Civil War Confederate General. He was educated at the United States Military Academy, graduating in the Class of 1837 ranking 5th out of 50 graduates. He served in the Seminole Indian War in Florida (1837 to 1841), and served under Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. At Monterey, he distinguished himself during bitter street fighting, and during the Battle of Buena Vista, his prompt and fearless conduct is credited with saving the American Army from defeat. He repulsed a frontal attack using artillery, then held off a flank attack on the Army while Colonel Jefferson Davis organized a defense. After his brilliant defense, he was twice a target of Mexican assassins. In 1856, he resigned from the Army, and started a sugar plantation in Louisiana. He was served also the State's Chief Engineer, and built a drainage and levy system in Louisiana, a system which is still in use today. When the Civil War came, he volunteered for the Confederate Army, and was commissioned a Brigadier General immediately. He was promoted to full General shortly after the Battle of Shiloh, and in June 1862, he replaced Pierre T. Beauregard as commander of the Army of Tennessee. He fought at Perryville (October 1862), Stones River (January 1863), and Chickamuga (September 1863). At Chickamuga, he was considered to have missed several opportunities to defeat and capture the Union Army, and was replaced by General Joseph E. Johnson. Braxton Bragg was recalled to Richmond, where he served as President Jefferson Davis's military advisor. He was with President Davis when he was captured in Georgia on May 9, 1865. His plantation was burned to the ground during the war, so he worked as a Civil Engineer in Alabama and Texas after the war. While he took a mob (the Army of Tennessee) and turned it into an effective fighting force, and was considered a brilliant strategist, he lacked tactical skills and an inability to work with subordinates. He demonstrated an ineptness at making critical tactical decisions during the battles of Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga, missing opportunities to completely destroy the Union Army. He died in Texas. Fort Bragg in North Carolina is named in his honor.
Eliza Brooks Ellis Bragg