Was Braxton Bragg the Worst CSA General?

Is Braxton Bragg the worst CSA general?


  • Total voters
    19

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
I am not specialist in ACW.. but i would say Braxton Bragg won the Battle of Chickamauga, the worst Yankee defeat in West ... so I doubt.. he can be the worst when he won so great victory.

From Wikipedia.. Chickamauga was the most significant Union defeat in West Theather. I think it was a kind of "West" Chancellorsville... and it was Braxton Bragg who won the battle...

Maybe but I am not specialist.. the worst confederate generals were Polk or Breckenridge or Kirby Smith...
What was wrong with Breckinridge? :eek:
 

martin76

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Dec 2014
6,719
Spain
What was wrong with Breckinridge? :eek:
Likely it is nothing wrong with Breckinridge... but I thought he was one of main guilty Confederation didnt´win the battle of Shiloh (Personally I think Shiloh was a draw..buit I think Southern Army was able to win the battle)... Wasn´t Breckenridge guilty about Shiloh? Was it Hardee?
 

Viperlord

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Aug 2010
8,109
VA
Likely it is nothing wrong with Breckinridge... but I thought he was one of main guilty Confederation didnt´win the battle of Shiloh (Personally I think Shiloh was a draw..buit I think Southern Army was able to win the battle)... Wasn´t Breckenridge guilty about Shiloh? Was it Hardee?
It's possible you have the wrong B-name and are thinking of Beauregard, though I would not blame Beauregard very much either. Breckinridge was commanding the reserve corps and was wounded during the fighting. I can't immediately think of any command decisions he made that negatively impacted the battle for the Confederates.



Saying Shiloh was a draw is outright laughable however. The Confederates failed in every intended objective for the battle and were driven from the field.
 

Viperlord

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Aug 2010
8,109
VA
nuclearguy165 said:
but while I don't really think Price was a good general, he wasn't incompetent either, and not as bad as the ones I mentioned. He did reasonably well in 1861, unfortunate to be saddled with van Dorn in 1862, Holmes in 1863, and his Missouri invasion/raid in 1864 was a literal lost cause before it even started. He was ultimately out-numbered significantly here and had to make-do with a riff-raff force.
Aside from Fremont's bumbling, I would argue Price was faced with nothing in 1861; Ben McCulloch was there to hold his hand against Lyon, and while Price was saddled with Van Dorn, he did nothing to make the situation better at Pea Ridge or Second Corinth. His overall win-loss record is fairly appalling, and it's actually hard to find a worse example, proportionally, of wasting his troops than Price's antics at Fort Davidson during his raid to ruin in Missouri. If there's a point in Price's favor from 1864, it's that he seems to have been sensible enough to delegate field command to Jo Shelby most of the time.
 

nuclearguy165

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Nov 2011
4,822
Ohio, USA
Aside from Fremont's bumbling, I would argue Price was faced with nothing in 1861; Ben McCulloch was there to hold his hand against Lyon, and while Price was saddled with Van Dorn, he did nothing to make the situation better at Pea Ridge or Second Corinth. His overall win-loss record is fairly appalling, and it's actually hard to find a worse example, proportionally, of wasting his troops than Price's antics at Fort Davidson during his raid to ruin in Missouri. If there's a point in Price's favor from 1864, it's that he seems to have been sensible enough to delegate field command to Jo Shelby most of the time.
I'll admit I don't know much about the division of responsibility and the respective roles played by McCulloch and Price at Wilson's Creek, though it seems unreasonable not to give him at least some credit there, even if McCulloch was most responsible for the success of the day. Later that year though, he did show a certain degree of initiative in marching on and capturing Mulligan's force at Lexington, in northern Missouri, even if it's true that the latter was out-numbered 5-1.

As for Pea Ridge, the Confederate left (under Price's command) was where any relative success was won by the Confederates, even if he still couldnt truly break through Eugene Carr's excellent out-numbered defense. Still, I think it was better than Van Dorn's own performance there, even if that's not saying much of anything positive.

You may have a point about Fort Harrison.
 
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Viperlord

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Aug 2010
8,109
VA
As for Pea Ridge, the Confederate left (under Price's command) was where any relative success was won by the Confederates, even if he still couldnt truly break through Eugene Carr's excellent out-numbered defense. Still, I think it was better than Van Dorn's own performance there, even if that's not saying much of anything positive.
Van Dorn was pretty literally one saddle over from Price throughout that affair, so I'm not sure I'd separate them to that extent. Carr bluffed them at Cross Timber Hollow and they both fell for it.
 

nuclearguy165

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Nov 2011
4,822
Ohio, USA
Van Dorn was pretty literally one saddle over from Price throughout that affair, so I'm not sure I'd separate them to that extent. Carr bluffed them at Cross Timber Hollow and they both fell for it.
Point taken, though Carr did have an advantage (for which he deserves much credit) in that his position was something of a natural bottle-neck, anchoring his flanks.
 

Viperlord

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Aug 2010
8,109
VA
Point taken, though Carr did have an advantage (for which he deserves much credit) in that his position was something of a natural bottle-neck, anchoring his flanks.
Carr had that going for him, but his early assumption of an aggressive posture, even with little to actually back it up, made Van Dorn and Price slow to a crawl instead of rushing forward, and that was critical, IMO.
 

nuclearguy165

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Nov 2011
4,822
Ohio, USA
Carr had that going for him, but his early assumption of an aggressive posture, even with little to actually back it up, made Van Dorn and Price slow to a crawl instead of rushing forward, and that was critical, IMO.
True.


I'm not trying to communicate that Price was anything more than mediocre at best, and he was probably even lower than that. What I am trying to communicate is that he was hardly the most incompetent of generals, especially among a number of other Confederates, and that he doesn't deserve to be put in the same line as Van Dorn, Pillow, or Sturgis (for the Union), etc. The undertaking of the Missouri raid aside possibly, I can't think of any particularly incompetent or disastrous moves on his part.

His problem, it seems, was less about being incompetent, and more about simply being mediocre and having the misfortune of finding himself in situations that required one to be exceptional. Given this, it's not surprising that he has a poor record.
 

Fiver

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Jul 2012
3,776
Who was for you the worst Confederate general? Polk? Pillow? Into the yankess rows is clear: Burnside... he was like a child...it is something as touching as how he commanded the operations... in Fredericksburg.. Lee abused him and gave him a beating..

Burnside certainly was poor at Fredricksburg and the Crater. He also captured most of the North Carolina ports early in the war and won against Longstreet in the Knoxville Campaign. Burnside was certainly no match for Lee, but he was far from the Union's worst.