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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

John Bell Hood was one of the Confederacy’s best brigade and division commanders. However, when promoted to army command in 1864, many of the qualities that served him well in his previous position turned out to be a detriment. Hood’s performance was a classic case of an individual promoted into a position beyond his abilities. Hood’s drive to invade Tennessee and proceed through Kentucky to eventually meet up with General Robert E. Lee failed. Setbacks at Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville resulted in the destruction of the Army of Tennessee. Although Hood inherited a difficult situation, considering the state of the Army of Tennessee, his failings as a commander precipitated this disaster. He could not hold Atlanta through the 1864 election and his aggressiveness certainly sped up the loss of that city and created the hopeless situation of the army. All of his bravery and aggressiveness came to naught during the 1864 Tennessee campaign.

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