Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Captain Braxton Bragg to Elisa Ellis Bragg, June 6, 1853

Fort Leavenworth, 6th June, 1853. 
Court Room, (Chapel) 

My dear Wife: The whole day on Saturday was consumed in small questions of form, and, as I consider, frivolous objections-A request was made to delay all proceedings until witnesses could be called from New Mexico. The court decided to proceed as far as it could with the witnesses present, and entertain any proposition for delay when the presence of witnesses may become necessary. It has rained all the time excepting one day since my arrival. Today it is fair.—The sun here is infinitely worse than at the Barracks, and any locomotion is out of the question when it exists. The post is in horrible condition as to police and no better discipline. We have just expended two hours in doing nothing but listening to the twaddle of the prisoner and Judge Advocate, all amounting to nothing, except that they are both very learned men (in their own estimation). At length we got the plea of the prisoner, and the Judge Advocate asks an adjournment—he having so much to do. It was refused—a precedent I hope may be followed. The inefficiency of the J. A. surpasses my comprehension and is only equaled by the President. I can draw no other conclusion than that the General is not very anxious to get home. He has had no chill yet, but the sooner one comes the better for us. 

By the last mail we learn the recruits were at the Barracks. The General says, they will be here soon, and then I shall hear from my wife again. That is to be my only consolation for some time, I fear, for it seems to be a determination of both parties to spend the summer here. Some of the members of the court are getting impatient with myself, and are for going ahead. We are at last taking testimony!!! I must retract all expression of hope in regard to my return, and can only say I shall do all I can to urge business.

Time hangs heavily on my hands as I have no books and there are no means of recreation but a billiard table, and I do not play. The weather is so bad and the mud so abundant that visiting is almost suspended. During a call Mrs. Fauntleroy asked for you and wished her regards presented. She pressed me strongly to stay at her house when I first arrived, but I had already accepted Col. Beatty's invitation. Mrs. Barnes is staying with her parents—her husband being at the new post 150 miles west of this--and made special inquiries for her dear friend, Miss Anna Butler. Of course I enlightened her to the extent of my ability.

Miss Kate looks as well as could be expected under the circumstances.” Lt. Whittlesey had a chill day before yesterday, and I should judge required some one to keep him warm. It is to be hoped his family in New Mexico will not interpose any objection to this comfortable arrangement. Miss K. is not so pretty as it was thought she would be when younger—a sort of scowl seems to have settled permanently on her face.-It will certainly not be out of place after the union.

I am unable to pick up any scandal to elongate this poor return for your last loving letter. Accept all my love, dearest wife, and only give puss a kiss this time, for I suppose after my last she does not feel much like loving me or my pills. My health is good.

Your husband,

SOURCE: Don Carlos Seitz, Braxton Bragg, General of the Confederacy, p. 13-4

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