North Carolina-born Braxton Bragg, an 1837 West Pointer, showed leadership promise in his early career, especially as a capable organizer and artillerist. However, he inspired indifference in his troops and contempt, even hatred, in many of his fellow officers.
In 1861 Bragg was appointed brigadier general. Shortly after his participation in the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh, he was promoted to full general. Later that year his invasion of Kentucky ended in failure and retreat after the drawn battles of Perryville in October and Stone's River at year's end. His Army of Tennessee defeated Union forces at Chickamauga in September 1863, but Bragg failed to follow up this success. On November 23, Grant routed his demoralized army at Missionary Ridge, and a defeated Bragg retreated into Georgia. On December 2, 1863, Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of the Army of Tennessee.
Bragg served as President Davis' military adviser in 1864. Returning to the field in March 1865, he fought his last battle against Sherman in North Carolina.