The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Siege of Knoxville

Was it Longstreet’s job to save Bragg?

Technically it was not, but Longstreet’s attitude was nothing short of callous. Knowing that Bragg was in a precarious position, and that the Army of Tennessee was all that stood between the Union men and northern Georgia, he stayed where he was, sending only occasional messages to Bragg.

Longstreet was definitely at fault—he did not seem to care whether Bragg and his men lived or died—but the largest measure of fault can be laid at the feet of Jefferson Davis. First he had insisted that Bragg remain in command, then he allowed Longstreet to detach his corps from the Army of Tennessee. But even as he learned of the dismal failure at Missionary Ridge, Jefferson Davis was also about to learn about Longstreet’s mistake.


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