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Re: [civilwarwest] Hood on Hood at Franklin

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  • Bob Redman
    Mary, ... Maybe you re right. And maybe that is the real problem with Franklin. Greetings, Bob Redman
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 2, 2000
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      Mary,

      At 08:10 9/2/00 -0400, you wrote:

      >Steve,
      >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.

      Maybe you're right. And maybe that is the real problem with Franklin.

      Greetings,

      Bob Redman





      >
      >respectfully yours,
      >Mary Hawthorne aka bluelady
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Stephen D Wakefield <sdwakefield@...>
      >To: civilwarwest@egroups.com <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
      >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
      >know
      >>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
      >not
      >>bring ourselves to accept them as accurate. I trust that you will agree
      >that
      >>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
      >30,1864:
      >>
      >> " 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
      >that
      >>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
      >men
      >>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
      >whom,
      >>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
      >Retreat -
      >>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!
      >>
      >>Regards-
      >>Wakefield
      >>a/k/a
      >>AoT
      >>
      >>
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