Davis, Bragg, and Confederate Command in the West

Steven E. Woodworth

in Jefferson Davis's Generals

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780195139211
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848799 | DOI:

Series: Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books

Davis, Bragg, and Confederate Command in the West

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This chapter details the fundamental problem behind the confederacy's western woes where Davis failed to find, use, and support a general who could work successfully both with him and with his subordinates—and who could win battles. On June 20, 1862, the confederate president called on Braxton Bragg to assume overall command of the chief Southern army west of the Applachians. Bragg would lead that army for seventeen months, far longer than any of its other commanders. Bragg was a capable commander, with excellent strategic sense, yet his effectiveness was ruined because too many of his officers would disobey his orders or carry them out half-heartedly and without trying to understand their purpose. Davis had also contributed to the fatal undermining of Bragg by leaving him a fragmented command system and retaining Leonidas Polk, an old friend and West Point crony, in the army.

Keywords: confederacy; Braxton Bragg; Appalachians; Davis; fragmented command system; Leonidas Polk; West Point

Chapter.  6141 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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