Friday, March 21, 2008

A Little More Support for Captain Bragg

Luthor Wyman, Semple's ALA Battery: "Gen. Hardee is at present in command of the army, he is not liked at all by the men. Reports are that Gen. Johnston will take command in a few days with Gen. Bragg as his adjutant general. He will do. A large portion of the army was very sorry to part with Bragg..."

Joseph Miller Rand, 41st Mississippi:"Gen. Bragg visited us and dont think I ever saw anyone so welcomely received. The men almost lost their senses they seemed so frantic with joy at meeting their old leader. Gen. B. made a short speech. He I think was looking better than I ever saw him" This was in July of 1864!

Liet. James Fraser, Co. H, 50th Alabama Infantry would write to Bragg on Dec 2nd, 1863: “Our whole camp is full of sorrow and sadness, for we had learned to love you as a child loves his father, and the thought of being separated from you, and losing perhaps forever your paternal-like care sends pangs most bitter through our insides. Many of us have followed you with gladness from Mobile up to the present, and the longer we remained with you the more we loved you, and the more confidence we had in your skill and ability as a military chieftain, and we always felt sure that while General Bragg commanded no evil could ever befall us. Your old army was never dissatisfied with you…and we love you today better, and can yield a more willing service to your command than we can to any untried leader. But for fear I weary you with the length of my letter, I bid you goodbye for the regiment. We all love you alike. Should you retire from the army entirely, which God forbid, we hope you many find a peace and joy and rest which you so much need, and praying that you may live to see us a free, happy, and independent nation, and that when at last your career on earth shall have ended, you may be received into that heavenly abode, where no vile slanderers are allowed to enter.”

Captain John Ellis, 19th LA would write in October of 1863: “Bragg is truly a great man. He metes out justice to the high as well as to the low." Then a few weeks later, “It was an unbending justice Bragg meted out to his generals, his colonels, his captains, and privates alike that brings the ire of officers high in the rank down upon General Bragg. His men love Bragg…His army has been held together, and has been so disciplined and organized by him as to nearly compensate in efficiency what it sadly lacked in numbers. All this is attributable to General Bragg. The papers say he is incompetent. His career and history gives this the lie. They say the army has no confidence in him, but, as I know the men in this army and my acquaintance extends to many brigades including men from every state, I am prepared to pronounce this, like the former, a lie. No army ever had more confidence in its leaders, and Napoleon's guard never followed his eagles more enthusiastically than this ragged army has and will follow the lead of its gaunt, grim chieftain."

QM Sgt. Edward Brown, 45th Ala. Would write on Dec 2nd, 1863:
“I am and always have been a Bragg man and I am sorry to have him leave the army…I guess Longstreet will take command of this army and he may please the people and the army for a while, but I doubt his ability to wield an army like Bragg.”

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