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Ozzy

Bragg's Memoirs

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Along with George H. Thomas and Henry Halleck, Braxton Bragg is one of the Civil War leaders whose memoirs -- and raisons d'Etat -- I would most like to read. Many are the reasons given why General Bragg never got around to those musings; and this post suggests one more possibility, and it involves a man named Kinloch Falconer.

An 1860 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Kinloch Falconer joined the 9th Mississippi as a Private and accompanied his regiment to Pensacola, Florida in March 1861, and became part of Braxton Bragg's force there, occupying the former U.S. Navy Yard and all the pre-war fortifications... except Fort Pickens. The key to control of access to Pensacola Bay, Fort Pickens was a thorn in the side of General Bragg (who ordered Colonel Chalmers to attempt a night raid against that facility 8/9 October 1861.) A month later, on November 22nd a gunnery duel erupted, pitting Confederate batteries at Fort Barrancas and Fort McRee against Union-held Fort Pickens and a squadron of Federal warships in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the guns at Pickens and Barrancas were not designed to fire all the way across at each other -- about three miles -- neither of these forts suffered much damage.

Fort McRee (sometimes spelled Fort McRae) was another matter: only one mile from fort Pickens, on the opposite spit of land controlling the entrance to Pensacola Bay, Fort McRee was the most exposed of the Confederate positions. And it was just outside that wing-shaped fort that the 9th Mississippi was dug in, assigned to guns designed to prevent a landing by Federal troops. (The 10th Mississippi, under command of Colonel J.B. Villepigue, operated the big guns inside Fort McRee.) Over the course of 36 hours, the entire vicinity of Fort McRee was blasted by guns from Fort Pickens and warships USS Richmond and USS Niagara. Fort McRee was reduced to a smoldering ruin; but Colonel Villepigue's spirited defense of the position won acclaim from Braxton Bragg, and he was promoted to Brigadier General. Kinloch Falconer -- who had spent time clerking for General Bragg -- came to the notice of newly-minted General Villepigue, and was assigned as his Assistant Adjutant General.

The 9th Mississippi left Florida in early 1862, and went on to fight alongside the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh. But Kinloch Falconer did not accompany his regiment; instead, he was promoted to Captain and followed General Villepigue to his new assignment: defense of Fort Pillow, on the Mississippi River. That position was evacuated just before the fall of Memphis (in June 1862) and John B. Villepigue (alumnus of The Citadel and 1854 graduate of West Point) next found himself assigned as Brigade commander (in Lovell's Division) Earl Van Dorn's Army of West Tennessee. Wounded during the October 3-5 Battle of Second Corinth, Villepigue succumbed to his wounds in November. And Captain Falconer found himself re-assigned to General Braxton Bragg, for whom he worked as AAG until early 1865... when he was again re-assigned, this time to the Staff of General Joseph E. Johnston. (When Johnston accepted terms offered by William Tecumseh Sherman on April 26th 1865 it was Major Falconer's signature that appeared on the Surrender Document.)

Kinloch Falconer's war was over, but his usefulness was not. It was known that the AAG to several general officers had kept meticulous records -- and a diary -- during his years of service to the Confederacy. (One element of his diary, for the year 1865, is on file at Vanderbilt University at Nashville.) In the years after the war, General J.E. Johnston frequently contacted Falconer for precise details IRT Operations conducted during the War of the Rebellion. Braxton Bragg, too, contacted Falconer in 1870 with many questions IRT Bragg's military operations (which may indicate that Bragg was contemplating writing his memoirs, before his untimely death in 1876.) Kinloch Falconer, himself, met an untimely death in 1878. Then serving as Secretary of State for Mississippi, while on a visit to seriously ill relatives at Holly Springs he succumbed to the Yellow Fever epidemic then raging. His papers are now on file with the University of Mississippi.

Ozzy

 

References:  http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil_war/id/2108/rec/8  Bragg's 1870 query to Falconer

http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/00/08/56/93/00002/00067jc.pdf   Falconer's involvement with Johnston's surrender 1865

http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/Kinloch Falconer Collection/mode/exact/page/1  Kinloch Falconer Collection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bordenave_Villepigue   General J. B. Villepigue at wikipedia

 

N.B.  Thanks to David (Ole Miss) for providing access to the Kinloch Falconer Collection.

 

 

 

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Presented next is A Memoir of the Life and Public Service of Joseph E. Johnston, edited by Bradley T. Johnston, and published by B.H. Woodward & Co. of Baltimore a few months after General Johnston's death in 1891. For information on Battle of Shiloh, see page 88; for Johnston's favorable impression of U.S. Grant, see page 105; for a less-than-flattering view of W.T. Sherman, refer to pages 121-3. (Albert Sidney Johnston is mentioned only once or twice, and only out of necessity... which gives its own impression-by-omission, probably due to the fact that Joseph Johnston believed himself "robbed of seniority." But the seniority "complaint" is covered in detail.

http://archive.org/stream/memoiroflifeandp00johniala#page/n3/mode/2up   Joseph E. Johnston at archive.org

The main reason attention is directed towards this memoir is due to the fact Joseph E. Johnston began gathering information from Kinloch Falconer in 1867 (several communications between Johnston and Falconer on file at University of Mississippi.) And the memoir was not published until 24 years later. Perhaps this is due some "understanding" that the memoir would not be published until after General Johnston's death; but with Bradley T. Johnston recorded as "editor," it seems to indicate some final touches were necessary prior to publication; perhaps the memoir had to be finished, or put into its final form.

Returning to Braxton Bragg: from his first known contact with Kinloch Falconer after the war, only six years elapsed before General Bragg's sudden death. Perhaps Bragg had collected a bit of information with intent to write his memoirs, but found the project too daunting. Maybe he was still in process of organizing notes, but did not see any reason to expedite the project (so an unfinished manuscript is filed away... somewhere.) Or perhaps -- and this is my favored likelihood -- Braxton Bragg found it impossible to square his recollection with the record as witnessed by others, and in a fit of rage tossed everything into a fire: burned it up, so later historians (you and me) will have to decide "how effective he was as a man, an officer and a leader."

Any thoughts?

Ozzy

 

 

 

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At the conclusion of the Battle of Shiloh, Braxton Bragg had an unbroken string of successes behind him:

  • noteworthy service during the Mexican War: mentioned in despatches by General Zachary Taylor;
  • capture of Baton Rouge Arsenal in January 1861;
  • bloody nose given to Union at night raid of Santa Rosa Island October 8/9 1861;
  • kept Union forces at bay during the gunnery duel at Pensacola November 22-23 1861;
  • expeditiously relocated his Army of the Gulf to Corinth in March 1862;

Following on the Battle of Shiloh (which was perceived by the South for weeks afterwards as a Confederate victory) Braxton Bragg was promoted to full General. (On the Union side, only William Tecumseh Sherman gained promotion, to Major General, of the participating Federal division commanders.) PGT Beauregard was elevated -- by default -- to Command of the Army of Mississippi, but Bragg soon had that position, too (after Beauregard departed for a health spa in June 1862 following the evacuation of Corinth.) In fact, Bragg's rising star did not begin its descent until his actions following the Battle of Perryville in October 1862.

My point: in the years afterwards, Braxton Bragg must have studied his Civil War record -- remarkable through 1862 -- and wondered "How did it go so wrong?"

Ozzy

 

 

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On 2/15/2017 at 4:57 AM, Ozzy said:

Presented next is A Memoir of the Life and Public Service of Joseph E. Johnston, edited by Bradley T. Johnston, and published by B.H. Woodward & Co. of Baltimore a few months after General Johnston's death in 1891. For information on Battle of Shiloh, see page 88; for Johnston's favorable impression of U.S. Grant, see page 105; for a less-than-flattering view of W.T. Sherman, refer to pages 121-3. (Albert Sidney Johnston is mentioned only once or twice, and only out of necessity... which gives its own impression-by-omission, probably due to the fact that Joseph Johnston believed himself "robbed of seniority." But the seniority "complaint" is covered in detail.

http://archive.org/stream/memoiroflifeandp00johniala#page/n3/mode/2up   Joseph E. Johnston at archive.org

The main reason attention is directed towards this memoir is due to the fact Joseph E. Johnston began gathering information from Kinloch Falconer in 1867 (several communications between Johnston and Falconer on file at University of Mississippi.) And the memoir was not published until 24 years later. Perhaps this is due some "understanding" that the memoir would not be published until after General Johnston's death; but with Bradley T. Johnston recorded as "editor," it seems to indicate some final touches were necessary prior to publication; perhaps the memoir had to be finished, or put into its final form.

Returning to Braxton Bragg: from his first known contact with Kinloch Falconer after the war, only six years elapsed before General Bragg's sudden death. Perhaps Bragg had collected a bit of information with intent to write his memoirs, but found the project too daunting. Maybe he was still in process of organizing notes, but did not see any reason to expedite the project (so an unfinished manuscript is filed away... somewhere.) Or perhaps -- and this is my favored likelihood -- Braxton Bragg found it impossible to square his recollection with the record as witnessed by others, and in a fit of rage tossed everything into a fire: burned it up, so later historians (you and me) will have to decide "how effective he was as a man, an officer and a leader."

Any thoughts?

Ozzy

 

 

 

I can see that vision of Bragg's rage so vividly!

 

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Johnston's Memoir does not mention Shiloh (or Pittsburg Landing) that I can find. A highly stylized pictorial sketch titled "Battle of Shiloh" can be found between pages 88 and 89, but the battle is not mentioned in the text. The Memoir mentions Sherman 212 times and depicts him twice, Grant gets 91 mentions. Since Sherman was Johnston's nemesis, his vilification is not surprising. The Memoir does not name or credit Falconer, though it does reference both Sherman's and Grant's Memoirs. Thanks bringing Johnston's book to my attention.

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Rbn3

Thanks for taking a look at Joseph E. Johnston's Memoir and providing your impressions. I added the link primarily to provide comparison of two different Confederate Generals, who made use of the same source of information (Kinloch Falconer, presumably to write their memoirs) with different results. Also, the reflections of General Johnston help flesh out Grant and Sherman (two significant players at Shiloh) while "ignoring" Albert Sidney Johnston (another significant participant at Shiloh)... except for that sketch on page 88, which appears to depict a force of Confederate soldiers struggling determinably up-slope towards a strongly defended Federal position... with a prone figure clutching his chest at the right of the image (which I took to represent the fallen General A.S. Johnston.) Joseph Johnston's bitterness at being "slighted" by loss of seniority (to Albert Sidney Johnston, among others) may have hardened his impression of A.S. Johnston to the point where this less-than-flattering image is presented, without other description, depicting Shiloh and its lost potential.

Just my impression...

Ozzy

Reference:  http://archive.org/stream/memoiroflifeandp00johniala#page/88/mode/2up   Battle of Shiloh sketch, page 88

 

 

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Mona

Thanks for your comment IRT Braxton Bragg and his unwritten memoirs. I attempted to award your post with a "Like," but the SDG software is no longer allowing me to do that.

All the best

Ozzy

N.B.   All features on SDG site appear to be functioning (22FEB2017).

 

 

Edited by Ozzy
SDG site features update

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Update of Braxton Bragg primary sources

If an autobiography is not available, the next best thing is a diary; or letters; or telegrams... The University of North Carolina Library, Louis Round Wilson Special Collection possesses eleven items that are of interest to students of the Battle of Shiloh. And -- good news -- all eleven items have been digitized, so are readily available via your home computer.

In the Braxton Bragg Papers, these items are of greatest interest:

  • 18 MAR 1862 Telegram from Bragg to Thomas Jordan, sent from Corinth (IRT messenger on his way "with books")
  • 19 MAR 1862 Telegram from Bragg to Beauregard, sent from Corinth (IRT cavalry in vicinity of Purdy)
  • 3 APR 1862  Telegram from SAM Wood to Bragg, sent from Iuka (IRT Union gunboat movement up the Tennessee River)
  • 27 APR 1864  Telegram from Bragg to Beauregard, sent from Richmond (Unknown subject -- written in code)
  • several pre-Civil War letters are included in this collection.

At  http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00079/#folder_1#1  scroll down, then click on the telegram or letter desired (telegrams begin with item No.13 and letters begin with item No.3). Use controls at top of each box to expand details, or advance to next item.

Cheers (and Thanks to UNC for making these items available)

Ozzy

 

 

 

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Not a Memoir, but...

"It is not a grateful task to write the biography of a much hated man..."  So begins the Forward to Braxton Bragg: General of the Confederacy by Don Carlos Seitz, Columbia, South Carolina: The State Company (1924). This work is written by a man born in Ohio, who worked in the newspaper industry most of his life, primarily in New York; but perhaps it required a Northerner to write an unbiased biography of "the most hated General in the South."

The strengths of this book are these:

  • description of Cadet Braxton Bragg at West Point, with revelation of his character development;
  • summary of Captain Bragg's service during the Mexican War (where he gained nationwide acclaim as artillery officer)
  • brevet-Lieutenant Colonel Bragg between the wars, forced to resume an inferior rank and accomplish mundane tasks;  jealous of others (Possibly even Jefferson Davis) who were able to trade on their Mexican War Hero status. Feeling put-upon, Bragg resigned from the peacetime Army and became operator of a sugar plantation in Louisiana (and during his time in Louisiana, interacted with William Tecumseh Sherman and PGT Beauregard)
  • Braxton Bragg almost gleefully joined the Confederate Cause; helped in capture of Baton Rouge Arsenal, but then felt hard-done-by when Beauregard was selected as senior officer from Louisiana;
  • Bragg at Pensacola: the entire progression of affairs at Forts Pickens and Barrancas and the Navy Yard (and the under-realized role of the US Navy, good and bad); Bragg's presence and conduct as Major General during the Pickens Truce, taking advantage of opportunities to strengthen his defences, while crying "Foul!" when the Union attempted the same thing. After the Pickens Truce lapsed, it was General Bragg who ordered one of the first night-time battles of the Civil War (the October 8/9 Action on Santa Rosa Island)
  • Significant personalities who benefited from association with Bragg are discussed: James Chalmers, John K. Jackson, Adley Gladden, Jones Withers, John Villepique, Patton Anderson...

But, perhaps the greatest strength of this book rests with the letters, mostly written by Braxton Bragg, which reveal his beliefs, outlooks and aspirations. An incredible number of complete letters, beginning 1849 and continuing through the 1861 - 65 Rebellion, which include official communications to President Jefferson Davis and Secretary of War Judah Benjamin and others; but, potentially the most valuable are letters to Bragg's wife, Eliza (written every three or four days, revealing Bragg's inner thoughts on most everything of importance.) And, as revealed in the letters, "Elisa" would frequently offer advice, and Braxton would discuss her advice in his letter of reply (and often indicate value was found in her suggestions.) 

If for no other reason than each letter it contains, Braxton Bragg: General is a worthwhile resource.

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015000586084;view=1up;seq=7  Braxton Bragg at HathiTrust

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

 

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As part of the search for the "unpublished memoirs" of Braxton Bragg, have discovered that General Bragg was a prolific letter writer, sending or receiving communications to/from his wife, "Elisa," every other day (as well as abundant official letters.) And it is heartening to discover that most of those letters still exist: a few are in private hands, or available for sale through auction houses... but the majority are held by university libraries.

The following letter was discovered in the "James Patton Anderson Papers" on file with the University of Florida.Written in April 1876 in response to a March 1876 letter from Patton Anderson's widow, Etta Anderson, there are three priceless insights revealed by Bragg:

Galveston. 3rd April 1876

Mrs' Patton Anderson

Monticello, Florida

     My dear Madam:

Your esteemed letter of the 25th ult. reached me yesterday, and I hasten to reply, that you may act promptly, should you conclude to do so at all.

It is a complicated question, but easily solved in my mind, if we reach to First Principles -- it was not the Government which we opposed, but the administration of it. So it is now. Defeated in our object we must remain as an integral part of the Government, and pay the taxes imposed. 

We pay our share to support the School at West Point, and are asking and receiving no favor at the hands of our enemies when we accept our part of the benefits. In this sentiment, I am confident your noble husband would have agreed with me. [Note: James Patton Anderson died in 1872.]

But a more difficult question arises which your son alone can answer. Could he, with his high tone and Southern principles -- principles his Father's son must possess -- so restrain and control himself as to peacefully tread the difficult path he would have to travel? He would find but few, if any, congenial spirits, and many, probably, to irritate and exasperate him. His life must there be one of constant trouble, or partial isolation. If he can make up his mind to the latter, then I see no reason against acceptance. It will be a severe ordeal, but I have too much faith in the blood of Patton Anderson to doubt its successful passage by his son, should he deliberately decide to try it. May God, in His mercy, give him Strength for the struggle.

It gives me great pleasure to know your children are proving worthy of their father -- my best, truest and noblest friend. I should regard it a great favor for you to keep my name green and fresh in his memory.

Mrs. Bragg has been some time with her mother in Louisiana.

With affectionate regards for yourself and children.

Faithfully your friend

Braxton Bragg

 

[Original letter of 3 APR 1876 available online, courtesy of University of Florida.]

Ozzy

 

References:  http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085743/00001/1j?search=bragg   Original Letter of 3 APR 1876.

http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/anderson.htm  James Patton Anderson Papers [at George A. Smathers Library.]

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/Classes/1882.html  USMA Class of 1882

http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5056536/henrietta-buford-anderson  Etta Anderson entry at find-a-grave.

 

Notes:  The above letter was written only a few months before Braxton Bragg's own death in September 1876. Etta Anderson had requested advice in regard to one of her sons applying for an appointment to West Point (William Preston, Theophilus Beatty, or James Patton, jr.) No record of any Anderson to be found in list of graduates of West Point, Class of 1881 or 1882, so unknown if one of Patton Anderson's sons ever attended the Military Academy.

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Bragg's Memoirs, focused on the lead-up to Shiloh (as compiled by Ozzy) 

What follows is an attempt to construct "The Civil War Memoirs of Braxton Bragg, June 1861 through 3 April 1862" making use of abundant letters and telegrams, and focused on material that has relevance to Major General Bragg's decisions and actions in the lead-up to the 6 April 1862 Battle of Shiloh. 

Important Letters and Telegrams Relevant to Shiloh: focus on Braxton Bragg

 

Jun 61     Elisa -> Bragg     Writing to MGen Braxton Bragg at Fort Barrancas, even Eliza Bragg sees waste of 7000 troops maintained at Pensacola [Sz page 43].

21 Sep 61   Bragg -> ASJ    “It is in my power to do but little for you…” [Sz pp. 45 – 6].

Nov 61   SAM Wood -> J. Benjamin & MGen Bragg  Series of reports released by SAM Wood in regard to conditions at Chattanooga, but especially Knoxville (where Bragg had sent Wood to put down the counter-rebellion by Unionists in East Tennessee) OR 4 pp.247 – 251. 

27 Dec 61  J. Benjamin -> Bragg    By courier-delivered letter, the SecWar urgently offers MGen Bragg command of Trans-Mississippi. (VanDorn selected, instead.) [sos.mo].

1 Feb 62  MGen Bragg report:   Returns for Department of Mobile and Pensacola show that Bragg has over 18 000 troops under his command [OR 6 pages 818- 9].

8 Feb 62  MGen Bragg and SecWar Benjamin exchange telegrams wherein Benjamin requests more troops for Knoxville; and Bragg replies that he is aware of Butler and Farragut arriving in Gulf of Mexico, and believes those Federal forces will be directed against Mobile. [They will actually be used against New Orleans -- Ozzy.] OR 6 page 824.

10 Feb   F. S. Parker (acting) AAG for Bragg  Gen. Orders No.31 assign former SecWar and now-BGen Leroy P. Walker to Northern Alabama. [Bragg later states he “sees no value in Walker as a military leader.” And BGen Walker complains to ASJ through AAG Mackall on 16 Feb that, “he has a command with no troops.”] OR 7 p.872 and OR 7 pp. 887 – 8.

18 Feb   SecWar Benjamin -> Bragg (at Mobile)     The loss of Fort Donelson is confirmed. Bragg is directed to “leave Pensacola and join the Tennessee Defense Line.” [OR 6 pp.827 - 8].

After 18 Feb  Beauregard (at Jackson) -> Adj. Gen. Samuel Cooper (Richmond) “I am in deep despair about my health. Bragg ought to be sent here [to Jackson.] When well, I will serve under him, rather than not have him here.” [OR 7 page 912].

20 Feb  Circular message from Beauregard to Governor Shorter (Alabama).  Bragg (at Mobile) sees this request, which includes the necessity of “more troops for defense of Mississippi River.” [Bragg firmly believes that defense of the Mississippi River is vital to survival of the Confederacy – see Letter of 29 Mar 62, Bragg to Elisa.] Roman pp. 240 – 1; Sz pp.86 – 7; OR 7 pp.913 – 4.

23 Feb   Bragg -> SecWar Benjamin   After accepting orders to move his Army from Pensacola, MGen Bragg sent this more detailed reply, confirming his troops began marching on 21 Feb, and proposes to send his heavy guns from Pensacola to Beauregard (for his use on the Mississippi River.) Confirms that command of Mobile and Pensacola Department will be turned over to BGen Samuel Jones [Sz pp.86 – 7 and OR 6 page 836].

27 Feb   Bragg -> ASJ   “My troops are pressing forward. I leave tomorrow for Jackson.” [Sz 86]

27 Feb 62   Bragg’s ADC Chisolm -> Beauregard    Telegram reporting that “Five regiments from Bragg are in North Alabama.” [Roman page 503].

27 Feb   Beauregard (at Jackson) -> Chisolm (at Mobile)  Telegram in reply: “I accept your five regiments. Get more from wherever you can.” [Roman page 503].

27 Feb   Beauregard -> Bragg   “Thanks for the five regiments. Send heavy guns via Mobile & Ohio [Railroad] to Hickman. The River shall be held.” [Roman page 503].

28 Feb   Bragg (at Mobile) -> Beauregard   “Five regiments and guns now loading. Five more regiments from Pensacola to come. Will be with you myself next week.” [Roman page 504].

28 Feb   Beauregard -> Bragg    “All right. Come yourself at once. I am not well.” [Roman 504]

2 Mar     Beauregard -> ASJ(near Shelbyville)     “General Bragg is with me.” [Roman p.248].

3 Mar    Beauregard’s Confidential Notes of Reference (which includes anticipated disposition of forces along railroads from Corinth) Roman pp.515 – 7.

4 Mar    Beauregard -> Adj Gen Cooper (Richmond)   “We need brigadier generals here. Bragg needs two.” [Roman page 509].

[5] Mar  Bragg -> BGen Jones (at Pensacola)   “Send the big guns, or destroy them. Two weeks in the Mississippi River valley may determine our fate.” [OR 6 page 837].

6 Mar    Beauregard -> BGen Ruggles (at Corinth)   “I have requested General Bragg furnish you with all necessary instructions.” [Roman page 509].

6 Mar    Bragg (at Jackson) -> Ruggles   “Prepare 15 000 men. Send wounded men and baggage to Oxford and Grenada. You are nominated for Major General.” [Sz page 91].

6 Mar    Bragg (via AAG George Garner) issues Gen. Orders No.3 assigning troops and supplies belonging to “Second Grand Division” along railroads out of Corinth [Sz page 92].

9 Mar    Bragg -> Ruggles   “Lay out and begin entrenchments... and keep watch on the Tennessee River”  [Sz page 93].

10 Mar   BGen Jones (at Pensacola) -> Colonel Beard  “You will proceed tonight to burn every sawmill, planing mill, sash factory… destroy every boat, and any cotton found.” [OR 6 p.849]. [There are scars of this destruction to be found in Pensacola, even to this day -- Ozzy.]

11 Mar   Bragg -> BGen Jones   “Send Villepigue to me.” [OR 6 page 852]. [BGen Villepigue will command Fort Pillow -- Ozzy.]

12 Mar   AAG Garner (at Jackson) -> BGen Jones  “General Bragg has nominated you for Major General. As soon as the appointment is confirmed, you will be assigned to a Division” [OR 6 pages 854 – 5].

15 Mar   Bragg (at Bethel ) -> BGen Jones  “Your suggestions [of March 6th] are approved. Carry them out. Where are the Florida Regiment and 8th Mississippi?” [OR 6 page 857].

 

12 Mar (late entry) Bragg (at Bethel Station) -> Beauregard (at Jackson)  “Dispatches for General Ruggles from General Gladden, now at Purdy, have just reached here. They represent the enemy [on the east bank of the Tennessee, near Savannah] to have re-embarked, and all indications point to a demonstration at some point higher up the river… The country people say that due to flooding from recent rains, there is no way the enemy could now move on this point [Bethel] from Pittsburg Landing. Captain Jordan is now out determining this point”  [Sz page 94].

15 Mar   Bragg -> Ruggles    “I hope Chalmers has returned to Iuka with his command, and will hold the enemy in check should he make a demonstration there. General Johnston has been urgently pressed to forward his force from Decatur to a position between Iuka and Corinth, so as to be in position to aid either point” [Sz page 95]. 

16 Mar   Bragg (at Bethel) -> Ruggles (at Corinth)  “The enemy has landed in force at Pittsburg. It is his intention to give us battle… I have now an officer out on reconnaissance. With the forces now arriving from Humboldt, I intend to give the enemy battle (should the report from the reconnaissance prove favorable.)”  [Sz page 96].

17 to 19 Mar 1862: various reports provide confused intelligence IRT strength of Federal force at Pittsburg Landing, from only a few thousand to something more significant – see Bragg’s reports of 17 Mar (Sz p. 96) and 19 Mar (Bragg to ASJ) OR 11 page 341 and 339.

17 Mar   Jordan (at Jackson) -> Bragg (at Bethel)  “General Johnston wants 400 cars with locomotives at Decatur.” [Roman page 521].

17 Mar   Jordan -> Bragg (at Bethel)  “What can be done to meet General Johnston’s wishes [in regard to railroad cars and locomotives] ?”  Roman page 522.

18 Mar   Bragg -> Jordan   “A man is on his way with “the books” and am sending transportation [to Decatur to bring Johnston west]” – UNC and OR 11 pp. 339 - 340.

18 Mar   Bragg -> BGen Jones  “Send forward medicines and hospital property” [OR 6 p.861]

19 Mar   Bragg -> Beauregard   [late report of enemy cavalry in vicinity of Purdy] – UNC.

19 Mar   ASJ -> Bragg  “SAM Wood is now at Iuka.” [I believe this is a “simple code” used to report “General Johnston is now at Iuka” – Ozzy] from OR 11 page 341.

20 Mar   Bragg -> Elisa    Letter from Corinth, Bragg details “lack of discipline found upon his arrival; and measures adopted to instill discipline. 22,000 troops now at Corinth.” [And expresses incredulity at Beauregard’s “request for plantation bells.” ] -- Duke No. 52

21 Mar   AAG Jordan -> Bragg   “General Beauregard desires an armed reconnaissance to feel the enemy [3 regts of infantry, plus cavalry and artillery]” – Roman page 522.

22 Mar   Beauregard (at Jackson) -> Bragg (at Corinth)   “When can you spare Oladowski to make guns from bells?” [Roman page 523].

 

[General Johnston arrived at Corinth on 23 March, according to Bragg in Letter of 29 March.]

24 Mar   Bragg to MGen Polk   [reports gunboats at Yellow Creek] – OR 11 page 357.

29 Mar   Bragg -> Eliza    Letter from Corinth in which Bragg reiterates importance of keeping Mississippi River for the Confederacy; reveals his belief that, “the enemy can attack Corinth at any time” and hints at “preparations underway for “something” in the near future” …as well as revealing that General Johnston arrived March 23rd  [sos.mo Letter from Corinth]

29 Mar   General Orders from Albert Sidney Johnston detailing organization of forces [found in OR 11 pages 370 – 1].

30 Mar   General Orders No.1 from General Bragg detailing Army of the Mississippi staff officer assignments [OR 11 page 373].

31 Mar   Bragg -> BGen Chalmers  “Gibson’s brigade will occupy the advanced position at Monterey” [OR 11 pages 375 – 6].

1 Apr 62  Hardee -> Bragg (Chief of Staff)  announces result of inspection at Iuka and relief of Crittenden and Carroll from command for drunkenness [OR 11 page 379].

1 Apr    AAG Jordan issues Special Orders No.5 [be ready to move in 24 hours to meet the enemy] OR 11 page 381.

2 Apr    AAG Jordan to Corps commanders Polk, Bragg and Hardee   “Hold your commands ready to move” [OR 11 page 383].

2 Apr (evening)   Cheatham (near Bethel) to Beauregard (through Jordan) to ASJ to Bragg (already in bed)  “The enemy has divided for an attack on Bethel” [Sz page 101].

3 Apr   SAM Wood (at Iuka) -> Bragg  “One gunboat has passed the mouth of Yellow Creek” [UNC telegram].

3 Apr   ADC Chisolm issues General Orders: “General Beauregard desires that you should have all persons along the line of march seized and sent to the rear until the object of the present movement is accomplished” [Sz page 102].

3 Apr   General Albert Sidney Johnston -> President Davis:  “Confederate forces, 40 000, ordered forward to offer battle near Pittsburg” [OR 11 page 387].

 

Notes

The following references also provide “reflections of Bragg” at the time of Shiloh:

12 Mar 62   President Davis -> ASJ  In his letter, Jefferson Davis states: “Bragg brings you disciplined troops, and you will find in him the highest administrative capacity” [found in Life of ASJ by WM. Preston Johston pages 517 – 8.

Also in Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston  page 552 is to be found an address conducted at Memphis about 1870 by Dr. E. W. Munford (VADC to General Johnston at Shiloh), which contains his impressions of Braxton Bragg.

Braxton Bragg, himself, composed A Sketch of the Battle of Shiloh in 1872 – 4 and which appears in fragments throughout The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston, the most significant of which begins on page 548.

William Preston Johnston provides his assessment of Bragg on pages 544 – 7.

Sz (Seitz)       http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015000586084;view=1up;seq= 7

Sos.mo   Missouri Digital Heritage http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/search/collection/CivilWar/searchterm/Bragg/order/nosort

Official Records of the Rebellion volumes 4, 6, 7 and 11 (also called OR 10 part 2)

UNC   http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00079/#folder_1#1  Uni North Carolina Library

Roman, Alfred  Military Operations of General Beauregard

SDG  [insert “Bragg” in Search Box at top of Home Page – hit ENTER]

Duke    http://repository.duke.edu/dc/braggbraxtonpapers-000846347/secst0300  Bragg Papers at Duke University

 

 

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