalog entry in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System for the will of Thomas Bragg Sr., dated 1851 (call No. WB-5/94).

According to the research notes you provided, Thomas Bragg of Warrenton, N.C., died on Jan. 31, 1851, so it is possible that this document pertains to a member of the Bragg family you are researching. Other documents related to the Bragg family listed in the archives' catalog include several deeds, as well as the papers of Braxton Bragg and his brother, Thomas Bragg. We suggest that you contact the archives to learn more about their manuscript collection.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a number of databases available on its website , including North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970. If you have been unable to locate probate documents for certain members of the Bragg family, we suggest that you search this database for Warren County. The database contains digital images of these probate documents.

Town, county and state histories are another valuable resource for conducting genealogical research. In an email you cited The County of Warren North Carolina, 1586-1917 as one source used in previous research. Other books that may help you learn more about the Bragg family include Lives of Distinguished North Carolinians , by William Joseph Peele Biographical History of North Carolina, From Colonial Times to the Present , edited by Samuel A. Ashe et al. and Sketches of Old Warrenton, North Carolina: Traditions and Reminiscences of the Town and People Who Made It . A number of books are also available online through sites like Google Books, as well as through interlibrary loan with your local library.

In addition to local and state histories, newspapers oftentimes provide detailed information about a town and its residents. There are a number of free and subscription newspaper databases available online, such as Genealogy Bank and Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers . The State Archives of North Carolina also have several North Carolina newspapers available online , some of which date back to the 1750s.

Your family believes that Sallie Bragg, born circa 1795, may have been the mother of Thomas Bragg. You note that a 95-year-old woman named Sallie Bragg is listed in the household of John Eades in the 1870 U.S. federal census for Warrenton, but you are unsure if this individual is connected to Thomas Bragg. She is not listed with the Eades family in the 1860 census, but an 85-year-old female slave is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule for David B. Bragg of Lunenburg County, Va.

We checked the North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004, database, available at Ancestry.com, for the marriage of John Eades to determine if the maiden name of his wife, Susan, was "Bragg." We located a listing for the marriage of John Eades and Susannah Wilson in Warren County on Oct. 10, 1852. It is possible that the Eades or Wilson family had a connection to the Bragg family, so we recommend that you take a closer look at the family of John and Susannah (Wilson) Eades.

When you're reviewing deed and probate records for members of the Bragg family in Warren County, take note of other names listed on these records, including witnesses, to determine if any transactions took place with individuals named Eades or Wilson. Doing so may help you trace Sallie Bragg's location before she lived with John Eades.

We also recommend that you search the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules to see if an individual named Eades or Wilson of Warren County owned a female slave born circa 1795, which could be a match to Sallie Bragg. If you locate a match, we recommend that you search for probate records pertaining to that individual in order to determine if a slave named Sallie is mentioned in the document as part of his or her estate.

You note that you would also like to obtain more information about Dr. Frederick William Harrison. You write that he was a graduate of the University of North Carolina around 1824-1825, but you have very little information about him from that time period until his 1863 will in Brunswick County.

We performed a quick search and located several sources that may be of interest to you. One collection, housed at the University of North Carolina's Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, is the Thomas Williamson Jones Letters, 1808-1836 (collection No. 03684-z). Jones graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1810 and practiced medicine in Brunswick County. The letters in this collection were mainly written by Jones' family members, but some of the letters were from students at UNC, including two letters from Frederick William Harrison, dated March 3, 1823, and April 10, 1824. A digitized version of Harrison's April 10, 1824, letter is available online.

In Kemp B. Battle's History of the University of North Carolina, From its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789-1868, we located an alumni listing for Frederick William Harrison of the Class of 1825. His residence is listed as Eastville, Va., which is located in Northampton County. We also located a reference to Dr. Frederick William Harrison in an article by Henry W. Lewis titled "The Dugger-Dromgoole Duel," which was published in the July 1957 issue of the North Carolina Historical Review.

A duel took place in Virginia in November 1837 between Daniel Dugger and George C. Drumgoole. According to this article, on the night before the duel took place, Dr. Frederick W. Harrison sent Dr. W.W. Wilkins a note to meet with him. Harrison was to accompany George Drumgoole to the duel, but he learned that Dugger did not bring a physician with him. Harrison knew that Wilkins was acquainted with Dugger, and asked that he speak with Dugger about the matter. Wilkins tried to dissuade them from dueling but was unsuccessful. Doctors Harrison and Wilkins attended the duel and provided medical care to Dugger after he was shot, but he died a few weeks later from his wounds. It is noted in this article that Harrison resided in Eastville.

With this new information regarding Harrison's residence, there are several sources you can check for additional documentation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Family History Library has a number of records available on microfilm, including land records and tax lists for Northampton County, Va. These microfilm reels are available for rental through your local Family History Center or library.


The linear system was far from an outdated relic that led to higher casualties and prolonged the war. Indeed, regimental officers on both sides of the conflict found the formations and maneuvers in use since the era of the French Revolution to be indispensable to the survival of their units on the battlefield. The training soldiers received in this system, combined with their extensive experience in combat, allowed small units a high level of articulation and effectiveness.

Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

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Now, detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment.


Braxton Bragg, American soldier.

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Contents list

Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

Expand/collapse Series 1. Congressional Papers, 1851-1853 and undated.

Chiefly political correspondence of John Bragg with constituents and other politicians while he was serving as a Democratic United States representative. Many of the letters are related to land claims, pensions, public offices, and requests for public documents. Some are related to postal issues and routes, including an 1853 embezzlement at the Mobile, Ala., post office. Also included are letters commenting on national and Alabama politics including Democratic Party business, candidates, elections, proceedings of the Alabama legislature, and specific political issues including states rights, American commercial interests in Mexico and Panama, and Native American affairs. Some letters of this period are from John's brothers, Thomas, describing North Carolina politics, and Braxton, discussing Army legislation and the United States Department of War. There are also a few lists of Alabama constituents and scattered personal letters and invitations.


Are you an author?

Sweeping away many of the myths that have long surrounded Pickett's Charge, Earl Hess offers the definitive history of the most famous military action of the Civil War. He transforms exhaustive research into a moving narrative account of the assault from both Union and Confederate perspectives, analyzing its planning, execution, aftermath, and legacy.

During the Civil War, neither the Union nor the Confederate army could have operated without effective transportation systems. Moving men, supplies, and equipment required coordination on a massive scale, and Earl J. Hess’s Civil War Logistics offers the first comprehensive analysis of this vital process. Utilizing an enormous array of reports, dispatches, and personal accounts by quartermasters involved in transporting war materials, Hess reveals how each conveyance system operated as well as the degree to which both armies accomplished their logistical goals.

In a society just realizing the benefits of modern travel technology, both sides of the conflict faced challenges in maintaining national and regional lines of transportation. Union and Confederate quartermasters used riverboats, steamers, coastal shipping, railroads, wagon trains, pack trains, cattle herds, and their soldiers in the long and complicated chain that supported the military operations of their forces. Soldiers in blue and gray alike tried to destroy the transportation facilities of their enemy, firing on river boats and dismantling rails to disrupt opposing supply lines while defending their own means of transport.

According to Hess, Union logistical efforts proved far more successful than Confederate attempts to move and supply its fighting forces, due mainly to the North’s superior administrative management and willingness to seize transportation resources when needed. As the war went on, the Union’s protean system grew in complexity, size, and efficiency, while that of the Confederates steadily declined in size and effectiveness until it hardly met the needs of its army. Indeed, Hess concludes that in its use of all types of military transportation, the Federal government far surpassed its opponent and thus laid the foundation for Union victory in the Civil War.

The most overlooked phase of the Union campaign to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, was the time period from May 18 to May 25, 1863, when Ulysses S. Grant closed in on the city and attempted to storm its defenses. Federal forces mounted a limited attack on May 19 and failed to break through Confederate lines. After two days of preparation, Grant's forces mounted a much larger assault. Although the Army of the Tennessee had defeated Confederates under John C. Pemberton at Champion Hill on May 16 and Big Black River on May 17, the defenders yet again repelled Grant's May 22 attack. The Gibraltar of the Confederacy would not fall until a six-week siege ended with Confederate surrender on July 4.

In Storming Vicksburg, military historian Earl J. Hess reveals how a combination of rugged terrain, poor coordination, and low battlefield morale among Union troops influenced the result of the largest attack mounted by Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Using definitive research in unpublished personal accounts and other underutilized archives, Hess makes clear that events of May 19–22 were crucial to the Vicksburg campaign's outcome and shed important light on Grant's generalship, Confederate defensive strategy, and the experience of common soldiers as an influence on battlefield outcomes.

The 1862 battle of Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas was one of the largest Civil War engagements fought on the western frontier, and it dramatically altered the balance of power in the Trans-Mississippi. This study of the battle is based on research in archives from Connecticut to California and includes a pioneering study of the terrain of the sprawling battlefield, as well as an examination of soldiers' personal experiences, the use of Native American troops, and the role of Pea Ridge in regional folklore.

"A model campaign history that merits recognition as a major contribution to the literature on Civil War military operations.--Journal of Military History

"Shines welcome light on the war's largest battle west of the Mississippi.--USA Today

"With its exhaustive research and lively prose style, this military study is virtually a model work of its kind.--Publishers Weekly

"A thoroughly researched and well-told account of an important but often neglected Civil War encounter.--Kirkus Reviews

"Offers the rich tactical detail, maps, and order of battle that military scholars love but retains a very readable style combined with liberal use of recollections of the troops and leaders involved.--Library Journal

"This book is assured of a place among the best of all studies that have been published on Civil War campaigns.--American Historical Review

"Destined to become a Civil War classic and a model for writing military history.--Civil War History

"A campaign study of a caliber that all should strive for and few will equal.--Journal of American History

"An excellent and detailed book in all accounts, scholarly and readable, with both clear writing and excellent analysis. . . . Utterly essential . . . for any serious student of the Civil War.--Civil War News

For decades, military historians have argued that the introduction of the rifle musket-with a range five times longer than that of the smoothbore musket-made the shoulder-to-shoulder formations of linear tactics obsolete. Author Earl J. Hess challenges this deeply entrenched assumption. He contends that long-range rifle fire did not dominate Civil War battlefields or dramatically alter the course of the conflict because soldiers had neither the training nor the desire to take advantage of the musket rifle's increased range. Drawing on the drill manuals available to officers and a close reading of battle reports, Civil War Infantry Tactics demonstrates that linear tactics provided the best formations and maneuvers to use with the single-shot musket, whether rifle or smoothbore.

The linear system was far from an outdated relic that led to higher casualties and prolonged the war. Indeed, regimental officers on both sides of the conflict found the formations and maneuvers in use since the era of the French Revolution to be indispensable to the survival of their units on the battlefield. The training soldiers received in this system, combined with their extensive experience in combat, allowed small units a high level of articulation and effectiveness.

Unlike much military history that focuses on grand strategies, Hess zeroes in on formations and maneuvers (or primary tactics), describing their purpose and usefulness in regimental case studies, and pinpointing which of them were favorites of unit commanders in the field. The Civil War was the last conflict in North America to see widespread use of the linear tactical system, and Hess convincingly argues that the war also saw the most effective tactical performance yet in America's short history.

Civil War Supply and Strategy stands as a sweeping examination of the decisive link between the distribution of provisions to soldiers and the strategic movement of armies during the Civil War. Award-winning historian Earl J. Hess reveals how that dynamic served as the key to success, especially for the Union army as it undertook bold offensives striking far behind Confederate lines. How generals and their subordinates organized military resources to provide food for both men and animals under their command, he argues, proved essential to Union victory.

The Union army developed a powerful logistical capability that enabled it to penetrate deep into Confederate territory and exert control over select regions of the South. Logistics and supply empowered Union offensive strategy but limited it as well heavily dependent on supply lines, road systems, preexisting railroad lines, and natural waterways, Union strategy worked far better in the more developed Upper South. Union commanders encountered unique problems in the Deep South, where needed infrastructure was more scarce. While the Mississippi River allowed Northern armies to access the region along a narrow corridor and capture key cities and towns along its banks, the dearth of rail lines nearly stymied William T. Sherman’s advance to Atlanta. In other parts of the Deep South, the Union army relied on massive strategic raids to destroy resources and propel its military might into the heart of the Confederacy.

As Hess’s study shows, from the perspective of maintaining food supply and moving armies, there existed two main theaters of operation, north and south, that proved just as important as the three conventional eastern, western, and Trans-Mississippi theaters. Indeed, the conflict in the Upper South proved so different from that in the Deep South that the ability of Federal officials to negotiate the logistical complications associated with army mobility played a crucial role in determining the outcome of the war.


Watch the video: Braxton Bragg. Wikipedia audio article (May 2022).