BRAGG, Braxton (1817-1876), General, C. S. A. Autograph letter signed ("B. B.") to Elisa Bragg, his wife, Tupelo, 12 July . 3 pages, 8vo.
"THE WHOLE WORK HAS TO BE DONE OVER....GENLS. LEE, HUGER & MAGRUDER ARE TOO SLOW, AS WE WERE AT SHILOH..."
A friend had offered to take a letter from Bragg to his wife, and the general hastens to write this note, not bothering to censor himself about either tactical details or complaints against fellow commanders. "All remains as when you last heard from us. No general move has been or could have been made, but we have kept the enemy well pressed to his lines. Frequent skirmishes having occurred, and always resulting in our success. Last week...Capt. Cage was engaged in a very gallant little affair, where with one Comp'y. of La. they routed and pursued a whole regiment of the enemy, killing and capturing a number and dispersing the whole crowd to the winds. By a number of these dashing little affairs we have driven the enemy close in to his lines, and the disgraceful surprises we once suffered from no longer occur. Whenever they do under my command some one will be certain to suffer for it."
Bragg compares the relatively low casualty figures in the recent Chesapeake fighting to those inflicted at the bloodbath of Shiloh: "After all the terrible fighting at Richmond, no decided result has been obtained, and I can't see how 100,000 men could fight eight days and only lose 10,000 what we lost at Shiloh in two days from 30,000. The whole work has to be done over. My own impressions is Genls. Lee, Huger & Magruder are too slow, as we were at Shiloh, and the fruits are lost for want of vigorous pushing." Bragg led the rebel right at Shiloh then fought at Perryville, Stones Rives, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, in each "demonstrating his ineptitude for high command" (Boatner, 78).