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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 09:51 pm
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SavasBeatie
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The Battle of Franklin Trust Chief Operating Officer Eric A. Jacobson announced today at Carnton Plantation the discovery of several hundred documents, letter and orders of Confederate General John Bell Hood. While conducting research for an upcoming book on the general, West Virginia’s Sam Hood, a collateral descendent and student of the career of Hood, was invited to inspect a collection of the general’s papers, held by a descendent.

Savas Beatie will be publishing this upcoming book by Sam Hood entitled John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General in spring 2013, a detailed point by point defense of General Hood’s career.

As timing would have it, John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General was completed before this recent document discovery. Much of his book argues that known evidence before the recent cache find has been misinterpreted or blatantly misused by many latter-day authors. Hood critically notes several authors who he believes perpetuated the use of Hood as a target for Lost Cause architects. Some of the newly discovered information on the Atlanta Campaign, the Spring Hill affair, and the Battle of Franklin will be included in Sam Hood’s upcoming book, but since the total collection will take several months to transcribe, more important information on John Bell Hood - the man and the soldier - cannot, by necessity, be revealed until later.

In making today’s announcement, Sam Hood said, “I felt like the guy who found the Titanic, except for the fact everyone knew the Titanic was out there somewhere, while I had no clue that some of the stuff I found even existed.”

Sam Hood added, “General Hood is certainly no stranger to controversy. During his colorful military career and with historians ever since, he has remained a controversial and tragic figure of the Civil War. Long noted for the loss of Atlanta and what some consider reckless behavior at the November 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin after a lost opportunity for possible victory at Spring Hill, he has often been the subject of ridicule and blame for the demise of the Confederacy in the West.”

Eric Jacobson, who has viewed a portion of the collection said, “This is one of the most significant Civil War discoveries in recent history. These documents also tell us as much by what they don’t say. One major example is the discovery of Hood’s medical journal, kept by his doctor, John T. Darby, during the war. As they are being transcribed it will be interesting to see what, if any, use of painkillers is mentioned, and how judicious his doctors were in prescribing opiates. Hood was much more multi-faceted than how he has been portrayed by some as a simple minded and poorly equipped commander.”

Jacobson has been one of only a few contemporary Army of Tennessee historians to give Hood the benefit of fatigue, fog of war and failures of subordinates as part of the breakdown of the Army of Tennessee in late 1864.

Some of the items found include recommendations for promotion, handwritten by Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet. Also uncovered was wartime correspondence between General Hood and generals R. E. Lee, Braxton Bragg, Louis T. Wigfall, and other senior commanders as well, as his four general officer commission papers. Roughly seventy post-war letters from other Civil War notables were also discovered, mostly concerning the controversy with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and used to compose Hood's memoir Advance & Retreat. Hood added, “This is just the tip of the iceberg on the expansive collection.”

“I spent three days photocopying and inventorying,” added Sam Hood. “I held in my hands documents signed by Jefferson Davis, Longstreet, Jackson and Lee.”

Keith Bohannon, professor of history at the University of West Georgia, says most of Hood’s biographers assumed that Hood’s papers, other than those known to be archived, were lost or destroyed. “Some of John Bell Hood’s official papers were presumably sold to the Federal government near the time of his death in 1879,” Bohannon said. Hood and his wife, Anna Marie, both died in New Orleans from yellow fever and left behind ten orphaned children. Before his death at age 48, Hood was in poor financial condition and was working to sell this information to better the financial plight of his family, according to Bohannon.

“I have been fighting to correct some of the misperceptions and vicious myths of General Hood for years,” added Sam Hood. “These documents will shed a lot of light that will change some of those views.”

Attachment: Hood cover low res.jpg (Downloaded 29 times)



 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2012 12:54 pm
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HankC
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presumably, the book cover is photoshopped?



 Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 06:19 pm
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militarybooks
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The photo is colorized, but the image is a previously unpublished one of Hood taken while in Richmond before he went West to command a corps under Johnston.



 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2013 02:59 pm
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Hellcat
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Hood's left arm was wounded at Gettysburg and rendered useless for the rest of his life. I'd assume this would mean he'd loose the use of his left hand as well. And according to this site, http://www.johnbellhood.org/anv.htm, Hood was forced to carry the left arm in a sling for the rest of his life. Now that doesn't Hood couldn't have had photos taken without a sling in them, but the thing that get's me looking at the photo is Hood's left hand. Unless left and right were flipped when put on the cover (I'll get to that in a minute) his left hand is on our right. But he's clearly grasping the left crutch in his left hand. In fact look at both hands, both are grasping the crutches so even if the photo had been flipped the left hand would still be grasping a crutch. If he lost use of his left hand he shouldn't be able to grasp a crutch. That would have to suggest three options to me.
  1. A
  2. posing by the photographer of the day (and possibly having to tie the left hand to the crutch so it couldn't slip off)
  3. T
  4. his maybe represented him recovering from a possible earlier injury (and I don't believe he was wounded before Gettysburg, though I could be wrong)
  5. P
  6. hotoshoping

Again I am assuming he lost the use of his left hand when he lost the use of his left arm.



 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2013 03:15 pm
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militarybooks
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Hellcat,

Until recently, the medical reports for Hood's two major injuries (arm at Gettysburg and leg at Chickamauga) had never been seen. Now they have been found, and they are extremely detailed. Other than immediate eyewitness accounts and occasional observations, no one really knew how well he had recovered, or what his abilities with his arm and hand were, over time.

It appears that Hood's arm injury, while severe, was not as debilitating as historians have believed, and the crippling nature of it has been exaggerated over the decades (as has most things about Hood, as you will see in the book when you read it--hopefully you will).

The image is not Photoshopped except for the designer coloring it. We have the original black and white, and it appears in the book.

Hood was wounded twice, Gettysburg in July 63 and Chickamauga in September 63. The photo is not specifically dated. However, given the discovery of his medical report for Chickamauga and his recovery time, etc., the fact that Hood is on crutches and in uniform and "mobile," and was in Richmond for months before taking corps command in the AOT, indicates that this was taken in the Confederate capital, likely early 1864.




 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2013 07:44 pm
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Hellcat
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You might have mentioned that about the medical records in your first post but thank you for setting me straight none the less. I have to agree that this isn't post Chickamuaga as Hood was supposed to have had a leg amputated. Clearly he has both legs in the photo and neither a missing leg nor a wooden prosthetic.



 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2013 08:50 pm
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militarybooks
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Hellcat,

We believe this was taken in late 1863 or early 1864 and that one of his legs is a prosthetic with a boot on. Hood was never known to have used crutches except after he was wounded at Chickamauga. He certainly did not need crutches following his arm wound at Gettysburg. So although his legs look "normal," obviously this is a posed still and staged to look thusly.



 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2013 09:52 pm
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militarybooks
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UPDATE ON HOOD'S LEG: Hood's prosthetic leg came from England and were called "Anglesey Legs." They were state of the art at the time. The author discusses them in a footnote in the laudanum section of Chapter 19.



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