Re: [civilwarwest] Hood on Hood at Franklin
At 08:10 9/2/00 -0400, you wrote:
>Steve,Maybe you're right. And maybe that is the real problem with Franklin.
>I just want to make sure I'm reading what you say correctly. Hood knew
>exactally what he was doing at Franklin then later tried to justify it? I
>still think he was put in command because he would fight. Davis liked the
>idea of victories in battle, not ones where you waited out the enemy. Seems
>to me, in my opinion from interpriting what little I've read, Sam Hood was
>doing just what Davis wanted him to do. This of course is just opinion.
>Mary Hawthorne aka bluelady
>From: Stephen D Wakefield <sdwakefield@...>
>To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Friday, September 01, 2000 9:54 PM
>Subject: [civilwarwest] Hood on Hood at Franklin
>>In reviewing all the previous posts I was struck by how many different ways
>>very knowledgeable and well read folks from divergent backgrounds can read
>>substantially the same source and secondary materials and come to so many
>>different and divergent opinions about the same tragic event. I suppose it
>>is fair to say that even after more than 140 years we will never really
>>what John Bell Hood was thinking or for that matter trying to accomplish
>>that beautiful late fall afternoon. Our lack of understanding of this
>>tragedy is made even more sad by the fact that we have the benefit of
>>Hood's own book which purports to tell us what happened and why. We all
>>feel compelled to venture beyond Hood's own explanation because Hood's own
>>words make so little sense and ring so fantanstic that we can simply can
>>bring ourselves to accept them as accurate. I trust that you will agree
>>the glaring fact that we still can not fathom what he may have been
>>thinking, even after John Bell Hood himself wrote down what he was thinking
>>tells us much about John Bell Hood's state of mind on Winstead Hill.
>>I hope that you kind readers will not take me too much to task for my heavy
>>editing of John Bell Hood's own words, but I possess limited typing ability
>>and I promise I will try and provide an even handed treatment of the
>>General's utterly fantastic explanation. In "Advance and Retreat" begining
>>at page 292 the General begins his story on the morning of November
>> " At early dawn the troops were put into motion in the direction of
>>Franklin, marching as rapidly as possible to overtake the enemy before he
>>crossed the Big Harpeth, eighteen miles from Spring Hill....A sudden change
>>in sentiment here took place among officers and men:the army became
>>metamorphosed, as it were in one night. A general feeling of mortification
>>and disappointment pervaded the ranks. The troops appeared to recognize
>>a rare opportunity had been totally disregarded, and manifested ,seemingly,
>>a determination to retrieve ,if possible ,the fearful blunder of the
>>previous afternoon and night.The feeling existed which sometimes induces
>>who have long been wedded to but one policy to look beyond the sphere of
>>their own convictions , and, at least, be willing to make trial of another
>>course of action....
>> ....Within about three miles of Franklin, the enemy was discovered on
>>the ridge over which passes the turnpike.As soon soon as the Confederate
>>troops began to deploy,and skirmishers were thrown forward, the Federals
>>withdrew slowly to the environs of the town....
>> It was about 3 p.m. when ...Stewart moved to the right of the
>>pike...Cheatham's corps filed off to the left...disposed in line of
>>battle.The artillery was instructed to take no part in the engagement, on
>>account of the danger to which women and children in the village would be
>>exposed....I desired the Federals to be driven into the river in their
>>immediate rear......[I issued ] orders to drive the enemy from his position
>>into the river at all hazards.....
>> [After a discription of the course of the battle]....I rode over the
>>scene of action the next morning ,and could but indulge in sad and painful
>>thought, as I beheld so many brave soldiers stricken down by the enemy
>>a few hours previous, at Spring Hill, we had held in the palm of our hands.
>>The attack which entailed so great sacrifice of life , had, for reasons
>>already stated , become a necessity as imperative as that which impelled
>>General Lee to order the assault at Gaine's Mill, when our troops charged
>>acoss as open space, a distance of one mile under a most galling fire of
>>musketry and artillery, against an enemy heavily entrenched ..."
>> I pray good friends that you will forgive me for not typing more at the
>>present time. Every time I read this description I shake my head in
>>disbelief. For those of you with a copy of this book - Advance and
>>I would ask you to pick up your copy and read the rest of Chapter 17. The
>>author's story becomes more outlandish and strange with each line. For the
>>rest I will try and bring myself to type the remainder and post sometime
>>later this week end.
>>I leave you with this very personal observation. Every time I read this
>>infamous Chapter 17 (and I usually do it every time life takes me to that
>>beautiful spot on Winstead Hill) I always think of Humphrey Bogart's
>>testimony in the movie "The Caine Mutiny". One glaring and frightening
>>difference between the Captain's movie testimony and Hood's book is that
>>unlike the movie, Hood's testimony was not the product of an outburst in a
>>stressful trial setting but rather was the product of thoughtful reflection
>>and several re-writes!