Braxton Bragg

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Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) - born in Warren county, North Carolina, 22 Mar 1817. He died at Galveston, Texas, 27 Sep 1876. He graduated fifth in the Class of 1837 at the United States Military Academy, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the artillery.

General Braxton Bragg

He served in Florida during the Indian troubles, until 1843, then was in garrison at Fort Moultrie until 1845. In the Mexican War he served with distinguished gallantry, and was brevetted captain for conduct in defense of Fort Brown, major for valor at Monterey, and lieutenant-colonel for his special services at Buena Vista. He became captain, 3rd U.S. Artillery, Jun 1846, was on the staff of General Gaines, and on garrison duty until 1855, when he declined promotion to major of 1st U.S. Cavalry. He resigned 3 Jan 1856, and became a planter at Thibodeaux, Louisiana, serving his State, 1859-1861, as commissioner of public works.

U.S. Civil War

Before the start of the Civil War, Bragg was a colonel in the Louisiana Militia and was promoted to major general of the militia on February 20, 1861. He commanded the forces around New Orleans, Louisiana, until April 16, but his commission was transferred to be a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army on March 7, 1861. He commanded forces in Pensacola, Florida, and the Department of West Florida and was promoted to major general on September 12, 1861. His command was extended to Alabama, and then to the Army of Pensacola in October 1861.

Bragg marched his forces to Corinth, Mississippi, where he participated in the siege of Corinth and the Battle of Shiloh. After the Confederate commander, General Albert Sidney Johnston, was killed at Shiloh, General P.G.T. Beauregard assumed command. On that day, April 6, 1862, Bragg was promoted to full general, one of only eight in the history of the Confederacy, and assigned to command the Army of the Mississippi. Beauregard soon departed on account of illness and Bragg was appointed his successor as commander of the Army of Tennessee in June 1862.

In August 1862, Bragg invaded Kentucky, hoping that he could arouse supporters of the Confederate cause in the border states and drive the Union forces under his brother-in-law, Don Carlos Buell, beyond the Ohio River. He marched his army to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and moved out to the north from there, in cooperation with Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, who was commanding a separate force. He captured over 4,000 Union soldiers at Munfordville, and then moved his army to Bardstown. On October 4, 1862, he participated in the inauguration of Richard Hawes as the provisional Confederate governor of Kentucky. Bragg met Buell's army at Perryville on October 8 and won a tactical victory against him, but he withdrew his army back to Knoxville, representing a strategic failure for his invasion of Kentucky.

Bragg next prepared a campaign into central Tennessee. At the Battle of Stones River, he fought Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans to a draw, but withdrew his army from the field to Tullahoma, Tennessee, so that the Union had some justification for declaring a victory. Jefferson Davis empowered Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commander of all Confederate forces in the Western Theater, to relieve Bragg of command, but Johnston visited Bragg and decided to retain him. Bragg was then driven from Tullahoma to Chattanooga and into Georgia during Rosecrans's Tullahoma and Chickamauga campaigns.

On September 19–20, 1863, Bragg turned on the pursuing Rosecrans in northeastern Georgia and defeated him at the Battle of Chickamauga, the greatest Confederate victory in the Western Theater during the war. After the battle, Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Bragg laid siege to the city.

Despite nearly succeeding, the siege ultimately failed, when Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant relieved Rosecrans. In November, Grant and William T. Sherman decisively defeated Bragg at the Battle of Chattanooga and lifted the siege. Things came to a boil in the Confederate high command. Bragg's subordinate generals, Leonidas Polk, James Longstreet, and William J. Hardee all expressed their lack of confidence in Bragg's abilities to Jefferson Davis. Despite the close personal relationship that the Confederate president had with Bragg, Davis relieved him of his command and replaced him with Joseph E. Johnston, who would command the army in the Atlanta Campaign against Sherman.

In February 1864, Bragg was sent to Richmond, Virginia; his official orders read that he was "Charged with the conduct of military operations of the Confederate States", but he was essentially Davis's military advisor without a direct command, a post once held by Robert E. Lee. Later in 1864, having proved ineffective at that position, he commanded in turn the defenses of Wilmington, North Carolina, the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, the defenses of Augusta, Georgia, the defenses of Savannah, Georgia, the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, and in January, 1865, the defenses again of Wilmington. His disappointing performance in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher (2) caused the loss of the latter city. Near the end of the war he served as a corps commander (although his command was less than a division in size) in the Army of Tennessee under Joseph E. Johnston in the Carolinas Campaign against Sherman and fought at the Battle of Bentonville. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, Bragg accompanied Jefferson Davis as he fled through South Carolina and into Georgia.

Post War

After the war Bragg served as the superintendent of the New Orleans waterworks and later became the chief engineer for Alabama, supervising harbor improvements at Mobile. He moved to Texas and became a railroad inspector.

Bragg was walking down a street with a friend in Galveston, Texas, when he suddenly fell over dead. He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery,Mobile, Alabama.

  • Fort Bragg (1), a U.S. Army base in North Carolina, is named in his honor.
  • Fort Bragg (2), a U.S. Army fort in California, was named in his honor.

Father: Thomas Bragg (1778-1851)

Mother: Margaret Crossland (1790-1850)


  • Eliza(Elise) Brooks Ellis (1828-1908) born 1826, died 26 Sep 1908, married 7 Jun 1849, Alabama


  • Ella R. Bragg (1856-????)


  • (1833-1837) (Cadet), United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
  • (1837-1837) (2nd Lt., 1 Jul 1837) In Garrison, Fort Monroe, Virginia
  • (1837-1838) (2nd Lt) 3rd U.S. Artillery, 2nd Seminole War, Florida
  • (1838-1839) (1st Lt., 7 Jul 1838) 3rd U.S. Artillery, 2nd Seminole War, Florida
  • (1840-1840) (1st Lt.) Recruiting Service
  • (1840-1843) (1st Lt.) 3rd U.S. Artillery, 2nd Seminole War, Florida
  • (1843-1844) (1st Lt.) Fort Moultrie, South Carolina
  • (1845-1846) (1st Lt.) Military Occupation of Texas
  • (1846-1848) (Capt., 18 Jun 1846), Fort Brown, Fort Polk (1), Mexican War
  • (1849-1853) (Capt.) Jefferson Barracks, Missouri
  • (1853-1854) (Capt.) Company C, 3rd U.S. Artillery, Fort Gibson (1), Indian Territory
  • (1854-1855) (Capt.) Fort Washita, Indian Territory
  • (1855-1856) (Capt.) Leave of absence.He resigned his commission 3 Jan 1856
  • (1861) (Col., early 1861) Louisiana Militia
  • (1861) (Maj. Gen., 20 Feb 1861), Louisiana Militia Commanding Department of Louisiana
  • (1861) (Brig. Gen., CSA 7 Mar 1861) Commanding Pensacola, Florida
  • (1861) (Maj. Gen., CSA 12 Sep 1861) Commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida also Commanding Army of Pensacola
  • (1862) (Maj. Gen.) Commanding Army of the Mississippi
  • (1862) (Maj. Gen.) Commanding 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi
  • (1862-1863) (Gen. CSA, 12 Apr 1862) Commanding Army & Department of Tennessee
  • (1864-1865) (Gen. CSA) Commanding Department of North Carolina

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