|View single post by samhood|
|Posted: Wed Apr 26th, 2006 03:28 pm||
Thanks for the kind words about my web site.
By the way, I can't take any personal credit for the convincing research that impeaches the credibility of the myth of Hood's laudanum use. The article on my site is a reprint of a Blue and Gray magazine article by Dr. Steve Davis. I'm sure Steve appreciates your compliments.
Regarding my assertion that Hood would have had fresh troops and more time to use "strategic flanking manuevers" the next day, and the fact that the Harpeth was high and fast, is not double-talk. On Nov. 30 the Harpeth was fordable, but only at a few spots, and fording was difficult and hazardous. Forrest had been fording the river at either McGavock or Davis fords (Eric J. would know which) but with difficulty. The river could be crossed, but not by large numbers of infantry in the brief time available on the 30th. Also, Confederate flanking to the west could have been considered by Hood on the following day, although I will admit, I haven't studied that scenario. In summary, I think it is pretty well established that the river was too high for large numbers of troops, wagons and artillery to cross rapidly, but the river could be crossed at a few places. (There is record of one of Forrest's cavalrymen, a Mississippian named Dennis or Dennys, and his horse, drowning while fording the river on the 30th.)
Regarding Hood and Lee's opinion that an offensive campaign was needed for the morale of the army after the fall of Atlanta, I don't think you make a convincing argument that Hood and Lee were "lying." You might disagree with them, but there is little (if any) evidence that they were stupid or liars. They were, like hundreds of other CW commanders of various rank, both Union and Confederate, who made observations, made decisions, and were trying to successfully achieve objectives with the information and resources available to them at that time. The army had been steadily retreating since May, and Hood and Lee were reasonable to think that an offensive would improve morale. (Also, Jeff Davis had found it necessary to tell the army at Palmetto that their faces would "soon be turned northward" and their feet would "soon be treading Tennessee soil".
You are right, Forrest didn't like Hood, but then again, Forrest didn't hardly like anyone:-) However, the fact that Sword and some others bash Hood doesn't necessarily "add up." The Hood bashing started with Horn. Connelly took up the same theme, but sharpened the tone. Sword "one upped" Connelly, and crossed the line of decency. These authors fed on each other. Go back and read Thomas R. Hay's 1929 Hood's TN Campaign, and Winston Groom's more recent Shrouds of Glory. They have different tone and content than Sword et al. So does Eric Jacobson new book. My point is that if any reader only reads a selected few books, he will get a filtered portrayal.
Again, I appreciate your taking time to visit the site, and the respectable tone of your criticisms.