Civil War Photo Contest
Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
It's interesting that this is a development of just the past half-century - prior to relatively recently, at least here in Texas, Hood's name was always linked with the other Heroes of the Confederacy. For example, Hood's statue graces the large and ugly Confederate Monument in downtown Dallas that's the bane of the current liberal city council that wants to remove it, along with those of Lee, Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston. Hood's Texas Brigade (which doesn't really need his name attached to it) remains renowned, and there's a Texas county named in his honor. Even his old soldiers forgot and forgave, rallying to help support his orphans after he, his wife, and one of the children died in the New Orleans yellow fever epidemic.… I am of the opinion that Hood's entire career is coloured retrospectively through the lense of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, that the utter disaster that Campaign turned out to be ruined his reputation forever more, and his good reputation as divison commander could not offset the damage.
I think the reason for his decline has been the recent scholarly concentration on the war in the west as a cause for Confederate failure, with an emphasis on things like the Atlanta Campaign as a whole, and the campaign we're considering here. Around the time of the Centennial, the war, apart maybe from Shiloh, Vicksburg, Atlanta (the battle, not the campaign), and Ol' Bedford had all been fought in the East by Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, with a little help from John S. Mosby. Other than the Carter House and Carnton, there was no reason at all to remember Franklin and Spring Hill was just the place where the new Saturn plant got built. As long as those attitudes remained, Hood's reputation as a heroic fighting general, famous for his charges at Gaines' Mill, Second Manassas, and Antietam's Cornfield, also remained secure.