Uniform of Gen Braxton Bragg CSA

One of his subordinate generals threatened to slap his face and force him to fight. Others plotted against him, and there were even stories that in the war with Mexico one of his men tried to assassinate him. Needless to say, Braxton Bragg was not a popular man.

This most controversial of future Confederate chieftains was born

March 22, 1817, in North Carolina, and graduated high in his class at West Point in 1837, when he went into the artillery. After service against the Seminoles in Florida, he went into the Mexican conflict as a captain serving under General Zachary Taylor. Bragg and his battery performed excellently at the Battle of Buena Vista where he was instrumental in

Battle Buenavista FlagBraxton Bragg

the victory, and Taylor's expression "a little more grape, Captain Bragg" made him something of a household name. But he also had a reputation for being contentious, and in 1856 he left the army to become a Louisiana sugar planter.

When Louisiana seceded in January 1861, Bragg led the state militia that seized the Federal arsenal at Baton Rouge, and soon after President Davis made him a brigadier general and sent him to Pensacola, Florida. The first year of the war passed him by, however, until he was called to northern Mississippi by Albert Sidney Johnston as he built an army to drive the Yankees out of west Tennessee and Kentucky. Bragg commanded a corps under Johnston in the Battle of Shiloh and fought well, winning promotion to full rank general, and in June 1862 he took command of the Army of Tennessee after Davis relieved the out-of-favor Beauregard.

In the fall of 1862 he led his army into Kentucky and was initially successful before being forced out of the state again. He fought again at Stones River in middle Tennessee, and was forced to retire, but he came back in September to fight and win the Battle of Chickamauga, the most decisive field victory the Army of Tennessee would ever win. Bragg lost its benefits when he failed to pursue the beaten foe vigorously.

Below and right: General Braxton Bragg was not liked by anyone, it seems, except the important one: Jeff Davis.

General Braxton Bragg Images

Below and right: General Braxton Bragg was not liked by anyone, it seems, except the important one: Jeff Davis.

Braxton Bragg Dressed Uniform

Instead he besieged the Federals at Chattanooga, but was driven off in a disastrous rout by newly arrived U. S. Grant in November. Disgraced, Bragg had no choice but to resign

Davis, who always felt a fondness and trust for Bragg, made him his military advisor through most of 1864, and then in 1865 Bragg again held small commands in North Carolina until the war's end. He turned to engineering after the war, but on September 27, 1876, fell dead in the street at Galveston. Few who served under him would mourn his passing.

From the front, Bragg's uniform blouse is smart and in accordance with Confederate regulations The basic gray color is correct, as are the white sleeve cuffs and upright collar. The buttons are in pairs rather than equi-distant, but that was a minor idiosyncrasy compared with some, such as Beauregard. The badges of rank - three stars, of which the central one is slightly larger than the other two - and the surrounding wreath, all in gold, are also correct.

From the side, Bragg's blouse shows him wearing a belt with the correct general officer's four rows of gold braid, with the Confederate crest on the buckle. The view also shows the intricacies of the sleeve braiding (also known as "froggmg") which, for a general officer, was four "wales" (ridge of cloth) wide.

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