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 Posted: Tue Apr 25th, 2006 04:39 am
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Eric
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Hello,

Well I just cannot help but jump in here.  As the author of the new book about Spring Hill and Franklin I might be able to add some info to the discussion.  I think there is no doubt that previous portrayals of Gen. Hood leave much to be desired as far as objectivity are concerned.  Criticisms of his command decisions are fair; personal attacks, against anyone, should not be made by serious scholars in my opinion.  Hood has been dogged by accusations of laudanum use for years and I can tell you, with absolute honesty, that during the 10 years I spent researching my book I found not a single documentary piece of evidence to support such a claim.  Spring Hill and Franklin have long been covered in a great deal of myth, from Hood and Schofield on down the line.  My focus was to strip away that myth and do my best to explain what happened, in an unbiased fashion.

I have a great deal of respect for those writers who came before me, specifically Sword, McDonough, and Hay.  However, I was motivated to write the book because I did not think the story of Spring Hill and Franklin had been accurately told.  Sword is the only author to offer great detail, but even he left out a great amount of detail.  I think even those who know a great deal about Spring Hill might be shocked when they read my book and find out what Gen. Frank Cheatham's role was.  No, nothing nefarious, but critically important. 

In my book I used over 325 individual sources.  Among them was the National Tribune, which was something no previous Spring Hill and Franklin author has ever done.  The wealth of info gleaned from that source alone was incredible.  Previously unknown contemporary sources also helped greatly.  Finally, 142 years later, I think the full story of Spring Hill and Franklin is now told.  My dearest hope is that anyone who was actually there, from the ranking generals on down to the lowliest private, if they had a chance to read the book, would agree in principle that what really unfolded during those two incredible days has finally been told.

Eric 

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