By Stephen M. Hood
WINNER of the 2014 ALBERT CASTEL publication AWARD. John Bell Hood was once one of many Confederacy’s so much successful—and enigmatic—generals. He died at forty eight after a quick affliction in August of 1879, abandoning the 1st draft of his memoirs increase and Retreat: own reviews within the usa and accomplice States Armies. released posthumously the next 12 months, the memoirs instantly turned as arguable as their writer. A cautious and balanced exam of those “controversies,” even though, coupled with the new discovery of Hood’s own papers (which have been lengthy thought of misplaced) eventually units the list immediately in John Bell Hood: the increase, Fall, and Resurrection of a accomplice General.
Outlived via so much of his critics, Hood’s released model of some of the significant occasions and controversies of his accomplice army occupation have been met with scorn and skepticism. a few defined his memoirs as not anything greater than a polemic opposed to his arch-rival Joseph E. Johnston. those unflattering reviews persevered through the a long time and reached their nadir in 1992, whilst an influential writer defined Hood’s memoirs as “merely a sour, deceptive, and hugely distorted treatise” replete with “distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications.” with none own papers to contradict them, many historians and writers portrayed Hood as a clumsy and cheating opium addict and a conniving, vindictive cripple of a guy. One author went as far as to model him “a idiot with a license to kill his personal men.” What such a lot readers don’t understand is that just about all of those authors misused resources, overlooked opposite facts, and/or suppressed proof sympathetic to Hood.
Stephen M. “Sam” Hood, a far off relative of the final, launched into a meticulous forensic research of the typical perceptions and controversies of his recognized kinsman. His cautious exam of the unique resources applied to create the commonly authorized “facts” approximately John Bell Hood exposed startlingly bad scholarship through probably the most recognized and influential historians of the 20 th and twenty first centuries. those discoveries, coupled together with his entry to a wide cache of lately came upon Hood papers—many penned by means of generals and different officials who served with Hood—confirm Hood’s account that initially seemed in his memoir and unravel, for the 1st time, probably the most arguable features of Hood’s lengthy career.
“Blindly accepting historic ‘truths’ with out energetic challenge,” cautions one historian, “is a deadly route to knowing actual history.” The stunning revelations in John Bell Hood: the increase, Fall, and Resurrection of a accomplice basic will endlessly switch our perceptions of Hood as either a guy and a normal, and those that got down to form his legacy.
“The time is correct for Sam Hood’s booklet. otherwise of it truly is, my, what we now have discovered because the Civil War’s Centennial fifty years ago.” - Stephen Davis, Civil battle author
“John Bell Hood was once considered one of few accomplice generals who held vital instructions in either Virginia and the accomplice West. Given command of the safety of Atlanta, Hood fought to carry town yet failed. He later led the military within the unsuccessful Tennessee crusade, the place he used to be not able to chop off Schofield’s Union military at Spring Hill, used to be bloodily repulsed day after today at Franklin, and routed weeks later at Nashville. Historians and writers seeing that then have denied Hood his day in courtroom, therefore shaping a truly damaging opinion of the overall. yet Sam Hood’s scholarship in John Bell Hood has proven that modern perspectives of Hood have been usually a lot diversified from the perpetuated stereotypes. His learn demonstrates anew the complexity of heritage and the significance of impartiality through those that write it.” - Brandon H. Beck, Professor Emeritus, McCormick Civil conflict Institute, Shenandoah University
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Extra resources for John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General
M. 49 But what of Thomas’s place in history? That he had been one of the war’s most able commanders stood without doubt. Although his military abilities and personal character were praised by his subordinates, colleagues, and even the Confederates who opposed him, Thomas’s legacy—like John Bell Hood’s— would be largely defined by others. During the 1880s and 1890s a clique of four men aspired to control northern Civil War memory: U. S. 50 Just as the Southern Historical Society did in the former Confederacy, these prominent former Federal commanders each rose to positions of great postwar political or military power in the United States government; Grant as president, Schofield and Sherman as generals-in-chief, and Schofield as secretary of war.
Although some authors engage in intentional distortion and fact-filtering to establish and disseminate their own unique portrayal (behavior that could be termed “historiographic activism”), most writers do not intentionally repeat misinformation. Their mistake is their unquestioning confidence in the accuracy and completeness of earlier works, and faith that publishers scrupulously demand this before they will print a book or article. Awards and public recognition for books and authors, so often based on style, eloquence, and name-recognition rather than historical substance, exacerbate this problem.
The government provided a special train to take Thomas’s body from the Pacific coast to New York and a poignant ceremony was held at the start of the general’s final journey. Thomas’s biographer Francis F. m. on March 30 the coffin was put aboard the Oakland ferry and, as the little steamer left the San Francisco dock, the first of fifty-four minute guns [one for each year of his life] sounded from the fort on Alcatraz Island. Anchored in the stream, her hull hidden by the fog drifting through the Golden Gate, Her Britannic Majesty’s frigate Zealous answered Alcatraz gun for gun.