Braxton Bragg: the most hated man of the Confederacy.

Annotated Bibliography

Hess, Earl J. 2017. Braxton Bragg: the most hated man of the Confederacy.

Earl Hess sought to address the controversy that has been about General Bragg. The author has tactically explained the Braxton Bragg’s contemporaries by beginning with the process of making Braxton Bragg a big hero, a bloody disciplinarian and outdated stooge all in one setting. One weakness about this book is hard to gain appropriate view about Bragg due to his kaleidoscopic perspectives of his personality and generalization.

Martin, Samuel J. General Braxton Bragg, C.S.A. McFarland, 2011.

Martin focuses to discuss the history of General Braxton Bragg from his childhood to adulthood.  The author has made his points clear by beginning with describing the life of General Braxton Bragg’s father. The author has then narrowed down to focus on the life of Braxton Bragg vividly discussing the success and failure of Bragg. The author has also explained step by step the operations and military commands that General Bragg undertook. This book is therefore relevant to this research exercise since it has clearly described the contributions and operations that General Braxton did that influenced the world.

Powell, David. The Chickamauga Campaign: A Mad Irregular Battle: From the Crossing of Tennessee River Through the First Day, August 22 – September 19, 1863. Savas Beatie, 2014.

David Powell sought out to explore the Chickamauga battle in detail.  The author has made strong assertions clearly bringing out the picture of the battle of Chickamauga basing it on the scope, size, desperate methods of fighting, fascinated characters cast and the complexity of Chickamauga. The author further intended to fill up the literature that lags about Chickamauga. This book is important and suitable for this research since it explains and lay out the Chickamauga and Bragg’s history and events.

Stinson, Robert Daniel. “Braxton Bragg on Leadership: A Historical Case Study on Leader-Member Exchange in the Army of Tennessee,” 2013, 350.

A 2013 study undertaken by Stinson Robert Daniel centered on analyzing and describing the quality of the interrelationship between General Braxton Bragg, a Tennessee army commander with his junior militants with regards to existing, leadership dynamics focusing on relationship-centered leadership model. This article relates to this research as it covers the points of interest of the research which is the life of Braxton Bragg.

Woodworth, Steven E. The Chickamauga Campaign. SIU Press, 2010.

Woodworth Steven intends to bring out the course of events that occurred in the Chickamauga campaign. He has further incorporated and emphasizes on life history and historical events and mandates of the military leaders and commanders during that period. This book is however significantly relevant and suitable to facilitate this research efficiently as it has vivid points that answer the questions.

Braxton Brag

The Battle of Chickamauga is regarded as the most deadly battle in the American history that lasted for only two days. Comments from various authors, historians, photographs, and the real war scenes recall the everlasting memories of the clash that occurred between the north and south[1]. The documentary video about the Battle of Chickamauga produced by Tony Long subject viewers to the real action with its performed events commemorating the heroes of the battle, victories, and tragedies. The battle had brave leaders such as Braxton. Braxton Bragg was a military officer of the United States who was a general of the Confederation during Civil Wars that occurred between 1861 and 1865[2]. Being the commander of the Tennessee Army, he contributed a lot to world affairs and took part in various operations such as the Tennessee and Kentucky operations. This paper is going to discuss Braxton Brag, Battle of Chickamauga, the operations he conducted and how he influenced the world.

The Battle of Chickamauga was considered as the most deadly battle of the Civil war. It was a battle that General Braxton Bragg conflicted with General William Rosecrans. However, Rosecrans advanced on Braggs’ army in Tullahoma; TN[3]. Bragg received reports of enemy troop advancements and fearing flooding from rains, moves his troops to Chattanooga. General Rosecrans bombarded Chattanooga for nine days while moving most of his army across the river to the south of Chattanooga, unknown to Bragg[4]. When Bragg learned of the Union army’s movement, he feared for the supply line out of Atlanta, moving his forces south.

            Bragg learned of a division of Rosecrans army that is stuck in a cove and orders a general to attack. The general does not attack in time, allowing the escape of the Union division. This poor command climate and ineffective combat leadership alert Rosecrans’s army to Bragg’s movement and Rosecrans started to consolidate his army on the Chickamauga Creek[5]. While sulking about his defeat for three days, Bragg did not realize that Union forces are spread too thin and realized Chattanooga was left defenseless. Bragg turned his army north towards Chattanooga, crossing the steep-sided creek. The Confederates were engaged by Union riflemen for a day and eventually make it across the creek[6].  While the rebels were being held back, General Thomas moved his army to the north in an attempt to cut off rebel forces from moving to Chattanooga. General James Longstreet, second in command to General Robert Lee, moved his 12,000 men from Virginia to North Georgia hoping to take command of the Army of Tennessee[7]. Upon his arrival, Bragg split his forces and gave command of the half that belonged to the General who failed to attack the Union division to General Longstreet.

Moreover, in the course of Tullahoma campaign in 1863 during summer, Bragg departed Chattanooga and shifted to Georgia as Rosecrans were after him[8]. At the point of is fallback, Bragg was able to take a significant backups to his Tennessee camp, but later on in September of 1863, he was counter-attacked during the Chickamuaga fight[9]. With assistance from military belonging to General James Longstreet, Bragg was able to launch an effective offense that fumbled the Union leaving it useless and almost destroying Rosecrans’s army.

Bragg set his troops up to attack the Union line the following day, starting from right to left; however, the attack was supposed to be initiated from the left as a surprise. However, the same general who failed to attack the Union in the cove was also the same one who was to attack the left[10]. He was not told to attack at dawn to initiate, saving the Union Army from destruction. Eventually, Bragg learned of the mistake and ordered the attack to initiate. Overnight, the Union army had managed to set up defenses, making the Rebel assault useless. General Longstreet arranges his forces as a sledgehammer to pound the union lines and at the same time he advances of the line, a miscommunication with the Union army opened up a gap in their defenses and 10,000 Confederate soldiers pierce the line[11]. Upon seeing this, General Rosecrans fell back to a secondary route to Chattanooga, order General Sheridan’s reserve troops to and stop the Union retreat. General Rosecrans fears the fall of Chattanooga and goes to Chattanooga to reinforce the city while his Chief of Staff, future President of the U.S. General James Garfield orders the general withdrawal of Union forces.

            In Chattanooga Rosecrans is in horrible shape, and exhausted to the point of needing help down from his horse. Back on the Confederate side, Bragg was so out of touch of what was happening that he failed to exploit the situation and did not send Longstreet to pursue the fleeting Union army[12]. By the time Bragg conducts follow-up operations the Union army was inside the defenses of Chattanooga. Rosecrans is shaken after the battle, retreating within Chattanooga, causing Bragg to besiege him there. As winter sets in, President Lincoln loses confidence in Rosecrans and wants General Grant to take command of forces in Chattanooga[13]. Grant removes Rosecrans and gives a command to Thomas, whose was then known as “The Rock of Chickamauga.” Grant and Thomas broke the siege of Chattanooga, driving Bragg and his army deeper into Georgia.

The Chickamauga contest attested to being outstanding vital confederate triumph for theatres in western countries leading to a number of casualties exceeding 30,000[14]. Regardless of Bragg’s vivid advantage, he refused to exploit on his triumph once again but rather decided to allow the Union Army to evacuate to Chattanooga. However, in 1863 Braxton Bragg waged a war against the city but was defeated by General Ulysses S. in the Missionary Ridge[15]. Braxton Bragg surrendered and withdrawing his army to Georgia at the same time, despite the bitter criticism that he received from the subordinate officers under him. He then resigned by handing over his resignation to Davis later after some while and his position was taken by General Joseph E. Johnston in 1863.

Later on following his dismissal and being freed off his post as the military-general, Braxton Bragg was nevertheless given a position of military advisory for Jefferson Davis who was the Confederation’s President[16]. While serving at the military advisory position, Braxton Brag was able to resolve the process of recruiting of the Confederacy collectively with the scheme of prisoner-of-wars. In addition, he succeeded in coordinating with Richmond’s defenses. With the intention of making a report to Joseph Johnston who was the general on execution covering the entire Atlanta Campaigns Braxton Bragg travelled to Georgia on July of 1864. He also acted and ensured that he found his replacement by military-General John Bell Hood[17].

Braxton Bragg took over and became the commander of Wilmington defenses in 1864, North Carolina[18]. This was one of the ports of last resort that the Confederate used to blockade those retreating then later superintended the whole Northern Carolina and Southern Virginia departments. He later ended up commanding the defenses of Columbia, Augusta, and Savannah to the sea. Braxton Bragg retreated to Wilmington in 1865 then led the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, though I was not capable of preventing the port from ending up being controlled by the Union[19]. In March 1865, Braxton Bragg terminated the battle by a short come back to the Tennessee military having served being the military superior in the Battle of Bentonville[20]. The Union military arrested Braxton in the year 1865 then bailed him after a while.

            To sum up, Braxton Bragg has participated in major events particularly wars and operations that greatly influenced the world. Indeed Braxton Bragged put up much effort to maintain the army he commanded protected and well informed. General Braxton took the opportunity to recover from his downfall to appropriately utilize and control his army. As a result, General Braxton influenced the style of leadership across the world; that is a leader or anyone in charge should learn from their lessons from the past and gain advantage out of it in order to succeed just like General Bragg did when he failed. General Braxton’s life history surely advocates for learning out of one’s failures to make an outstanding success.