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Re: Bragg and Longstreet

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  • Dave Smith
    ... wrote: snips ... Just a quick comment. The fact that Longstreet arrived at midnight before the morning of the Sept. 20 (second day)
    Message 1 of 189 , Aug 1, 2003
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
      <col_freemantle@y...> wrote:

      snips
      >
      > 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.

      Just a quick comment. The fact that Longstreet arrived at midnight
      before the morning of the Sept. 20 (second day) fight indicates that
      he had little time to form *any* opinion for the upcoming day's
      fight, nor to hear of anything from his wing subordinates.

      If Bragg was distrustful of everybody, including Longstreet, then he
      was incredibly stupid for giving him half of the army *before* he
      even showed up.
      >
      > 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.

      But that hardly suggests that Longstreet would have formed any
      opinion at all of Bragg from Fremantle. Most of my understanding is
      that Longstreet's arguments for the Western theater concentration
      reflected a macro (not a micro) view that the western Confederate
      army had pretty much not accomplished anything since Shiloh. Old
      Pete's arguments, made from Virginia, were more globally encompassing
      than pointed at any one general.

      After he met and fought under him, however, all bets were off.

      > 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."

      Heck, Lee was called "Granny" by his troops. There were all sorts of
      jokes, et al floating about everybody.

      > 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."

      Lee White will dispute this, of course. But Longstreet would not
      have known this; indeed, read Bushrod Johnson's description of the
      breakthrough at the Brotherton Cabin on Sept. 20. He's positively
      giddy ...
      >
      > 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.

      How and why? And what weight would he have given it? I think we
      tend to consider communications in the 1860's on par with our
      communications given today's Internet scene. Longstreet, operating
      in Virginia and Pennsylvania, was not going to have access to what
      was going on in Tennessee - with the exception of what filtered in to
      Confederate headquarters.

      > His later actions very much reflects his attitude to Bragg,
      > and displayed gross insubordination and refusal to follow orders.

      They did?

      > 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!

      Indeed it was - as far as the petition went. Was Longstreet lax in
      defending the Wauhatchie Valley. Certainly. Could it have been
      defended?

      Have you ever seen it? From Lookout Mountain? I suggest not.

      Bragg's deployment at Chattanooga was doomed from the start. And not
      because of his subordinates.

      Dave
    • LWhite64@aol.com
      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
      Message 189 of 189 , Jun 14, 2006
        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
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