The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood

The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood

by Stephen Hood

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Scholars hail the find as “the most important discovery in Civil War scholarship in the last half century.” The invaluable cache of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s personal papers includes wartime and postwar letters from comrades, subordinates, former enemies and friends, exhaustive medical reports relating to Hood’s two major wounds, and dozens of touching letters exchanged between Hood and his wife, Anna. This treasure trove of information is being made available for the first time for both professional and amateur Civil War historians in Stephen “Sam” Hood’s The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood.

The historical community long believed General Hood’s papers were lost or destroyed, and numerous books and articles were written about him without the benefit of these invaluable documents. In fact, the papers were carefully held for generations by a succession of Hood’s descendants, and in the autumn of 2012 transcribed by collateral descendent Sam Hood as part of his research for his book John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General (Savas Beatie, 2013.)

This collection offers more than 200 documents. While each is a valuable piece of history, some shed important light on some of the war’s lingering mysteries and controversies. For example, several letters from multiple Confederate officers may finally explain the Confederate failure to capture or destroy Schofield’s Union army at Spring Hill, Tennessee, on the night of November 29, 1864. Another letter by Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee goes a long way toward explaining Confederate Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne’s gallant but reckless conduct that resulted in his death at Franklin. Lee also lodges serious allegations against Confederate Maj. Gen. William Bate. While these and others offer a military perspective of Hood the general, the revealing letters between he and his beloved and devoted wife, Anna, help us better understand Hood the man and husband.

Historians and other writers have spent generations speculating about Hood’s motives, beliefs, and objectives, and the result has not always been flattering or even fully honest. Now, long-believed “lost” firsthand accounts previously unavailable offer insights into the character, personality, and military operations of John Bell Hood the general, husband, and father.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611211832
Publisher: Savas Beatie
Publication date: 06/19/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 966,681
File size: 20 MB
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About the Author

Stephen M. “Sam” Hood is a graduate of Kentucky Military Institute, Marshall University (bachelor of arts, 1976), and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. A collateral descendent of General John Bell Hood, Sam is a retired industrial construction company owner, past member of the Board of Directors of the Blue Gray Education Society of Chatham, Virginia, and is a past president of the Board of Directors of Confederate Memorial Hall Foundation in New Orleans. Sam resides in his hometown of Huntington, West Virginia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with his wife of thirty-five years, Martha, and is the proud father of two sons: Derek Hood of Lexington, Kentucky, and Taylor Hood of Barboursville, West Virginia.

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The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DavidMarshall More than 1 year ago
General John Bell Hood’s lost papers thought to be missing were found having been saved by three generations of a descendant family. Stephen M. Hood, a distant relative, purpose in publishing these important and informative documents, letters, battle reports, medical reports is to allow historians to analyze them and assist the next biographer to have the entire story of this interesting and brave man’s life. The documents have been categorized by subject and in chronological order. Many of the documents are original while some are transcribed as well. These papers strengthen Generals Hoods arguments concerning his military record and character. This important new 284 page book published by Savas Beatie includes documents related to Hood’s United States Army service, Confederate Civil War career, and postwar life. The author has provided every letter in the Hood Papers collection, whether or not the letter appeared in his memoirs, Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate States Armies. There are below page end notes, numerous pictures throughout, and an important appendix; Laudanum, Legends, and Lore. Additionally, the bibliography contains Government Publications, Manuscripts and Collections, Books, Newsletters, Periodicals and Internet Sites used in Mr. Hood’s research. Dr. Richard McMurry has provided the Forward for this publication. Mr. Hood was also aided in his efforts by Dr. Keith Bohannon, Eric Jacobson and David Fraley. Historians will be able to utilize these important papers in order to ascertain the successes and failures of John Bell Hood as well as to make a more comprehensive and accurate analysis of his military career and life. This collection includes evidence that helps explain what happened at Spring Hill during the invasion of Tennessee in 1864as well as General Patrick Cleburne’s comportment before and during the Battle of Franklin. Other letters provide insight into Hood as a husband, father, and citizen. Scholars, serious students and armchair novices will learn a great deal about this Confederate hero’s adult life. This reviewer recommends this title to be added to every enthusiasts knap sack.
civiwarlibrarian More than 1 year ago
John Bell Hood viewed by historians as being initially ferocious and then pathetic is now redeemed. His side of the story, Advance and Retreat, has been labeled as misleading and self serving. The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood offers over 200 documents that reinforce the findings of John Bell Hood: The r Rise, Fall and Resurrection of a Confederate General offered by Stephen M. Hood and Savas Beatie Publishing in 2013. Notable among the twelve chapters is 'Dr. John T. Darby's Medical Reports Concerning Hood's Wounds suffered at Gettysburg and Chickamauga which is a superb discussion relying on primary sources. As annotated by the Stephen Hood, it is a fine example of what a Civil War era doctor would know about wound care and what therapies existed at the time. Supported by one of the appendices entitled 'Laudanum, Legends and Lore', The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood lays to rest historian Stanley Horn's reference to local folklore that John Bell Hood became either an addict or a drunk in the last two years of the war. Since the end of the war, writers have offered speculations regarding Hood military decisions and campfire conduct. Soon military historians will have to reckon with Stephen Hood's The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood and revisit the Atlanta Campaign and the battles of Spring Hill and Nashville.