Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Hood's Options at Franklin.... - The Battle of Franklin - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Aug 23rd, 2008 05:21 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
5fish
Member


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 141
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Is not the only questions about the Battle of Franklin is: What should Hood have done and what were his options?

If one looks at it. He has a short amount of time to decide which course of action should be taken.

Schofield's army was trapped in Franklin with their backs against a a swollen river but would soon be crossing before long.

Hood has watched as this army of Schofield's has been running from him in a panic so Hood being aggressive by nature most likely thinking his opponent is already beat just needs in good push and victory.

The entrenchment have this huge hole right through the middle caused by the Columbia pike. It looks like a weak point that Hood can exploit. Plus, there and argument how imposing the entrenchment really were around Franklin.

He must attack because if Schofield crosses the river and reaches Thomas then he will be back facing an opponent with a 2 to 1 against him in the numbers.

Option: If he tries to flank Schofield it will take time and Schofield will most likely be across the river well on his way to Nashville. Game over for Hood.

Option: There is the big hole in the middle of Schofield breastworks. Now! In front of Hood is an beaten opponent running in panic with what looks like an opportunity to catch and push Schofield's army into the river. One massive attack up that road against an opponent who's spirit to fight is broken. Just one good push and victory..

One came break down the battle and show went wrong but can someone show what else Hood should have done or what other options he had to chose from. Grant order the Cold harbor attack because he thought Lee's army spirit to fight was broken because of North Anna. We do not call Grant reckless but we call Hood reckless. Why because Grant went on to win and Hood went on to defeat..

Grant even said "just one more push" the war would be over....

Thinking its all about W's....... 

 

 

 

 

 



 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2008 12:27 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
The Iron Duke
Member


Joined: Tue Jul 29th, 2008
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 333
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I think first off it needs to be said that I've never seen Grant get a free pass for his actions at Cold Harbor. In fact, I often see it used as evidence to support the argument that he was a butcher.

Secondly, there would have been no need for an attack at Franklin if Hood had actually been on the field at Spring Hill to coordinate his forces. Not to mention the confusing nature of his orders.

Hood would probably get more sympathy from others if he weren't a two faced liar, took responsibility for his actions, and didn't accuse his men of cowardice after getting them all killed.

Last edited on Sun Aug 24th, 2008 12:28 am by The Iron Duke



____________________
"Cleburne is here!" meant that all was well. -Daniel Harvey Hill


 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2008 10:58 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
5fish
Member


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 141
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Iron,

Grant is not label reckless but is called a Butcher by some but the point is that Grant's reasoning at Cold Harbor was similar to Hood's reasoning at Franklin. Cold Harbor is only a blemish on Grant's record but Franklin is a steak through Hood's record damming him for life.

You may want to bring up Spring Hill but that is a side tracking from my original questions. Spring Hill is another discuss about when is it the proper time to consume adult beverages.

What's this point about blaming others? Hood throws blame around rightfully or wrongly at his subordinates so that is his management style. Hood was the commander of the Army and in the end he took blame and resigned his command after Nashville.

Iron neither one or anyone else has answered my questions so maybe Hood was more then justify in his actions at Franklin after all.....



 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2008 03:03 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hood's options are few: all but one allow Schofield to slip away.

The humane option has him not invading Tennessee: getting his troops fit and fat and equipped as much as possible in central Georgia and Alabama. This option essentially takes the AoT out of the war, which goes on without it. Maybe it requires Thomas to come out and chase him around. Maybe not.

The sane option is having him turn back from Franklin -- saving his army to fight another day. Perhaps snapping up Murfreesboro on his way south, and threatening Chattanooga, or maybe even Knoxville: Thomas would have to come out. But Hood is not known for backing off in the face of a fight or an impossible objective.

The controversial option (Forrest's suggestion) is not quite practicable. It's getting late, and although Forrest knows the territory thoroughly, it offers small chance of bagging Schofield.

The selected option is about the only option available. And there is a good chance it will work. With Wagner's brigades well in advance, the defenders will have to hold fire while they retreat to the lines. It almost works. But for the happy accident that Oglesby refuses to leave his brigade hanging out in front and assembles them in town to rest, Hood's boys almost break through along the Columbia Pike. A breakthrough would likely have sent the Federals scattering in the dark. A cool-headed Confederate commander might then have surged through town rounding them up.

But for the happy accident, Hood's final, fatal option was his only chance of fulfilling his mission. His grossest error was camping out on the hills overlooking Nashville after the whupping he got at Franklin.

Helping your ruminations....

ole



 Posted: Mon Aug 25th, 2008 12:47 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
The Iron Duke
Member


Joined: Tue Jul 29th, 2008
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 333
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"Grant is not label reckless but is called a Butcher by some but the point is that Grant's reasoning at Cold Harbor was similar to Hood's reasoning at Franklin. Cold Harbor is only a blemish on Grant's record but Franklin is a steak through Hood's record damming him for life."

Lee's army was weaker at Cold Harbor compared to the beginning of the campaign. The same is not true of Schofield's army. The Confederacy was at a disadvantage in manpower and Hood couldn't just throw his men away like they are plastic soldiers. He had to be more clever than his enemy.

"You may want to bring up Spring Hill but that is a side tracking from my original questions."

Hood showed a reckless and careless management style at Spring Hill so it's no surprise he would make the choice he did at Franklin.

"Spring Hill is another discuss about when is it the proper time to consume adult beverages."

I don't understand what you are saying here.

"What's this point about blaming others? Hood throws blame around rightfully or wrongly at his subordinates so that is his management style. Hood was the commander of the Army and in the end he took blame and resigned his command after Nashville."

This was a contributing factor to the woeful management of the army.

"Iron neither one or anyone else has answered my questions so maybe Hood was more then justify in his actions at Franklin after all....."

To quote Napoleon:

Maxim XVI. It is an approved maxim in war, never to do what the enemy wishes you to do, for this reason alone, that he desires it. A field of battle, therefore, which he has previously studied and reconnoitered, should be avoided, and double care should be taken where he has had time to fortify and entrench. One consequence deducible from this principle is, never to attack a position in front which you can gain by turning.


Last edited on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 01:11 am by The Iron Duke



____________________
"Cleburne is here!" meant that all was well. -Daniel Harvey Hill


 Posted: Mon Aug 25th, 2008 01:26 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
CleburneFan
Member


Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hood was in a bind. After Scholfield's troops had slipped by the Army of Tennessee, Hood had to chase them hard to keep them from reaching the confines and safety of Nashville. He didn't want to have to fight them AND Thomas at Nashville, but now it was evident that his worst fears would come true UNLESS he could smash them hard at Franklin with their back to the Harpeth River.

But what if he didn't fight at Franklin? What if he had decided to do as Ole so perceptively suggested and stall or let Schofield join Thomas in Nashville, while Hood collects his thoughts, rests his men and forms a viable stategy for pushing past Nashville to Kentucky, then to Ohio.

The trouble was, Hood was angry at his generals whom he has blamed for the humiliating escape of Schofield. He was hell bent for leather and wanted to punish the miscreants--as if they had done it deliberately. To figure out what Hood could have done or should have done would be to have to have an understanding of his state-of-mind at that moment. My guess is that he was close to being unstable given the reckless and punitive decisions he did make that fateful day. I don't know if he was in any condition to be able to formulate a coherent, rational plan for his next moves, one that would save his own army to fight effectively on another day.

But 5Fish, what Hood didn't know and couldn't know was that even had he avoided the Franklin debacle and pushed on, in a few days a good old Tennessee  ice storm awaited that could have been catastrophic for the AoT no matter what Hood had done at Franklin.

In fact, I think the AoT was pretty much at the end of its rope. Men were barefoot, ragged and starving. Horses and mules had no fodder; some needed shodding. How much more can anyone ask of men and animals in the dead of winter?

I'm a notorous coward, but I feel Hood's best option at this juncture might have been to trek back to Alabama or Mississippi and set up winter camp hoping to fight again in the spring.  Even Lee knew when it was the better part of valor to beat a timely retreat.

Last edited on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 01:28 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Mon Aug 25th, 2008 11:26 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
gettysburgerrn
Member


Joined: Thu Mar 8th, 2007
Location: Masapequa, Ny, USA
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

So Scofield slips away..at least Hood's army is intact..and just the movement nrth is going to make the federals come looking for him...then it become a question of manuever (granted not exactly hood's strong point) but at least he can maybe find better prospects...
ken



 Posted: Tue Aug 26th, 2008 01:11 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
5fish
Member


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 141
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I ponder why people think Hood should have waited and saved his army to fight another day. What was going to change and give him a better chance at victory in late fall of 1864. He has a panic army trapped against a river with a hole in the middle of it breastworks. In military terms it does get much better then that for an aggressive person like Hood.

Hood knows if Schofield gets aways he'll be facing an opponent twice his size. His odds for victory become less likely. He knows. He needs  more then victory but a victory that would get Grant and Sherman attention. Franklin seems to fit all of his needs. Why wait?

If Hood would have waited until after winter to renew his campaign his army would have melted away just like Lee's army did...

Off to ponder...

 

 



 Posted: Tue Aug 26th, 2008 01:25 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

There is that -- Hood's army might have had to be used or lost. Makes sense. On the other hand, with hood that wasn't really an option.

ole



 Posted: Tue Aug 26th, 2008 02:49 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
The Iron Duke
Member


Joined: Tue Jul 29th, 2008
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 333
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"I ponder why people think Hood should have waited and saved his army to fight another day. What was going to change and give him a better chance at victory in late fall of 1864. He has a panic army trapped against a river with a hole in the middle of it breastworks."

An army outside of breastworks is more vulnerable than one that is protected by them.

Hood had virtually no reserves of manpower to draw upon. He had to be clever.

There are always unponderables in war and Hood's subordinates saw what a hopeless and reckless attack it was. And Schofield's army was not panicking.

How many Malvern Hills, Fredericksburgs, Pickett's Charges, Kennesaw Mountains does it take before Hood learns that charging straight ahead at breastworks doesn't work?

"Hood knows if Schofield gets aways he'll be facing an opponent twice his size. His odds for victory become less likely. He knows. He needs more then victory but a victory that would get Grant and Sherman attention. Franklin seems to fit all of his needs. Why wait?"

There were still plenty of manpower at Nashville, in the Trans-Mississippi theater, and up north to deal with Hood.

"If Hood would have waited until after winter to renew his campaign his army would have melted away just like Lee's army did..."

This was not unusual during the war. Men often left during the winter and came back when the spring campaign was about to begin.



____________________
"Cleburne is here!" meant that all was well. -Daniel Harvey Hill


 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 10:03 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
samhood
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Ladies and Gents:

If I may jump in here...

Hood was sent into Tennessee primarily to attempt to defeat Thomas's forces, liberate Nashville and move north, all of which would force a retrograde by Sherman, who had already departed on his March to the Sea.  For Hood to have turned around and abandoned the campaign after the Spring Hill debacle (regardless of who was to blame) was not an option.

In a telegram to PGT Beauregard in late November 1864, Jefferson Davis alluded to Hood's mission when he stated, "Until Hood reaches the country proper of the enemy, he can scarcely change Grant’s or Sherman’s campaigns."

Schofield explained Hood's decision to attack at Franklin in his postwar memoirs: "Hood's assault at Franklin has been severely criticized. Even so able a general as J.E.Johnston has characterized it as ‘useless butchery'. These criticisms are based on a misapprehension of the facts, and are essentially erroneous. Hood must have been aware of our relative weakness of numbers at Franklin, and of the probable, if not certain, concentration of large reinforcements at Nashville. He could not hope to have at any future time anything like so great an advantage in that respect. The army at Franklin and the troops at Nashville were within one night's march of each other; Hood must therefore attack on November 30 or lose the advantage of greatly superior numbers. It was impossible, after the pursuit from Spring Hill, in a short day to turn our position or make any other attack but a direct one in front. Besides our position with the river on our rear, gave him the chance of vastly greater results, if his assault were successful, than could be hoped for by any attack he could make after we had crossed the Harpeth. Still more, there was no unusual obstacle to a successful assault at Franklin. The defenses were of the slightest character, and it was not possible to make them formidable during the short time our troops were in position, after the previous exhausting operations of both day and night, which had rendered some rest on the 30th absolutely necessary.


"The Confederate cause had reached a condition closely verging on desperation, and Hood's commander-in-chief had called upon him to undertake operations which he thought appropriate to such an emergency. Franklin was the last opportunity he could expect to have to reap the results hoped for in his aggressive movement. He must strike there, as best he could, or give up his cause as lost."


Hood accusing his soldiers of cowardice and blaming them for the defeats on the Tennessee Campaign is pure myth, created almost single-handedly by master wordsmith and arch Hood-slanderer Wiley Sword.  Sword took Hood's words out of context, distorted their meaning, and shamelessy concealed from the reader all of Hood's words of praise and acceptance of responsiblity.  Hood wrote in Advance and Retreat, praising the “extraordinary gallantry” of the soldiers of the Army of Tennessee at Franklin.  In his Official Report of the Battle of Franklin, Hood wrote, "Never did troops fight more gallantly." In his Army of Tennessee resignation letter he wrote, "When the fortunes of war were against us, the same faithful (Army of Tennessee) soldiers remained true to their flag, and with rare exceptions followed it in retreat as they had borne it in advance."  In Advance and Retreat, he wrote, "Whilst I failed utterly to bring on battle at Spring Hill..." In his Army of Tennessee resignation letter, of the Tennessee Campaign he wrote, "I am alone responsible for its conception..."  At the end of the Nashville retreat, near Shoal Creek AL, W.G. Davenport of the 6th Texas Cavalry wrote that Gen Hood rode up and "Looking worn and tired but with kindly words for all, said to the soldiers, 'Boys, this is all my fault.'"

But perhaps Hood's most eloquent praise for the soldiers of the Army of Tennessee are found on page 296 of his memoir, where he compared the soldiers to his own renowned namesake Hood's Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia, "The attack (at Franklin), which entailed so great a sacrifice of life, had become a necessity as imperative as that which impelled Gen. Lee to order the assault at Gaines’ Mill, when our troops charged across an open space, a distance of one mile, under a most galling fire of musketry and artillery, against an enemy heavily entrenched. The heroes in that action fought not more gallantly than the soldiers of the Army of Tennessee upon the fields of Franklin."

Of course NONE OF THESE QUOTES APPEAR IN SWORD'S BOOK!

Finally, Hood's movement to Nashville after the defeat at Franklin was indeed an act of desperation.  He was trying a Hail Mary, but since Napoleon's Maxims are quoted previously in this thread, may I also offer up Napoleons Maxim Number VI states, "At the commencement of a campaign, to advance or not to advance is a matter for grave consideration; but when once the offensive has been assumed, it must be sustained to the last extremity. However skillful the maneuvers in a retreat, it will always weaken the morale of an army, because in losing the chances of success these last are transferred to the enemy. Besides, retreats always cost more men and materiel than the most bloody engagements; with this difference, that in a battle the enemy's loss is nearly equal to your own--whereas in a retreat the loss is on your side only."


And keep in mind how concerned US Grant was with Hood's threat while at Nashville. Grant wired Thomas on Dec. 11, imploring him to attack Hood. "If you delay attacking longer, the mortifying spectacle will be witnessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio…
 

 



 



 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 11:53 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
gettysburgerrn
Member


Joined: Thu Mar 8th, 2007
Location: Masapequa, Ny, USA
Posts: 130
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Not for nothing Hood acknowledging fault is appropriate in that .well, it was his fault. Grant was unaware of the tactical situation (The weather, the condition of Hood's army etc) and tried to manage the situation from several hundred miles away... Schofield was a master self promoteer, and by by giving Hood more credit for the attack, he makes himself look better.
Shouldn't hood have brought up his artillery? In actuality I have a far bigger problem with all of confederate leadership's botching the matter at spring hill which if appropriately managed would have prevented Franklin from occuring....
Just some thoughts..

ken



 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 05:07 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
samhood
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Ken:

Hood had left most of his artillery at Columbia, along with two of three divisions of SD Lee's Corps, to make Schofield think there was a general attack while Cheatham and Stewart's Corps' made the grand flank march to Spring Hill on Nov. 29. The artillery barage froze Schofield temporarily, allowing Hood to get the jump on him to Spring Hill.

On the late afternoon of Nov 30, with only 2 hours of daylight remaining, the artillery and SD Lee's two divisions had not yet arrived at Franklin from Columbia, having had to march 12-15 miles further than Cheatham and Stewarts' two corps.

In short, Hood would have had to wait 4-5 hours for his artillery to arrive at Franklin, and by that time it would be dark, too late to launch an attack, and Schofield's army would have been safely behind the fortifications of Nashville after an overnight's march.  As Hood pointed out, he preferred to fight Schofield at Franklin, where he had only a few hours to fortify, than at Nashville, where the Federals had been fortifying for three years.

As for Schofield's credibility, yes, he was a self promotor, but his description of the situation at Franklin was factually correct, and corroborated by several other memoirists...Union and Confederate. (I didn't bother posting them.)



 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 05:17 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
samhood
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Ken:

Another thing...regarding Hood's praise of his soldiers...yes, there wasn't necessarily anything unusual about a commander complimenting his troops when they deserved it, as the Army of Tennessee certainly did at Franklin. I gave Hood's quotes only in response to the earlier post where Hood was accused of calling his troops cowards and blaming them for the defeat at Franklin. The assertion, promoted primarily by Wiley Sword twisting and misrepresenting Hood's words, is ludicrous, and Hood's other words...words of praise and admiration...should be revealed to readers. Wiley Sword is a master deceiver, and his primary tool is to reveal only selected records to his readers, while censoring any historical character whose testimonies don't support Sword's biased premises.

Last edited on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 05:17 pm by samhood



 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 05:28 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Scout
Member
 

Joined: Thu Mar 13th, 2008
Location: Nashville
Posts: 45
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hood praising his army, after he destroyed it...does not grant reprieve. Ken, you're right to comment that Schofield (and most commanders) will justify their opponent to make their triumph seem grander.

What any of that will never forgive is that responsibility for Spring Hill rests with Hood. Responsibility for not spending mere minutes to further and accurately observe the line, And realize that the Federal Right was the vulnerable point. It had no previous works, from Federal occupation. The fields of fire (Granger complex covered an advance on their left) were much less imposing, and the bend in the river more accomodating.

an attack focusing on driving in Wagner's force coupled with
an alignment to attack the right instead of the left (which simple recon shows the bend in the Harpeth makes an attack on the left near impossible, had a chance to do what Hood desired.

The rash manner of attack. The revenge factor. The fact that even though that army bled its heart out in several strong (though failed) assaults around Atlanta...and Hood still felt an assault upon works was needed to prove their value...

Franklin was a disaster.



 Posted: Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 01:38 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
16th Post
samhood
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
Posts: 55
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hood indeed praised his army's peformance at Franklin, and everyone should ask Wiley Sword and James Lee McDonough why they concealed those words of praise in their books.  Hood certainly expressed words of compliment and admiration, and those authors certainly decided not to include it in their books. 

Hood did not destroy the Army of Tennessee.  If it were indeed destroyed at Franklin, who killed approximately 1,500 Union troops at Nashville 2 weeks later?  But if it was destroyed at Franklin, it was Schofield's tough-as-nails veteran Union army that did it.

Regarding Schofield's defense of Hood's attack at Franklin, if he is not a credible commentator, others spoke of the decision to attack:

Col. Virgil S. Murphey of the 17th Alabama Infantry wrote of Franklin in his diary, "Had Hood succeeded, Nashville would have opened her gates to the head of his victorious legions and the throat of Tennessee released from the grasp of remorseless despotism. It was worth the hazard. Its failure does not diminish the value of the prize."

 

A member of A.P. Stewart’s staff, B.L. Ridley, wrote in his memoirs, "It has been charged that he (Hood) gave the order to attack at Franklin because of chagrin at his failure at Spring Hill. This supposition does Hood great injustice. A Federal courier had been captured bearing dispatches between Thomas and Schofield of the Federal army. The tenor of the dispatches led Hood to believe that Franklin was not in a defensible position, and that therefore, as he expressed it, he thought his ‘time to fight had come’."

 

L.A. Simmons of the 84th Illinois wrote in 1866, "In speaking of this battle, very many are inclined to wonder at the terrible pertinacity of the rebel General Hood, in dashing column after column with such tremendous force and energy upon our center -- involving their decimation, almost their annihilation? Yet this we have considered a most brilliant design, and the brightest record of his generalship, that will be preserved in history. He was playing a stupendous game, for enormous stakes. Could he have succeeded in breaking the center, our whole army was at his mercy. In our rear was a deep and rapid river, swollen by recent rains -- only fordable by infantry at one or two places -- and to retreat across it an utter impossibility. To break the center was to defeat our army; and defeat inevitably involved a surrender. If this army surrendered to him, Nashville, with all its fortifications, all its vast accumulation of army stores, was at his mercy, and could be taken in a day. Hence, with heavy odds -- a vastly superior force -- in his hands, he made the impetuous attack upon our center, and lost in the momentous game. His army well understood that they were fighting for the possession of Nashville. Ours knew they were fighting to preserve that valuable city, and to avoid annihilation." 

Battle of Franklin veteran, Washington Gardner, later a U.S. Congressman from Michigan, wrote of Gen. Hood in Bright Skies and Dark Shadows, "By the way, I was somewhat surprised, and may say pained, during my recent trip South, to note the disposition among soldiers of the late Confederate Army to criticize and disparage the merits of Gen. Hood. That he made mistakes no unprejudiced student of the War Between the States will deny, but that he was possessed of some of the best qualities that belong to great military commanders is equally indisputable. As between the General and his critics touching the Battle of Franklin, my sympathies are entirely with the former; while my admiration for the splendid valor exhibited by his heroic legions on that bloody field is not diminished by the fact that they were Americans all…Franklin, from the Confederate standpoint of view, must ever remain one of the saddest tragedies of the Civil War; on the other hand, there were in that battle possibilities to the Confederate cause, and that came near being realized, scarcely second to those of any other in the great conflict. Had Hood won-and he came within an ace of it-and reaped the legitimate fruits of his victory, the verdict of history would have been reversed, and William T. Sherman, who took the flower of his army and with it made an unobstructed march to the sea, leaving but a remnant to contend against a foe that had taxed his every resource from Chattanooga to Atlanta, would have been called at the close as at the beginning of the war, ‘Crazy Sherman.’ No individual, not even Hood himself, had so much at stake at Franklin as the hero of the ‘march to the sea.’"

Tennessee Gov. Isham Harris wrote in a Dec. 25, 1864 letter to Jefferson Davis, "I have been with General Hood from the beginning of this campaign, and beg to say, disastrous as it has ended, I am not able to see anything that General Hood has done that he should not, or neglected anything that he should have done which it was possible to do. Indeed, the more that I have seen and known of him and his policy, the more I have been pleased with him and regret to say that if all had performed their parts as well as he, the results would have been very different.

As for Hood's decision to attack being "rash", Sumner Cunningham wrote: "While making ready for the charge, General Hood rode up to our lines, having left his escort and staff in the rear. He remained at the front in plain view of the enemy for, perhaps, half an hour making a most careful survey of their lines...I was absorbed in the one man whose mind was deciding the fate of thousands. With an arm and a leg in the grave, and with the consciousness that he had not until within a couple of days won the confidence which his army had in his predecessor, he had now a very trying ordeal to pass through. It was all-important to act, if at all, at once. He rode to Stephen D. Lee, the nearest of his subordinate generals, and, shaking hands with him cordially, announced his decision to make an immediate charge." (Lee had arrived at the head of his column from Columbia just before the 4 PM attack.)

 



 Current time is 04:03 pm
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.2369 seconds (10% database + 90% PHP). 26 queries executed.