Braxton Bragg — Facts and APUSH Notes

March 22, 1817–September 27, 1876

APUSH Definition — Braxton Bragg (1817–1876) was a soldier who rose to prominence as a Confederate General during the Civil War. He is remembered for his reputation as being one of the worst officers to serve in the war.

Braxton Bragg, Portrait

In the greatest Confederate victory in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, Braxton Bragg’s forces defeated Major General William Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863). Image Source: Library of Congress.

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Who was Civil War General Braxton Bragg?

Braxton Bragg was a full general in The Confederate Army who commanded the Army of Mississippi and the Army of Tennessee. He took part in the Battle of Shiloh, the Confederate Heartland Campaign, the Battle of Perryville, the Battle of Stones River, the Battle of Chickamauga, the Battle of Chattanooga, and the Battle of Bentonville.

As the Civil War came to an end, Bragg did not surrender. Instead, he joined President Davis, and the exiled Confederate cabinet, in exile near Abbeville, South Carolina. A Union cavalry patrol commanded by Lieutenant Samuel Phillips captured Bragg and his wife on May 10, 1865, near Concord, Georgia. Phillips paroled Bragg immediately and directed him to report to General James H. Wilson at Macon. When Bragg did not report, Wilson directed him to go home and remain there on parole as long as he would “abstain from all acts of hostility to the United States.”

After the Civil War, Bragg served as the superintendent of the New Orleans waterworks, the chief engineer for Alabama, and a railroad inspector in Texas.

Bragg died at Galveston, Texas, on September 27, 1876. His final resting place is in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama. In 1919, the U.S. Army opened Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, named in Bragg’s honor.

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Braxton Bragg Facts for APUSH

Birth and Early Life

  • Full Name: His full name was Braxton Bragg.
  • Parents: His parents were Thomas and Margaret (Crosland) Bragg.
  • Date of Birth: He was born on March 22, 1817.
  • Birthplace: He was born in Warrenton, North Carolina.

Family Tree

  • Spouse: His spouse was Eliza Brooks Ellis (1849).

Death

  • Death: He died on September 27, 1876.
  • Place of Death: He died in Galveston, Texas.
  • Burial: He is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama.

Education

He attended the United States Military Academy (1837).

Career

He worked as a military officer.

Career Summary

He was a Captain (USA), General (CSA), and commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

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Braxton Bragg — Summary of His Life and Accomplishments for APUSH

  • Braxton Bragg was the younger brother of Confederate Attorney General Thomas Bragg.
  • Bragg entered the United States Military Academy in 1833 and graduated fifth in his class in 1837.
  • He entered the United States Army as a second lieutenant on July 1, 1837.
  • As a member of the United States Army, Braxton Bragg fought in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842) and the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).
  • Braxton Bragg was promoted to the rank of captain in the United States Army in June 1846.
  • During the Mexican American War (1846–1848), Braxton Bragg became friends with Colonel Jefferson Davis, commander of the Mississippi Rifles and future President of the Confederate States of America.
  • Braxton Bragg married Eliza Brooks Ellis on June 7, 1849, at Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana.
  • In January 1856, Braxton Bragg resigned his commission in the United States Army to become Commissioner of Public Works for the State of Louisiana, as well as a sugar planter.
  • Before the start of the American Civil War, Braxton Bragg served as a colonel in the Louisiana Militia.
  • After Louisiana seceded from the Union (January 26, 1861), Braxton Bragg was promoted to major general of the militia on February 20, 1861, commanding the forces around New Orleans.
  • On March 7, 1861, Braxton Bragg was commissioned as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army and put in charge of the Department of West Florida.
  • Braxton Bragg was promoted to major general in the Confederate Army on September 12, 1861.
  • On October 9, 1861, he sent troops to attack Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island.
  • In 1862 Braxton Bragg’s command was combined with General A. S. Johnston’s army and Bragg served as a corps commander at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862).
  • Braxton Bragg was promoted to full General in the Confederate Army on April 12, 1862.
  • In June 1862 Braxton Bragg replaced P.G.T. Beauregard as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
  • In August 1862, Braxton Bragg’s army invaded Kentucky and defeated a Union army led by his brother-in-law, Don Carlos Buell, at the Battle of Munford (September 14-17, 1862).
  • In early 1863, Braxton Bragg was severely criticized by subordinate officers for withdrawing at the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863).
  • In the greatest Confederate victory in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, Braxton Bragg’s forces defeated Major General William Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19-20, 1863).
  • On December 2, 1863, Braxton Bragg resigned his command of the Army of Tennessee after Ulysses S. Grant broke the Confederate siege of Chattanooga a month earlier.
  • In February 1864, Braxton Bragg became a military advisor to Confederate President Jefferson Davis for the remainder of the war.
  • After the Civil War, Braxton Bragg served as the superintendent of the New Orleans waterworks, the chief engineer for Alabama, and a railroad inspector in Texas.
  • In 1919, Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, opened and was named in honor of Braxton Bragg.
  • Braxton Bragg was one of eight men to achieve the rank of full general in the Confederate Army.
  • Braxton Bragg commanded the Army of Tennessee from November 20, 1862, to December 2, 1863.Braxton
  • Bragg participated in the battles of Munford, Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Bentonville.

Braxton Bragg Video

This video discusses the life and career of Braxton Bragg, including his controversial reputation as the worst officer of the Civil War.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Braxton Bragg — Facts and APUSH Notes
  • Coverage March 22, 1817–September 27, 1876
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date February 5, 2023
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 2, 2023

Braxton Bragg — Facts and APUSH Notes is Part of the Following on AHC

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