(SStr: t. 1.043; l. 208'; b. 32'8"; dph. 15'; dr. 12'; s. 10 k.; a. 1 30-pdr., 1 32-pdr., 112-pdr.)
General Braxton Bragg was born in 1817 in Warrentown, N.C., and graduated from West Point in 1837. After action in the Seminole War, he served with distinction in the Mexican War, especially at Buena Vista 3 February 1847 when his field artillery broke the Mexican attack. He resigned in 1856 and became a plantation owner in Louisiana until commissioned a Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army 23 February 1861. He assisted General Johnston in the reorganization of his army; was promoted to General for bravery at Shiloh; and relieved General Beauregard as Commander of the Army of Tennessee 27 June 1862. After seeing action at Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga, he was relieved by General Johnston 2 December 1863. As military adviser to Jefferson Davis, he was captured with the President 9 May 1865. After the war he practiced as a civil engineer until his death at Galveston 27 September 1876.
General Bragg, originally river steamer Mexico, was built in New York City in 1851. Owned by the Southern Steamship Co. she was impressed for Confederate service as CSS General Bragg at New Orleans 15 January 1862 (see "Confederate Appendix," Vol. II). She was captured by the Union's Western Flotilla in an engagement near Memphis, Tenn., 6 June 1862, and transferred to the War Department 30 September 1862. Her first Commanding Officer was Lt. Joshua Bishop.
General Bragg was fitted out at Cairo, Ill., departing 9 July 1862 for Helena, Ark. She sailed 16 August 1862 as part of an escort to steamer Iatan carrying 500 troops to the mouth of the Yazoo for reconnaissance of Confederate batteries and guerrilla parties. For the next 15 mouths, except for periods of repair at Memphis, she patrolled the river from Helena to the mouth of the Yazoo River, where she guarded against Confederate movements toward Vicksburg.
With the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863, General Bragg remained in the vicinity until her departure 13 December, for her new station at the mouth of the Red River. During the spring of 1864, it was her duty to guard the mouth of the river in support of the joint expedition against Shreveport on the Red. She began patrolling the river again, and 15 June engaged a Confederate battery with Naiad near Tunica Bend, La. For a time the ships got the worst of the action amid a hail of shot and musketry, but eventually drove off the Confederates with the help of Winnebago. General Bragg was disabled in the action. The remainder of General Bragg's career was spent patrolling the Mississippi from the mouth of the Red River to Natchez, Miss. Infrequently she cruised as far south as Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The ship returned to Mound City, Ill., 2 July 1865, and decommissioned at Cairo 24 July 1965. Sold 1 September 1865, she was redocumented Mexico.