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


Joe Johnston and John Bell Hood - John Bell Hood - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1 Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 01:11 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
41st Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I wonder if any of you have come across the instance where JEJ sent a detailed plan of his ops to Davis and read it in the Richmond papers a couple days later? I believe he never did so again because he believed, w/ some cause, that Davis would sabatoge any move he made. I believe he came to firmly believe this later in the Western theatre when he saw that Davis treated the Western Armies as red headed step children compared to the press heavy ANV. JEJ didn't trust Davis, w/ reason IMO and their dislike for each other predates the CW by a LONG time. As I said I started out my studies a big fan of JEJ and a fan of Davis. My opinion of JEJ has slid downward considerably, but I think I can still respect the man. Davis... I have come to believe was an opportunistic politician w/ his eyes on the prize from a young age and little more.

W/in Co Aytch there is a scathing mention of Hood by Sam Watkins, it is that along w/ others Sword included in his works and it is quite consistant w/ the other opinions of Hood I've read by CS soldiers. I believe Sword has been fair in his treatment of the CS generals in the west. Hood was a superb Brigade Commander, maybe a good Division commander... anything past that he was out of his league. Any other general but a crony of Davis would have been keelhauled after his actions around Atlanta. JEJ lost Atlanta and was sacked for losing how many men and realisticly losing no battles. Hood is praised for not winning a single battle & losing how many men? Is it any wonder why the men who served under both commanders prefferred JEJ? Perhaps if Hood had led the charge at Franklin and been killed he would be idolized today. I just don't see Hood as anything more than a brave fool w/ a politicking mind and a level of arrogance that got far too many of his men killed.

Hood can offer up no excuse for his actions at Franklin, it was an incompetant action at best. I don't by the arrogance or drug induced arguments. I see only glaring incompetance in his action. Hood was a man who knew full well the effect of strong entrenchemnts. If he did not, again there can only be glaring incompetance as he had seen their effect force multiplying effect on numerous occasions, from both sides of the line.

Hood destroyed the CS AoT; gutted it at Franklin and allowed it to be destroyed at Nashville. Yet Davis never drew up court martial papers for Hood or Bragg (who was every bit as incompetant as Hood) instead he praised them.

I wouldn't trust anything by Davis any further than I can throw it.



 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 03:09 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
42nd Post
samhood
Member
 

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

  back to top

Johann:

Lots of stuff in your last post. 

I couldn't disagree more with your assertion that Davis might have wanted to undermine Johnston during Sherman's Campaign.  You must look at the broad military/political situation at the time.  In early 1864 the North was weary of the war and Lincoln--facing a tough reelection in September--was under heavy fire in the northern press.  Lincoln decided to try a knockout punch to end the war before the elections.  Five major offensives were launched simultaneously; Banks' Red River Campaign, Seigel's in the Shenandoah Valley, Butler in the VA peninsula; Grant against Lee, and Sherman's offensive into GA.  Banks, Seigel and Butler were repelled, and Grant was in an incredibly bloody stalemate with Lee.  Nothing was going right for Lincoln EXCEPT SHERMAN.  Davis and the CS high command knew this, and they needed Sherman stopped, repelled, or at least bloodied badly.  The only positive thing the pro-Lincoln northern press could write about was how well Sherman was doing...and they did!  Johnston's tactics may have been the right thing to do at another place in a different time under different circumstances, but his tactics were not what the South needed in the summer of 1864.  Davis wanted Lincoln defeated, McClellan elected, and there would have been a negotiated peace.

THERE WAS NO WAY DAVIS WOULD HAVE WANTED JOHNSTON TO FAIL!

As for Hood's attacks on Sherman at Atlanta, Hood, along with everyone else, knew that no city could ever endure a seige.  It didn't happen at Vicksburg, it wouldn't have happened at Atlanta, and it didn't happen later at Richmond/Petersburg.  The only way to save Atlanta was not to entrench and await envelopement by Sherman, but to attack and defeat him.  All of Hood's four attacks were attempts to catch a portion of Sherman's army detatched from the rest of the force, and attack in flank or rear.  They were unsuccessful, but to sit in trenches while all of Atlanta's rail supply lines were cut was not an option, nor was giving up Atlanta without a fight by retreating deeper into GA. (Because of the influnce of that move on the northern elections.)

As for Franklin, I assume (hope:-) Eric Jacobson might jump in here, but briefly, here is what Hood faced.  For whatever reason, and regardless of who was to blame, Schofield escaped at Spring Hill, and force marched to Franklin, where the river had destroyed bridges and the water too high and deep to ford.  So he had to dig in at Franklin, knowing Hood's army would be pursuing.  Hood's army arrived at Franklin in the afternoon, and Hood could see the Union trains being moved across a planked railroad bridge, and heading to Nashville...which was only an overnight's march from Franklin.  Hood's decision was to immediately attack what he thought to be Schofield's fatigued (the Federals had been marching for 60 straight hours), not fully fortified army.  Hood could not flank because the river was high, and the flank march (contrary to Sword's unbelievably false assertion) would cover 10-15 miles, and there was only a few hours of daylight remaining.  Plus, Hood's flank march could not be concealed, and would have been resisted by Schofield's cavalry and a division of infantry that he held in reserve north of the river.

Here are some quotes.

Col. Virgil S. Murphey of the 17th Alabama Infantry, "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, "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’." 

Sumner A. Cunningham, who stood near to Hood on Winstead Hill overlooking Franklin as Hood contemplated the attack,"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." Cunningham continued "...but 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."

Hood needed victory in Tennessee to force a retrograde by Sherman, who had embarked on his March to the Sea.  Beauregard explained the reason for the Tennessee Campaign in a Dec 3 letter to Davis, he wrote in part, "...Under these circumstances, after consultation with General Hood, I concluded to allow him to prosecute with vigor his campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky, hoping that by defeating Thomas’s army and such other forces as might hastily be sent against him, he would compel Sherman, should he reach the coast of Georgia or South Carolina, to repair at once to the defense of Kentucky and, perhaps, Ohio, and thus prevent him from reinforcing Grant. Meanwhile, supplies might be sent to Virginia from Middle and East Tennessee, thus relieving Georgia from the present constant drain upon its limited resources.

Davis and Beauregard had sent Hood to liberate Nashville, and after Schofield's escape at Spring Hill, Hood had only two options; let Schofield complete his retreat to much more heavily fortified Nashville and attack there, or immediately attack Schofield at Franklin.  He had no third option considering what Richmond had sent him to do.

Finally...yes, Sam Watkins and others wrote some negative things about Hood, and you know them because Wiley Sword included every single one of them in his book; verbatim, not paraphrased.  Yet Watkins and others praised Hood, and NONE OF THEM APPEAR IN SWORD'S BOOK!  Not one!  You might want to ask yourself why Sword would cherry-pick Watkins and others and conceal from the reader everything good that was ever said about Hood.  Why? Because Sword had an agenda, something that is against all rules of ethical scholarship.

Have you ever read what Isham Harris, CS governor of Tennessee who accompanied the Aot on Hood's Campaign wrote about Hood after the campaign?  He wrote to Davis on Dec. 25, 1865, "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." Sword didn't want you to know this.  Shame on him. 

Hood certainly cannot by any means be considered anything but a failure as commander of the AoT, but his strategies, tactics and decisons were not without justification.  The results were tragic, but then again, so were Lee's at Gettysburg and Malvern Hill, Grant's at Cold Harbor, Sherman's at Pickett's Mill, and many other decisions made by commanders in the war.



 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 03:21 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
43rd Post
EricJacobson
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 18
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Johan,

No doubt Davis treated the Western Theater, aside from perhaps Mississippi, differently than the East.  That said, Davis and Johnston working together were a disaster for the Confederacy.

However, I have to disagree about Sword's treatment of generals in the West, particularly Hood.  Sword literally goes out of his way to attack Hood.  He accuses him of taking laudanum, trying to impress his lady friend Sally Preston, and murdering his soldiers at Franklin among other things.  I have never quite figured out how or why a scholar delves into territory usually left for fictional writers.

No doubt that Hood suffered heavy casualties after Johnston's dismissal and that he was not removed from command after Atlanta's fall.  But you have to consider that Davis wanted someone who would fight and he got that with Hood, for better or for worse.  I for one will not defend Hood based solely on his actions.  However, that does not mean Johnston gets the praise.  Both failed in their efforts to save Atlanta. 

As I tried to explain in my book about Spring Hill and Franklin, Davis had few others choices by Sept. 1864 except to retain Hood.  He was not going to bring Johnston back, Beauregard was not an option, Lee wasn't coming west, Forrest and Cleburne were not qualified to be army commander, and Kirby Smith was running his kingdom west of the Mississippi.  Maybe Dick Taylor?

It is easy to criticize Hood at Franklin.  Hood certainly knew the attack would be costly, but he also believed a flanking maneuver was not likely to succeed, not matter what Forrest thought.  Looking at a map and considering any flanking movement would have to fight through about 8,500 Federal soldiers and 14 cannon will show that Hood probably was correct in not attempting it.  Also consider that daylight was fast running out.

The Army of Tennessee did essentially die on the fields south of Franklin, but it did put up a heckuva fight at Nashville, all things considered.

In closing, this is not about praising or trying to elevate Hood, at least from my perspective.  It is simply an effort to provide balance.  Lee gutted his army at Gettysburg, but few will ever attack him like they do Hood.  Lee also continued fighting until his army was fragmenting and starving and only quit when he was surrounded.  Hood, in very basic terms, also fought to the very end.  More importantly, so did his men.



 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 04:10 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
44th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

At both Peachtree Creek & Atlanta (the Battle of) Hood put the blame on the failure of both battles on Hardee. In both cases the man was sorely wrong. At Peachtree Creek he attributed the failure to the "inefficiency" of Hardee... failing to note that Genl Thomas & the AoC had considerable say in the matter. Hood hoped to do w/ 35,000 men what Bragg had failed to do @ Chickamauga w/ 75,000 aka crush Thomas. He failed to move them.

I believe Hood claimed how close to victory he was and how a little "vigor" on the part of Hardee would have won the day. When I read Hoods take on the subject I got the impression Hood would have won if Hardee had struck 3 hours earlier, if the AoC had not acted w/ their usual stubbornness and Thomas had not been the normal solid General he proved over and over again to be and if US soldiers had to march a stupid 12 mile detour to hit his flank (they pretty much just pivoted in place and gave Hoods left merry hell instead). In other words his attack at Peachtree would have been a success if US soldiers were cowards and their generals idiots.

At Atlanta Hood gave the most important task to Hardee (the same guy he blamed for the failure at Peachtree Creek)had him take his men on a 15 mile forced march, at night, to thump the flank & rear of Sherman's Army... at a time when it's doubtful he really knew where Sherman's flank really was. When Hardee attacked he was as much suprised to find Dodge in front of him w/ a couple of Divisions as Dodge was to be facing "...the whole damned rebel army!" McPherson was killed early in the scrap, Sherman was able to see what was going on a felt Logan could fight it out on his own. Which he did.

As at Peachtree Hood placed the blame on Hardee; it's all wrong. The only reason Hardee failed was that the AoT (US) objected, rather strongly, to being whipped.

In one case the AoC in the other the AoT (US)objected to being driven back and whipped; instead they preferred to hold their ground and whip. Frankly the result would have been the same if Lee or Stonewall Jackson had been in command and they had tried the same attack.

In two weeks Hood attacked four times, was soundly defeated in each and lost more men that JEJ in three mos... not to mention leaving his army far more damaged than when he took command of it. I don't believe there were any doubts of the wisdom of JEJ's strategy after that as Hood didn't leave his works for a month. In short Hood was willing to suffer a siege.

I'm always reminded of an exchange between picketts at Atlanta. When asked how many men were left the CS reply was : "About enough for another killing."

Hood said: "The troops of the AoT (CS) had for such a length of time been subjected to the ruinous policy pursued from Dalton to Atlanta that they were unfitted for united action in pitched battle." Yet in his first couple weeks in command he lost far more men than JEJ and to say he had been less than succesful would be quite the understatement. For the rest of the campaign Hood stayed in his works "Like a turtle in a shell." His practical, tactical & strategic effectiveness was no better than JEJ when it came to progress and his losses were catastrophic.

Hood at Franklin has no excuse for such an assault against what he could plainly see were anything but weak works. He made an attack across open ground against entrenched troops, many of them veterans, who had arty support. He did so against his own experiance and knowledge (he was quite aware of the results of Fredricksburg, Pickett's Charge and more recently Allatoona) He attacked w/out any arty support across twice the length of open ground as at Gettysburg and he suffered considerably heavier losses. Then after he "won" the battle of Franklin (keep in mind he also claimed the battle of Atlanta as a victory) he moved on to Nashville and attempted to besiege a force considerably larger, better supplied and equipped thn his own. All he could hope to do was pin Thomas in Nashville and hope for a disastorous frontal assault on his works. In other words he had to hope Thomas would do what he had done at Franklin. Instead he watched his Army destroyed in a two day fight... no other US or CS Army was so clearly destroyed in the field.

Yes, I've read Harris, and a lot more on the subject of the western theatre than just Sword. I agree w/ Sword's take on Hood and Bragg, and quite a few others. Hood was no Lee, Grant, Sherman or JEJ for that matter. He had the courage needed in a general but lacked almost everything else. He was grossly out of his league when facing Sherman or Thomas and frankly was whipped by Schofield at Franklin. And when his flank was hit by AJ Smith @ Nashville he fell apart.

Hood has his merits, he was a superb Regimental & Brigade Commander and I think a decent enough Division commander, he had a good eye for defensive terrain and boundless personal courage... I just don't see many merits past that.  I cannot see him as a superior General to JEJ.  That said I've sometimes wondered why Hardee wasn't put in command and if things wouldn't have been different than w/ Hood.  But that's a what if... I view those as a waste of time.

Last edited on Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 04:16 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 04:28 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
45th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

EricJacobson wrote: Johan,

No doubt Davis treated the Western Theater, aside from perhaps Mississippi, differently than the East.  That said, Davis and Johnston working together were a disaster for the Confederacy.  I don't think that could have been worded any better.

However, I have to disagree about Sword's treatment of generals in the West, particularly Hood.  Sword literally goes out of his way to attack Hood.  He accuses him of taking laudanum, trying to impress his lady friend Sally Preston, and murdering his soldiers at Franklin among other things.  I have never quite figured out how or why a scholar delves into territory usually left for fictional writers.  I've wondered on that as well; that said Sword has always been a favorite author of mine, perhaps because of his writing style or perhaps a shared passion for the arms of the day.  IMO his Mountains Touched by Fire is the bets book on the subject.

No doubt that Hood suffered heavy casualties after Johnston's dismissal and that he was not removed from command after Atlanta's fall.  But you have to consider that Davis wanted someone who would fight and he got that with Hood, for better or for worse.  I for one will not defend Hood based solely on his actions.  However, that does not mean Johnston gets the praise.  Both failed in their efforts to save Atlanta.  Again I agree, I don't think Hood the better general but I also don't see JEJ having a lot of other choices.  All he could do was continue to manuever and hope Sherman screwed up.

As I tried to explain in my book about Spring Hill and Franklin, Davis had few others choices by Sept. 1864 except to retain Hood.  He was not going to bring Johnston back, Beauregard was not an option, Lee wasn't coming west, Forrest and Cleburne were not qualified to be army commander, and Kirby Smith was running his kingdom west of the Mississippi.  Maybe Dick Taylor?  Do you know why neither Hardee or Cheatum were never considered?

It is easy to criticize Hood at Franklin.  Hood certainly knew the attack would be costly, but he also believed a flanking maneuver was not likely to succeed, not matter what Forrest thought.  Looking at a map and considering any flanking movement would have to fight through about 8,500 Federal soldiers and 14 cannon will show that Hood probably was correct in not attempting it.  Also consider that daylight was fast running out.  Again I see no flanking op as having much more than a snowballs chance.  But every time I look at that map & look at how the works have been described his attack fails under any & all circumstances. Even if he had waited for his arty his chances were poor not to mention attempting a night battle.

The Army of Tennessee did essentially die on the fields south of Franklin, but it did put up a heckuva fight at Nashville, all things considered.  The actions of those men on those fields, especially the redoubts, were nothing shy of increadible and the actions of the men who took them; I shudder to think about it.  Yet one more reason to respect those men on the sharp end.

In closing, this is not about praising or trying to elevate Hood, at least from my perspective.  It is simply an effort to provide balance.  Lee gutted his army at Gettysburg, but few will ever attack him like they do Hood.  Lee also continued fighting until his army was fragmenting and starving and only quit when he was surrounded.  Hood, in very basic terms, also fought to the very end.  More importantly, so did his men.

Hood is attacked, I think, because he failed so badly and his politicks of charachter assasination just aren't something one can easily get behind.  Lee was something else.



 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 04:48 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
46th Post
samhood
Member
 

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

  back to top

Johan:

In an earlierr post you stated that Hood's first two attacks on Sherman (Peachtree Creek and Atlanta [Decatur]) were Johnston's plans.  But you criticize Hood for those attacks.  You seem reasonable and learned (I'm being sincere here,) please explain.  BTW...I have heard that Peachtree Creek was probably Johnston's conception, but I've not heard that Atlanta (Decatur) was Johnston's plan.

I believe that Hardee was not considered to replace Johnston because Hardee had declined command of the AoT when offered to him after Missionary Ridge.  All other options other than Hood probably didn't appeal too much to Davis and the CS High Command.  The CS was running dreadfully low on senior generals by the summer of 1864 (Longstreet was wounded) so they had few options...Hood being the best of a bad (for the want of a better word) lot.  The Georgia newspapers and public were demanding aggressive action against Sherman, and Hood was the best choice to deliver that. An interesting quote...Kate Cumming wrote in her Journal of a Confederate Nurse, “Feb. 26, 1865: It is reported that General Johnston has taken command of the Tennessee Army or rather what is left of it.  This has given universal satisfaction, but no one can tell for how long, as that hydra-headed monster—the people—is a little inclined to be fickle.  I have been told that before General Hood took command, the people of Georgia sent many a petition to the president, asking him to remove General Johnston, as he was permitting the enemy to lay waste to the country.”

At Nashville Hood did more than lay seige and hope for a mistake by Thomas.  He sent Forrest and Bate to attack the Federals at Murfreesboro, hoping to lure Thomas into sending reinforcements, where they might be attacked en route.  And Hood begged for reinforcements, Breckinridge in VA and from Mobile.  He and Beauregard also asked Kirby Smith to make a demonstration into Missouri to freeze AJ Smith's troops there and keep them from being sent to Thomas.

We'll respectfullly disagree on whether Hood should have attacked at Franklin.  It failed, but he had reasons.  And had Opdycke not been where he was (without permission) Schofield might have been routed.

 



 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2008 02:33 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
47th Post
EricJacobson
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 18
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Johan,

No doubt Davis treated the Western Theater, aside from perhaps Mississippi, differently than the East.  That said, Davis and Johnston working together were a disaster for the Confederacy.  I don't think that could have been worded any better. 
Thanks.

However, I have to disagree about Sword's treatment of generals in the West, particularly Hood.  Sword literally goes out of his way to attack Hood.  He accuses him of taking laudanum, trying to impress his lady friend Sally Preston, and murdering his soldiers at Franklin among other things.  I have never quite figured out how or why a scholar delves into territory usually left for fictional writers.  I've wondered on that as well; that said Sword has always been a favorite author of mine, perhaps because of his writing style or perhaps a shared passion for the arms of the day.  IMO his Mountains Touched by Fire is the bets book on the subject. 
 I think Sword's book on Shiloh is hard to beat, but his Embrace An Angry Wind, although extremely well written, is just laden with anti-Hood innuendo.  Essentially Sword took all the old stories about Hood which still flow around Middle Tennessee and wrote them as fact.  The problem is nearly all are just that - stories - and ones which have no documentary background.

No doubt that Hood suffered heavy casualties after Johnston's dismissal and that he was not removed from command after Atlanta's fall.  But you have to consider that Davis wanted someone who would fight and he got that with Hood, for better or for worse.  I for one will not defend Hood based solely on his actions.  However, that does not mean Johnston gets the praise.  Both failed in their efforts to save Atlanta.  Again I agree, I don't think Hood the better general but I also don't see JEJ having a lot of other choices.  All he could do was continue to manuever and hope Sherman screwed up.
I believe 99.9% Johnston outright lied when he said he had a plan to attack at Peachtree Creek.  Johnston always claimed that Davis pulled the rug from beneath him just as he was about to attack, but could never provide any evidence.  Interesting that he never related such plans to Hood.

As I tried to explain in my book about Spring Hill and Franklin, Davis had few others choices by Sept. 1864 except to retain Hood.  He was not going to bring Johnston back, Beauregard was not an option, Lee wasn't coming west, Forrest and Cleburne were not qualified to be army commander, and Kirby Smith was running his kingdom west of the Mississippi.  Maybe Dick Taylor?  Do you know why neither Hardee or Cheatum were never considered?
Hardee had passed on permanent army command once before (after Bragg) and Davis was not going to ask him a second time.  That has much more to do with Davis than Hardee, but Davis is a hard fellow.  Cheatham had never been a corps commander.  Like Cleburne, a fellow divsion commander, Cheatham was never going to be considered for army command until he had passed the next level.  He also was a non-West Pointer.

It is easy to criticize Hood at Franklin.  Hood certainly knew the attack would be costly, but he also believed a flanking maneuver was not likely to succeed, not matter what Forrest thought.  Looking at a map and considering any flanking movement would have to fight through about 8,500 Federal soldiers and 14 cannon will show that Hood probably was correct in not attempting it.  Also consider that daylight was fast running out.  Again I see no flanking op as having much more than a snowballs chance.  But every time I look at that map & look at how the works have been described his attack fails under any & all circumstances. Even if he had waited for his arty his chances were poor not to mention attempting a night battle.
THANK YOU for at saying the flanking maneuver was not the guaranteed success so many people (although less today) thought it was.  The frontal assault is indeed desperate and costly.  However, consider this.  The Confederate army broke through the main line of defense in the center, blowing a 200 yard wide hole in it south of the Carter House.  If it had not been for Opdycke's brigade of veterans helping to plug that hole who knows what might have happened.  It is possible Hood could have split and destroyed much of Schofield's forces south of the Harpeth that night.  But Opdycke was never supposed to be where he was - a fact not know to Hood, Forrest, Cleburne, Cheatham, or anyone.  He didn't get in place till about 3 to 3:30, barely an hour before the attack.  The sledgehammer attack worked, but luck (always a big part of war) helped turn the day.

The Army of Tennessee did essentially die on the fields south of Franklin, but it did put up a heckuva fight at Nashville, all things considered.  The actions of those men on those fields, especially the redoubts, were nothing shy of increadible and the actions of the men who took them; I shudder to think about it.  Yet one more reason to respect those men on the sharp end.

In closing, this is not about praising or trying to elevate Hood, at least from my perspective.  It is simply an effort to provide balance.  Lee gutted his army at Gettysburg, but few will ever attack him like they do Hood.  Lee also continued fighting until his army was fragmenting and starving and only quit when he was surrounded.  Hood, in very basic terms, also fought to the very end.  More importantly, so did his men.


Hood is attacked, I think, because he failed so badly and his politicks of charachter assasination just aren't something one can easily get behind.  Lee was something else.



 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2008 03:42 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
48th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

samhood wrote: Johan:

In an earlierr post you stated that Hood's first two attacks on Sherman (Peachtree Creek and Atlanta [Decatur]) were Johnston's plans.  But you criticize Hood for those attacks.  You seem reasonable and learned (I'm being sincere here,) please explain.  BTW...I have heard that Peachtree Creek was probably Johnston's conception, but I've not heard that Atlanta (Decatur) was Johnston's plan.  You are quite correct, my fingers got well ahead of my brain. 

I believe that Hardee was not considered to replace Johnston because Hardee had declined command of the AoT when offered to him after Missionary Ridge.  All other options other than Hood probably didn't appeal too much to Davis and the CS High Command.  The CS was running dreadfully low on senior generals by the summer of 1864 (Longstreet was wounded) so they had few options...Hood being the best of a bad (for the want of a better word) lot.  The Georgia newspapers and public were demanding aggressive action against Sherman, and Hood was the best choice to deliver that. I just don't see Hood as a choice at all, to me Davis was running out of his cronies... Popular demand replacing a General is not the way to win a war.  Listening to armchair generals is even worse.  An interesting quote...Kate Cumming wrote in her Journal of a Confederate Nurse, “Feb. 26, 1865: It is reported that General Johnston has taken command of the Tennessee Army or rather what is left of it.  This has given universal satisfaction, but no one can tell for how long, as that hydra-headed monster—the people—is a little inclined to be fickle.  I have been told that before General Hood took command, the people of Georgia sent many a petition to the president, asking him to remove General Johnston, as he was permitting the enemy to lay waste to the country.”

At Nashville Hood did more than lay seige and hope for a mistake by Thomas.  He sent Forrest and Bate to attack the Federals at Murfreesboro, And they were soundly beaten there.  Hood couldn't win at Nashville by hoping Thomas was stupid enough to let smal units be gobbled up by Hood.  Thomas was competant and frankly had Hood well in hand.  Hood let him by trying to beseige a much larger force w/out being able to cut or even seriously interdict their supply lines.  hoping to lure Thomas into sending reinforcements, where they might be attacked en route.  And Hood begged for reinforcements, Breckinridge in VA and from Mobile.  He and Beauregard also asked Kirby Smith to make a demonstration into Missouri to freeze AJ Smith's troops there and keep them from being sent to Thomas.  AJ Smith's two Division had just made a march that frankly eclipsed any march made by any other troops in US History.  They were arguably the toughest on either side of the line and it has been argued that they were the men that won the battle of Nashville.  But two less Divisions would not have made a difference, it was still Thomas against Hood and Hood was outclassed, outnumbered and outmanuevered in that two day scrap.  AJ Smith's men were not the only troops in Missouri, a fact Rosecrans used to his advantage.

We'll respectfullly disagree on whether Hood should have attacked at Franklin.  It failed, but he had reasons.  And had Opdycke not been where he was (without permission) Schofield might have been routed.  Again we deal w/ a what if... if Hood hadn't attacked he wouldn't have wrecked his army.

 

I can agree to respectfully disagree; I just don't see that many redeeeming qualities in Hood as an Army commander and I find his behind the back politiking particularly appaling and frankly bordering on cowardice.  He failed at every operation he attempted w/ the AoT US.  Failure doesn't get my vote, success does.



 Posted: Mon Feb 25th, 2008 05:31 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
49th Post
David White
Member


Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 909
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hardee refused the command and Cheatam was a drunk.



 Posted: Mon Feb 25th, 2008 06:27 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
50th Post
samhood
Member
 

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

  back to top

Johan: You wrote...

I can agree to respectfully disagree; I just don't see that many redeeeming qualities in Hood as an Army commander and I find his behind the back politiking particularly appaling and frankly bordering on cowardice.  He failed at every operation he attempted w/ the AoT US.  Failure doesn't get my vote, success does.

Can you give specific examples of his behind the back politicing that bordered on cowardice?  I would sincerely like to be able to read, verbatim (not paraphrased by Hood-slandering authors), with sources (the date and archival location of the letters being cited) of Hood's inappropriate correspondence.  Many Hood-bashing authors state in their books that Hood wrote awful things about Johnston, but I can't recall any author giving any quotes or excerpts of Hood's letters.  If Hood wrote such dreadful things about Johnston you'd think one of these authors would elaborate and dedicate a paragraph or two to some details.  They certainly don't hesitate to give plenty of detail to other Hood critics such as Johnston and Sam Foster, and they cherry-pick characters like Sam Watkins to present to the readers critical things that he wrote about Hood.

Also, if only success gets your vote, Johnston never won a major battle (except maybe Kennesaw) in three different army command tenures, and Lee only won a few, lost several, and ultimately surrendered the ANV (or the fraction of it that was left by Appomattox.)  Personally, I would never call either Johnston or Lee failures, rather, I would call their missions very, very difficult, and they didn't so much lose as they were, like Hood, beaten by larger, better supplied and more heavily armed opponents that were tough as nails.



 Posted: Mon Feb 25th, 2008 11:51 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
51st Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

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 01:33 am by Johan Steele



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 07:46 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
52nd Post
samhood
Member
 

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

  back to top

Johan: You wrote...

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. I wasn't being fussy about this.  As I recently told Eric Jacobson, a few times in the past I have almost headed up to Cleveland to see Bragg's letters that are archived at Case Western Reserve Univ.  I would like to read them myself rather than rely on the paraphrasing of authors like Sword who intentionally try to make Hood look bad.  

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. As I said in a prior post, I think this sort of thing was more common and less frowned upon back in the nineteenth century.  Plus, I think Hood was probably doing exactly what he was told by Davis and Bragg, considering Johnston's almost psychotic secretiveness (if that's a word) in all his previous commands.

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. You know much more than I do about Allatoona so I will defer to you on this one.  If what you say is true, and there are no other truths to go along with them, Hood deserves criticism for Allatoona.  Speaking of French, didn't he gather up some generals, secretly scheme for Hood's removal of command after Atlanta, and send an unsigned letter to Richmond?  (I have read this a couple times and Ed Bearss talked about it on a Staff Ride I attended with Ed.)

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. Not necessarily so (see the Lee quote at the end of this paragraph.)  Sword accuses Hood of never accepting blame for the failure of the TN Campaign.  Once he throws that stuff out there, everyone accepts it.  Then someone like me has to research the issue and dig up exculpatory evidence.  I personally haven't done much research on Hood and Atlanta, but there is plenty of evidence that he accepted his share of the blame for Tennessee...of course Sword concealed it.  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." Again, I'm not so sure this sort of thing wasn't so uncommon in the era.  I could give plenty of examples of similar things being written by losing commanders-Union and Confederate-in many (if not most) major battles. For example, after his surrender, Lee wrote to Davis on April 10, 1865, "…The operations which occurred while the troops were in the entrenchments in front of Richmond and Petersburg were not marked by the boldness and decision which formerly characterized them. Except in particular instances, they were feeble; and a want of confidence seemed to possess officers and men." Hood wrote similar stuff and is demonized; others get a pass.  Again, I just don't think that sort of thing was considered taboo at the time. 

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. Was it Sherman who said that Davis's speeches in GA gave more intelligence than any spy could have provided...or something similar? 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!"  If I were a grunt in Joe Johnston's army I would have wanted him too.  In all of his command tenures he avoided battles, and because in every one of his commands he was constistently shortening his supply lines, his soldiers were always well supplied.  Johnston always made for happy soldiers but he did nothing to contribute to winning the war.  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 Hardee asked to be transferred. and Cleburne & several others nearly resigned. From my readings on SC's General Manigault.  I haven't read Manigault.

To appease the upset Generals Davis appointed old Beau as Hoods CO... it was a sham as Hood all but ignored the man.  Not so...you are buying Sword's assertions.

Like Davis & Wheeler; the more I read of Hood the less I like the man.  Not suprising since you like Sword so much.  Sword is a helluva writer...maybe the best wordsmith in CW literature right now, but he ought to write novels.  He compromises just about every rule of ethical historiography when it comes to Hood...and maybe other of his subjects.



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 01:06 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
53rd Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Sam; let me make something pointedly straight. I like Sword's work. He isn't the only author I've read, not by a long shot. Stop latching onto one phrase and trying to extend it into everything, it's becoming irritating in it's inaccuracy. Swords writings on Allatoona are minimal; which is why I detailed Hood at Allatoona. I've read most of the mans work and enjoyed it. That said he is not my only read on the subject and not the only author to codemn Hood. To date I'm sitting at just over 2600 letters and diaries read, w/ perhaps 1/4-1/3 being CS soldiers of the western theatre and the majority of which were Brigade Commanders on down. I cannot recall a single one that believed Hood a wise choice for command and darned few that thought much of him. I prefer the words of the men of the day to those that came after.

I strongly suggest reading Manigault if the opportunity presents itself, he was an intriguing fella. And not the only one to mention the meeting between senior Corps commanders & Davis. Yes, French was in on sending a letter to Davis though he signed it IIRC. As I said backroom politicking was not a rare thing in the AoT & Hood would be on the receiving end of his share.

Condemning the men for a Generals failure was not taboo, nor all that unusual... but it certainly speaks volumes about the author. Hood was no Lee, or JEJ for that matter. Frankly, I don't think he was a Hardee or Cheatum either.

The men despised Hood for a variety of reason, not the least which was losing most of 30,000 casualties in two weeks for no gain then being flanked out of the city anyway... and blaming them for it. Hood was not condemmed by Davis but praised... And Davis's speech laid out the plans for Sherman and all to see. It wasn't the first time Davis did such, JEJ was on the receiving end at least twice and trusted Davis to keep his mouth shut on military matters not a bit w/ obvious justification. Those men had to look at Hood and ask themselves how he was better than JEJ and more than a few recognized blatant cronieism when they saw it. There was a reason men were shouting "Give us Johnston." Allatoona is just one example of Hood's mishandling of an Army, IMO it is a prelude to how he mishandled his campaign into TN and proof he was in WAY over his head. Frankly Allatoona taught him, or should have, that attacking strong works leads to heavy casualties w/ little real gain. A prelude to Franklin?



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 02:26 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
54th Post
samhood
Member
 

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

  back to top

Sam; let me make something pointedly straight. I like Sword's work. He isn't the only author I've read, not by a long shot. Stop latching onto one phrase and trying to extend it into everything, it's becoming irritating in it's inaccuracy. Okay, will do. Lord knows I understand irritation, with Sword's fact-filtered but eloquent version of Hood's life and career presently defining the man's eternal reputation accross the broad CW history community.  I have documented 86 errors, ommisions and blatant misrepresentations by Sword, but no matter, it all reads  good.  Swords writings on Allatoona are minimal; which is why I detailed Hood at Allatoona. I've read most of the mans work and enjoyed it. That said he is not my only read on the subject and not the only author to codemn Hood. To date I'm sitting at just over 2600 letters and diaries read, w/ perhaps 1/4-1/3 being CS soldiers of the western theatre and the majority of which were Brigade Commanders on down. I cannot recall a single one that believed Hood a wise choice for command and darned few that thought much of him. I prefer the words of the men of the day to those that came after.  In my opinion the AoT was so pissed at Davis that they wanted nobody else, especially an outsider from the East.  Like SA Cunningham said, "The removal of General Johnston, and the appointment of Hood to succeed him in command of the Army of Tennessee, was an astounding event. So devoted to Johnston were his men that the presence and immediate command of General Robert E. Lee would not have been accepted without complaint."  And Samuel Foster of Granbury's brigade wrote in his diary, A circular from Gen. Johnston announces that he has been removed from command of this Army, and that Gen. Hood succeeds him…Gen. Johnston has so endeared himself to his soldiers, that no man can take his place.”  Sounds like Hood started off with a lot of people in the AoT not liking him before he had a chance to do anything right or wrong.   

I strongly suggest reading Manigault if the opportunity presents itself, he was an intriguing fella. And not the only one to mention the meeting between senior Corps commanders & Davis. Yes, French was in on sending a letter to Davis though he signed it IIRC. As I said backroom politicking was not a rare thing in the AoT & Hood would be on the receiving end of his share.

Condemning the men for a Generals failure was not taboo, nor all that unusual... but it certainly speaks volumes about the author. Hood was no Lee, I've never heard anyone say that he was. or JEJ for that matter. Frankly, I don't think he was a Hardee or Cheatum either.

The men despised Hood for a variety of reason, not the least which was losing most of 30,000 casualties This is the highest number of casualties I have ever heard anyone claim for the 4 Atlanta battles! in two weeks for no gain As I said before, Hood was trying to repel or batter Sherman, hold the city at least thru the November elections, causing Lincoln to lose to McClellan and the South would negotiate their independance. then being flanked out of the city anyway... and blaming them for it. Stephen D Lee wrote about the AoT  …the majority of the officers and men were so impressed with the idea of their inability to carry even temporary breastworks, that when orders were given for attack, and there was a probability of encountering works…they did not generally move to the attack with that spirit which nearly always assures success."

Hood was not condemmed by Davis but praised... And Davis's speech laid out the plans for Sherman and all to see. It wasn't the first time Davis did such, JEJ was on the receiving end at least twice and trusted Davis to keep his mouth shut on military matters not a bit w/ obvious justification. Those men had to look at Hood and ask themselves how he was better than JEJ and more than a few recognized blatant cronieism when they saw it. There was a reason men were shouting "Give us Johnston."  Yes...as I said, he avoided battles and kept moving toward his supply base and was thus able to keep them well supplied.  Of course the men loved him...I would have too.  (Until Bentonville when he ordered an attack that killed 800 and wounded 2,000 soldiers of his beloved Army of Tennessee, all for no reason according to Johnston's own words.)  Allatoona is just one example of Hood's mishandling of an Army, French was in independent detatched command at Allatoona.  If he saw that the situation was different than everyone thought, why didn't he make the decision to not attack?  He had the authority.     IMO it is a prelude to how he mishandled his campaign into TN and proof he was in WAY over his head. Allatoona is proof Hood was in over his head? Frankly Allatoona taught him, or should have, that attacking strong works leads to heavy casualties w/ little real gain. Attacking strong works was sometimes necessary.  Sherman wrote about Kennesaw, "...I perceived that the enemy and our own officers had settled down to the conviction that I would not assault fortified lines...An army to be efficient must not settle down to a single mode of offense, but must be prepared to execute any plan which promises success.  I wanted, therefore, for the moral effect to make a successful assault against the enemy behind his breast-works, and resolved to attempt it at that point where success would give the greatest fruits of victory."  A prelude to Franklin? 



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 06:05 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
55th Post
EricJacobson
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 18
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Johan,

It's always fun discussing Gen. Hood. :shock:  I would like to point out, however, that 30,000 casualties around Atlanta as the result of Hood's actions is really not accurate.  Slightly over 10,000 were suffered at Peachtree Creek and Atlanta (or Decatur), about 4,000 at Ezra Church, and about 4,000 at Jonesboro.  This is much closer to 20,000.  As far as casualties around Atlanta are concerned I don't trust Johnston or Hood.  One has to do his own homework because each man tried to justify his own argument about who had lost more while in command.

Manigault is indeed an interesting read.  What is also interesting about him is that he also criticizes the troops for their lack of enthusiasm in pushing the offense.  I don't have his book in front of me (I'm at work), but I think he was referring to the action at Ezra Church which was a colossal mess.

I do think, sincerely, that much if not most of the anti-Hood feeling, or hatred, is based upon late 20th century writing, not 19th century.  Authors such as Sword and McDonough just attached themselves to the popular trend that Hood was a bungling fool who was either on drugs or just so enraged at various times that he couldn't see the trees through the forest.  I think all in all, the average soldier, rank and file or officer, who wrote about Hood was pretty objective.  For every Sam Foster who condemned Hood there was a Sam Watkins who said Hood tried his best.  Few if any ever got personal and none ever wrote about laudanum, Sally Preston, or fits of anger. 

I can't speak for Sam, but I can say that my only goal is to provide Hood with some objectivity.  I think that by simply saying Hood was unpopular, shouldn't have had command, was in over his head, played politics, and cherry picked when he wrote his reports and memoirs, somewhat ignores the basic facts of late 1864.  The South was dying, Lee was boxed in at Petersburg, and Hood had the only army capable of pulling off something positive.  In the end, he came a lot closer than many people realize.  Federal troops, and they are a good judge of things as well, would write volumes after the war about how close the Tennessee Campaign really was.

I think that Franklin has been forgotten for so long, and why so much of the battlefield was built on and developed, was because many people 60-140 years after the war just casually said it was hopeless, reckless, foolish, suicidal, and that Hood was incompetent.  Those who were here in 1864 thought differently.  Federal troops believed it was a crowning moment in their military careers and Confederate soldiers, although unsuccessful in their bid, described Franklin for what it was - a last ditch effort to stem the tide washing against them.  Most understood fully what the odds were.  Many were willing to die for what they believed in.

Hood deserves his share of criticism - even harsh criticism.  But he simply was trying to do what he thought best.  Unfortunately, he could be his own worst enemy with the pen.  Like Longstreet he lived long enough to do himself great harm.

Hopefully I have not rambled on too long.



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 08:04 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
56th Post
ole
Member


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

  back to top

No.

All of this has been an educational attempt at understanding a man who mght unjustly (or justly) been villified for quite some time. After all, we've only recently been finding out that Lee had at least one clay foot. And we wildly disagree on our rating of ol' Retreatin' Johnston.

History swings like the pendulum do ....

It can't be stopped at any point.

ole



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 08:59 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
57th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Eric is this book by Manigault  Siege Train? 

Susan



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 09:23 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
58th Post
EricJacobson
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 18
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

No - its called A Carolinian Goes to War: The Civil War Narrative of Arthur Middleton Manigault, edited by R. Lockwood Tower.



 Posted: Tue Feb 26th, 2008 09:25 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
59th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

For me JEJ is a giant when compared to the likes of Hood & Bragg. When you look to Bragg prior to JEJ and Hood after... JEJ looks quite competant. Frankly the least bad of a patheticly bad batch. My opinion of Hood was not shaped by Sword but by a variety of independent sources. I'm quite capable of reading and frankly, I'm getting sorely tired of the assumption that I don't respect Hood for what Sword said or didn't say about the man.

Davis was often contemptuos of the men in the west, probably because they failed to win victories under cronies he appointed over them. I think the men were quite aware of it and they certainly didn't appear to love the man for it. Hood had several monthes to make a good impression before he took command of the whole army; he failed in short he wasn't a stranger just suddenly brought in and put in command.

Couple years ago I read McMurray's work on JEJ and that went a long way in my re-appraisal of the man followed by Castel, Daniel & Woodworth. I blame Connie Boone for getting me started on that particular path. I don't idolize JEJ, don't really even despise Hood as I don't think anyone can question his battlefield bravery. I firmly believe he was out of his class from Corps command on up and I believe Allatoona simply cements that. I tend to stick w/ the words of the men at the time and as I said I can't recall finding much if any praise by the men who served under him. And the praise by his opponents was not for Hood but for his men; constantly demanded to do the mission imposibles as French called it and doing their damndest to do so. And Hood... repeatedly and again in the end blaming his men for his failure. I don't care what General officer does it, I don't see a reason to respect or excuse them for it.

My number of 30k includes: killed, wounded & missing (all causes from captured to unauthorized leave) In July & August Hospital Admissions for the AoT were just shy of 16,000 as wounded w/ killed about 2,000 w/ approx 10,000 missing from all causes. Less than 30k but not by a whole lot. I've been told Georgia Militia losses were not counted by Hood in an effort to lessen his casualties (I don't pretend to know if that is true but I wouldn't doubt it) and his casualty reports very rarely tabulate w/ the numbers reported as buried by his enemy. Blame Newton for my numbers... enough math to give anybody a screaming headache and if they're off I'd be more likely to blame me for doing a poor job of transcribing them from my shabby notes.

As a further note... hold till the November elections hoping a war weary US would sue for peace if Lincoln lost. That speaks volume about Davis & Hoods strategy does it not? If that's true JEJ was doing just that w/ considerably less casualties than Hood.

My 2 cents... and Eric; ramble on.



 Posted: Wed Feb 27th, 2008 12:27 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
60th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Eric thanks for the information . 

Susan



 Current time is 06:27 pmPage:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4862 seconds (9% database + 91% PHP). 28 queries executed.