Braxton Bragg was one of the most controversial generals, from both sides, in the war, General Braxton Bragg was the poster-boy of Confederate leadership. Strict and confident in his tactical abilities, Bragg would have his finest hour of the war at Chickamauga.
This win for the Confederacy was the only one they would receive in the Western theater. General Bragg’s problem was when he was given the opportunity to shine he would refuse to act and would either stay neutral or lose.
One example of his refusal to act was when the Union army attacked Fort Fisher near the end of the war. General Bragg allowed through no defensive counter attacks for the Union to take the fort.
This was of little consequence to the Civil war’s outcome as that was previously sealed the month before.
Such a stickler for details was Bragg that he once gave himself a written dispute while serving the dual roles of company commander and post quartermaster. This was unheard of at a time when Confederate Generals were needed to show some flexibility.
Born in Warrenton, North Carolina in 1817, Bragg graduated from West Point in 1837. His brother and father serviced his educational pursuits prior to him being a cadet. Unfortunately, Bragg’s mother had served time in prison when he was a young boy. This fact burdened Bragg greatly as a young man and into West Point.
He faced constant ridicule that would not cease until he was appointed commander of the artillery brigade in the Mexican War. His reputation was entrenched in that conflict as a brave leader and disciplined officer.
At the start of the Civil War, General Bragg was sent to Louisiana to fight the Union forces. His first commanding role was at Shiloh where he led the Confederate forces against Grants army.
The Union forces with their superior numbers easily ran the Southern forces off and General Bragg took the blame himself. This was customary for Bragg as he was said to be the toughest on himself. General Bragg’s career as a Civil War general is one that is not spectacular.
His leadership qualities never came into full view and as a commander for the Confederate army, he suffered a few defeats. Some of the later battles that General Bragg commanded in were no-contest where the Union army outnumbered the Confederate army three to one.
Adding to his misery as a leader, Bragg had the worst in assistance from his Confederate colleagues. The jury remains undecided on the final verdict of his competency as a leader.
After General Bragg surrendered his final time at Durham Station, he served as the state of Alabama’s chief engineer. Having a love of building things, Bragg was in the best mood of his life in Alabama per his memoirs. He left Alabama and went to the beach town of Galveston, Texas. General Bragg suffered during the Civil War.
His leadership qualities were constantly in question and ridicule followed him all his early days as a young man for something out of his control. General Braxton Bragg passed away while walking down the sunny streets of Galveston with a dear friend. The day was September 27, 1876. He is buried not in Galveston but in Mobile, Alabama.