Bragg’s second thoughts

Gen. Braxton Bragg weathered the storm of criticism from Gen. James Longstreet and Bragg’s subordinate commanders in the fall of 1863. Confederate President Jefferson Davis declined their collective insistence that Bragg be replaced.

But even Bragg came to regret Davis’s support, not long after his army lost their “impregnable” position atop Missionary Ridge to Gen. Grant’s attacking troops.

In a private letter to Davis, according to historian James McPherson in his Battle Cry of Freedom, Bragg offered his resignation and said:

“‘The disaster admits of no palliation,’ he wrote. ‘I fear we both erred in the conclusion for me to retain command here after the clamor raised against me.'”

Davis replaced Bragg with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston who, having dithered in Mississippi until Grant took Vicksburg, surely was no improvement.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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