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Hood and Franklin

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  • D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D.
    Wow. When it rains it pours! Seems like we went for weeks without a peep on this board, then all Hades broke loose. As to the subject of Hood at Franklin,
    Message 1 of 141 , Aug 31 8:13 AM
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      Wow. When it rains it pours! Seems like we went for weeks without a
      peep on this board, then all Hades broke loose.

      As to the subject of Hood at Franklin, what would you have done? What
      were Hood's options at that point? I don't mean his tactical options, I
      mean his strategic ones. He had to be thinking that taking Nashville
      was his main goal, and that it was doable. The first step, though, had
      to be the destruction of Schofield. Desparate times call for desparate
      measures, and I think Hood realized full well what the cost would be of
      that assault. Remember, this is the same man who left his division
      "dead on the field" at Antietam. I tend to be a lot less harsh on Hood
      than most others, perhaps because I feel that (on balance) his services
      to the Confederacy were positive. Funny how everyone will call Hood a
      butcher for Franklin, but no one would dare utter a sound about Lee's
      Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble debacle on 3rd day at G'burg. The difference
      between these 2 assaults is that Hood's was somewhat more successful
      than Lee's (in a tactical sense). I also have yet to be convinced that
      J. Johnston was any better at army command than was Hood, or that either
      was better than Bragg. I'm hoping for a response to any of these
      thoughts, as I am not so set in my ways that I can't be convinced I'm
      wrong. Let the flames begin!
      Andy
    • Ronald black
      Tom; They say that timing is everything but you don t quite have it right. W.H.L. Wallace was wounded late in the day, about 5:00 pm during the withdrawal of
      Message 141 of 141 , Feb 28, 2007
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        Tom;
        They say that timing is everything but you don't quite have it right.  W.H.L. Wallace was wounded late in the day, about 5:00 pm during the withdrawal of his troops and while they were in the process of being trapped by the confederates.  There is a possibility that he may have been captured if he was not wounded.  Wallace's division took position at 10:00 am in the Duncan field and the western portion of the sunken road.  They held until about 4:00 pm, the retreat began first with the artillery, then the regiments started pulling back.  At this time, they started to come disorganized while in the withdrawal, those still in front line positions continued to hold for a short while longer.  The balance of units fighting at the front after 5:00 pm were commanded by Prentiss and he had troops from all three divisions and they were coming unglued.  The surrenders started shortly, about 5:30.  
         
        As to Grant and the sunken road, I believe that he had very little to do with the selection of this lane as a position.  At 10:00 am, Wallace and Hurlbut ordered and put their troops in position along this lane and placed Prentiss' survivors between them.  Grant only approved their choice of position.  Actuall the Official Reports are mostly silent about Grant and this position.  
        Ron
         
        Original Message -----
        From: Tom Mix
        Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:59 PM
        Subject: FW: [civilwarwest] Re: Shiloh

         

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Tom Mix [mailto:tmix@ insightbb. com]
        Sent:
        Wednesday, February 28, 2007 11:32 AM
        To: 'civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com'
        Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re:
        Shiloh

         

        I agree completely in what your saying about how they ended up in the lane. They sort of “fell” together there. But Grant did recognize something about the position that made a defense plausible then set it as the official design for defense.  I have found it highly creditable as to how Will Wallace’s unit maintained a degree of order after their commander’s mortal wound, the heavy attack confronting them, the confusion surrounding the soldiers, the terrain limits and such and yet they stay together, re-establish order, establish a defensive line and coordinate with Prentiss.  It speaks well for the more junior officers of the Division. And Grant’s personal involvement.

         

        If any one walks the road one of the first things that becomes very apparent is that it is not “sunken” any where.  The fencing, the tree line, the slight undulation kind of creating a natural rallying point, I would guess, for those who were not high tailing it to the rear. As I think about those men in blue at that specific moment, I am always impressed with their courage, clarity of purpose and ability to keep their heads while those all around them were losing their’s, literally and figuratively.  I would guess that seeing Grant at the front amidst all the smoke, noise, trees, chaos, disorder and death must have had a positive effect on the men too. I think it could be equated to the response to Hancock 1 July  1863, IMO.

        .


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