Edward S. Bragg

Edward Stuyvesant Bragg (February 20, 1827 – June 20, 1912) was a Democratic politician, lawyer and Union Army general from Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1883 and from 1885 to 1887 and subsequently served as United States Minister to Mexico during the presidency of Grover Cleveland.

Edward S. Bragg
General Edward S. Bragg
United States Minister to Mexico
In office
March 5, 1888 – May 27, 1889
PresidentGrover Cleveland
Preceded byThomas C. Manning
Succeeded byThomas Ryan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1887
Preceded byDaniel H. Sumner
Succeeded byRichard W. Guenther
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883
Preceded bySamuel D. Burchard
Succeeded byJoseph Rankin
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 1, 1868 – January 1, 1870
Preceded byGeorge F. Wheeler
Succeeded byHiram S. Town
District Attorney of Fond du Lac County
In office
January 1, 1854 – January 1, 1856
Preceded byWilliam H. Ebbets
Succeeded byIsaac S. Tallmadge
Personal details
Edward Stuyvesant Bragg

February 20, 1827
Unadilla, New York
DiedJune 20, 1912(1912-06-20) (aged 85)
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Resting placeRienzi Cemetery
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
  • Cornelia Colman
  • (died 1912)
  • Kate Colman (Henry)
  • (b. 1854; died 1895)
  • William Kohl Bragg
  • (b. 1856; died 1878)
  • Margaret (Sherman)
  • (b. 1859; died 1937)
  • Bertha (Scriven)
  • (b. 1863; died 1914)
MotherMargaretha (Kohl) Bragg
FatherJoel Bragg
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861-1865
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brig. General
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Early life and careerEdit

Bragg was born in Unadilla, New York, the son of Margarette (Kohl) and Joel B. Bragg.[1][2] Bragg attended district schools as a child. He then attended the local academy and Geneva College (today Hobart College) in Geneva, New York,[1] where he was one of the charter members of The Kappa Alpha Society. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1848, commencing practice in Unadilla until 1850 when he moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where he continued practicing law.[1]

A Democrat, he was elected district attorney of Fond du Lac in 1853 and was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, which nominated Stephen A. Douglas for President and Herschel V. Johnson for Vice President.[1]

Civil WarEdit

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Bragg entered the Union Army as a captain in the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment on July 16, 1861. He was promoted to major on September 17, 1861, lieutenant colonel on June 21, 1862, and colonel on March 10, 1863. At the Battle of Antietam he was severely wounded. He missed the Gettysburg Campaign due to wounds suffered at the Battle of Chancellorsville. After recovering and returning to his field command, he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on June 25, 1864, which he served as until being mustered out on October 9, 1865. For the latter part of the war, he commanded the famed Iron Brigade. Bragg mustered out in 1865 and returned to Wisconsin to resume his law practice.[1]

Postbellum careerEdit

Representative Edward S. Bragg

Following the war, Bragg was appointed postmaster of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin by President Andrew Johnson in 1866, served in the Wisconsin Senate in 1868 and 1869. In 1868 he was a delegate to the soldiers and sailors convention in New York City, which nominated Horatio Seymour for President. He was the (unsuccessful) 1871 Democratic nominee for Wisconsin Attorney General.[3] He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872 which nominated Horace Greeley and B. Gratz Brown. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate to the United States Senate in 1874, losing to Angus Cameron.

Bragg was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1876 and was reelected in 1878 and 1880, serving from 1877 to 1883, not being a candidate for reelection in 1882. He represented Wisconsin's 5th congressional district in the 45th, 46th, and 47th United States Congresses (March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883). There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice from 1877 to 1879, of the Committee on War Claims from 1879 to 1881 and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1880 which nominated Winfield Scott Hancock and William H. English. At the Democratic National Convention of 1884, he seconded the nomination of Grover Cleveland for President with the "We love him for the enemies he made" comment that marked the rest of the successful campaign. It referred to Cleveland's conflicts with the corrupt Tammany Hall organization. He was elected back to the House of Representatives in 1884 to the 49th Congress, serving again from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1887, this time as the representative of Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district. He also served as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs from 1885 to 1887.

After not being a candidate for reelection in 1886, Bragg returned to his law practice in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico by President Grover Cleveland in 1888, serving until 1889, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1896 which nominated William Jennings Bryan and Arthur Sewall. He was appointed consul general in Havana, Cuba in May, 1902, and in Hong Kong, then a British crown colony, in September, 1902, serving from 1903 to 1906.[1]


Bragg married Cornelia Colman, a grandaughter of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, who was the namesake and one of the founders of Rochester, New York. They had one son and three daughters. Their youngest daughter, Bertha, married George Percival Scriven, who would go on to become the first chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the forerunner of NASA.

Bragg was a cousin of Frederick William Benteen, a senior captain (brevet brigadier-general) of the U.S. 7th Cavalry under George Armstrong Custer. Benteen was a major figure in the ill-fated Battle of the Little Bighorn and was singled out by Major Marcus Reno for his leadership during the two days of fighting endured by the survivors. Benteen mentioned his relationship to Bragg in a letter to Theodore Goldin dated February 10, 1896 (Benteen-Goldin Letters, Carroll, 1974).

Bragg died in Fond du Lac[1] and was interred in the town's Rienzi Cemetery.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "General Bragg Dead. A Noble Career Ends". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. June 21, 1912. p. 3. Retrieved August 6, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society-Stephen Steele Barlow



External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Lysander Cutler
Colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
March 10, 1863 – June 25, 1864
Succeeded by
John Azor Kellogg
Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
George F. Wheeler
Member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 20th district
January 1, 1868 – January 1, 1870
Succeeded by
Hiram S. Town
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel D. Burchard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883
Succeeded by
Joseph Rankin
Preceded by
Daniel H. Sumner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1887
Succeeded by
Richard W. Guenther
Legal offices
Preceded by
William H. Ebbets
District Attorney of the Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
January 1, 1854 – January 1, 1856
Succeeded by
Isaac S. Tallmadge
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Thomas C. Manning
United States Minister to Mexico
January 16, 1888 – May 27, 1889
Succeeded by
Thomas Ryan