John Bell Hood
Hood, John Bell
At the Battle of Gettysburg he was severely wounded, permanently crippling his left arm. Returning to duty, he accompanied his division to Georgia, where at Chickamauga troops under his command made a key breakthrough. Again wounded, Hood lost his right leg.
Promoted to lieutenant general and assigned to command one of Joseph E. Johnston's corps in Georgia the following spring, Hood undermined his commander with a stream of critical letters to President Jefferson Davis. On 17 July 1864, Davis replaced Johnston with Hood. Backed into the outskirts of Atlanta by Johnston's retreat, Hood had no choice but to fight. In eight days, he fought three battles. The Confederates lost because they were outnumbered, because Hood's physical impairment prevented his supervising operations personally, and because William J. Hardee, upon whom he depended, was resentful and uncooperative after being passed over in Hood's favor.
Union general William Tecumseh Sherman cut the Confederate supply line at Jonesboro, forcing Hood to evacuate Atlanta 1 September. Hood then tried threatening Sherman's supply lines in northern Georgia, with moderate success, but in November, when Sherman set out on his march to the sea, Hood invaded Tennessee. He outmaneuvered a Federal force under John M. Schofield near Spring Hill and might have destroyed it except that inexplicably the army's command system again failed. Schofield's force escaped, and at the Battle of Franklin on 30 November, Hood, beside himself with rage, hurled his army at Schofield's entrenched soldiers with devastating casualties for the Confederates. Incredibly, after this slaughter, Hood followed Schofield to Nashville, where the Federals became part of a huge Union army under George H. Thomas. In two days of fighting, 15–16 December 1864, Thomas virtually eliminated Hood's army as an effective fighting force. Relieved at his own request, Hood held no other important command.
[See also Civil War: Military and Diplomatic Course; Confederate Army.]
Thomas Lawrence Connelly , Autumn of Glory: The Army of Tennessee, 1862–1865, 1971.
Richard M. McMurry , John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence, 1982.
Steven E. Woodworth
Hood, John Bell
John Bell Hood, 1831–79, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Owingsville, Ky. He resigned from the army (Apr., 1861) and entered the Confederate service 1862. He fought in the Peninsular campaign and at the second battle of Bull Run (Aug., 1862) and was promoted to the rank of major general in October. As a division commander under James Longstreet, he distinguished himself at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg and at Chickamauga, where he won his lieutenant generalcy (Sept., 1863). In the Atlanta campaign of 1864 he fought under Joseph E. Johnston until Jefferson Davis, displeased with that general's retreat, made Hood commander. Hood, faring no better against General Sherman, was obliged to abandon Atlanta on Sept. 1. To prevent a further Union advance Hood moved against Sherman's long line of communications. Sherman followed, but later, satisfied that George H. Thomas at Nashville could cope with Hood, returned to Atlanta and marched to the sea. Hood then began to advance through Tennessee. John M. Schofield slowly withdrew before him, repulsing his attack in a bloody battle at Franklin (Nov. 30) before joining Thomas. In the battle of Nashville (Dec. 15–16), Thomas won the most complete victory of the war, virtually annihilating the Confederates. Hood resigned his command (Jan., 1865) and surrendered at Natchez, Miss., in May.
See his Advance and Retreat (1879, new ed. 1959, repr. 1969); S. F. Horn, The Army of Tennessee (1941, repr. 1959); biographies by R. O'Connor (1949, repr. 1959) and J. P. Dyer (1950).