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Fed up with General Joseph E. Johnston's inability to halt Sherman's armies, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces him with Lieutenant General John Bell Hood. One Confederate soldier stated that Hood's appointment to command the Army of Tennessee "cast a pall over this army."
 

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Hood did Franklin, Grant did Cold Harbor, which I completely forgot to post anything about on the anniversary of that very bad day. Very interesting conspiracy theory about it too. Clyde?
 

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Fed up with General Joseph E. Johnston's inability to halt Sherman's armies, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces him with Lieutenant General John Bell Hood. One Confederate soldier stated that Hood's appointment to command the Army of Tennessee "cast a pall over this army."

Hood did a good job of stopping Sherman's armies.
 

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Hood did a good job of stopping Sherman's armies.
Yeah.....

He got an intact Army and a few weeks later had nothing. The South wanted someone who'd fight and they got one ("All lion, none of the Fox"). Atlanta was the South's Kursk. The Confederacy should have immediately sued for peace but that would have been wise and there was no evidence of wisdom in Southern politics.
 

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Franklin. Not a good idea.
BTW my great uncle was born in a Confederate Army tent near Valley Head, Alabama just before Franklin.
Why an army tent near Valley Head? The Republican Army had burned their homestead in Georgia.
 

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Franklin. Not a good idea.
BTW my great uncle was born in a Confederate Army tent near Valley Head, Alabama just before Franklin.
Why an army tent near Valley Head? The Republican Army had burned their homestead in Georgia.
Yes, a very bad idea - including the loss of Patrick Ronan Cleburne, probably the best infantry commander the South had in the West. They called him "The Stonewall of the West" for good reason. And he was essentially murdered by Hood, who accused him of being insufficiently aggressive. Survival of Cleburne (or for that matter - retaining Joe Johnston and his Fabian tactics) wouldn't have won the war for the South, but they would have been of value, far greater than Hood. Who was out of his depth after he got a Corps. Ah well, it happens the way it happens.

Rest in Peace, Ronan.
 

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Well I'll be. Enough of using my memory - I thought it was Hood who repeatedly charged at Cold Harbor. If I were still living on the east coast I wouldn't have lived through such a blunder. But out west here news of the Civil War hasn't yet arrived.
 

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Here's another shot from memory - I read somewhere way back when that Hood had his men charge repeatedly at Franklin because he was angry at them for some sort of misdeed. That's tainted my view of him forever. Any backup to that?
 

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They were all equally as bad...Fighting with Napoleonic Tactics ( Massed charges against Cannon fire). It was really true...the US Civil War was fought with Waterloo Tactics, with the predictable results. The Generals forgot that the rifled Musket was more accurate from a greater distance than the old Flintlocks, which relied on Close range, Volley and Luck to hit anybody in the opposing ranks. ( and the south still had a lot of Flintlocks!!!)

Not that Grant was any better...his meat-grinder Tactics ( sacrificing Numbers for Victory (of sorts), were equally as bad.

Doc AV A foreign Observer's more objective view.
 

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It seems even the best would do frontal assaults when they knew better; all schooled in French infantry tactics as DocAv said, which sometimes got the better of practical experience. Even Sherman did it a Kennesaw Mountain. But I don't think Gens. William Hardee or George Thomas ever did.
 

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North Bender, I meant to add that I think Hood was mad because Gen. Schofield got away with his whole army when he should have been trapped at Spring Hill the day before, but it was really Old Wooden Head's fault that happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hood felt the Army of Tennessee had lost its fighting spirit and was reluctant to attack breastworks, Franklin proved otherwise. In "The Battle Cry of Freedom" James M. McPherson wrote:
"Having proved even to Hood's satisfaction that they could assault breastworks, the Army of Tennessee had shattered itself beyond the possibility of ever doing so again."
 

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Here's another shot from memory - I read somewhere way back when that Hood had his men charge repeatedly at Franklin because he was angry at them for some sort of misdeed. That's tainted my view of him forever. Any backup to that?
They had the opportunity to trap Gen. Schofield and his command as they retreated from Spring Hill, they failed to secure the crossroads and Schofield's command marched through that night.
 

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I am here today because my Great, Great Grandfather Dalas dis obeyed Lees order to charge across that long field. He said in his memoirs, "It was a suicidal thing to do and I ain't doing it." Dalas Greer 2nd SC Palmetto Rifles.
 

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The Southern leaders could see at this point in time that they were not going to win the war. They needed a commander to deliver a knockout blow, and bring the Norh to the peace table, very similar to Germany in the spring of 1918.
 

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The Southern leaders could see at this point in time that they were not going to win the war. They needed a commander to deliver a knockout blow, and bring the Norh to the peace table, very similar to Germany in the spring of 1918.
Problem with that was, even more than was the situation for the Germans in the Spring of 1918, the resources did not exist to achieve the knock-out blow. It had to be in the East, and the preponderance of forces was such that a true knock-out wasn't going to happen. BARELY possible (but unlikely) that Gettysburg might have done it, but as i say - unlikely. A victory could have been achieved, but unless it was coupled with an announcement that emancipation would occur as soon as the Union recognized Southern Independence, the war wouldn't have been over and there still plenty of damnYankees.
 

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They were all equally as bad...Fighting with Napoleonic Tactics ( Massed charges against Cannon fire). It was really true...the US Civil War was fought with Waterloo Tactics, with the predictable results. The Generals forgot that the rifled Musket was more accurate from a greater distance than the old Flintlocks, which relied on Close range, Volley and Luck to hit anybody in the opposing ranks. ( and the south still had a lot of Flintlocks!!!)

Not that Grant was any better...his meat-grinder Tactics ( sacrificing Numbers for Victory (of sorts), were equally as bad.

Doc AV A foreign Observer's more objective view.
Those attacks were tried because the alternative was to either sit and do nothing or chase around the enemy flanks, a movement that gave the disadvantage to the attacker who had to travel further. Plus all armies of the time were limited by poor intelligence and slow communications and movement. The roads sucked and the critical rail network was limited in the South.

In his Richmond "Overland" campaign Grant usually would try to avoid initiating frontal attacks with a little hook to try and get around the opposing Confederates and either hit Lee in the flank or get between him and Richmond and force Confederate attacks. And because Lee had interior lines Grant usually was too late, except in the first battle of the campaign, the Wilderness, where Grant got handled roughly by Lee's frontal attacks in difficult terrain.

But Grant kept moving towards Richmond. At Cold Harbor he thought he'd done it, that the Confederate fieldworks weren't yet fully manned, and the artillery hadn't come up. That was the only battle Grant ever said he regretted fighting.

Grants final flanking hook, his unexpected crossing of the James to attack Petersburg, would have been a great victory, probably shortening the war, but it didn't get into Petersburg before reinforcements arrived thanks to the limitations on maneuver and the usual screw-ups that there wasn't time to correct for.

Perhaps it was inevitable that the campaign ended in the trenches at the siege of Petersburg, typical of the next 55 years of warfare.

Campaign casualties were 55,000 union, 33,600 confederate. But since Grant had an army twice as big as Lee's and unlimited replacements he had the advantage. If Grant had picked up and gone back to Washington after the Wilderness, or tried to preserve his men like McClellan, the total losses before the end of the war would have been far greater.
 
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