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Bragg, Braxton, -1876

Military officer; horn in Warren county, N. C., March 22, 1817; was graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1837; entered the artillery; and served in the Seminole War and in the war with Mexico, receiving for good conduct in the latter several brevets and promotions. The last brevet was that of lieutenant-colonel, for Buena Vista. Feb. 23, 1847. He was made major in 1855; resigned the next year, and lived (an extensive planter) in Louisiana until the breaking out of the Civil War, when (March, 1861) he was made a brigadier-general in the Confederate army. Made major-general in February, 1862, he took an important part in the battle of Shiloh in April. He was made general in place of A. S. Johnson, killed; and in May succeeded Beauregard in command.

John H. Morgan, the guerilla chief, and N. B. Forrest, the leader of a strong cavalry force, had for some time (in 1862) roamed, with very little serious opposition, over Kentucky and Tennessee, preparatory to the invasion of the former by a large Confederate force under General Bragg. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, a native of Connecticut, led Bragg's advance. He entered Kentucky from eastern Tennessee, pushed rapidly to Lexington, after defeating a National force near Richmond, in that State, and was warmly welcomed by the Confederates. The alarmed legislature, sitting at Frankfort, fled to Louisville; while Smith pressed on towards the Ohio, where he was confronted by strong fortifications opposite Cincinnati. The invader recoiled, and, falling back to Frankfort, awaited the arrival of Bragg, who entered Kentucky (Sept. 5) with forty regiments and as many cannon. His advance, 8,000 strong, under General Chalmers, encountered a National force under Colonel Wilder at Mumfordsville, on the line of the Nashville and Louisville Railway. The Confederates were repulsed; but Wilder was compelled to yield to General Polk a few days later. Bragg joined Smith at Frankfort, where the combined armies numbered about 65,000 effective men. He now expected to make an easy march to Louisville, but was confronted by General Buell, who had been marching abreast of Bragg. Buell suddenly turned upon Bragg with about 60,000 troops, and a fierce battle ensued near Perryville (Oct. 8, 1862), in which the invaders were so roughly handled that they fled in haste towards eastern Tennessee, followed by their marauding bands, who had plundered the inhabitants in every direction. Bragg soon afterwards abandoned Kentucky.

The armies of Rosecrans and Bragg confronted each other for several months in Tennessee after the battle of Stone River (q. v.). Rosecrans remained on the scene of the battle; Bragg was below the Duck River. Finally the Army of the Cumberland, in three divisions, commanded respectively by Generals Thomas, McCook, and Crittenden, began its march (June 23, 1863) from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga. General Burnside, in Kentucky, was ordered to move through the mountains into eastern Tennessee to co-operate with Rosecrans. At that time Bragg's left wing, under General (Bishop) Polk, lay at Shelbyville, behind formidable intrenchments about 5 miles in length, cast up by legally emancipated slaves drawn from northern Georgia and Alabama. General Hardee, with 12,000 men, was at [395] War Trace, on the railway between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, and holding the front of rugged hills, behind which was a strongly intrenched camp at Tullahoma. Bragg had about 40,000 men, and Rosecrans 60,000. By skilful movements he manoeuvred Bragg out of his strong position. The latter was pressed back to Tullahoma. Rosecrans meanwhile had seized mountain passes on Bragg's front and seriously menaced his flank. Perceiving this, Bragg turned and lied without giving a blow, the Nationals pressing hard upon his rear. Having the advantage of railway communication, the retreating forces very easily kept ahead of their pursuers; and passing rapidly over the Cumberland Mountains towards the Tennessee River, they crossed that stream at Bridgeport, destroying the bridge behind them, and made a rapid march to Chattanooga. The expulsion of Bragg from Tennessee alarmed and disheartened the Confederates, and they felt that everything depended upon their holding Chattanooga, the key to eastern Tennessee and northern Georgia. Towards that point the Army of the Cumberland pressed on slowly; and late in August it had crossed the mountains, and was stretched along

Washington's headquarters on the Brandywine.

the Tennessee River from above Chattanooga many a league westward.

General Bragg was relieved of his command soon after his defeat by General Grant at Missionary Ridge in November. He died in Galveston, Tex., Sept. 27, 1876.

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