The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Bragg seems to be among the worst of the Confederate generals. Why did he keep his position for so long?

Bragg had plenty of personal courage and a rather good tactical sense. His two greatest difficulties were physical infirmities and an overwhelming pessimism, which prevented him from seizing opportunities. Beset by skin disease, blinding headaches, and other maladies, Bragg was seldom at his best, and even on those rare occasions, he could see more problems than possibilities in a situation. In this way, he was just about the polar opposite of Robert E. Lee.

Bragg had one thing going for him, however: the personal friendship of Jefferson Davis. Like Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis was an exceedingly loyal person who never forgot a friend; unlike Lincoln, Jefferson Davis also never forgot a slight or insult.

Thanks to Davis’ friendship, Bragg kept his position as commander of the Army of Tennessee. But his opposite number, General William Rosecrans (1819–1898), had troubles of his own.


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