View single post by ole
 Posted: Sun Aug 24th, 2008 03:03 pm
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ole
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Hood's options are few: all but one allow Schofield to slip away.

The humane option has him not invading Tennessee: getting his troops fit and fat and equipped as much as possible in central Georgia and Alabama. This option essentially takes the AoT out of the war, which goes on without it. Maybe it requires Thomas to come out and chase him around. Maybe not.

The sane option is having him turn back from Franklin -- saving his army to fight another day. Perhaps snapping up Murfreesboro on his way south, and threatening Chattanooga, or maybe even Knoxville: Thomas would have to come out. But Hood is not known for backing off in the face of a fight or an impossible objective.

The controversial option (Forrest's suggestion) is not quite practicable. It's getting late, and although Forrest knows the territory thoroughly, it offers small chance of bagging Schofield.

The selected option is about the only option available. And there is a good chance it will work. With Wagner's brigades well in advance, the defenders will have to hold fire while they retreat to the lines. It almost works. But for the happy accident that Oglesby refuses to leave his brigade hanging out in front and assembles them in town to rest, Hood's boys almost break through along the Columbia Pike. A breakthrough would likely have sent the Federals scattering in the dark. A cool-headed Confederate commander might then have surged through town rounding them up.

But for the happy accident, Hood's final, fatal option was his only chance of fulfilling his mission. His grossest error was camping out on the hills overlooking Nashville after the whupping he got at Franklin.

Helping your ruminations....

ole

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