View single post by Kyguy
 Posted: Sun Jan 1st, 2012 01:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 26th, 2011
Posts: 6

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Correct again Csamillerp, especially when something just doesn't pass the smell (common sense) test. Civil War book publishing has become big business in the last 25 years and is by far the largest genre of literature in the Library of Congress cataloguing system. Many modern authors write to sell, not to educate or inform.

A perfect example is Wiley Sword's soap-operatic portrayal of Hood and Sally "Buck" Preston. In Thomas R. Hay's and Stanley Horn's iconic books on the Army of Tennessee and Hood's campaign, she isn't even mentioned. Even Thomas Connelly only mentioned her once. Sword comes along in 1992 and Buck Preston permiates his book. She is listed in the index of his book more times than 4 of the 6 generals killed at Franklin...combined!

We are told by Sword that Hood was stupid and socially unrefined, then we  are told that he completely snookered and bamboozled the highest ranking officers in the Confederate army, a president and his entire cabinet to get command of the Army of Tennessee. 

All authors tell us that Hood loved frontal attacks yet Franklin was the only one he ever ordered. If Hood loved frontal charges why did he even try the flank around Columbia to Spring Hill the previous day? Why didn't he just attack Schofield at Columbia? Even at Franklin writers tell us the attack was pointless and suicidal, yet the Federal lines were broken, saved only because Emerson Opdycke disobeyed orders and was where he was.

Many authors call Hood a butcher for ordering the attack at Franklin yet Joe Johnston ordered an attack at Bentonville four months later, sustaining 3,000 casualties, and wrote in his memoirs that he had accepted command of the AOT a month earlier knowing the war was lost and nothing could be attained but better terms of surrender. In April 1865 Lee was outnumbered 4-1 yet launched an attack at Ft Stedman, sustaining high casualties. So why was Franklin and Nashville in November/December 1864 called "useless butchery" and other desperate attacks much later in the war never criticized?

Just because an author writes a book and a publisher sells it doesn't mean the information asserted in the book is accurate. I spend a lot of time checking cited sources and it's amazing how often there is little or no relationship to what an author writes and what his declared sources state. Another problem is that authors simply cite the comments of earlier writers, so if something innacurate or biased is written eloquently, it ends up being repearted over and over.        

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