Was Hood's Attack at Franklin Rational or Irrational?
One more Hood thread , John Bell Hood's decision to attack General Schofield's Army of the Ohio is a hotly debated topic. The reasoning behind Hood's attack and whether it was rational or irrationality. Here seem to be the two arguments, which do you lean more towards? Was Hood correct or incorrect to attack at Franklin?
Hood had no feasible alternatives available to him. He could not allow Schofield's army to reach Nashville intact. If Schofield escaped unmolested he would link up with Thomas and Hood would be faced with overwhelming numbers. The Union defenders at Franklin had not been given enough time to significantly fortify their position so a speedy frontal assault was justified. The battle of Franklin though costly, was a victory for the Confederacy, since Schofield was forced to withdraw. Hood's decision to attack was rational and was the only real course of action available.
Hood was furious over the failed attempt to envelope Schofield's army at Spring Hill. He had his decision to attack at Franklin out of emotions. He may have even wanted to punish his army, in particular Cleburne and Cheatham for failure at the previous battle. Instead of a frontal assault against fortified positions over open ground without artillery support, Hood should have listened to reason and attempted a flanking maneuver. In the ensuing battle casualties were awful and Cleburne was killed, Hood destroyed his army out of anger for no meaningful gain. Hood's decision to attack was irrational and based on emotion and stupidity rather than logic.
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