Braxton Bragg was a general in the Confederate army, and a bad one at that. It’s perplexing that the federal government decided to name a military installation in North Carolina after him decades after he turned traitor and fought on the wrong side of the Civil War.

But stranger still is that his name lives on in a Californian city in which, the story goes, he never set foot. Fort Bragg was incorporated as a city in 1889, 32 years after Lt Horatio G Gibson established a military post there to control the Native American population in Mendocino County and named it after Bragg, his former commander at the Presidio at San Francisco. Don’t judge Gibson too harshly; it was years later that Bragg, a veteran of the Mexican-American war, would go on to ignominy as one of the Confederacy’s worst generals...

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