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 Posted: Tue Apr 25th, 2006 11:28 pm
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samhood
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: West Virginia USA
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Eric:

    Whatever the desertion number might have been, memoirs of several veterans of the campaign indicate that it was abnormally high.  SA Cunningham wrote that after the defeat at Nashville "Almost all the Tennesseans had either gone home on furlough or took French leave (deserted)." Furthermore--not to split hairs--but there is also some ambiguity between captured and desertions when troops allowed themselves to be captured, as Sam Watkins testified. 

    Also, as you and I discussed recently, many Tennesseans were given furloughs during the retreat, and although willing, were unable to rejoin the army as Federal control over Tennessee was tightened after the Nashville defeat.  (Cunningham was one example.)

    In any event, as I said earlier, Hood is ultimately responsible for the number of troops returning from the campaign.  But in the context of the army being "destroyed" by Hood, I think the desertion numbers, whatever they might have been, are pertinent.

    

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