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
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!
the coys <thecoy-@...
> 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
> 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
> Kevin S. Coy.
> rhines@... wrote:
> > Johnston did want command I believe. Joe Johnston did not want
> > 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
> > below his idea of honor so in hopes that Davis was more interested
> > winning the war, Johnstonfelt obligated to put Bragg in the best
> > 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