General John Bell Hood : Texas Brigade

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General John Bell Hood
Compiled Military Service Record

John Bell Hood (Confederate)
Biographical data and notes:
Hood, John Bell, born in Kentucky, appointed from Kentucky
cadet United States Military Academy, July 1, 1849; graduated
forty-fourth in a class of fifty-two.

- Born Jun 1 1831 in Owingsville, KY
- Pre-enlistment occupation: US Army Officer
- Last known address: New Orleans, LA
- John Bell Hood died on Aug 30 1879 at New Orleans, LA
- Graduate USMA 1853

- 30 years of age at time of enlistment
- Enlisted on Sep 30 1861 as Colonel

Mustering information:
- Commissioned into Field and Staff, 4th Infantry (Texas)
on Sep 30 1861
- Discharged due to promotion from 4th Infantry (Texas)
on Mar 3 1862
- Commissioned into Gen. Staff (Confederate States)
on Mar 3 1862
- Surrendered while serving in Gen. Staff (Confederate States) 
on May 31 1865 at Natchez, MS

- Promoted to Major-Gen (Full, Vol) (date not indicated)
- Promoted to Brig-Gen (Full, Vol) (date not indicated)
- Promoted to Captain (Full, Vol) (date not indicated) (Corps of Cavalry)
- Promoted to Colonel (Full, Vol) (date not indicated) (4th TX Inf)
- Promoted to General (Full, Vol) (date not indicated)
- Promoted to Lt General (Full, Vol) on Feb 1 1864 (Temporary Rank)
- Promoted to Brig-Gen (Full, Vol) on Mar 3 1862
- Promoted to Major-Gen (Full, Vol) on Oct 10 1862
- Promoted to Lt General (Full, Vol) on Sep 20 1863
- Promoted to General (Full, Vol) on Jul 18 1864

Listed as:
- Wounded on Jul 2 1863 at Gettysburg, PA (Loss of arm)

United States Military Service.
Brevet second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, July 1, 1853.
Second lieutenant, Second Cavalry, March 3, 1855.
First lieutenant, August 18, 1858.
Resigned April 16, 1861.
Confederate Military Service.
Captain, Corps of Cavalry, C. S. A., March 16, 1861
Colonel, Fourth Texas Infantry, September 30, 1861.
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., March 3, 1862.
Major general, P. A. C. S., October 10, 1862.
Lieutenant general, P. A. C. S., September 20, 1863.
General (with temporary rank), July 18, 1864.

Confederate Commands.

Brigade composed of the First, Fourth and Fifth Texas and
Eighteenth Georgia Regiments Infantry, and Hampton's Legion,
Longstreet's Division, Army of Northern Virginia.

Division composed of the brigades of Robertson, Law,
Benning and Jenkins.

At the battle of Fredericksburg, December 15 and 16, 1862,
division composed of the brigades of Law, Toombs, Robertson
and Anderson, Army of Northern Virginia.

Army corps composed of the divisions of Hindman, Stevenson
and Stewart.

Commanding Army of Tennessee, July 18, 1864.

January 23, 1865, at his own request, relieved of command
of the Army of Tennessee and ordered to Richmond, Va.

Died in New Orleans, August 30, 1879.

Sources: General Officers of the Confederate States of America, Confederate Military History, National Archives

Recommended Reading: Advance And Retreat: Personal Experiences In The United States And Confederate States Armies, by General John Bell Hood. Description: When John Bell Hood entered into the services of the Confederate Army, he was 29 years old, a handsome man and courageous soldier, loyal to the ideal of Confederate Independence and eager to fight for it. He led his men bravely into the battles of Second Manassas, Gaines’s Mill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. He rose fast, attaining the temporary rank of full general, only to fall faster. Hood emerged from the war with his left arm shattered and useless, his right leg missing, his face aged far beyond his 33 years, and with his military reputation in disgrace. Continued below.

Blamed by contemporaries for contributing to the defeat of his beloved Confederacy, Hood struggled to refute their accusations. His most vehement critic, General Johnston, charged Hood with insubordination while serving under him and, after succeeding him in command, of recklessly leading Confederate troops to their “slaughter” and “useless butchery.” Sherman, too, in his Memoirs took a harsh view of Hood. Born of controversy, Advance and Retreat is of course a highly controversial book. It is also full of invaluable information and insights into the retreat from Dalton in early 1864, the fighting around Atlanta, and the disastrous Tennessee Campaign in winter of that year. Far from being a careful, sober, objective account, this book is the passionate, bitter attempt of a soldier to rebut history’s judgment of himself as general and man.

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Recommended Reading: John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence. Description: John Bell Hood, a native of Kentucky, bred on romantic notions of the Old South and determined to model himself on Robert E. Lee, had a tragic military career, no less interesting for being calamitous. After conspicuous bravery in leading a Texas brigade, he rose in the ranks to become the youngest of the full generals of the Confederacy. The misfortune in store for Hood, a far better fighter than a strategist, illustrates the strain and risks of high command. Continued below.

One of the lasting images to come out of the Civil War is that of the one-legged General Hood strapped in his saddle, leading his men in a hopeless counter-offensive against Sherman's march on Atlanta. In this prize-winning book, Richard M. McMurry spares no details of Hood's ultimate "complete and disastrous failure," but he is concerned to do justice to one of the most maligned and misunderstood figures in Civil War history. Reviews: "McMurry presents a terse, sharply focused portrait of the controversial [Hood] that never wanders from his subject or smothers him with superfluous battlefront details... His treatment of key turning points in the Texan's career is reasoned and thorough in its analysis."--Journal of Southern History. "McMurry is a fine campaign historian and excellent researcher. He chronicles the events of Hood's life well."--American Historical Review.


Recommended Reading: John Bell Hood And the Struggle for Atlanta (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series). Description: "At thirty-three years of age, Hood became the eighth and youngest of the Confederate Army's generals of full rank. He had risen through the commissioned ranks, from first lieutenant to full general, in only three years, a feat achieved by no other man during the Civil War. . . . Ultimately, Hood was selected for one reason--to fight--and no other available officer was better suited for the challenge." David Coffey's words give a succinct portrait of the ascent of John Bell Hood. His book delivers a clear and riveting evaluation of Hood's service in and command of the Western Army in Northern Georgia. Continued below.

The Atlanta Campaign ground on for more than four months and proved one of the most decisive of the Civil War. Cautious General Joseph Johnston was popular with the troops but, from the government's viewpoint, produced no results. Confederate President Jefferson Davis searched for a replacement with a less deliberate strategy and a more aggressive style. In short, a fighter. John Bell Hood was such a man, having led troops in battle, fighting and bleeding on behalf of the cause. He was Johnston's chief subordinate and the natural candidate as his replacement. Even so, Sherman eventually captured Atlanta and contributed to Abraham Lincoln's reelection. Hood's effort to save the railroad and manufacturing center has historically been considered a failure, with his selection as Johnston's replacement considered extremely controversial. Coffey tackles this issue, and argues for the necessity of replacing General Johnston with the most logical choice, Hood. The author also explains that, despite his scrappy reputation and aggressive style, Hood had inherited a near impossible situation in trying to save Atlanta but, according to this book, his performance was praiseworthy.


Recommended Reading: Chaplain Davis and Hood's Texas Brigade: Being an Expanded Edition of the Reverend Nicholas A. Davis's the Campaign from Texas to Maryland, With the Battle of Fredericksburg (Richmond, 1863). Description: Chaplain Davis held firm to his faith and his bible, and, in his diary, he meticulously recorded the most detailed insights and observations of General John Bell Hood and the brigade. This book actually surprised me, I was expecting a plain and boring ministerial observation of God, Hell, and those demon Yankees. In fact, Davis recorded some of the most interesting facts that I have ever read relating to Hood, the brigade, and the Civil War. Continued below.

He was careful to write, almost instantly, the exact words that Hood spoke and shouted to the brigade. Regarding marches, brigade assignments, battle casualties and results, and of course the soldiers’ deaths, Davis kept detailed records. His diary, it is fair to say, is similar to the astute unit historian’s account. I highly recommend it.

Recommended Reading: Generals in Gray Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Description: When Generals in Gray was published in 1959, scholars and critics immediately hailed it as one of the few indispensable books on the American Civil War. Historian Stanley Horn, for example, wrote, "It is difficult for a reviewer to restrain his enthusiasm in recommending a monumental book of this high quality and value." Here at last is the paperback edition of Ezra J. Warner’s magnum opus with its concise, detailed biographical sketches and—in an amazing feat of research—photographs of all 425 Confederate generals. Continued below.

The only exhaustive guide to the South’s command, Generals in Gray belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the Civil War. RATED 5 STARS!

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