Re: [civilwarwest] Re: AOT
- In a message dated 9/23/03 7:49:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time, james2044@... writes:
Just completed Stanley Horn's book and he isn't a Hood fan. Most of
what I've read agrees with his assesment of Hood as a General. If
you look at Peach Tree Creek USA 1,710 CSA, 4,796, Erza Church USA
700 CSA 4,642, it is hard to credit Hood with finding a flank.
When you add in the whole TN and Hood's actions I have to agree with
Horn. Hood was unable to control an army and just didn't know what
he was doing.
To balance out your reading, you should look at an essay written by Steven Davis, who coincidentally is the book review editor of Blue & Gray Magazine. The essay's title is "Hood and the Battles for Atlanta" in Savas' The Campaign for Atlanta, a book of essays published about 15 years ago. Davis argues (rather convincingly, to me) that Hood's assaults were not the headlong attacks that they are often portrayed as by Johnston's apologists.
Peachtree Creek was an attack JEJ later claimed he planned, and was a classic en echlon attack, used by Lee at Gettysburg (Longstreet on July 2) and Bragg at Chickamauga. Hardee effectively chose to take the day off that day, ruining an initial success by A. P. Stewart.
The Battle of Atlanta was an attempt at a Chancellorsville type attack, and may have succeeded to a degree if not for the fortuitous placement of a single US division.
Ezra Church was also meant to be a Chancellorsville attack, but Stephen D. Lee chose to disregard orders and rashly attacked a strong Federal position, causing enormous casualties in his corps and in a division A. P. Stewart sent to support him.
In each case, Hood's concept wasn't bad, but bad luck and/or poor execution did him in. He was trying to use tactics Lee was able to use with Longstreet and Jackson which a petulant Hardee and a boneheaded S. D. Lee wouldn't (or couldn't) execute.
Hood blew it at Franklin, and was hated by many survivors of the AOT because of it. But the three battles around Atlanta were not headlong onslaughts like that made by Hood at Gaines' Mill.