Braxton Bragg, commanding general of the Army of the Tennessee, did not endear himself to Gen. Longstreet or his command after Chickamauga. The following piece from the May, 1895 edition of Confederate Veteran Magazine may help explain the generally reticent general:
“Dr. S. H. Stout, now of Texas, has written a paper upon Gen. Braxton Bragg for the Tennessee Historical Society, of which [Stout] has long been an honored member, and gives permission for such extracts as may be desired…. After an interesting historic introduction, he says that Gen. Bragg’s career as a Commander of armies, and his intimate personal and official relations with President Davis, influenced the promotion or the degradation of many general officers.
“Every expression, therefore, of Gen. Bragg concerning individuals was a subject of comment, favorable or otherwise, as he seemed to regard the applicant for promotion.
“He was ‘industry personified.’ While Commanding in the field he was always officially accessible, but could rarely be approached socially.
“Members of his staff, cognizant of his severe and continuous mental and physical labors, were afraid he would not take nutriment enough to sustain life. They would often send his meals to his desk and urge him to eat them there. He was a pattern of sobriety, and had not the slightest epicurean proclivity. His dispatches and all of his official papers, written by himself, were well to the point, and models of clearness and conciseness.”
More from this lengthy essay at a later date. Bragg’s worth it. His historical image is even getting some polish these days, among his admirers, who consider him a scapegoat for the failings of others.
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