View single post by Savez
 Posted: Wed Apr 26th, 2006 03:32 pm
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  On your website you stated;

Simmons correctly stated that it was impossible for Hood to cross the Harpeth River and attempt a flanking maneuver, and that an immediate attack at Franklin was Hood's only option if the Union forces at Nashville were to be defeated.


and then went on to say later on in the article when defending Hood's idea of renewing the attack the next day;

Hood would have had superior troop strength, artillery, and would have had a full ten hours of daylight to implement strategic flanking maneuvers against any Federal forces that might have remained at Franklin.

It is wholly inappropriate for historians to assert that Hood would have renewed the failed frontal assault on fortified Union positions the next day, in the face of no historical evidence to support that claim and no reason for Hood to do so.


If it was impossible for Hood to cross the Harpeth River how would he have attempted a flanking attack the next day. There is little doubt in my mind Hood would have made a frontal assault again. 

Defending Hood's criticism of The Army of Tennessee's unwillingness to attack breastwork's you quoted Stephen Lee;

"As a corps commander, I regarded the morale of the army greatly impaired after the fall of Atlanta, and in fact before its fall, the troops were not by any means in good spirits…the majority of the officers and men were so impressed with the idea of their inability to carry even temporary breastworks, that when orders were given for attack, and there was a probability of encountering works…they did not generally move to the attack with that spirit which nearly always assures success." (O.R. Series I, XXXIX, part 1, 810.)


Think about what they had witnessed the past few months at places like Doug Gap and Kennesaw Mountain. They were smarter than the corps commanders. They saw the uselessness of making a frontal assault on fortified positions. The sheer fact that Hood wrote that was nothing but stupidity. They had attempted plenty of frontal assaults before Franklin. In the battles for Atlanta Confederate forces made several frontal assaults like the one on Degress's Battery only to be forced back by the 66th Illinois sharpshooters armed with sixteen shot Henry Repeaters. And again at Allatoona Pass, Cockrell's Missouri orphans attacked a fortified position held by yet another unit with a company that was  armed with Henry rifles. In other words Hood and Lee were lying.

The fact that you have to create a websites to "defend" John Bell Hood from modern historians  and contemporaries alike says a lot about the man himself. Wiley Sword is not his only critic. Larry J. Daniel shows Hood's inability to use artillery in his book "Canoneers in Grey". Nathan Bedford Forrest didn't like him. It all adds up.

 Having said all this I want you to know that I am not bashing your website. It is well put together and well researched. It is a good balance from all the criticisms and anyone looking for information on Hood should visit your site. Like I said earlier, you convinced me that the Hood's addictions are overplayed and I also believe that Hood didn't undermind Johnston. I think that all had to do with Braxton Bragg. I can't stand him either, but that is a whole 'nother thread. However, I still think Hood was a terrible army commander and did his part in destroying (by desertions from low moral and casulties) that great and tragic army.

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