View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Mon Aug 25th, 2008 02:26 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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Hood was in a bind. After Scholfield's troops had slipped by the Army of Tennessee, Hood had to chase them hard to keep them from reaching the confines and safety of Nashville. He didn't want to have to fight them AND Thomas at Nashville, but now it was evident that his worst fears would come true UNLESS he could smash them hard at Franklin with their back to the Harpeth River.

But what if he didn't fight at Franklin? What if he had decided to do as Ole so perceptively suggested and stall or let Schofield join Thomas in Nashville, while Hood collects his thoughts, rests his men and forms a viable stategy for pushing past Nashville to Kentucky, then to Ohio.

The trouble was, Hood was angry at his generals whom he has blamed for the humiliating escape of Schofield. He was hell bent for leather and wanted to punish the miscreants--as if they had done it deliberately. To figure out what Hood could have done or should have done would be to have to have an understanding of his state-of-mind at that moment. My guess is that he was close to being unstable given the reckless and punitive decisions he did make that fateful day. I don't know if he was in any condition to be able to formulate a coherent, rational plan for his next moves, one that would save his own army to fight effectively on another day.

But 5Fish, what Hood didn't know and couldn't know was that even had he avoided the Franklin debacle and pushed on, in a few days a good old Tennessee  ice storm awaited that could have been catastrophic for the AoT no matter what Hood had done at Franklin.

In fact, I think the AoT was pretty much at the end of its rope. Men were barefoot, ragged and starving. Horses and mules had no fodder; some needed shodding. How much more can anyone ask of men and animals in the dead of winter?

I'm a notorous coward, but I feel Hood's best option at this juncture might have been to trek back to Alabama or Mississippi and set up winter camp hoping to fight again in the spring.  Even Lee knew when it was the better part of valor to beat a timely retreat.

Last edited on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 02:28 am by CleburneFan

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