|View single post by Johan Steele|
|Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 12:51 am||
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352
|Sam; It's been several years since I read exerpts of Hoods letters to Davis and to be honest I don't recall which book they came out of; I'll have to do some digging and frankly I won't lie to you and tell you I'll get right on that. I seem to recall Carter's Seige of Atlanta detailing some of that but I may well be all wet. I don't think it was in Cox or Woodworths work and it's entirely possible I have something written by Glatthaar in mind.
Hood skipped the chain of command by sending his letters, purposefully bypassing superior officers in the chain of command while doing so. A heinous crime in the military and the kind of thing that would have gotten him a courts martial in the US Army. To add insult, for me, he did this all behind JEJ's back. In Hood's defence the AoT CS was full of backroom cowardly politicking and he would get his share of it.
Currently I've been studying and reading as much as possible on the wee scrap at Allatoona pass. What strikes me now and before is how Hood would edit his Official Reports after the fact, sometimes in a rather dramatic fashion. For example if you read French's account of his orders from his diary... they are almost completely at odds w/ what Hood filed in Febuary of 65. Hood bactracked trying to cover his posterier by saying he wanted French to grab the rations & wreck the RR there. When in reality he had ordered French to fill in the RR cut, destroy the Etowah River Bridge & return to the army in approx 30 hours. In short he was to destroy a bridge, tear up some RR track fill in a 100' deep RR cut that was better than 300' long, seize 1 million rations (which he added later) & return them to the army... w/out wagons. All this in approx 40 hours w/ less than 5000 infantry & 12 guns. French's men were good... but I question if any were that good. Hood was targetting a garrison that he had no info on in a position originally built by the CS designed for a garrison of IIRC 3000. In short French had a talent for understatemen: "It would appear, however, from these orders that the general in chief (Hood) was not aware that the pass was fortified and garrisoned that I was sent to have filled up." French's Report.
In short, for me, it is just one more example of Hood's lack of... capability.
Hood, in contrast to Lee would blame everyone except himself for failure. As an example after Atlanta Hood wrote to Davis (Sept 6?): "According to all human calculations we should have saved Atlanta had the officers and men of the Army done what was expected of them."
Of note in his speech at Macon in September Davis royally ripped both Gov Brown & JEJ. And in what can only be looked at as startling incompetance he detailed military plans. When he reviewed the troops @ Palmetto he failed to return salutes and in return the men didn't cheer Davis but there were frequent shouts of "Give us Johnston!" During Davis's Sept visit Hardee recomended the Johnston be reinstated to command of the AoT or to choose between Hood & himself (Hardee)w/ both Stewart & S.D. Lee agreeing. Hardee was sent to the Atlantic coast for his trouble and Cleburne & several others nearly resigned. From my readings on SC's General Manigault.
To appease the upset Generals Davis appointed old Beau as Hoods CO... it was a sham as Hood all but ignored the man.
Like Davis & Wheeler; the more I read of Hood the less I like the man.
Last edited on Tue Feb 26th, 2008 02:33 am by Johan Steele