View single post by EricJacobson
 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 07:32 pm
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EricJacobson
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Hood certainly has his shortcoming, but I have to say Johnston is certainly not blameless.  I'll explain.  An army commander should have open dialogue with his superior, in this case Davis.  Johnston was an utter failure in this regard.  His obsessive secretive nature certainly drove Davis half mad.  Whether Davis asked Hood to write letters or Hood acted on his may never be known, but Johnston was his own worst enemy.  If he had communicated with Davis like Lee did, the letter writing likely would not have started or been tolerated.  Imagine Longstreet writing to Davis complaining about Lee.  Hood is not innocent, but why do you think a soldier like Hardee would write to Davis?  Because he had a problem with Hood?  No - because he saw problems with Johnston's strategy.

Johnston may had honor, but he was a terrible communicator.  Hood's letter writing did not change the fact that Johnston retreated until Sherman was 10 miles from Atlanta.  At that point, Davis gave Johnston one final chance to explain his strategy and Johnston failed again.  No answer, just ambiguous talk of waiting for Sherman's next move.

Blame Hood if you will for writing letters.  Johnston built his own gallows, but frankly Hood's letters may have only confirmed what Davis already knew.  Johnston was never going to fight for Atlanta.

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