Hood's Atlanta Campaign Report

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The fact that Hood's report is self serving, is not evidence of anything in parcticular, as, in fact, all such reports are, by their very nature, self serving.
Perhaps I have not made it clear. "self serving" is not an adequate expression of what Hood did. As the OR reference i used indicates, Hood lied to Beauregard about receiving a report from Forrest about a river crossing. This is easily documented, Forrest was nowhere in the area of the crossing & not ordered to report to Hood until three days after he met with Beauregard. That is not self serving, that is deliberately misinforming a superior officer. In all candor, your depiction of military reports is not accurate. All officers, especially in wartime, are honor bound to report facts as accurately as possible so that superior officers can make informed decisions. The type of self serving misinformation you imply is a court-martial offense. Someone who tried that on Forrest was grabbed by the ears & had his face pounded into tree for reporting rumor instead of fact.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Perhaps I have not made it clear. "self serving" is not an adequate expression of what Hood did. As the OR reference i used indicates, Hood lied to Beauregard about receiving a report from Forrest about a river crossing. This is easily documented, Forrest was nowhere in the area of the crossing & not ordered to report to Hood until three days after he met with Beauregard. That is not self serving, that is deliberately misinforming a superior officer. In all candor, your depiction of military reports is not accurate. All officers, especially in wartime, are honor bound to report facts as accurately as possible so that superior officers can make informed decisions. The type of self serving misinformation you imply is a court-martial offense. Someone who tried that on Forrest was grabbed by the ears & had his face pounded into tree for reporting rumor instead of fact.
Actually, the reason why Hood didn't go to Guntersville is because Forrest was in west Tennessee and couldn't make it to Guntersville in time due to high water. There was no report of Guntersville being heavily defended by Forrest. This is documented on pages 270 and 327 Advance and Retreat. Page 270 is his memoir and 327 is his official report.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Actually, the reason why Hood didn't go to Guntersville is because Forrest was in west Tennessee and couldn't make it to Guntersville in time due to high water. There was no report of Guntersville being heavily defended by Forrest. This is documented on pages 270 and 327 Advance and Retreat. Page 270 is his memoir and 327 is his official report.
Read Hood's report to Beauregard in the OR. Hood told his commander that Forrest had reported to him that the crossing was too heavily guarded. That was a lie. So, you have found another version, equally bogus, where it was Forrest's fault because he was in West Tennessee & had no orders to report to Hood. This is why nobody credits a thing in Hood's memoir. I have a copy with I don't know how many pink postitnote bookmarks showing where Hood's claims are contradicted by the calendar. Hood simply would not or could not tell the truth.
 
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It was not until after an astonishing month long delay that either his immediate superior General Beauregard or Richmond learned that Hood had been defeated at Nashville. Hood even ignored a direct order from Beauregard on January 1st to report on what had happened at Nashville. OR, XLV, Pt, 2, p. 699
The page that you cite here shows that Hood reported what had happened by telegraph on December 17 from Spring Hill. There was no month long delay.

Read Hood's report to Beauregard in the OR.
You'll have to cite that page number, because all I see in his reports states stuff like this...

"I hoped to have crossed at or near Gunter's Landing; but not having a sufficient force of cavalry with me, and learning that Major-General Forrest was not then in Middle Tennessee, our march was continued to Tuscumbia, Ala., that the supplies necessary to subsist the army till it should reach the rich portion of Tennessee might be obtained, and also to effect a junction with the cavalry under Major General Forrest." Vol. 45, Pt. 1, page 660.

Then there is also the exact copy of Hood's entire report at the end of Advance and Retreat. In it he states...

"I determined to cross the Tennessee River at Gunter's Landing, and strike the enemy's communications again near Bridgeport, force him to cross the river, also to obtain supplies and thus we should at least recover our lost territory. Orders had been sent by General Beauregard to General Forrest to move with his cavalry into Tennessee. Unfortunately, however, these orders did not reach him in time. As I had not sufficient cavalry force without his to protect my trains in Tennessee, I was compelled to delay the crossing and move further down the river to meet him."

I don't think anyone is arguing that Hood did not lie. There are numerous questionable statements by Hood. But this thing about Gunter's being heavily defended... I've never seen that other than by Wiley Sword and other historians who suggested it, but gave no hard source to check.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The page that you cite here shows that Hood reported what had happened by telegraph on December 17 from Spring Hill. There was no month long delay.


You'll have to cite that page number, because all I see in his reports states stuff like this...

"I hoped to have crossed at or near Gunter's Landing; but not having a sufficient force of cavalry with me, and learning that Major-General Forrest was not then in Middle Tennessee, our march was continued to Tuscumbia, Ala., that the supplies necessary to subsist the army till it should reach the rich portion of Tennessee might be obtained, and also to effect a junction with the cavalry under Major General Forrest." Vol. 45, Pt. 1, page 660.

Then there is also the exact copy of Hood's entire report at the end of Advance and Retreat. In it he states...

"I determined to cross the Tennessee River at Gunter's Landing, and strike the enemy's communications again near Bridgeport, force him to cross the river, also to obtain supplies and thus we should at least recover our lost territory. Orders had been sent by General Beauregard to General Forrest to move with his cavalry into Tennessee. Unfortunately, however, these orders did not reach him in time. As I had not sufficient cavalry force without his to protect my trains in Tennessee, I was compelled to delay the crossing and move further down the river to meet him."

I don't think anyone is arguing that Hood did not lie. There are numerous questionable statements by Hood. But this thing about Gunter's being heavily defended... I've never seen that other than by Wiley Sword and other historians who suggested it, but gave no hard source to check.
Tell you what, if the calendar is not sufficient evidence for you, I don't know what is. I have a paper in my file drawer where a grad student went through Hood's memoir, marked all the, lets be generous & call them inaccuracies, & cited the evidence indicating what actually happened & when. I forget how many pages long it is. I used it to mark my copy of Hood's memoir where he claims to know things that he could not possibly have known at the time. From memory, he claims to know that Thomas had certain regiments in Nashville & uses that knowledge to explain his decision. Those units were somewhere down river from Nashville & even George Thomas did not know exactly where they were. I use Hood's memoir & others as part of a lecture I give on crosschecking sources., what you can trust & what you can't. Hood is the poster boy for can't.
Memoirs are especially fraught as sources. Sam Watkins was not at either Franklin or Nashville. That doesn't mean what he wrote is not true, it does, however mean that what he said is second hand. For whatever reason Hood wrote lies, for whatever reason Sam Watkins wrote things that can be independently verified. Memoirs are not histories. There are usually no footnotes. Never use them as a source without verification from other sources. My point here is that I don't just guess at this stuff, I really know what I am talking about.
 
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Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Tell you what, if the calendar is not sufficient evidence for you, I don't know what is. I have a paper in my file drawer where a grad student went through Hood's memoir, marked all the, lets be generous & call them inaccuracies, & cited the evidence indicating what actually happened & when. I forget how many pages long it is. I used it to mark my copy of Hood's memoir where he claims to know things that he could not possibly have known at the time. From memory, he claims to know that Thomas had certain regiments in Nashville & uses that knowledge to explain his decision. Those units were somewhere down river from Nashville & even George Thomas did not know exactly where they were. I use Hood's memoir & others as part of a lecture I give on crosschecking sources., what you can trust & what you can't. Hood is the poster boy for can't.
Memoirs are especially fraught as sources. Sam Watkins was not at either Franklin or Nashville. That doesn't mean what he wrote is not true, it does, however mean that what he said is second hand. For whatever reason Hood wrote lies, for whatever reason Sam Watkins wrote things that can be independently verified. Memoirs are not histories. There are usually no footnotes. Never use them as a source without verification from other sources. My point here is that I don't just guess at this stuff, I really know what I am talking about.
I don't know what calendar you are talking about. No one is arguing that Hood did not commit gross injustices. I'm also not saying you don't know what you are talking about. But I did note that you are wrong when you say Richmond, Jeff Davis and Beauregard didn't know what was going on for a month after Nashville. They were advised the day after the Battle of Nashville ended. The source you give proves that point. It is dated December 17 from Spring Hill - the day after the Battle of Nashville.

Forget about his memoir. No one is suggesting anything in it is true. But the exact reproduction of his official report is in it in the back of the book. It states, just like the notation on page 660 of the OR's that he diverted from Gunter's Landing because Forrest wasn't with him. Not because he received a report from Forrest that it was heavily defended.

I do find it funny that a legend persists that Watkins wasn't at Franklin or Nashville. I wish I knew who started it, but it was simply based off the idea that he is listed as a deserter in April 1865 at Memphis and took the oath of allegiance. There were only 12 men remaining in Company H in November 1864 and Watkins was one of them. He was there at Franklin and Nashville.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
I think you have done a remarkable job of showing Hood's laying the blame of Atlanta on Hardee. When Hood moved westward and north toward Alabama, wasn't Hardee left behind to contest Sherman's advancement; and was Hardee removed form Hood's command?
Lubliner.
Hardee ask to be transferred. Ended up at Savannah.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I don't know what calendar you are talking about. No one is arguing that Hood did not commit gross injustices. I'm also not saying you don't know what you are talking about. But I did note that you are wrong when you say Richmond, Jeff Davis and Beauregard didn't know what was going on for a month after Nashville. They were advised the day after the Battle of Nashville ended. The source you give proves that point. It is dated December 17 from Spring Hill - the day after the Battle of Nashville.

Forget about his memoir. No one is suggesting anything in it is true. But the exact reproduction of his official report is in it in the back of the book. It states, just like the notation on page 660 of the OR's that he diverted from Gunter's Landing because Forrest wasn't with him. Not because he received a report from Forrest that it was heavily defended.

I do find it funny that a legend persists that Watkins wasn't at Franklin or Nashville. I wish I knew who started it, but it was simply based off the idea that he is listed as a deserter in April 1865 at Memphis and took the oath of allegiance. There were only 12 men remaining in Company H in November 1864 and Watkins was one of them. He was there at Franklin and Nashville.
The calendar that has been used in the western world for the last thousand years or so is the one I refer to. Pardon me, but the person who used bogus information from the memoir was you. I don't do legends, so I will leave that discussion to you.
 

EricAJacobson

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Tell you what, if the calendar is not sufficient evidence for you, I don't know what is. I have a paper in my file drawer where a grad student went through Hood's memoir, marked all the, lets be generous & call them inaccuracies, & cited the evidence indicating what actually happened & when. I forget how many pages long it is. I used it to mark my copy of Hood's memoir where he claims to know things that he could not possibly have known at the time. From memory, he claims to know that Thomas had certain regiments in Nashville & uses that knowledge to explain his decision. Those units were somewhere down river from Nashville & even George Thomas did not know exactly where they were. I use Hood's memoir & others as part of a lecture I give on crosschecking sources., what you can trust & what you can't. Hood is the poster boy for can't.
Memoirs are especially fraught as sources. Sam Watkins was not at either Franklin or Nashville. That doesn't mean what he wrote is not true, it does, however mean that what he said is second hand. For whatever reason Hood wrote lies, for whatever reason Sam Watkins wrote things that can be independently verified. Memoirs are not histories. There are usually no footnotes. Never use them as a source without verification from other sources. My point here is that I don't just guess at this stuff, I really know what I am talking about.

I just spent about five minutes looking through my library. I found a number of books about the American Civil War, and several written by Jamie. Funny thing, I could not find one that you have written. For an expert on research and history I wonder where your contributions are?

Perhaps you might stop quibbling, throwing out opinions laden with confirmation bias, and quit insulting people who have spent years researching people like Hood and the campaign. We get it, you do not like Hood.

You disagree with things. You have your own thoughts. You have your own perspectives. But your holier than thou attitude is more than annoying.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I just spent about five minutes looking through my library. I found a number of books about the American Civil War, and several written by Jamie. Funny thing, I could not find one that you have written. For an expert on research and history I wonder where your contributions are?

Perhaps you might stop quibbling, throwing out opinions laden with confirmation bias, and quit insulting people who have spent years researching people like Hood and the campaign. We get it, you do not like Hood.

You disagree with things. You have your own thoughts. You have your own perspectives. But your holier than thou attitude is more than annoying.
If you study the content of Hood's reports to Beauregard & to Richmond during the Nashville Campaign, as many historians have, then compare them with the written record from other sources, you will clearly see what I have been referring to. Hood has been dead a long time, I do not care about him personally one way or anther. My views have nothing to do with what Hood said & when he said it. That is on him entirely. The written record leaves no doubt as to Hood's actions. The books & lectures by nationally recognized historians, such as Ed Bearss, I have attended are not at the level of popular histories you may have in your library. Scholarly analysis of Hood's habitual mendacity is not difficult to find. A theses available online by Thomas John Brown entitled John Bell Hood:Extracting Truth from History <scholarlworks.sjsu.edu> is a through & thoughtful treatment of Hood's legacy. That is the kind of reference I recommend you look to for insight on this subject. I have downloaded it myself.
 
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Location
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The calendar that has been used in the western world for the last thousand years or so is the one I refer to. Pardon me, but the person who used bogus information from the memoir was you. I don't do legends, so I will leave that discussion to you.
I am about as cordial as anyone can be, but can you not see what I'm asking? I pointed out two things that I would like you to show sources for. The first is the claim that Richmond didn't find out about Nashville's result until a month after the battle. I then pointed out that the source you first used was a telegram to Richmond dated December 17, 1864. That is one day after the battle according to the western calendar. I thought I had missed something, but you were just being indignant.

The second source I would like to see is your claim that Gunter's Landing was too heavily defended to cross there. You said that was the case. Just point out the source. I gave you two from the Official Records that state otherwise. I'm not saying I've read every tid-bit that Hood wrote, so just point out where I can see it myself in the OR's and I will give you props.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I just spent about five minutes looking through my library. I found a number of books about the American Civil War, and several written by Jamie. Funny thing, I could not find one that you have written. For an expert on research and history I wonder where your contributions are?

Perhaps you might stop quibbling, throwing out opinions laden with confirmation bias, and quit insulting people who have spent years researching people like Hood and the campaign. We get it, you do not like Hood.

You disagree with things. You have your own thoughts. You have your own perspectives. But your holier than thou attitude is more than annoying.
Perhaps I am not making myself clear. Over one hundred years ago, Hood's reputation for not speaking the truth was established as fact in public & scholarly opinion.
I am about as cordial as anyone can be, but can you not see what I'm asking? I pointed out two things that I would like you to show sources for. The first is the claim that Richmond didn't find out about Nashville's result until a month after the battle. I then pointed out that the source you first used was a telegram to Richmond dated December 17, 1864. That is one day after the battle according to the western calendar. I thought I had missed something, but you were just being indignant.

The second source I would like to see is your claim that Gunter's Landing was too heavily defended to cross there. You said that was the case. Just point out the source. I gave you two from the Official Records that state otherwise. I'm not saying I've read every tid-bit that Hood wrote, so just point out where I can see it myself in the OR's and I will give you props.
I didn't say anything about Gunter's landing, Hood did. The things that I have posted are accepted scholarship, often dating back 100 years. In all candor, I am not your unpaid research assistant. Just google it. Everything I ever had to spend hours on end digging out of archives 20 years ago are a click away. I will warn you ahead of time, the things that were said about Hood in the contemporary press would no pass the word guard on this forum. Imbecile was one of the more P.C. words used to describe him.
 

Jamieva

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Midlothian, VA
Perhaps I am not making myself clear. Over one hundred years ago, Hood's reputation for not speaking the truth was established as fact in public & scholarly opinion.

I didn't say anything about Gunter's landing, Hood did. The things that I have posted are accepted scholarship, often dating back 100 years. In all candor, I am not your unpaid research assistant. Just google it. Everything I ever had to spend hours on end digging out of archives 20 years ago are a click away. I will warn you ahead of time, the things that were said about Hood in the contemporary press would no pass the word guard on this forum. Imbecile was one of the more P.C. words used to describe him.


Actually citing your sources is how we do things around here....
 

Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
In this thread, there have been numerous references to Hood's post mortem published memoir Advance & Retreat. I have used it for years as an example of memoir writing that includes many assertions where the writer refers to things they could not have known to justify their action or decision making. I hadn't given the memoir itself much thought. So, this afternoon, I went back & reread the papers I have on file about the publication of Hood's memoir & the decades long attack on Hood's reputation by the Jubal Early Lost Cause authors & The Southern Historical Society. I found the discussions very informative & enlightening. I have posted "Why Did General Hood's Memoir Get Such Bad Reviews?" to share what I found. Contributors to this thread will, I hope, find it eye opening like i did.
 

Lubliner

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
I had always come away from opening reports, stating, "I have the honor to report..." from officers in command when the news is disastrous, as being odd. Personally I need to thank more than @Rhea Cole, but also @gunny and @OpnCoronet for such a lively discussion. Without it I would have never come to realize the oddity of that which I mentioned. In Post #16, Rhea points out "Officers of both armies swore an oath to tell the truth...." Reviewing courts-martial trials, and informed reports from all ranks including deserters, I find the majority unwilling to fabricate an event, and when it happens it does indeed put a tint of color to any such dispatch. Reasons for doing so are way to subtle to declare some truth as to why any lie. But of course any lie is going to be self-serving, for it cannot serve any other purpose. That is why praiseworthiness should also be taken as a persuader of tinted dimensions. It is best for one to decide for themselves.
Lubliner.
 
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Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Perhaps I am not making myself clear. Over one hundred years ago, Hood's reputation for not speaking the truth was established as fact in public & scholarly opinion.

I didn't say anything about Gunter's landing, Hood did. The things that I have posted are accepted scholarship, often dating back 100 years. In all candor, I am not your unpaid research assistant. Just google it. Everything I ever had to spend hours on end digging out of archives 20 years ago are a click away. I will warn you ahead of time, the things that were said about Hood in the contemporary press would no pass the word guard on this forum. Imbecile was one of the more P.C. words used to describe him.
Reread post number 32 and answer the two questions. You gave no answer. I expect one. Everyone here expects supporting testimony and citations when we make assertions. As I said, the one citation you gave was not valid. Look it up in the OR's as you suggest we do. I did, and you are wrong sad to say. No one here is using Advance and Retreat as a source other than the exact verbatim report that is copied in the back of that memoir. It does not differ from the one in the ORs.

I find it amazing that you think you are the most schooled on this subject and many others, but are reluctant to back up your research - up to 20 years worth - with a simple citation. If a low life like me can come up with some, certainly a scholar such as yourself can.
 
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Spring Hill, Tennessee
@Rhea Cole you said:
he reported to General Beauregard on October 23, 1864 that Forrest had reported the crossing of the Tennessee at Guntersville was too well guarded for Hood to cross there. The record clearly shows that not only had Hood not received a report from Forrest, as he told Beauregard, Forrest did not receive orders to join Hood for another three days.
There is no citation for this. I gave two instances in the OR that state otherwise. Where is your citation?

You state:
It was not until after an astonishing month long delay that either his immediate superior General Beauregard or Richmond learned that Hood had been defeated at Nashville. Hood even ignored a direct order from Beauregard on January 1st to report on what had happened at Nashville. OR, XLV, Pt, 2, p. 699
The citation you gave (OR, XLV, Pt 2, p. 699) is a telegram dated one day after the battle that cancels out your suggestion in the foregoing. Do you have any real citations that back up your assertions?
 

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