Grave of General Braxton Bragg - Mobile, Alabama
|Grave of Gen. Braxton Bragg
Confederate flags fly at the grave of General
Braxton Bragg in observance of Confederate
Memorial Day. He is buried in Mobile, Alabama.
Grave of Braxton Bragg
General Bragg and his wife
rest at Magnolia Cemetery in
Mobile, Alabama. He died on
September 27, 1876.
The monument at Bragg's
grave notes that he was born
in Warrenton, North Carolina,
Grave of General Braxton Bragg - Mobile, Alabama
"...Give 'em hell, Bragg!"
|Copyright 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 13, 2014
Sites from the Life of Gen. Bragg
General Braxton Bragg, CSA
A hero of the war with Mexico,
the mercurial Bragg led the
Army of Tennessee through
much of the War Between the
States. Library of Congress
Confederate General Braxton Bragg is
buried with his wife at Magnolia Cemetery in
Mobile, Alabama. An ornamental enclosure
and monument mark his grave in the
Confederate rest section of the cemetery.
One of the more enigmatic and controversial
figures of the War Between the States (or
Civil War), Braxton Bragg was born in North
Carolina on March 22, 1817. His family was
one of humble circumstances and not part of
the wealthy elite that actually included only a
small percentage of Southerners during the
Bragg showed promise as a young student
and received an appointment to the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point. He graduated
5th in the Class of 1837, finishing ahead of
future generals Joseph Hooker, Jubal Early,
Israel Vogdes, John C. Pemberton and John
Commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army,
Bragg served in Florida during the Second
Seminole War. In 1840 he became the
commander of Fort Marion at St. Augustine,
the historic Spanish citadel known today as
the Castillo de San Marcos.
A man of strong moral character, Bragg did
not approve of drunkenness or gambling.
This did not go over well with some of his
men and they plotted to kill him by setting off
an artillery shell beneath his bunk.
The shell exploded as planned and tore
Bragg's bunk to pieces. Miraculously, he
survived the blast without so much as a
In 1845, Bragg's company from the 3rd U.S.
Artillery was ordered to Texas to join the
command of General Zachary Taylor. The
Mexican-American War erupted one year later
and the young officer served with distinction
in the Battles of Fort Brown, Monterey and
It was at Buena Vista that Bragg, already
promoted to brevet major for heroism at
Montery, helped save the American Army. The
battle was fought on February 23, 1847.
The critical moment came when General
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna launched an
attack on one wing of Taylor's army. Bragg
and his artillery battery were ordered up and
directed to maintain their position "at all
The gunners were firing furiously as Mexican
troops under General Francisco Perez came
forward. Determined to hold, General Taylor
rode up to Bragg and yelled, "Double-shot
your guns and give 'em hell, Bragg!"
Bragg and his men then fired double loads of
canister into the Mexican ranks. The assault
collapsed and the American army prevailed.
Taylor's orders - often misquoted as "A little
more grape, Captain Bragg" - struck a chord
with patriotic citizens back in the United
States. "Double-shot your guns and give 'em
hell" became the campaign slogan that put
Zachary Taylor in the White House. Braxton
Bragg became a national hero.
Among the troops that Bragg's guns saved at
Buena Vista was the Mississippi regiment of
Colonel Jefferson Davis. From the bloody
carnage at Buena Vista grew a friendship
between the two men that lasted for the rest
of their lives.
Colonel Bragg left the U.S. Army in 1856 to
purchase a sugar plantation in Louisiana.
Although he opposed secession, he believed
that his first loyalty was to his state.
Anticipating the coming war, Louisiana
organized a 5,000 man state army. Braxton
Bragg was appointed major general and
given command. On March 7, 1861, he was
appointed a brigadier general in the regular
Confederate army by his old friend and now
President, Jefferson Davis.
General Bragg was sent to Florida where he
defended Pensacola with impressive energy.
He molded his undisciplined force into one
of the Confederacy's best trained armies.
When Forts Henry and Donelson fell in
Tennessee and opened the South to major
Union invasion, General Bragg and his men
were ordered to report to General Albert
Sidney Johnson in Corinth, Mississippi.
The Confederates attacked the Union army of
General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of
Shiloh on April 6, 1862. Bragg's Corps fought
fiercely against desperate Federals at the
The Union lines were driven back into a final
position and the Confederates were closing
in when General P.G.T. Beauregard suddenly
called off a final attack. Johnston had been
killed in the fighting and Beauregard was
now in command.
Bragg objected to the decision and urged
one last attack, but Beauregard was stunned
by the magnitude of the bloodshed and the
final assault did not take place. Reinforced
during the night, the Union army attacked on
the next day and pushed the Confederate
army from the field. Had Bragg's advice for a
final assault been followed, the Union army
might well have been destroyed and the
reputation of Ulysses S. Grant with it.
Promoted to major general for his conduct at
Shiloh, Bragg became the commander of
Department Number 2 and the Army of
Tennessee a short time later. He stunned
Union commanders by pushing all the way to
the Ohio River. A promised flood of recruits
failed to appear in Kentucky so he ordered a
slow withdrawal from the state, fighting the
Battle of Perryville along the way.
The Kentucky Campaign ended with Bragg's
army occupying Murphreesboro, Tennessee,
far to the north of its starting point. There the
men could obtain supplies and threaten
General William Rosecrans finally brought
the Union army out of Nashville at Christmas.
The result was the mid-winter Battle of
Stones River in which the two armies fought
to a bloody stalemate. Unable to drive back
Rosecrans and fearful that the river might
rise and divide his army, Bragg withdrew to
Rosecrans avoided another pitched battle
and moved his army around Bragg through
North Alabama and into Georgia. The
Confederates fell back through Chattanooga.
Reinforced by James Longstreet's Corps
from the Army of Northern Virginia, Bragg
turned on the Federals and launched the
Battle of Chickamauga on September 19,
1863. On the next day he achieved the signal
victory of his career when an attack by
Longstreet's Corps hit a gap in the Union
lines and shattered Rosecrans army.
Like Beauregard at Shiloh, however, Bragg
was now immobilized by the magnitude of
the slaughter. Chickamauga was second
only to Gettysburg in terms of human cost,
with the armies reported combined losses of
34,624 men. Left uncertain by the blood
letting, he failed to aggressively pursue the
Tensions were already simmering between
Braxton Bragg and his subordinate generals,
but they exploded after Chickamauga. Some
of them requested his removal, but his old
friend Jefferson Davis kept him in command.
Bragg is remembered today as a grumpy
and disagreeable man, but it is seldom
noted that he suffered from several severe
illnesses. These included chronic migraines,
dyspepsia, nerve pain and rheumatism. He
lived in constant and often severe pain.
In November 1863, the Army of Tennessee
was defeated in battle at Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge. Bragg offered his
resignation and was replaced by General
Joseph E. Johnston.
Unlike many other commanding officers in
such circumstances, however, Braxton Bragg
continued to do what he could for the cause
of the South. He traveled to Richmond where
he served as chief of staff to President Davis.
In this position he improved the organization
of the South's supply system and improved
the operation of the conscription (or draft).
It was Braxton Bragg who urged Jefferson
Davis to appoint P.G.T. Beauregard to the
command of the defenses of Richmond and
Petersburg. The decision prevented the fall of
Richmond when Beauregard was able to
hold off a much larger attacking Union force
at Petersburg until Robert E. Lee could arrive
with the Army of Northern Virginia.
As the war near its end, he swallowed his
pride and served in North Carolina as a
subordinate to his one-time replacement,
Joseph E. Johnston. He achieved one final
victory at the Second Battle of Kinston on
March 7-10, 1865 before taking part in the
last defeat of the Army of Tennessee at the
Battle of Bentonville on March 19-21.
On May 1, 1865, he joined the party of fleeing
Confederate President Jefferson Davis at
Abbeville, South Carolina. He attended the
final meeting of the Confederate Cabinet at
Washington, Georgia, where he bluntly told
Davis that the cause was lost.
General Braxton Bragg's military career came
to an end at Monticello, Georgia, on May 9,
1865, when he was captured and paroled by
the Union army.
The fall of the Confederacy was devastating
to Bragg and his wife Elise. Their home in
Louisiana had been seized by the U.S.
Government and they wound up living with
the general's brother in Lowndesboro,
Alabama. They eventually moved on to New
Orleans and finally Texas as Bragg worked a
series of jobs.
He was walking down a street in Galveston,
Texas, when he suddenly fell to the ground
on September 27, 1876. Bystanders and
friends pulled him into a drugstore, but he
died a few minutes later.
Since he had family in Alabama, General
Bragg's body was returned there for burial.
He and Elise rest beneath a monument in
the Confederate Rest section of Mobile's
The cemetery is open daily and is located at
1202 Virginia Street, Mobile, Alabama. There
is no fee to visit.
General Bragg is buried
alongside more than 1,000
other Confederate veterans at
Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile,
"A little more grape"
A famous image of the Battle
of Buena Vista shows future
President Zachary Taylor and
Brevet Major Braxton Bragg.
General Braxton Bragg
This image of General Bragg
was taken early in the war
before the strain of conflict
aged him before his time.
Library of Congress
Bragg at Chickamauga
Bragg's signal victory was the
Battle of Chickamauga.
Stunned by the magnitude of
the bloodshed, however, he
failed to quickly pursue the
Battle of Shiloh
At Shiloh in April 1862, Bragg
urged a final assault against
the reeling Union army but
Photo by Justin Hall