Re: Bragg and Longstreet
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
Please find my responses below.
> I believe what you are referring to is the cabal against Bragg
> during the Chattanooga seige.
Yes, I am.
> The long simmering resentment of some of the major generals under
> Bragg found a spokesperson in Longstreet, thinking his fame,
> prestige and contribution to victories would be enough to finally
> persuade Davis to remove Bragg. This topic has been thoroughly
> hashed over, and you can search the group messages if you would
> like to read those discussions.
I appreciate the response and your analysis of the situation. You
might be very well correct with your assumptions. However, I am
disappointed that you intimate that this needn't be dicussed any
further as longer serving members have previously discussed it
ie. "thoroughly hashed over" the subject. This leaves me in a
quandary as to whether I should continue posting if they're so
obviously 'old hat'. I would like to think that a new perspective
would be of at least some interest!
>However, that was all AFTER Chickamauga. Up until the time of the
>battle, I don't believe Bragg had any reason to treat Longstreet
>like an unloved step-child. When Longstreet got off the train,
>Bragg didn't even have the decency to send an aide to greet and
>guide him to the battlefield or his HQs. In fact, Longstreet was
>nearly captured by enemy pickets. Much time was wasted, and
>Longstreet ended up assuming command of the left wing in the middle
>of the night. Perhaps Bragg was jealous, or fearful that Longstreet
>was being considered as his replacement.
The point I was making illustrated the fact that there was no trust
between Bragg and his Officers at Chickamauga. The point I raised
was about a lack of communication between Bragg and Longstreet, and
that there was the possibility that fault shouldn't necessarily be
laid at the door of one person alone. However, much Bragg is used as
a 'whipping boy' by some. This reminds me of previous correspondence
with regards to Grant or Forrest, where some find it difficult to see
any qualities of leadership/skills in some and flaws/mistakes in
others. A bit like Shakespeare plays, where all the goodies are
virtuous and heroic paragons of virtue, and all the baddies are
hunched-backed scheming monsters. Life tells us that truth is
usually somewhere in between.
The fact that Longstreet was new to Bragg's Army does not preclude
the possibility that Bragg was suspicious of all his officers. A
suggestion that Longstreet was unaware of the difficulties in the
Army of the Tennessee, at the time of his transfer, would seem highly
improbable. I provide three examples to substantiate this
assumption. James Fremantle, the British observer, who met many of
the south's generals, described Bragg in late spring 1863 as the "...
least prepossesing of them". Fremantle had met Longstreet prior to
the transfer to the Army of Tennessee. Secondly, a confederate joke
displayed the lack of public confidence in Bragg saying that "he
would never get to heaven because the moment he was invited he would
fall back." Thirdly, Jerry Korn states in 'The Fight for
Chattanooga' that things prior to the battle of Chickamauga were so
bad between Bragg and his subordinates that "... Bragg had no
illusions about how he stood with his corps and division commanders:
They had told him, almost to a man, that they had no confidence in
him and that he ought to be replaced."
Finally, Longstreet would have been well aware of Polk's friendship
with Davis, and probably aware that Davis had almost replaced Bragg
after Perryville and Stones River after the first revolt by Bragg's
command. His later actions very much reflects his attitude to Bragg,
and displayed gross insubordination and refusal to follow orders. I
can provide examples of such, if I must. Right or wrong, Bragg was C-
in-C, and made Longstreet's behaviour out of order!
- Bragg had a lot of health problems, he suffered from chronic migranes, stomach ailments that probably led to his bouts with chronic dysentery, boils, and probably heart disease. Bragg also showed symptomes of manic-depression as well.Lee