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    Braxton Bragg defends the honor of Jefferson Davis

    Braxton Bragg Autograph Letter Signed to Senator Samuel B. Maxey of Texas. Three pages, 5" x 8", April 5, 1875, Galveston [Texas], explaining that the reason he has refused to attend a reunion of Mexican War veterans is because of the "offensive" treatment of Jefferson Davis. Responding to a letter from Senator Maxey, the former Confederate general writes in part: "We do not differ in opinion. I am cordially with you in requiring the recent won in principle and in action, where a sacrifice of self respect is not required, and we are such in the same spirit by the other side. Had our people confirmed themselves to an invitation in Texas to all 'Mexican War Veterans' including officers of the army I should have said nothing. But they specifically selected all officers of the army, & specify 'Capt. U.S. Grant' as an offset to 'Col Jefferson Davis'. This might be very well when the Lion and the Lamb lie down together, but for the Lamb to ask that happy union whilst the Lordly Beast is making his daily breakfast from the [?] fold is a little too much."

    The general then offers a fuller reason why he will not attend: "But, General, the matter which compels me to abstain is more directly personal. At a general meeting of the association at Austin in Jan'y. I attended by invitation, and joined and was initiated as a member. A part of the proceeding of that evening was to appoint a 'Committee of Arrangements' for an annual meeting in May. I was made chairman of that committee. At a meeting of that committee, held a few days thereafter, the question of inviting officers of the Army was discussed. And it was decided, as a matter of policy, and to secure harmony, not to entertain it. At the subsequent meeting of the association, a special committee is appointed to do this very thing, and in a way to be offensive to Mr: Davis, to whom I had written and from whom they had secd.[secured] his courteous reply, sent up by me. . . . I simply withdrew from the committee. Could I do less?"

    Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) was a career United States Army officer, a general in the Confederate Army, and a principal commander in the western theater of the American Civil War. Throughout the Civil War, President Davis had been patient with the unpopular Bragg, who was known for his irritability. Bragg seems to repay the favor by not attending this reunion. Samuel Maxey (1825-1895), an attorney from Paris, Texas, was chosen as a delegate to Texas' 1861 Secession Convention. During the Civil War, he was promoted to a Confederate brigadier general and served in Tennessee with Bragg. Following a post-war pardon, he was elected to two terms as senator. This Reconstruction era letter, which has been passed down from the descendants of Senator Maxey, comes with the lightly soiled transmittal envelope addressed in Bragg's hand. Fine.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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