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[Sketch of Corinth Mississippi by Adolph Metzner, on file with Library of Congress.] The following Letter of 20 March 1862 from Braxton Bragg to wife Eliza is of interest due the following: Bragg reveals the lack of discipline discovered upon his arrival in Corinth; "draconian measures" put in place by Major General Bragg to instill discipline at Corinth; discusses feeble health of General Beauregard (who is still at Jackson Tennessee, attempting recuperation) reveals pre-planning stage, before General Johnston arrives (and before decision taken on "what is to come in April.") Corinth, Miss. 20th March My dear Wife, By a hasty note from Bethel Station I announced my sudden departure for this place. Since that time I have had no time to write. Everything was in disorder and confusion here, troops arriving in large numbers without supplies, and greatly disorganized by hasty and badly conducted arrangements. Weather bad, and no accommodation, even for the sick. The [Tishomingo] Hotel a perfect pandemonium, thousands of hungry men standing against the barred door, ready to rush in and sweep the tables, regardless of sentinels or officers. Even the kitchen was not safe, meals were seized from off the fires, and the life of the hotel keeper threatened for expostulating. Poor Mr. Lea -- you remember him as the Steward at the Sweet Springs -- said he was over-matched for once. No promise of a fashionable (3 o'clock) dinner would appease the hungry multitude -- but all is now changed. With Gladden in command, and the La. regiments to charge bayonets, the swine are driven back, and the town is quiet and peaceable. It is most difficult to see what is to be our future. The enemy is threatening both flanks. At Island No.10, which is now our highest point up the river, we hold with heavy guns. But the pressure is very great against it, and the evacuation of New Madrid exposes us to be cut off from below. We have another strong position still lower, near Randolph Tenn, but not yet in good condition. My heavy guns from Pensacola are going there, and some of my old troops are there, but they need good commanders. The name of the place is unfortunate -- Fort Pillow. If we can keep them back on the Mississippi, I shall not despair at all of our losses elsewhere. We are to a great extent, however, reduced to the Fabian Policy. Our troops and our supplies are so limited and so disorganized that effective operations are out of the question unless we can have a little time to restore tone and confidence. My forces united to Genl Ruggles are here, about 22.000. Polk's and Johnston's are coming in hourly and taking position on my right and left. Your advice in your letter of the 12th is fully adopted in my own of today, organizing my command. All Tennesseans are scattered among better men in small squads, so that we can hold them in observation. I never realized the full correctness of your appreciation of them, until now. A general order, of which I enclose a copy, was predicated on their infamous proceedings, and I am glad to say had its effect. No plundering has taken place since. It is my fixed purpose to execute the first one caught in such acts. But the order, itself, and the arrest of a Colonel, have produced a very wholesome reform. Genl Beauregard has re-published the order to the whole Army, and ordered its observance. Towson was several days with the fair ladies at Jackson, and had every opportunity of seeing their merits and deficiencies, though ladies ought not to have the latter. Suffice it to say neither will please him. He has not said a word, but I will answer for him -- it is unnecessary to set forth objections. Robert and Mr. [Fader] are still with me. Bob will never do much with the Army, as he cannot stand the hardships -- exposure of any kind, or the inequality of camp life soon disables him. And we are far from being comfortable here. But still, for several days it was very hard to live at all. Genl Beauregard is still in Jackson, but proposes coming here in a few days. His health is still very feeble, and as long as he is distressed and worried, as he has been, he cannot improve. Every interview with Genl Polk [shunts] him back a week. But for my arrival here to aid him, I do not believe he would soon be living. His appeal for plantation bells was somewhat on the order of the "Under the enemy's guns at Castroville [Texas]" -- sensational. We have more guns now than instructed men to serve them. And metal in New Orleans for many more. May God protect and preserve you, Your Husband Braxton Bragg [Handwritten original http://repository.duke.edu/dc/braggbraxtonpapers-000846347/secst0300 at Duke University Library, Braxton Bragg Papers, items 52 - 55.] Thanks to Duke University for making this letter available online. Ozzy References: http://www.loc.gov/item/2017646911/ Tishomingo Hotel sketch by Adolph Metzner (1862) at Library of Congress. http://archive.org/stream/earlysettlersind00sowe#page/n593/mode/2up/search/Castroville resource provided for explanation of Castorville Texas. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Fabian+policy definition of Fabian Policy.
The following questions are in reference to Braxton Bragg, controversial personality who acted in support of the Confederacy during the War of the Rebellion. In order to make these questions a bit easier to answer correctly, each question is posed as True-or-False. Good Luck! Leroy Pope Walker was the first Confederate Government Secretary of War (and the man who famously predicted that the Clash of Arms between North and South would be such a short affair that he offered to sop up all the spilled blood with a handkerchief.) Walker resigned in September 1861 and was appointed Brigadier General, and assigned to work for Braxton Bragg at Mobile. However, Major General Bragg found him to be of such little value as military leader that he left BGen Walker behind in Alabama when he moved the bulk of his Army of Pensacola north to take part in the fight at Shiloh. True or False. The loss of Fort Donelson on 16 February 1862 is the event that caused Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin to order Bragg and his Army north from the Gulf Coast, that order dated 18 February 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg suffered throughout his life from frequent migraine headaches. True or False. Major General Bragg met personally with General PGT Beauregard at Jackson Tennessee before 7 March 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg assigned Daniel Ruggles to command of the Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862. And it was Brigadier General Ruggles (on Bragg's orders) who initiated the extensive entrenchments at Corinth Mississippi. True or False. Braxton Bragg was at Corinth and met Albert Sidney Johnston when that General arrived there on 23 March 1862. True or False. At the Battle of Shiloh, Major General Bragg held two official roles: command of a corps, and chief of staff. True or False. Artillery officer Braxton Bragg won national acclaim during the Mexican War for his heroic performance at Battle of Buena Vista. True or False. Get these wrong and a ghostly eyebrow will pay you a visit at 3 o'clock in the morning... Ozzy
In case you have not seen it before, the following link registers the belief of the Confederate Secretary of State that the Battle of Shiloh was a Confederate victory. Contained in diplomatic message sent to London (from the book The Messages and Papers of Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy, published by James D. Richardson (in two volumes), by U. S. Publishing Co., Nashville, 1904, pages 233- 235.) Cheers Ozzy http://archive.org/stream/messagespapersof02conf#page/232/mode/2up