Braxton Bragg was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, on 21st March, 1817. He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1837, He fought in the Seminole War and won three brevets in the Mexican War (1846-48).
Bragg resigned from the United States Army in 1856 and established a successful plantation in Louisiana. He also designed a drainage and levee system for the state of Louisiana.
On the outbreak of the American Civil War he became a major general in the Confederate Army. Bragg commanded a corps at Shiloh (April, 1862) where the forces led by Ulysses S. Grant suffered heavy losses until the arrival of General Don Carlos Buell and reinforcements. During the fighting Albert S. Johnston was killed and as a result Bragg became a full general.
In December, 1862, General William Rosecrans moved his Army of the Cumberland towards Chattanooga. When Bragg's scouts told him of the Army of the Cumberland movements, Bragg decided to confront them at Murfreesboro, on the Stones River. Bragg attacked Rosecrans on 31st December. Taken by surprise Rosecrans was in danger of being routed but he was eventually able to repulse the attack. Rosecrans was able to hold his position for the next two days and on the night of the 3rd January, 1863, Bragg and his Army of Tennessee retreated to Tullahoma. It is estimated that the Confederate Army lost 11,739 in the battle.
On 19th September, 1863, Bragg and his troops attacked union armies led by George H. Thomas and William Rosecrans at Chickamauga. Thomas was able to hold firm but Rosecrans and his men fled to Chattanooga. Bragg followed and was attempting to starve Rosecrans out when union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Hooker and William Sherman arrived. Bragg was now forced to retreat and did not stop until he reached Dalton, Georgia. During the battle the Union Army lost 16,170 men (1,657 killed, 9,756 wounded, and 4,757 missing) whereas the Confederate Army lost 18,484 (2,312 killed, 214,674 wounded and 1,468 missing).
Bragg was considered to have fought badly at Chickamuga (September, 1863) and was replaced by Joseph E. Johnston. President Jefferson Davis recalled Bragg to Richmond where he acted as one of his military advisers. Bragg was with Davis when they were captured in Georgia on 9th May, 1865.
After the war Bragg worked as a civil engineer in Alabama and Texas. Braxton Bragg died on 27th September, 1876.