Guys, I read alot of bantering back and forth over this and after alot of study, I believe very little from the modern day historians and their books. TOO many modern historians come out with "earth shattering NEW results and findings" to promote their books. 95% of them have a historican axe to grind so they can be recognized for important contributions to the genre. BULL! Hindsight is 20/20 anybody with half a mind can pick apart an event to fit their mind's direction. I have found out that a great many writers will go along with the accepted theories of warfare at the time to make their point whenever a figure deviates from one.
Yes, Napoleon stated that he who stays in his defenses is lost. That I agree with up to a certain point. Just like a good offense is a good defense. Yes, to a certain degree. But finding that degree not to take it to the limit to where you become just another banal hack trying to make a point is something that is missed too much these days.
Another person that just grates me to no end is the one who comes and his/her opinion or viewpoint is the one and only. And in extremely rude displays of selfrightousness let you know it in no uncertain terms! I had a gent who wrote and would have fought me if we had been close enough in his belief that the British NEVER had in mind to send any help to the CSA. Dispite three credible references, including British home secretary records, he was not going to change his mind!
I was taught something years ago when I took a course in writing, especially the one in Technical Writing. And its a little mot I've tried, unsuccessfully at times, to remember. "Be careful how you write that you don't make a fool of yourself."
There are few good historians. They are the ones who report the event, unbaisedly, and let you draw your own conculsions. Its okay to make your point, but don't be foolish in doing it.
I'm not sure if you heard but the personal papers of John Bell Hood were recently discovered. I am second cousin of Gen Hood and last summer when finishing the manuscript of my book "John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General" (Savas Beatie Publishing, Spring 2013) I was contacted by a great-grandson of the General and invited to inspect several boxes of old family papers. I found all of Hood's personal papers, his work papers from his memoirs "Advance and Retreat", and approximately 100 post-war letters between him and his wife Anna.
Among the letters were three independent witnesses who identify Hood's subordinate who was responsible for the Federal escape at Spring Hill, a letter from one of Hood's corps commanders explaining Patrick Cleburne's peculiar behavior before and during the battle of Franklin, and a letter from Hood to Louis T Wigfall that explains why Hood was writing to Richmond authorities from Georgia in the spring of 1864. Documents back up Hood's claims that Joe Johnston lost 20-25,000 troops during the Dalton to Atlanta Campaign (mostly to desertions), and that Hood's version of the Cassville affair was totally correct. Information from these letters are presented in my book being released next spring.
Also in the papers were Dr John T Darby's highly detailed reports of Hood's Gettysburg and Chickamauga woundings and recovery. The types and precise dosages of medicatons given to Hood during his recuperation are recorded daily.
The collection includes Hood's orders and dispatches book and four telegram logs from his time as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
I am in the process of transcribing all the documents and writing an annotated book of Hood's papers. Because of the maginitude or the collection it will probably be early 2014 before it is published and copies of the papers placed in a public archive.
The letters will give scholars a much more in-depth look into John Bell Hood as a commander, husband, father, and citizen.
If Hood was psychotically aggressive, he would have attacked Schofield at Columbia rather than flank him at Spring Hill. And Hood would have attacked Thomas at Nashville, or bypassed Nashville and headed into Kentucky.
Hood's preference of frontal assaults is a myth. His four attacks at Atlanta all involved flanking movements to some degree. The only frontal assault he ever ordered in independent command was at Franklin. He certainly participated in some frontal attacks, but he was carrying out orders of RE Lee.
Another myth is Hood's alledged rage at Franklin. There is one--and only one--first hand account of Hood being angry at any time on Nov. 30 and that was in the morning. Even that account (the famous "wrathy as a rattlesnake" description) came third hand from Gen. John C Brown to Maj. Joseph Vaulx to JP Young and entered the historical record via a Confederate Veteran article forty years after the event. Every single eyewitness account of Hood after the morning in Spring Hill described him as acting normal and composed.
Over the last ten years I have been researching many of the assertions made about Hood by modern authors. Most have no primary source whatsoever, and most of the rest have a primary source but the interpretation and presentation by authors has been skewed. He was not a proponent of frontal attacks, he didn't take laudanum, he wasn't enraged at Franklin, he didn't position any brigades/divisions/corps for any reason other than the order they arrived at Franklin, he never called anyone a coward, he complimented and praised his soldiers, and did accept total responsibility for his defeat in Tennessee. All that may sound blasphemous, but that is what the historical records reveal.
Notwithstanding melodramatic assertions by some authors, Hood attacked Schofield at Franklin because there was only a few hours of daylight remaining and by morning Schofield would have been in Nashville.
Kyguy, here is a new book on General Hood perhaps you haven't seen.