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Braxton Bragg (Mexican War) (1817-1876)

Lieutenant Braxton Bragg was a hero of the 1848 Mexican War. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.

Lieutenant Braxton Bragg was a hero of the 1848 Mexican War. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.


Criticized for his inability to win battles during the Civil War (1861-1865), North Carolinian Braxton Bragg, writes historian William S. Hoffman, was the man of the hour during the Mexican War (1846-1848).

During the conflict, Lieutenant Bragg commanded an artillery battery at the battles of Fort Texas (later known as Fort Brown), Monterrey, and Buena Vista.  (At Buena Vista, Bragg fought alongside his future enemy and invader of North Carolina, William Sherman.)  For his exemplary performance, the twenty-eight year old Bragg received commendations from his superiors and a promotion to the rank of captain.  At Monterrey, Bragg’s precise artillery fire stopped the advance of Mexican troops through the city streets.  Reporting on what happened at Buena Vista, General Zachary Taylor believed Bragg’s cannonade against vastly superior numbers had “saved the day.”

Bragg’s performance inspired the telling of patriotic stories.  In the heat of battle, Taylor had supposedly ordered, “A little more grape, Captain Bragg.”  Whether Taylor said it or not, Americans repeated the story and the command as a testament of American bravery, determination, and victory.  


Sources:

William S. Hoffman, North Carolina in the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (Raleigh, 1969), 8-13.

By Troy L. Kickler, founding director of the North Carolina History Project


See Also:

Related Encyclopedia Entries: The Spanish - American War, Edward Vail (1717-1777), James K. Polk (1795-1849), James Iredell Waddell (1824-1886), CSS Neuse, USS Underwriter, Hillsborough Confrontation (1768), William Hawkins (1777-1819), Otway Burns (1775-1850), Johnston Blakely (1781-1814), Henry Toole Clark, George E. Preddy (1919-1944), Prelude to the Battle of Averasboro, The Battle of Averasboro-Day One, The Battle of Averasboro- Day Two, Braxton Bragg (1817-1876), Fort Clark, Civil War, Lance Incorporated, Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) , Archibald Maclaine (1728-1790), House in the Horseshoe, Philip Alston, Battle of Alamance, David Fanning (1755-1825), Battle of Guilford Court House, The Walton War, James Reilly ( ? - 1894), Howell Gilliam Trogdon (1840 - 1894), Battle at the Mouth of Sandy Creek, Parker David Robbins (1834-1917), Henry Eppes (1831-1917), Battle of Plymouth (1864), Washington County (1799), Salisbury Prison (Civil War), Gatling Gun, Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, Rutherford's Campaign, Royal Governor Josiah Martin (1737 - 1786), David “Carbine” Williams (1900 - 1975), The Battle of Ramsour’s Mill (June 20, 1780), Josephus Daniels (1862 - 1948)
Related Commentary: Toward an Inclusive History of the Civil War: Society and the Home Front
Related Lesson Plans: Civil War in North Carolina
Timeline: 1836-1865
Region: Statewide

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