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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 02:22 pm
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samhood
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Johan Steele wrote: I'm a big fan of Sword's work. It is well mentioned here. But what has always influenced me is how the men who served under generals thought of them. Johnston was adored while Hood & Bragg were despised... at the very least. Another telling factor is what an enemy thinks of a man. Both Generals and private soldiers on the other side of the line respected the man.



I am no fan of Sword.  He has an agenda and only shares historical evidence with his readers that he wants them to know.

Regarding Hood, here are a few quotes that DO NOT APPEAR in Sword's book.  Sword didn't hesitate to include words of criticism and hatred of Hood by some soldiers, but if Sword is writing a non-fiction book, why aren't these quotes included in his book?

Sam Watkins in Company Aytch:

He (Hood) was a noble, brave and good man, and we loved him for his virtues and goodness of heart.

We all loved Hood, he was such a clever fellow, and a good man.

Poor fellow, I loved him, not as a general, but as a good man.

Every impulse of his nature was to do good, and to serve his country as best he could.

General John B. Hood did all that he could. The die had been cast. Our cause had been lost before he took command. He fought with the everlasting grip of the bulldog and the fierceness of the wounded tiger. The army had been decimated until it was a mere skeleton...when he commenced his march into Tennessee.

Watkins’ epitaph for Hood in The Southern Bivouac 2 (May 1884):

But the half of brave Hood’s body molders here:
The rest was lost in honor’s bold career.
Both limbs and fame he scattered all around,
Yet still, though mangled, was with honor crowned;
For ever ready with his blood to part,
War left him nothing whole—except his heart.


Dr. Samuel Thompson, in Reminiscences of the 41st Tennessee, "Many, we know, will disagree with us, but we think to calmly and impartially view General Hood’s course we will be forced to accord to him abilities of the highest order and a military commander with but few superiors….What became of General Hood for the remainder of the war we do not know, but if he was removed for failure in Tennessee, he was treated very unjustly. That he did so, we believe was no fault of his. He failed simply because he had not men and supplies to contend with the immense force that was against him."

Henry A. Morehead, 11th Mississippi, Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861 –1865, compiled by Miss Mamie Yeary, 1912, page 539, “Gen. Hood was a brave man, and while he never won the affections of his men as some other commanders did, we may say ‘Peace to his ashes,’ for he was a good soldier and a true Southern man.”

Col. Virgil Murphey of the 17th Alabama, who had been captured at Franklin and was being held in Nashville, wrote that when prisoners learned of Hood's army advancing on Nashville, "About 300 Yankee bounty jumpers and prisoners in the yard yelled with delight and declared their readiness to rejoin Hood."

I don't doubt that more soldiers of the AoT disliked Hood than liked him, but if you're writing a fair and accurate book, why would you conceal this evidence.

Also, I'm not so sure that the the AoT hated Hood when he replaced Johnston, or whether it was more the fact that Johnston was relieved.  Sumner Cunningham wrote in Confederate Veteran in April, 1893, "The removal of General Johnston, and the appointment of Hood to succeed him in command of the Army of Tennessee, was an astounding event. So devoted to Johnston were his men that the presence and immediate command of General Robert E. Lee would not have been accepted without complaint."

Again...why do NONE of these quotes appear in Sword's book?

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