Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352
back to top
In an earlierr post you stated that Hood's first two attacks on Sherman (Peachtree Creek and Atlanta [Decatur]) were Johnston's plans. But you criticize Hood for those attacks. You seem reasonable and learned (I'm being sincere here,) please explain. BTW...I have heard that Peachtree Creek was probably Johnston's conception, but I've not heard that Atlanta (Decatur) was Johnston's plan. You are quite correct, my fingers got well ahead of my brain.
I believe that Hardee was not considered to replace Johnston because Hardee had declined command of the AoT when offered to him after Missionary Ridge. All other options other than Hood probably didn't appeal too much to Davis and the CS High Command. The CS was running dreadfully low on senior generals by the summer of 1864 (Longstreet was wounded) so they had few options...Hood being the best of a bad (for the want of a better word) lot. The Georgia newspapers and public were demanding aggressive action against Sherman, and Hood was the best choice to deliver that. I just don't see Hood as a choice at all, to me Davis was running out of his cronies... Popular demand replacing a General is not the way to win a war. Listening to armchair generals is even worse. An interesting quote...Kate Cumming wrote in her Journal of a Confederate Nurse, “Feb. 26, 1865: It is reported that General Johnston has taken command of the Tennessee Army or rather what is left of it. This has given universal satisfaction, but no one can tell for how long, as that hydra-headed monster—the people—is a little inclined to be fickle. I have been told that before General Hood took command, the people of Georgia sent many a petition to the president, asking him to remove General Johnston, as he was permitting the enemy to lay waste to the country.”
At Nashville Hood did more than lay seige and hope for a mistake by Thomas. He sent Forrest and Bate to attack the Federals at Murfreesboro, And they were soundly beaten there. Hood couldn't win at Nashville by hoping Thomas was stupid enough to let smal units be gobbled up by Hood. Thomas was competant and frankly had Hood well in hand. Hood let him by trying to beseige a much larger force w/out being able to cut or even seriously interdict their supply lines. hoping to lure Thomas into sending reinforcements, where they might be attacked en route. And Hood begged for reinforcements, Breckinridge in VA and from Mobile. He and Beauregard also asked Kirby Smith to make a demonstration into Missouri to freeze AJ Smith's troops there and keep them from being sent to Thomas. AJ Smith's two Division had just made a march that frankly eclipsed any march made by any other troops in US History. They were arguably the toughest on either side of the line and it has been argued that they were the men that won the battle of Nashville. But two less Divisions would not have made a difference, it was still Thomas against Hood and Hood was outclassed, outnumbered and outmanuevered in that two day scrap. AJ Smith's men were not the only troops in Missouri, a fact Rosecrans used to his advantage.
We'll respectfullly disagree on whether Hood should have attacked at Franklin. It failed, but he had reasons. And had Opdycke not been where he was (without permission) Schofield might have been routed. Again we deal w/ a what if... if Hood hadn't attacked he wouldn't have wrecked his army.
I can agree to respectfully disagree; I just don't see that many redeeeming qualities in Hood as an Army commander and I find his behind the back politiking particularly appaling and frankly bordering on cowardice. He failed at every operation he attempted w/ the AoT US. Failure doesn't get my vote, success does.