Wiley Sword on Franklin-Nashville - Worth Reading?

OldReliable1862

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It seems that Wiley Sword's The Confederacy's Last Hurrah (originally published as Embrace An Angry Wind) is still the most complete treatment of the Franklin-Nashville campaign as a whole, almost thirty years after its publication. For the most part, it seems to be well-regarded, though its treatment of Hood as a drug-addled villain seeking to "punish" his army for its failure at Spring Hill has attracted criticism. Other than that, is this book worth reading, or are there better ones available?
 

Deleted User CS

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Mar 18, 2015
I would highly recommend anything Wiley Sword writes. He is a first rate scholar in my opinion. I had the pleasure several times of hearing him speak. Unfortunately, his untimely death will leave big shoes to fill. On the other hand, our friend Mr. Hood, the direct descendant of the general, does not think very highly of Mr. Sword. David.
 

streetwiseprof

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Jul 20, 2017
The battle accounts are good, as are the descriptions of the movement in the campaign.

However, his insistence that Hood's judgment was severely clouded by the use of opiates (laudanum in particular) is extremely problematic, and mars the book, especially since this claim has been persuasively debunked in Sam Hood's recent biography.

There really isn't any single volume treatment that is better, although Jacob D. Cox's Battle of Franklin is an excellent treatment of that battle by a participant (although it is not primarily autobiographical).

I had known Wiley for years, and liked and respected him. To be honest, I think he was trying to boost sales and get attention with his rather lurid claims about Hood's drug use.
 

Joshism

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I liked Winston Groom's book about Franklin and Nashville. However, flaws in Groom's subsequent non-fiction work make me wonder about what flaws I missed in the Franklin/Nashville book years earlier. I don't recall what he thought of Hood.

I started reading Sword's book on the same subject, but there was something about his writing style that I didn't much care for so I didn't get far and have never gone back to try again.
 

James N.

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Irishtom29

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I liked Winston Groom's book about Franklin and Nashville. However, flaws in Groom's subsequent non-fiction work make me wonder about what flaws I missed in the Franklin/Nashville book years earlier. I don't recall what he thought of Hood.

Groom's book is a joke. I bought it and found so many errors just in the first few chapters that I returned the book to the store as being defective. I'm talking about errors of fact, not of interpretation.
 

Ole Miss

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Sword's book is an excellent starter for an overall look at Franklin and the events leading up to the horrific slaughter of the Confederate troops. I agree that there is no proof of Hood using opioids or any other pain deadening substances.
Regards
David
 
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