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[civilwarwest] Re: If not Bragg, who?

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  • D. W. Plezia
    I am ambivalent about General Bragg and his abilities. I am more interested in the careers of others. But, your comments here gave me a new insight.
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 31, 2000
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      I am ambivalent about General Bragg and his abilities. I am more
      interested in the careers of others. But, your comments here gave me a
      new insight. Probably not new to others, but I'm a little slow on the
      up-take at times.

      General Bragg's current reputation has been created in it's current
      form by "THE HISTORIANS".

      Certainly Johnston's report to Davis is more reflective of Bragg's
      ability than the interpretation's offered by "THE HISTORIANS", is it
      not? "THE HISTORIANS" and "Lost Cause" theorists have an agenda in
      painting characters one way or another. They perpetuate outright lies
      hoping to provoke you to buy books and advance their agenda!
      Additionally, I think these situations occur because supporters of the
      "Lost Cause" theory look for scapegoats or heros, seldom anything in
      between.

      Therefore, IMHO, Bragg is cast into the "scapegoat" group, while Lee is
      the beau ideal of "Lost Cause" defenders. So, if we seek knowledge of
      an individuals abilities and conduct, we must go to original sources
      and writings as far as possible, rather than depend on others
      interpretations. And if original sources are unavailable we should
      read more than a single opinion or book before we form an opinion? Of
      course, if you publish the opinion you have formed, in a chat room,
      discussion group or some other media, and your opinions differ from
      "Convention Wisdom" you may be labled "A Revisionist"!

      I read some material on Bragg in Connally's "Autumn of Glory" and I
      came away with an understanding that Bragg seemed to be going thru some
      mental problems at the time of Tullahoma and after Dalton. I read also
      that Bragg's wife was seriously ill with Typhoid, prior to Dalton. If
      your curious, read Connally's comments regarding Bragg's
      accomplishments on pp 277-8. He didn't do too bad!

      Don Plezia

      the coys <thecoy-@...> wrote:
      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=551
      > In Steven E. Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The
      Failure of Confederate
      > Command in the West, Lawrence, University of Kansas Press, 1990.
      >
      > On page 196, "Johnston arrived at Tullahoma around the end of January
      and was impressed by
      > what he found. It was true that some of the generals were hostile to
      Bragg, particularly
      > those whose failures at Murfreesboro Bragg had pointed out"
      >
      > This then goes into several quotes by Cheatham and McCown stating
      they wouldn't fight for
      > Bragg anymore. Then continues with:
      >
      > "A few other generals such as Polk and Hardee were also
      disgruntled, but Johnston found
      > that the rank and file were mostly in good spirits and showed no
      signs of a lack of
      > confidence in their commander. He was also impressed with the
      condition of the army.
      > Thanks to Bragg's administrative genius, it was well clothed,
      healthy, and well
      > disciplined. Moreover, [pg 197] by early February, it numbered more
      than the total taken
      > into battle on the last day of 1862, thanks to Braggs efficiency in
      rounding up stragglers
      > and enforcing the conscript act in Tennessee. Johnston fully
      approved of Bragg's conduct
      > of the Murfreesboro campaign, and recommended that Bragg be retained
      in command. If Davis
      > should remove Bragg, Johnston concluded, the job should not go to
      anyone 'in the army or
      > engaged in this investigation'; that is, Johnston did not wish to
      take the helm for
      > himself."
      >
      > Kevin S. Coy.
      >
      >
      >
      > rhines@... wrote:
      >
      > > Johnston did want command I believe. Joe Johnston did not want
      people
      > > to think he was using his position to take command. It was an honor
      > > thing. He knew the need for change, but he also knew he would be the
      > > one to take command. Johnston's honor meant all to him, which in my
      > > opinion is what kept him in hot water with the hierarchy of the
      > > Confederacy. To have spoken against Bragg under those circumstances
      was
      > > below his idea of honor so in hopes that Davis was more interested
      in
      > > winning the war, Johnstonfelt obligated to put Bragg in the best
      light.
      > > Will look up what I have but I don't believe off hand that Johnston
      > > gave Bragg a totally clean slate, but did infact invite someone from
      > > Richmond to have a look for themselves. Will check
      > >
      >
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