Volume 2 of the biography of General Braxton Bragg starts after Bragg s withdrawal from Tullahoma, Tennessee, to Chattanooga.Hallock describes in detail the most famous of Bragg s battles—the victory at Chickamauga, where his old friend,George Thomas of the Union Army earned his sobriquetThe Rock of Chickamauga —and his worst defeat—the loss of Missionary Ridge to Grant through an even-handed fate, since it was Thomastroops who broke the Confederate center.[return][return]Bragg was relieved of command shortly after and appointed as Jefferson Davismilitary advisor, in Richmond.Hallock is absolutely fascinating as she details Bragg s performance in this post—it brought out both the best in his capabilities of administrator and organizer and the worst in his personality.One Richmond diarist called himthis element of discord, acrimony, and confusion. Bragg seemed incapable of getting along with any of his colleagues.another ection describes that the lull in the two attacks on Fort Pickens, North Carolina, where he was in charge of the defensesallowed Bragg an opportunity to indulge himself in his favorite pastimes—griping and carping .It seemed as if Bragg never lost an opportunity to make an enemy, and he had plenty of opportunities.Vindictiveness just rounded out Bragg s congenial disposition.[return][return]It is this failure in interpersonal relationships—vital if a commander is to get the best out of his subordinates—that turned much of the public and many of the Confederate officers against him, and contributed to a reputation for incompetence that was more than he deserved.But Bragg was a nasty piece of work, and most of his problems were self-created.[return][return]Hallock s book is an eye-opener in the way she reveals the animosities and back-biting that permeated the Confederate high commands.She also is unsparing of Longstreet who, according to her viewpoint, failed at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.Her description of Bragg s contribution to and in the fatal removal of Joseph Johnston from the command of the Army of Tennessee and the subsequent appointment of Hood, who jockeyed shamelessly for the command, is revelatory; Bragg, who prided himself on his integrity, behaved like an ordinary sleazy county politician, pandering to Davis in the latter s desire to get rid of Johnston; Bragglied through his teeth later about his participation in a betrayal of a man who had stood up for Bragg when Bragg was under fire.[return][return]Hallock follows Bragg through the last days of the Confederacy and to the end of his life.True to form, he was unable to hold any position for very long in the post-war era due to his inability to co-exist at least neutrally with anyone in authority or his colleagues as well.[return][return]Hallock s last chapter sums up Brag s strength and weaknesses and how they contributed both to further the Confederate cause and to its defeat.She also makes some extrapolations of Bragg s character to the Southern population in general.But what is the most interesting part in this chapter is her discussion of Bragg s health.It was notoriously poor and probably psychosomatic, brought on by the stresses of responsibility and overwork.But the medical treatments of the day were horrific; Bragg practically lived on mercury compounds, widely prescribed by Southern doctors as a way to counteract what they termed was thetorpidlives of Southern males.Calumel—mercury—was quite well accepted as a remedy in the mid-19th century.Today, of course, we know it s debilitating effects.Not only that, but according to Hallock, opium was quite widely used as a tranquilizer and some of Bragg s described behavior could very well have been due to anopium fog: According to Hallock—and she cites quite a few sources, the South had the highest rate of opium addiction in the country and possibly one of the highest in the world.It s a fascinating conjecture.[return][return]Hallock s writing is very engaging, very clear, and her attention to detail leads you right into the life of this unpleasant yet highly important Confederate general.The few maps the book has are adequate for the text and the story.[return][return] While Volume 2 can stand on its own, but is enhanced by reading Volume 1 by Grady McWhiney first.All in all, a very well written, very informative and even absorbingbook.