Wonderfully told story of the campaign that ruined John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee.
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Just as commercial blight covers the once bloodstained battlefields of Franklin and Nashville, so have other Civil War battles obscured the significance of Rebel defeats there. Here, Sword (Shiloh, 1974) compellingly re-creates the heroism, missed chances, political backbiting, and flawed Rebel leadership underlying the outcome at these killing grounds. In the summer of 1864, desperate to halt Sherman's campaign through Georgia, Jefferson Davis named John Bell Hood to head the Army of the Tennessee, a force torn apart by quarreling generals. Wounded in love and war, Hood, with his melancholy mien and artificial leg, seemed to embody the Southern chevalier--yet a subordinate summed him up as having ``a lion's heart'' but ``a wooden head.'' Sword is equally uncharitable: ``a disabled personality prone to miscalculation and misperception...a fool with a license to kill his own men.'' In November and December, Hood's post-Atlanta dash into Tennessee (an attempt to threaten Sherman's supply lines and terrorize Union strongholds in the Ohio Valley) was catastrophic: miscommunication that foiled a chance to crumple up a Federal column at Spring Hill; an angry frontal attack against Union entrenchments the next day at Franklin, remembered as ``the Gettysburg of the West'' because of the desperate valor and needless sacrifice of the Confederate rank and file; a stinging lesson in strategy at the Battle of Nashville from Hood's former West Point instructor, the Union's methodical George G. Thomas; and the miserable attempt to escape the Federals in icy weather. The outcome was unprecedented: 23,500 casualties out of 38,000 Confederate troops--the only instance in the war when an entire army collapsed as a fighting force. A critical Civil War campaign, narrated with brisk attention to the nuances of strategy--and with measured solemnity over the waste of life in war. (Forty-six b&w photographs and 17 maps--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Sword has written a very descriptive narrative of the self-destruction of the last remnants of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Through a skillful interweaving of federal and Confederate strategies he leads the reader through the final battles as if from the shoulder of each commanding general. The vivid descriptions of each battle are supplemented by testimony from participants. Sword's criticisms of Generals Hood, Schofield, and Thomas are thoroughly grounded and make the reader wonder how either side finally won. Hood is pictured as a glory-seeking leader willing to sacrifice his troops no matter what the odds against him; Schofield was unwilling to make a decision unless forced to from above. This is one of the best historical accounts of the final battles of the Civil War in the Western theater. Public, academic, and specialized libraries should add it.
- W. Walter Wicker, Louisiana Tech Univ . , Ruston
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060163011 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0007617
Book Description Harpercollins, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060163011
Book Description Harpercollins, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060163011
Book Description Harpercollins, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060163011