BRAGG'S RETREAT. AKA and see "Forked Deer." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Mississippi. D Major. ADae tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune, usually known as "Forked Deer," is older than the title, which undoubtedly refers to the unfortunate Confederate general Baxton Bragg who served in the western theatre of the American Civil War. Bragg commanded the Army of the Tennessee from mid-1862 to the end of 1963, and was neither well-liked nor well-respected. He could often be irascible, sullen and rigid, and was consistently out-generaled by his Union opposites. Private Sam Watkins, who served in the Army of the Tennessee during Bragg's tenure wrote in his memoirs that one of the common sayings among the men of his company while on march was "Bully for Bragg! He's hell on retreat!" The source for the tune under this title is Meridian, Mississippi, fiddler Stephen B. Tucker, who recorded it for the Library of Congress in 1939.
Recorded sources: Mississippi Department of Archives and History AH-002, Stephen B. Tucker (1939) - "Great Big Yam Potates: Anglo-American Fiddle Music from Mississippi" (1985). PearlMae Muisc 004-2, Jim Taylor - "The Civil War Collection" (1996).
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