Chattanooga

By this time, many of Bragg's officers had developed a great dislike for their stern, quick-tempered commander. They disagreed with many of his strategic decisions and did not feel any loyalty to him. As time passed, this dissatisfaction with Bragg could be detected throughout his army. "None of General Bragg's soldiers ever loved him," wrote Sam Watkins, a soldier in the Army of Tennessee. "They had no faith in his ability as a general. He was looked upon as a merciless tyrant. . . . He loved to crush the spirit of his men. The more of a hang-dog look they had about them, the better was General Bragg pleased. Not a single soldier in the whole army ever loved or respected him." By mid-1863, hostility toward Bragg had become so great that some of his officers had begun urging Davis to relieve the general of his command.

Davis ignored these calls, though. Instead, he watched with great interest as Bragg marched on Chattanooga in an effort to finish off Rosecrans's battered Army of the Cumberland. In October, Bragg surrounded the city and began a siege (a blockade designed to prevent the city from receiving food and

Major William Grady Csa
Union major general William S. Rosecrans (above) fought against Confederate general Braxton Bragg in several battles. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

other supplies) in hopes of starving the Union troops into surrendering.

As the weeks passed, however, the situation at Chattanooga began to turn against Bragg. Union general Ulysses S. Grant replaced Rosecrans with General George H. Thomas (1816-1870), who managed to open a supply route into the city. At the same time, Bragg's relationships with his officers and troops continued to worsen with each passing day. On November 24, Grant ordered an attack on Bragg's army in hopes of breaking the siege. This offensive easily broke through the Confederate Army, which fought in half-hearted fashion. The following day, Grant's forces pushed the entire Army of Tennessee out of the area and back into Georgia. The poor performance of Bragg's army at the Battle of Chattanooga shocked Davis and convinced him that Bragg could no longer manage his men effectively. Davis quickly replaced him with General Joseph E. Johnston (1807-1891; see entry).

Bragg spent most of the rest of the war serving as a military advisor to Davis in Richmond. In March 1865, he returned to the Army of Tennessee to take command of one of its divisions. But by this time Union control of the South was nearly complete, and all of the Confederate armies surrendered over the next few weeks. After the war was over, Bragg moved to Texas and settled in Galveston. He died on September 27, 1876.

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