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A War of Wills in the West©

On October 9th, 1863, a caustic scene played out at General Braxton's Bragg's HQ on Missionary Ridge. Confederate States President Jefferson Davis had hurried from Richmond to investigate tales of rife dissention following the Army of Tennessee's "hollow victory" at Chickamauga. Bragg had placed General Polk under arrest; while submitting his resignation, General Forrest had threatened to kill Bragg. Here, Davis (standing left) interviews Major Generals Simon Bucker (seated right)  and Frank Cheatham (seated under window), and Lieutenant Generals James Longstreet (standing right) and Daniel Harvey Hill (standing center).

Earlier in the week, twelve officers had secretly signed a petition calling for Bragg's removal. Had word of it leaked out? Bragg (seated left) looks confused at the unanimous denunciations of his generalship. D.H. Hill, the last to testify, amuses Longstreet, his West Point classmate of 1842, with his trademark sarcastic wit. Assumed by Davis and Bragg to have authored the petition, days later it was Hill, and not Bragg, who was relieved from duty. Bragg then reorganized the Army to neutralize elements hostile to him, changes which contributed to an inglorious defeat at the Battle of Chattanooga in late November. Bragg then resigned from Army command only to be appointed Davis' military advisor in Richmond.
Hill would see no more active service until the waning, desperate months of the war.





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