Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies: General John Bell Hood's Account of the Battle of Nashville (Illustrated)by John Bell Hood
The intimidating Texan began to make
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John Bell Hood was one of the most tenacious generals in the Confederacy, for better and worse. This quality, which made him one of the best brigade and division commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia also made him ineffective as he was promoted to higher commands, forever marring his career at Atlanta and Franklin.
The intimidating Texan began to make a name for himself as a brigade commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under new commander Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days Battles in 1862, after which he was promoted to division command. For the next several campaigns, he led a division under General James Longstreet’s I Corps., fighting at places like Antietam and Fredericksburg. Hood was in the thick of the action on Day 2 at Gettysburg, suffering a bad wound that left his left arm permanently disabled. When Longstreet’s command headed west, Hood suffered another wound at Chickamauga, leading to the amputation of his right leg.
In 1864, Joseph E. Johnston continued to move in the face of Sherman’s armies back toward Atlanta, eventually leading to Hood’s promotion to command of the Army of Tennessee. At this point, Hood was so damaged by his wounds that he needed assistance to even get on a horse. Nevertheless, Hood led a series of offensive attacks, failing to dislodge Sherman and only damaging his own army. Sherman eventually took Atlanta anyway.
Hood’s leadership only got worse, culminating in the Franklin-Nashville campaign in which he ordered a massive frontal attack at the Battle of Franklin that led many of his top officers, like Patrick Cleburne, dead on the field. After losing the Battle of Nashville, he was relieved of command.
As the commander of the Army of the Tennessee, Hood had to keep his superiors back in Washington updated, and his account of the Battle of Nashville was preserved in The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. This edition of Hood’s account includes maps of the battle and its important commanders.
- Charles River Editors
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