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John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth from History (eBook)

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  • 49,566 Words
  • 146 Pages

The year 2011 brings us the sesquicentennial celebration of the AmericanCivil War. Surprisingly, 150 years later, students continue to find themselvesasking many of the same questions about the great national tragedy faced duringthe centennial in 1961. For example, did slavery cause the great conflict, or didconstitutional questions act as the catalyst? Does the Battle of Gettysburg representthe turning point of the War, or did that occur elsewhere?In connection with the last question, Lost Cause advocates, those greatpro-Confederacy propagandists, found convenient villains to blame for the Southerndefeat. One of these, Confederate General John Bell Hood, plays an importantrole. This paper contends that in his case, the Lost Cause is wrong and that Hoodshistorical treatment has been false.Standard critical treatment of John Bell Hood over the years has tended tocharacterize the general as rash, overaggressive, and lacking in strategic imagination.For such critical historians, Hood appears as old-fashioned and someone limitedlogistically to the frontal assault. These accounts mainly stress his negative aspects asa soldier and tend to center around the Battle of Franklin. This thesis, by analyzingevery battle that Hood commanded as a leader of the Army of Tennessee, particularlythose fought around Atlanta, reveals him to have been a far more bold, imaginative,and complex leader than has previously been portrayed.

The year 2011 brings us the sesquicentennial celebration of the AmericanCivil War. Surprisingly, 150 years later, students continue to find themselvesasking many of the same questions about the great national tragedy faced duringthe centennial in 1961. For example, did slavery cause the great conflict, or didconstitutional questions act as the catalyst? Does the Battle of Gettysburg representthe turning point of the War, or did that occur elsewhere?In connection with the last question, Lost Cause advocates, those greatpro-Confederacy propagandists, found convenient villains to blame for the Southerndefeat. One of these, Confederate General John Bell Hood, plays an importantrole. This paper contends that in his case, the Lost Cause is wrong and that Hoodshistorical treatment has been false.Standard critical treatment of John Bell Hood over the years has tended tocharacterize the general as rash, overaggressive, and lacking in strategic imagination.For such critical historians, Hood appears as old-fashioned and someone limitedlogistically to the frontal assault. These accounts mainly stress his negative aspects asa soldier and tend to center around the Battle of Franklin. This thesis, by analyzingevery battle that Hood commanded as a leader of the Army of Tennessee, particularlythose fought around Atlanta, reveals him to have been a far more bold, imaginative,and complex leader than has previously been portrayed.


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  • Released:
  • Categories: History
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Xlibris US
  • ISBN-10: 1479713252
  • ISBN-13: 9781479713257

John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth from History

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