Braxton Bragg and Confederate defeat, Volume 2 by Dr. Judith Lee Hallock Ph.D.

By Dr. Judith Lee Hallock Ph.D.

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30 Very early the next morning, on July 2, Bragg began abandoning Middle Tennessee. Just after midnight he ordered Wheeler to cross and destroy the Elk River bridge at Allisona. Besides covering the army's rear and blocking the road, Wheeler would also harrass the enemy's right and defend the railroad. M. Bragg directed Polk and Buckner to move to Cowan at daylight, while Hardee moved to Brakefield Point. M. Polk had his corps on the move, drawing up in line of battle when it reached Cowan. M. " In the late afternoon Wheeler reported his cavalry obstructing the road slowly (having only six axes), but the work soon ended completely when a large force of the enemy appeared.

179, Headquarters, Army of Tennessee, July 7, 1863; Kinloch Falconer to Hardee, Polk, Wheeler, Forrest, and Jackson, July 15, 1863, Bragg Papers, Western Reserve. Page 23 in striking the enemy," and foresaw condemnation of the retreat. "35 In a much lengthier report, Rosecrans complained to his superior that his operations had been severely hampered by the unusually heavy rains. He pointed out that his nine days' campaign had driven Bragg from two fortified positions and given the Federals possession of Middle Tennessee.

129. 43OR, XXIII (pt. 2), 900901. 44 Despite his errors, his illness, and his lack of support from both superiors and subordinates, Bragg performed creditably during the retreat from Tullahoma. " Bragg suffered few casualties, and his losses in matériel were slight. His opponent's report of captured goods boasted only an undetermined number of small arms, "3 field pieces, 6 caissons, 3 limbers, 3 rifled seige pieces without carriages . . ''45 This small booty does not bear out the Union reports of Confederate panic and disorganization.

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