Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BRAGG, Braxton, soldier, born in Warren County, North Carolina, '22 March, 1817; died in Galveston, Texas, 27 September, 1876. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1837, standing 5th in a class of fifty. Among his classmates were Generals Benham, Townsend, Sedgwick, and Hooker on the national side, and Early and Pemberton on the confederate side. He was appointed lieutenant of artillery, and served mainly in Florida until 1843 during the war with the Seminoles; from 1843 till 1845 he was stationed at Fort Moultrie, in Charleston harbor, and just before the war with Mexico was ordered to Texas. In May, 1846, he was made captain by brevet for gallant conduct in the defense of Fort Brown, Texas, and in June was promoted captain of artillery. He was present at the battle of Monterey, 21-23 September, and was brevetted major for gallant conduct there. In 1847 he was brevetted lieutenant colonel for gallantry at the battle of Buena Vista. From 1848 till 1855 he was engaged in frontier service at Jefferson Barracks, No., Fort Orbson, and Washita. In March, 1855, he was appointed major of cavalry, but declined and received leave of absence. In January, 1856, he resigned his commission and retired to his plantation at Thibodeaux, Louisiana. In 1859-'61 he was commissioner of the board of public works of the state of Louisiana. When the civil war began he was appointed brigadier-general in the confederate army in 1861, and placed in command at Pensacola, Florida. In February, 1862, he was promoted major general and ordered to join the army of the Mississippi. He took part in the battle of Shiloh, 6-7 April, and was promoted general in place of A. S. Johnston, killed. After the evacuation of Corinth he succeeded General Beauregard in command of the department. In August he led a formidable force, 45,000 strong, into Kentucky, but, after the battle of Perryville, 8 October, he retreated, carrying with him a vast quantity of supplies. He was removed from his command and placed under arrest, but was soon restored, and restarted command of the force opposed to the national army under Rosecrans. He was worsted by Rosecrans in the protracted contest of Stone River or Murfreesboro, 31 December, 1862, and 2 January, 1863; again encountered and defeated him at Chickamauga, 19 and 20 September, 1863; but was decisively defeated by General Grant at Chattanooga, 2.3-25 November About 2 December he was relieved from command and called to Richmond, where for a time he acted as military adviser to Mr. Davis, with whom he was a favorite. In the autumn of 1864 he led a small force from North Carolina to Georgia to operate against Sherman, but without success. After the war he became chief engineer for the state of Alabama, and superintended the improvements in Mobile bay, but with these exceptions his life was passed in comparative retirement.--His brother, Thomas, governor of North Carolina, born in Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina, in 1810; died in Raleigh, 21 January, 1872. He was educated at the military academy at Middletown, Coral., studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and began practice at Jackson, North Carolina He was chosen to the state legislature in 1842, and in 1854 was elected governor of North Carolina, holding that office until 1858. He was elected United States senator in 1859, but withdrew in 1861 after the secession of his state. Jefferson Davis made him attorney general in his cabinet, 22 February, 1861, and he acted in that capacity two years. Having lost all his means by the war, Governor Bragg resumed the practice of his profession and also re-entered political life, becoming chairman of the state democratic committee. He was active in the impeachment proceedings against Governor Holden.
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