By Stephen M. Hood
WINNER of the 2014 ALBERT CASTEL e-book AWARD. John Bell Hood was once one of many Confederacy’s so much successful—and enigmatic—generals. He died at forty eight after a quick affliction in August of 1879, abandoning the 1st draft of his memoirs boost and Retreat: own reviews within the usa and accomplice States Armies. released posthumously the subsequent yr, the memoirs instantly turned as debatable as their writer. A cautious and balanced exam of those “controversies,” even though, coupled with the new discovery of Hood’s own papers (which have been lengthy thought of misplaced) eventually units the list immediately in John Bell Hood: the increase, Fall, and Resurrection of a accomplice General.
Outlived via so much of his critics, Hood’s released model of some of the significant occasions and controversies of his accomplice army occupation have been met with scorn and skepticism. a few defined his memoirs as not anything greater than a polemic opposed to his arch-rival Joseph E. Johnston. those unflattering critiques persevered during the a long time and reached their nadir in 1992, whilst an influential writer defined Hood’s memoirs as “merely a sour, deceptive, and hugely distorted treatise” replete with “distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications.” with none own papers to contradict them, many historians and writers portrayed Hood as a clumsy and cheating opium addict and a conniving, vindictive cripple of a guy. One author went as far as to model him “a idiot with a license to kill his personal men.” What so much readers don’t understand is that just about all of those authors misused assets, neglected opposite facts, and/or suppressed proof sympathetic to Hood.
Stephen M. “Sam” Hood, relative of the overall, launched into a meticulous forensic examine of the typical perceptions and controversies of his recognized kinsman. His cautious exam of the unique resources applied to create the largely authorised “facts” approximately John Bell Hood exposed startlingly bad scholarship by way of one of the most recognized and influential historians of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. those discoveries, coupled together with his entry to a wide cache of lately came across Hood papers—many penned by means of generals and different officials who served with Hood—confirm Hood’s account that initially seemed in his memoir and get to the bottom of, for the 1st time, essentially the most arguable facets of Hood’s lengthy career.
“Blindly accepting historic ‘truths’ with no lively challenge,” cautions one historian, “is a deadly route to knowing actual history.” The stunning revelations in John Bell Hood: the increase, Fall, and Resurrection of a accomplice basic will perpetually switch our perceptions of Hood as either a guy and a basic, and people who got down to form his legacy.
“The time is true for Sam Hood’s ebook. in a different way of it's, my, what now we have realized because the Civil War’s Centennial fifty years ago.” - Stephen Davis, Civil struggle author
“John Bell Hood was once considered one of few accomplice generals who held very important instructions in either Virginia and the accomplice West. Given command of the safeguard of Atlanta, Hood fought to carry the town yet failed. He later led the military within the unsuccessful Tennessee crusade, the place he used to be not able to chop off Schofield’s Union military at Spring Hill, was once bloodily repulsed tomorrow at Franklin, and routed weeks later at Nashville. Historians and writers on the grounds that then have denied Hood his day in courtroom, hence shaping a truly destructive opinion of the overall. yet Sam Hood’s scholarship in John Bell Hood has proven that modern perspectives of Hood have been usually a lot diverse from the perpetuated stereotypes. His learn demonstrates anew the complexity of historical past and the significance of impartiality by way of those that write it.” - Brandon H. Beck, Professor Emeritus, McCormick Civil conflict Institute, Shenandoah University
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Extra info for John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General
38 Ibid. 39 Richard McMurry, John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982), see Introduction. 40 Owen Letters, March 15, 1862, in Simpson, Hood’s Texas Brigade, vol. 3, 91. , Simpson, Hood’s Texas Brigade, vol. 2, 158. , 160. , 161. , 161-162. , 169. 46 Russell Bonds War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta, (Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2009), 77. According to Bonds, he was unable to find any contemporary records that describe or even suggest that Hood was nicknamed “Old Woodenhead” by his troops.
There is no disagreement over the first half of Hood’s Confederate war record in Virginia, where he rose from first lieutenant to major general. At the time of his severe wounding at Gettysburg, Hood was widely regarded as one of Lee’s best division commanders. Wounded again at Chickamauga, with his right leg amputated, Hood was lionized in Southern society. At the request of General Longstreet and Secretary Seddon, and with President Davis’ warm approval, Hood was promoted to lieutenant general.
I am reluctant to believe that multiple errors of fact by an author relating to the same subject (Hood) are intentional; yet, it is equally difficult to credit these mistakes as an accident when factual errors accompany persistent misleading paraphrasing of letters, reports, journals, and other contemporary sources that completely mischaracterize the words of Hood and his supporters in and out of the army. Some authors influence the perception of their readers by engaging in what I like to call sourcing sleight-of-hand, which includes some or all of the following: 1.
John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General by Stephen M. Hood