In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bragg resigns

On this date in 1863, following the disastrous rout from Missionary Ridge, Braxton Bragg's resignation was formally received by President Davis, and he was relieved from command of the Army of Tennessee, now at Dalton, Georgia. He was ordered to turn over his command temporarily to Lt. Gen. William Hardee, which will take place on December 2.

In typical style, a bitter Bragg will depart the army still reproaching his subordinates for his campaign blunders. In his official report and a letter sent to President Davis on December 1, he blamed the Missionary Ridge disaster on the cowardice of some of his subordinates and on Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge's drunkenness. He will continue to attach his misfortune to the perceived venality and ambition of some of his generals.

Following his resignation, Bragg will continue to receive the President's loyalty and support. On December 7, Davis will publicly shift the responsibility for Missionary Ridge away from his friend. Reporting to Congress Davis said, "It is believed that if the troops who yielded to the assault had fought with the valor which they had displayed on previous occasions... the enemy would have been repulsed with very great slaughter, and our country would have escaped [this] misfortune." Certainly, this is unjust criticism of the troops who so faithfully endured long months of hardship and deprivation under the disapproving and unsolicitous general.

Not surprisingly, many in the army were delighted to see Bragg go. However, he will soon become the president's military advisor, and in that position, continue to wield power and influence over the Army of Tennessee.

Source: Mountains Touched With Fire, Wiley Sword

No comments:

Post a Comment