View single post by samhood
 Posted: Wed Feb 27th, 2008 03:57 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55

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I understand your dislike for Hood, and to be honest, I'll admit there are plenty of reasons not to like him...although I would disagree only with some of your reasons for your dislike of Hood.

But moving past that, as a knowledgable Johnston supporter, would you please comment on his attacking at Bentonville after resuming command of the Army of Tennessee in Feb 1865 after writing in his memoirs that he resumed command with the full knowledge that continuing the war was hopeless, and all that could be accomplished was to gain fairer terms of surrender?  As I said before, he sustained 3,092 casualties at Bentonville, including 800 killed.

For the benefit of any late observers to this topic, Johnston's quote is that he resumed command,"
...with a full consciousness on my part, however, that we could have no other object, in continuing the war, other than to obtain fair terms of peace; for the Southern cause must have appeared hopeless then, to all intelligent and dispassionate Southern men. I therefore resumed the duties of my military grade with no hope beyond that of contributing to obtain peace on such conditions as, under the circumstances, ought to satisfy the Southern people and their Government."

My question is, how can Hood be accused of wasting soldiers at Atlanta and in Tennessee (Johnston himself said Hood engaged in "useless butchery" at Franklin) and Johnston avoid complete condemnation for Bentonville?  One prominent historian wrote that Hood was "a fool with a license to kill his own men"...tantamount to calling Hood a murderer.  Considering what Johnston wrote with his own pen, how could ordering men to their deaths at Bentonville not be considered outright murder?  (And for the record, I am NOT condemning JEJ here...rather, I am implying that neither Hood nor Johnston should be condemned for doing what they, as commanders. thought they should do.  I am only questioning the inconsistency in the caustic and harsh judging that Hood always receives versus the treatment that other commanders receive.)

Last edited on Wed Feb 27th, 2008 03:59 pm by samhood

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