tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 4, 2014 3:30am-5:31am EDT
a ri kelman out university of california-davis discusses the sand creek massacre. november 29th, 1864, attack of u.s. army troops on a cheyenne and arapaho indian village in colorado territory. this is from the gettiesburg college war ins tult annual summer conference taking place in june. it's about an hour. [ applause ] >> thanks very much for that very kind introduction. thanks to all of you for your u patience in advance. you i woker up this morning quite nervous. more nervous than i often am u when i'm going to be giving a talk and i think i noticed yesterday a number of you are teachers. is that right? yes? thank you.of
i appreciate that. i can just look at kevin if i need. kevin, you teach, right? in addition to blogging.er, in sorry, pete. blo and so,gg you're used to being front of unruly crowds.g and you may also have some experience with a particularly nerve wracking speaking engagement. one of those engagements wrote you're not quite sure where the subject matter of your talk fits with the event at hand. and then, adding to that, you learn that perhaps, i don't know, c-span is going to broadcast your talk live on television because, hey, you know, live television.ppen this stills, happens apparently. but if you've done any public ae speaking, you also know that yu moment where a that sense of re calm settles over you. i know that pete knows that because i've now watched him speak beautifully a number of times in the past couple of days. i just want to let you know, e this's not happening to me right now.
and so, without further ado. as many of you may know, on november 29th, 1864, approximately 700 troops from the 1st and 3rd colorado regiments led by colonel john shifington attacked an encampment in a bend of sand creek in southeastern colorado o territory. some 900y native people who believed they had recently made peace with white authorities fled up the dry creek bed that e morning.0 the onslaught left somewhere between 150 and maybe as many ae 225 of them dead. the overwhelming majority of whom were women, children or the elderly. shifington's surviving troops combed the field for what one of them called trophies, scalps, fingers and the genitalia of victims and then burned the
village before returning to denver, colorado, where they co were greeted aslo heroes.were in the weeks after sand creek, the men exhibited their plunder at a downtown theater. nearly a century and a half later on april 28th, 2007, the n national park service opened its 391st unit, the sand creek massacre national historic site. the ceremony that day was equala parts celebration and memorial service. after drum groups went silent a cheyenne chief had a prayer and then the colorado governor at s, the time, leaders of four native american tribes, local politicians and park service officials all shared their views of what the historic site might accomplish in the coming years.t the speakers for the most part struck an optimistic pose. the site, they said, honored thy honor of the sand creek victims, it promised long-deferred
healing, that was a word used regularly, long-deferred healing to the affected tribes and it also offered a blueprint for or future cooperation between thet native americans and federal authorities. collective remembrance, they indicated, if it was situated in a sufficiently sacred place, could heal a rift cut by violence between cultures. now, i think probably most of you already know this, but rial memorials arear always shaped b polit politics. contemporary concerns inflect how history is presented at such places because memorial designers look to the present t. and the future as well as the past when they do their work.nai this is especially true of national historic sites. hav federal officials have long viewed commemoration as k a kinf of patriotic alchamey for unity by appealing to shared perceptions of the past.ntent. this is about as good as it gets
for civil war content. i'm kidding. you can take, for example,'s presidentfi lincoln's first inaugural address. the president suggested if americans would pay heed h to, quote, the mystic cords of memory from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hert stone across the nation, end quote, the cords would quuns again, quote, swell the chorus of the union. end quote. at sites around the united nts states, sentiments like en president lincolns, sentiments of events abiding faith in the nationalizing power of faith ar carved into stone. the monuments are supposed to serve the nation's interest by linking together its peoples by an also legitimating federal authority out of common goes, memories, the theory goes, e americans have and will continue to forge common identities. memories of sand creek speakerse at the opening ceremony
suggested would play this role s allowingit visitors to the national historic site to heal deep wounds. the justification for collective remembrance in the united states in recent years from the murray building in oklahoma city to wer the 9/11 memorial in lower manhattan has often rested on a. similar premise. the idea is that these memorials will comfort stricken ing communities and also a grieving nation. that the sand creek site was going to be the first unit in the national park system to ch d label aner event in which feder troops had killed native people a massacre promised to deepen its utility in this regard. i by remembering shifington's victims and the country's history of racial violence visitors would supposedly be able to transcend their own prenlgss. this paltive vision, a vision, again, predicated on the ideas that memorials allow people to heal, this vision sufficient seo
fused most of the speeches early in the ceremony. but as some of you may know or d as you may already have a sense, sand creek is a very unlikely source for these sorts of utopian sentiments.ces, and so, dissenting voices, those of the native people, lly, especially, who participated in the memorialization process rejected what they saw as a hollow offer of painless reconciliation. this is eugene little coyote, the chairman in the northern cheyenne tribe and feared it might be a stalking horse for ae olderrn project for the federall government's plongstanding efft to strip tribal peoples of the distinctive identities. and so, rather than accepting tg the site t as a symbol of feder power, they portrayed the memorial as determination.ce and other participants at the opening ceremony expressed
suspicions for a host of additional reasons because the n federal government was unpopular on colorado's eastern plains, especially when it insinuated itself in a local land use dispute, because of charges of i so-called political correctness hoveringly over maryland news grave at the time eastern colorado's eastern ev representative called at revisionism and because of a gnawing sense that the word massacre somehow indicted the united states army. in the wake of the september rv 11th attacks with the nation tht embroiled in two wars overseas sot observers believed in 2007 that a memorial that questioned the military's rectitude in any way necessarily flirted with anti-americanism. over the next half hour or so, e i'm going to suggest that the controversies in 2007 echoed a f century and a half's wrangling over sand creek's memory pivoting on a series of thorny a questions. first of all, who's culpable for
the bloodshed at sand creek? betteras understood adds a batto or massacre andns what was the h relationship of politics and violence on the american border lands? and also, between the process of continental expansion and the po twon wars, the civil war and th plains indian wars, spawned by that process. that process of expansion.eek se when the sand creek site sponsors tried to answer these questions, they learned that the massacre remained history front in an ongoing culture war. collective remembrance it turned out could tear scabs from old wounds as heal them and so while each new fight over american memory highlights the challenge of agreeing on a single historical narrative within the confines of a society like the united states, the case of sand creek proved unusually complicated, especially so because competing stories of thh massacre itself haunted the
memorialization process.ries alo the first of those stories belonged to a methodist minister and an abolitionist of john shivington. he saw the violence as a noble part of civilizing the american west and preserving the union. indeed, he saw those two ng processes as inextricably intertwined and used the gallons of blood along sand creek's banks to depict a master stroke. on november 29th, 1864, in the afternoon with cheyenne and his arapa arapaho corpses still cooling nearby that his men attacked an indian village, quote, brisling with 1,000 warriors. he already at this time began an process ofg exaggerating the accomplishments of his troops. he went on to say that his men killed several chiefs and hundreds of their followers.ld r he would later on increase that number to 500 and ultimately to
l0 or 700. he then justified the attack byd pointing to department ri dagss he said was committed by the fallen enemy at sand creek. his men hasad claimed -- his me he claimed had whipped, quote, savages, end quote, guilty of tb desecrating white bodies. this was an outrage he indicated surely demanded a quick reprisal dealt by a sure hand. for the remainder of hi life, john shifington said that sand creek was a glorious battle. he made that argument in large e measure by pointing to the bloodshed civil war context andr to the settlers remains he claimed his men had recovered er there. in spring in1865, for example, o testified to federal investigators looking into sande creek, quote, rebel emissaries sent among the indians to incite them, end quote. what he was saying is white coloradoans facing peril, the union facing peril from the ree.
men killed at nt to sand creek and pointed to the dakota uprising in minnesota. the decision to fight with the confederacy and a cheyenne warrior, a man of george bent, had served as the south's agent in the run-up to sand creek o fh promising colorado's native american peoples that, quote, with the great father at washington having all he could do to fight the children of the south the indians could regain their country. end quote. in this way, john shivington ee made the victims at sand creek enemies not just of white oodshe settlers id n colorado, but of u union morest broadly. the bloodshed then game a triumph not just in the indian wars but also of the civil war. finally, in 1883 nearing the end of his life, he spoke publicly for the last time about sand creek. het addressed a colorado herit. organization at its annual banquet. he remained very popular in colorado until he died. with he addressed this heritage
organization and concluded the remarks, i believe the last nd words he said on the subject of sand creek, quote, i stand by sand creek. a man of captain silas sole did not. prior to h arriving in colorado four years before the massacre, sole lived in bleeding, kansas, where as asigh lie of john brown he was an abolitionist jay fight hawker. he refused to commit the troopsr under him to the fight at sand creek and he later wrote to a friend of his, a former norabl commander, nede winecoop, he si it sullied the fight for the union and also the process of settling the west. and that native and not white bodies desecrated there. world o soule depicted a world of civilized indians and savage whites, cataloged the terrible s cruelties visited upon the sand creek dead. and e bodies of men, women and children he said had all been hacked apart.e woul he wrote to winecoop, quote, thd
isd creek wrote " the barber in the slavery has come unaided assassination of mr. lincoln. the barbarism of centrica is commented in the assassination of captain soule,' this was a statement that foreshadowed some abolitionists decision to gravitate toward the indian reform movement in the years after the passage of the 13th amendment.
three federal indian reform movement in the years after the passage of the s 13than amendment. them c three federal investigations eventually determined that sand creek had been a bad act. one of them went so far to call it a massacre but john findings shivington and others refused to accept the findings an enso because sand creek represented y such an eaunsettled chapter in e region's history the fight over its memory continued for years n afterward. in em1879, for example, author helen hunt jackson embraced thet cause of indian reform. in letters to newspapers around the united states, she drew on silas soule's recollections of sand krik. he used the massacre as a cudulo she said they were peaceful and the troops desecrated the dead.l her charges wrangled this man, a man named william biers and editor of the denver rocky reek mountain new hsad in 1864 and dismissed claims that sand creek
had been a massacre. in 1879, biers ignored the ongoing indian wars. he replied to jackson that sand creek had actually pacified thep plains tribesre rather than and spurring them to more violence and said jackson originally frou new england and a woman to boot couldn't possibly understand the feolence at sand creek. he possessed a feat sensibili sensibilities out of place. helen hunt jackson gave as goode as she got and rebutted the e bo sexism andds regionalism with er patriotic nationalism. federal troops might better havt spent their time fighting racted confederates. sand creek inar e this view hadh just been a massacre wu detrablgted from the union war effort. as jackson engaged in this prine war with biers, she worked on ai book about the nation's history of mistreating its indigenous an
people. published in 1881, argued only e by overhauling federal indian policy could the united states be redeemed in the eyes of god w. the war, the red river war st and the great sioux war and then known as the custer massacre at the lirtd l big horn just over,r some officials in the department of the interior were primed to embrace helen hunt jackson's calls for reform. but even as the climate surrounding federal tribal relations was shiftding, d adhee shivington's perspective still had adherence in the west.news including editors at the gunnison democrat and jackson worked on century of dishonest called for, quote, another sand creek, end quote to wipe out th, utes in the wake of another massacre. infuria infuriated, george bent named william bent an owl woman cheyenne wife weighed in on the
history of sand creek. john shivington was an eager perpetrator and silas soule was a reluctantvi witness. shown here with his wife magpie was a survivor. wounded he fought for years to keep the memory of the massacre alive. around the turn of the 20th ed e century, frederickr jackson turner speaking in chicago at the world's fair fretted over ig the closing of the frontier. conservationists warned of the impending ickes tix of the bison and native peoples that depended on them for survival and readers consumed piles of novels of cowboys and indians. the west in popular culture and public policy stood at the center of debates about the hado future of the united states and george bent worried that native americans had no voice in these conversations. he begannn relatting tribal history to george bird granelle.
also to james mooney, a renownet smithsonian ephnographer and to george hyde a relatively obscure historian and obscure enough i have no picture of him. i apologize for that. i 'm keeping him obscure.de omp tigs between historians. in 1906, george bent and george hyde published together six articles in a magazine called s the frontier. in those articles, they debunked john shivington's story of sandc creek. although bent acknowledged as shivington charged in 1865 that he bent had fought with the confederacy, he served in ta sterling crisis first missouri cavalry andn i mocked the men i colorado who talked about rebel plots to ally with the region's indians, end quote. the comanches he noted were foes of texas and the arapahos and shy quecheyennes had no incenti
fight with the south. turning to the massacre, bent relayed details of the betrayal of american and white flags oops flying over black kettle's lodgt and of the colorado troops butchery. bent understood the civil war as a war of tng imperialism rathern liberation. and he concluded that shivington wrought with sand creek the thing he claimed to have fly ex prevented. conflict that threatened if only briefly expansion into the west. not surprisingly, the essays outraged john shivington's surviving member. major jacob downing resented the charge of a massacre. thatsome their actions somehow . dishonored their service and that an indian had dared to spoe suggest that a white man might be he duncivilized. downing responded to george ben in the denver times labeling hil a cut throat and a thief, a liar and scoundrel but worst of all a half breed. end quote. he then turned his attention tor
imbedding shivington's stories into a civil war narrative that they werena constructing around the united states at the time. t work that culminated in denver with the unveiling of a memoriaa on thetu state capitol steps in 1909. the monument featured a plaque on the base cataloging battles and engagements in coloradoans fought during the war. sand creek was among them.ivil w your lower right. with veterans of the civil war nearing the end of their lives campaigns to shape how future generations would remember the conflict swept the united states.docu archives at the timeme acquirede documentnt collections, authors published histories and cities unveiled monuments and memorials. as david blight,ff of course, at other skoen lors argued in rece years, the efforts were often intended to inspire onlookerless to 'em grace a reconciliationist narrative of the war. carrie janning is here.
i apologize. a he reic story of which soldiers fought s bravery and well. the rootsl causes, struggles ove the fate of slavely and in th definitions of citizenship and over the right to shape an emerging american empire in theh transmississippi west could and indeed should be set aside in service of an ammicible reunion of forth and south. in short, upholding patriotic f amnesia. stewardsgo of the civil war's g memory in colorado realized if the state was going to be included in this emerging civil war story, sand creek was going to have to be remembered as a battle or an engagement. at the statue's dedication then organizered stitched together unity and pride. they seamlessly integrated marci visions ofng empire and militar. a military band balanced the dx spirit of marching through georgia with the lost cause
nostalgia of dixie. one speaker invoked the spirit of reconciliation suggesting, quote, we'll all americans today and we all glory in one flag and one country, end quote.n then general irving hale with fame in the spanish-american army celebrated the civil war or making freedom universal for all americans, end quote.am the remarks ignored the impact on native peoples including thee arapahos and cheyenne. the sponsors smoothed away the o massacre's rough edges and cast john shivington's stories of the tragedy in bronze. less than half a century later, coloradoans working against a very different political k backdrop reversed course. the they began segregating mem ris of sabd creek from the civil war and associating the bloodshed exclusively with west ward ric a expansion. august 6rkth, 1950, the state unveiled two historic markers.oo
the first of those a marble slab sat on a rise overlooking the massacre site. for the rest of my talk, i'm t going to ask that you keep this image in the back of your mind d when i refer to the monument overlook and i'll do so a number of additional times, this what i'm talking about. that rise there that you see in the distance behind those trees, that's the monument overlook at the sand creek site.hn that marker echoed john shivington. it read, sand creek battleground. as you can see here.al socie the second marker, an on lisings sponsored by the state historic society included the mixed labee message, d quote, sand creek battle or massacre end quote. and labeled the bloodshed, quote, a regrettable tragedy of the conquest of the west.ical sc end quote. this was an interpretation born of the need to placate g historicalto society donors and
local people and didn't relish they had a massacre site in the background. le roy haffin colorado's at thee time chief historian and noted er some called it a battle and he s others labeled it a msz kerr end quote. he then ducked the fight over te naming. he described throewt violence a quote, a tragic engagement, an outgrowth of conflict, excuse me, contact between the incompatible cultures of red and white men. end quote n. this way, he allie. responsibility for sand creek and divorced the massacre from the civil war context. this made good sense at the for start of the cold war. for more than a decade, federaly authorities drumd up support for internationalism. encouraging americans com to re the civil war as an emblem of the nation's commitment, its ironclad commitment to freedom.t sand creek bathed in unambiguout
light didn't go with the good war. by the 1960s, more changes in the nation's cultural and activ political climate had another apprisal of sand creek. i a group of activistnds formed tk a.i.m. ande in 1969 some of th organizati organization's members look ov overal ka trad island signals the arrival of what was called b redef power.cupati on theon national stage. a week before the alcatraz occupation, a journalist named seymo seymour hearse broke the story. and in 1970 with "bury my heart at wounded knee" the civil he s- rights movement hadca views andt many white americansed part of e so-called new age were ronted fascinated by traditional cultures and americans had once again confronted the capacity of
u.s. soldiers, sometimes to ooko slaughter innocent civilians. brown's book thus found an audience eager to learn more about native peoples and keen in some instances to embrace critiques of american militarism and racism. for much of his adult life d. ih brown worked at the university of illinois library. at night he wrote books.historic can you imagine someone more heroic as a historian and ooks librari librarian? doesn't get better than that. atea night dr. brown wrote book including a history of the american west conquest through the eyes of the tribal peoples. of his voice, brown said, quote, i'm a very old indian and remembering the past.ative thosear memories included sand creek for which brown adopted a interpretive frame similar ttho soule's and bent's.lage focusing on the white and american flags flying over black kettle's village. falling in a hail of bullets while singing the death song.
and on shivington's men slicing genitalia from their victims. professional historians greeted the publication of "bury my heart at wounded knee" with skepticism and bordered on contempt.olarly d. brown they said had askewed scholarly balance.ct. he hadn't interrogated the sources. distorted evidence and made errors of fact.ork reviewers outside the academy, d though, heaped praise on brown. "the new york times" described the book as, quote, both impossible to read and impossible to put down.more t end haquote.york t the publicim agreed. the book spent more than a year on the "the new york times" best-seller list and has since's than 5 million copies. that's even better than pete's s books have odone, i think.cholar it also had a huge influence on readers and a rising generation scholars that self identified al new western historians. paul hutten, for example, said
we went to bed thinking about eo the indian wars and indians one way and then never thought the same way again. end quote. "bury my heart at wounded site. knee's" impact is still felt in 1978 with the sand creek of s national historic site and even then after nearly a century and a half of struggles over the massacre's memory the park service learned that enduring questions surrounding the violence remained unanswered.nif in or1998, the park service beg planning for this site.uard. and it discovered that there was a new question that caught it off guard. i where,n precisely, had sand crk taken place? it turned out in 1998 before it was memorialized it had to be found. the search that ensued became sc contentious when a disagreements over how to interpret the ypical historical record dpided the people looking for site.
december sen dants of the victims typically based their understanding of the episode's history and geography on what as theyto described as traditional tribal methods, also on oral histories and on written records including stories and map pros deuced by george bent around the turn of the 20'd century. for decades, the sand creek descendants had used george bent's maps and writings as a guide. they had madeie pilgrimages to spot near the monument overloo'' and performed sacred ceremonies and honored their ancestors and i don't think i should leave the podium because i'm being filmede and if you lookek at the bend you're seeing in the slide, the monument overlook is just below the creek and i'll give you a better sense of this in a moment.lling fi the park service by contrast tried to solve the mist write or the killing field's location looking at other materials, con especially records produced by
troops who had fought as sand sl creek and then by consulting a map penned by a soldier named si samuel bonsal that visited the m site after the massacre with sherman and then in charge of the united states forces in the west.y this was in 1869. using the map mps officials ovl believed theyoo pinpointed blac kettle's village less than a mile from the overlook. you can see the lower center itd says shivington's massacre. they looked at this and they again thought that they had found -- pinpointed the exact location of black kettle's village located less than a mile upstream from the monument overlook. the park service then did an archaeological investigation and unearthed a huge band of artifacts which seemed to confirm this hypothesis f. you g look at this map, you can see i- think it says existing marker.in that's the monument overlook.
you can see just a very, very few dots nestled in that bend of sand creek and then if you move up the creek about three fifths of a mile or so you can see a number of dots including the plume of artifacts that the park service unearthed. many of the descendants were outraged, though, by these discoveries. outraged especially because the mps seemed to be -- rather than its victims. they pointed back to george bent's maps insisting that bent a cheyenne survivor clearly placed black kettle's village inside a crook of sand creek. and so, if you look at number 2 here, and then if you look at this close-up of the key, you nt can see black p kettle's camp te it clearly placed black kettle's camp inside this crook of the la creek. they thenck produced their own h of the massacre site including black kettle's village and
located precisely where they believe george bent placed it a century earlier and two different maps. one is the national park service's map. the other is a map produced by the northern cheyenne, the k southern cheyenne and the southern arapaho descendants of sand creek's victims. the park service was caught off guard by this dispute over competing cartographies and hadu a compromise.s a site with boundaries that were and are capacious enough for all of the different interpretations of exactly where sand creek happened. so again, is if you could look this map, you will see that the monument overlook is included wf withinou the park as is that sii further upstreamti where the artifacts were found. after a number of twists and atc turns, incloouding a casino cuth corporation stepping in to broker a deal, the park service was ready to cut the ribbon on the site.
all of which leads back to april 28 sth, 2007, whether the firstb unit of the national park system to label american soldiers as perpetrators rather than heroes or victims opened its doors.ulde although the site's name answered the question of what sand creek would be called, how to interpret the massacre tes remained unresolved. ironically, as the united states celebrates the civil war ses question thecentennial, the na challenges visitors not becauset they're asked anew whether the n bloodshed was a battle or a na. massacre but because that question seems to have been answered by the park's name. the stories of americans tell l. themselves about the civil war suggests that president lincoln died so that the united states might live. redeemed for having liberated the south slaves out of a ly wii bloodshed, the nation was reborn. it's a resurrection story that fits neatly within christian
narratives. in this way we trance figure the civil war's history of violence into virtue and the tragedy into triumph but sand creek depicted as a massacre bucks the we typ redemptive currents that run through most national historic a sites.rk we typically favor neat depictions of history marked by steady progress, punk waited by. the occasional righteous war foe often chaotic and frack churled past. the sand creek site, though, reminds visitors as much as they might wishl that theca history proceeded in regimented fashion, the past can't be so easily m drilled to fall into line. the massacre story indicts and i heroes cast. citizen soldiers.s causes union officials. and reflects a darker vision of the civil war's causes and -- consequences. expansion into the american west
touched off the war thatsl destroyed slavery, it's true, s but also, other wars with the plains tribes that left behind no simple lessons for federal commentators that may be bending the memory. they're grappling on how to interpret sand creek, doubt on the enduring notion that the united states enjoys a special destiny as an exceptional natior favored by god. very the question ofdi whether visits to the sand creek site are reada to broach these sorts of very difficult topics to reassess their homeland's character and perhaps destiny remains unanswered. for in the end thist storyhi ob memorializing sand creekle suggests that history and memory are both malleable if not always biddable and that the people oft the united states are sohe vario that they shouldn't ben expect to share a single tale of a cou common past.plclas sometimes our stories complimeng one another.e. sometimes they clash.e sometimeser that intersect.more
sometimes they diverge. story of sand creek suggest that is the civil war more broadly midwifed in president clin con'e words a new birth of freedom ano delivered the indian wars, a moment of national redemption for some and disposition for others. that the civil war was s bother war of liberation and also of empire. the park service and tribal descendants are never going to h concur on every element of sand creek's interpretation but they may agree that the historic site should challenge visitors to grapple with competing narratives of u.s. history. to struggle with how the past is shot through with ironies. if that happens, the massacre, i suggest in my book, this is the product placement portion of the talk, if that happens, the massacre will no longer be [app misplaced in the landscape of national memory. thank you very much. [ applause ] i can just go ahead --
>> i can just go ahead?d made >> ayes. right around 1971, hollywood b made a movie about this.as it was called "soldier blue."alt >> yep. >> and as i recall, the movie showed that the native americans didn't have any weapons. so, it wasn't really a battle m then. i mean, i'm under the impressioi that it wasou a massacre. but -- and they did some atrocious things and one of thei soldiersng approached the colon and said to him, you need to stop doing this. you need to not allow this to happen when they were doing these things to the bodies and everything. and the colonel said to the p soldier, you're insane. so the guy that was trying to stop this atrocity was called
insane. but anyway, one of the things that i was w wondering about is how many women were killed? how many children were killed?ro and how many men weren killed? i was under the impression there that there weren't very many men there in the first place. thank you. >> sure. first of all, soldier blue is part of this sort of cultural constellation in the early 1970s, little big men, soldier blue, bury my heart at wounded knee. a number of other texts as y muh e to say that come c out all of which are very, very much a by-product of critiques e of the war inap vietnam. and which allows for reappraisal of the indian wars. and so, soldier blue, i think of as being very, very much of a piece with d. brown's work. as to the question of how many t women and children were killed
there, we don't have exact to t numbers.y. to the best of -- i'm going to be very clear here. tha not to thet best of my abilitye should stop and say i'm by no means the leading authority on the massacre itself. i write about the way that thiss event was remembered and so i os draw on other people when i talk about the msz kerr. but the historians of the massacre itself as i said at thy top of the tuck, they think somewhere between 150, maybe as many as 225 or 250 native , somh americans were killed at sand creek. of those, something like 90% probably were women and ack ke children. a couple of reasons for that. most important of which is that most of the men in black kettle's camp were out hunting. the people in this camp they genuinely believed that they e a were part of a peace camp. this camp was being protected bt federal soldiers. they thought they had nothing th fear in that moment and so
warriors were away at the time of the attack. and so, there just weren't very many men in the camp which accounts for why so few of them were killed. that said, one other point very, very quickly.er point the native people there were armed. they weren't particularly well r armed but they were armed. they did fight. shivington lost somewhere maybe between a dozen and two dozen of his men, so it was -- it was a very, very violent encounter that lasted the better part of a day and that ran across about six miles. it was a running engagement. so it was a pretty grim scene. can i go back and forth? >> could you just talk about the washatol then? how's the park service going to interpret which i know that's iy civil war connection because oft custer but you look at the battle and how it was fought, it was very similar. you'd even say that custer's o e
the washetol is similar to shivington's and similar to the approach to - little big- horn. everybody says custer was mass kerred running into too many indians, right? at the washetol and sand creek, it was the other way around, so what is the park service now doing about that?e >> washetol is an extraordinarily controversial site for a>> vie rity of differt reasons but especially because it's beend atrou labeled a batt. the tribal descendants believe it, - atoo, is a massacre site.f the his tore og if i on the the washetol is i would say far more mixed than it is about sand creek. the overwhelming majority of th historians now call sand creek t massacre. there are some who still insist that it was a battle. that's really not true of the ae washetol. the washetol is a much more complicated affair.hit as you probably know black
kettle who survived sand creek sort of wandered in the wilderness you might say. i'm speaking metaphorically now for several years. withi his reputation suffered very badly within the cheyenne o community or communities, f really, because of sand creek and then tragically he was killed, he remained a peacemaker but he was killed at the washetol and that's a large part of the reason that the southern cheyennes especially would like the washetol reinterpreted as a massacre site but at least for now that's not happening. >> incotwo-part question really quickly. how did the lincoln administration native american politics factor into sand creek massacre? two, with the establishment of the sand creek historic site, what's the future of nps interpreting other massacres, not really native american, but
other massacres and other tragedies that occurred in the united states? >> those are really good qu questions but they're not reallh quick.te >> sorry! >> so, the first part, how doese federalde indian policy figure i'm writing a ,. book about that right now. i mean, that's a really s historian's answer, right? you have to read the next book i and probably won'tll come out f ten years because i'm really slow but i'll give you the very, very short answer and just say i that i think that the civil war as i indicated in the talk was both -- or i should say became n both a war of liberation but of emerged from the get-go as a war of empire. the 1860 election which tends to be remembered popularly and i hi think also to some extent by historians as an election fought
over the fate of slavely was an election that wasin fought overs the fate of theti slavery in thl american west. the question was whether or note slavery would move into territory that had been conquered in the united states mexican war and what happens is that you've got or what d happened -- i'm going to speak in the past tense, what happened was that tlmp two competing visions for how to settle the west and so the 1860 election was in addition to a kind of referendum on the fate of slavery. it was also a referendum on ht american empire. nobody thought or i shouldn't vf say nobody. very, very few people in the s american electorate in 1860 t. believed that the united states g to d shouldn't move into the west. the question was, how was it going to do that? the republican party, of coursei win it is 1860 election and so you have a centralized vision of american empire which will be driven by the pacific railroad
act, by the homestead act all of which are passed in the 1862 -- second congress in 1862? i'm looking at a civil war historian now. and so, something like sand creek or the dakota uprising or the navajo's long walk, a number of other episodes, all of these emerge out of the move into thee west. because that move is going to al collide withre the people who already live there.k now your second question about what does sand creek mean for the park service, interpreting, memorializing additional massacres, honestly, that's quicker because i don't know. i can tell you that if you read the book and again totally obnoxious answer, i apologize, you should buy like eight copies, though, but if you read the book, what you'll discover d is that the park service went in to the effort to memorialize wt sand creek with extraordinarily high hopes that this was going to be an opportunity to burnish
the park service's multicultural credentials, the reach out to native american communities, ton interpret more native american sites. but the process was really very, very difficult.pe andop a number of people in the nps ended up feeling like, boy,l we made a lot more enemies than we made friends and i don't know what will come of it. i really don't.maryla >> dennis graham, haguerstown, maryland. yomeunt mentioned the discrepe a sy of where the village was located. was there any archaeological c excavation where the descendants of the victims claimed it was that might prove their point? >> yes., the archaeological excavationsa take place up and down and the creek and other areas, as well. there were four or five different spots where the park
service dug. one of those was right in the crook of the bend. it's -- the explanation that the landowner who held the property at that spot, the monument overlook and the north side of the creek of sand creek, the explanation for -- that he gave for why there were no artifacts discovered there was that through the years collectors had come through that location which people in the county in southeastern colorado understooo to be the proper sand creek site also called the traditional site and that they had picked that site clean over the course of decades. he pointed especially to a number of dust bowl years in the 1950s when most of thetopsoil r blew away and his father -- r, i father or grandfather, i forgett right now -- had owned that
property and the -- and literally hundreds of artifacts, he said, had just been exposed and people had come through and collected them by the wagonloade and so that was his explanation. and the tribal descendents believed that that was accuratet for whyha there were so few artifacts still found in that ts location. but the dig cameg in up with al nothing in that precise spot. bo i'm not going to reveal to you the end of the book, because it's got kind of a surprise ending. but there ends up being an explanation for why all of thest theories may be true. but it's a little convoluted for right now. >> this is kind of a memory ondt question. so when you talked about the soldiers' conduct post-battle, how much of that actually makes a difference in how we remember as a battle versus a massacre?
>> it's a really good question and not as easy to answer as i p thought, so i'm not going to be glib. what i'll say is that the main or the -- sort of the most s oft eminent historians of the plains indian wars, especially bob utley, now look back on sand l creek and they sayba this was a massacre because it was a k, surprise attack on a group of people who weren't well armed ct and who believed that they were at peace with the aggressing party. and so from bob's perspective, sand creek was a massacre. and that doesn't seem to have anything to do with whether or not chivington's men committed atrocities in the aftermath of the slaughter. but i think you're asking in my view a more complicated questiou because you said it's a memory question. in terms of the way that we hini remember this tevent, i think it's absolutely crucial that we understand chivington's to have
committed these horrible acts. to have mutilated the corpses of arapahoe and cheyenne, especially women and children. and i don't want to get too -- you'll note that my talk was t actually quite careful to stay away from some of these descriptions. but they're extraordinarily graphic. a pregnant woman eviscerated. and so those memories i think play a very, very important role in how we understand this having been a massacre, because they speak to the motivations of the soldiers there. and they suggest a kind of thirst for vengeance, which might lead to a massacre.inia. >> richard griffin from alexandra, virginia. we're not -- weren't chivington and his men present at gore yet that pass?
>> he was at glorietta pass, ato that's where hrie secured his reputation. he was promoted of his very likely honorable service at glorietta pass. historians look back and wondert whether or not chivington may have inflated his importance. what ended up happening in the wake of glorietta pass he was promoted but his career stalledy he wanted to be a united statese senator, h he wanted to get in politics. so one of the explanations for why something like sand creek might have happened is chivington had personal reasons, he was trying to use the civil r war as an engine of career ca mobility. lots of soldiers did this. and sand creek was kind of a last-ditch effort on his part tl recapitulate hisat heroics at glorietta pass. >> my name's lee fisher from oxford, ohio.this i i'm an older graduate student in
anthropolo anthropology. this is a national parks servic- application, perhaps a resources question. you mentioned the early comancl raids through texas and it's well documented by many historians that those same dep ra dayses were committed by the comanche on white people. the pr does the park service have any intent, ever, to document that kind of activity on the part of native americans?amna and conversely turn that into the same kind of national park? >> i mean, i'm sort of back to the same place that i was servi earlier where i can't speak to y exactly what the parks service r o do. ng t >> do you ever think they'd have the political courage to do that?ughs] >> what i would say is that at the sand creek site, there's actually a fair amount of
documentation about what's known as the hunggate massacre, the he hunggate murders. pla this was a family that was slaughtered on the plains east t of denver. very likely by arapahoes although people don't know for certain. in the summer of 1864. these were native people who were not part of black kettle's bands, they were not camped at sand creek. but white authorities in colorado territory used the hunggate murders as a pretext o for drumming up some of the outrage that led to sand creek. so speaking to your question, the parks service does documento what happened to the hunggates. the family was butchered.orpsesw and then their corpses were brought to denver where they as were displayed. as to the broader question of whether or not there's going to be a national memorial or a y tt historic sitehe devoted specifically to the victims of
native americans, i don't know the answer to that. i really don't. i mean, i would say broadly mo speaking,nu again, that we have number of monuments and memorials throughout the american west to white settlers. but not specifically to these sorts of atrocities. last one? this is the last question. >> cal mackay from mechanicsburg, pennsylvania. a question about how we categorize historical events. chivington's comments i think can be safely called self-serving.at asi that aside, can we really event consider this to be an event of the american civil war? the it may have happened in 1864 aru during the years of the civil war, but really, was it that connected to the civil war? >> yes. >> and how so?
>> again, as i mentioned war earlier, in my view the civil war is both a war of empire and also becomes a war of liberatiof over time. that war of empire plays itself out in colorado territory and in the trans-mississippi west withi a number of different native engagements, battles, a massacr, other, with native american groups. because thmoe united states is going to move into the west. that's one of the cornerstones of the republican party's vision for the american people. that the federal government will sponsor the move into the west. again, with the pacific railroad act, homestead act, the moral land grant act, and others. the department of agriculture, you can go on and on and on. p all of these are an outgrowth of the united states civil war.seda all of those pieces of legislation passed, at least ina significantus measure, because
southerners have absented themselves from the united states congress. and a again, because the american people have voted republicans into office -- because the american people voted republicans into office in 1860. and so is sand creek part of thn civil war? it's an outgrowth of the civil war, it's an outgrowth of the at same mechanisms and processes that birthed the civil war. but also, it's an episode that e features civil war soldiers. united states volunteer soldiers on the federal payroll. soldiers who are mustered into the union army. and so, again, i wasn't being entirely glib when i said yes, i think it is. is it as central a part of the civil war story as some of the n otherts events that people are going to be talking about here'h no, i don't think it is. i don't want to overstate my m. claims. that's not the kind of historiat i am. is but i do think that it's a very very important story, and i think that it's worth telling.
thank you all again very, very mu remind your children in this bicentennial year when we are the first generation of americans to have experienced attacks on the continental united states, we are the first generation of americans to have felt what it was like to have our government buildings attacked. remind your children that freedom is not free and that our country's greatness is found in one another. that's what the star-spangled banner is about. that's what this commemoration year is about. to tell that story and to lift every voice and to sing.
>> a three-day fourth of july weekend starts friday on american history tv, including the 200th anniversary of the star-spangled banner friday at 8:30 p.m. eastern. saturday night at 8:00 visit the college classroom of professor joel howell as he talks about u.s. government human radiation experiments conducted after world war ii through the cold war. and sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a preview of presidential historian jeffrey enangle's manuscript on george h.w. bush and the peaceful end to the cold war. daniel stein of the federation for immigration reform and benjamin johnson of the american immigration council discuss whether immigration to the u.s. hurts or helps the country. after that, charles murray of the american enterprise institute looks at american exceptionalism. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
next on american history tv, brian craig miller of emporia state university discusses confederate general john bell hood's campaign into tennessee in the fall of 1864, resulting in the almost total destruction of his army. this event is from the gettysburg college civil war institute's annual summer conference that took place in june. it's about an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm peter carmichael, the director of the civil war institute. also professor of history here at gettysburg college. it's my pleasure to introduce brian craig miller. brian is associate professor and associate chair of history at emporia state university in eastern kansas. he teaches a variety of courses in 19th century u.s., including the civil war, of course. he is the author of several
books. john bell hood and the fight for civil war memory published by the university of tennessee. and he has recently edited "a punishment on the nation: an iowa soldier endures the civil war." this spring his latest book "empty sleeves: amputation in the civil war south" will be released by the university of georgia. he is also the book review editor for one of the main journals in our field, "civil war history." this afternoon he is going to be speaking about "remembering the destruction of an army, john bell hood's tennessee campaign in myth and memory." i welcome brian. john bell hood's tennessee campaign in myth and memory." i welcome brian.: john bell hood's tennessee campaign in myth and memory." i welcome brian. >> thank you very much. to everyone here at the civil war institute and to my dear
friend pete carmichael for that very, very kind introduction. it's very nice to be here this afternoon. and you look like a very happy, vibrant crowd after lunch, which is good. you're probably the army of tennessee at the beginning of this campaign, more so than the end. in january of 1865, john bell hood visited with mary chess chestnut and the family of his recent but fading love interest sally buck preston. as hood sat with the preston family in conversation stories filled the room pertaining to the civil war. hood mourned the loss of so many dead, described battles as defeat and discomfit tour, and bemoaned "my army is destroyed." the conversation quickly changed subjects to add a more jovial aura to the occasion but hood simply sat, his mind somewhere else, and he did not lesson. jack preston, who offered his
residence as a place for hood to stay, pulled mary chestnut aside to have a brief conversation. preston remarked, he didn't even hear a word she was saying, he has forgotten us all, did you notice how he stared into the fire and the livid spots which came out to his face and the huge drops of perspiration that stood out on his forehead? yes, chestnut replied, he is going over some bitter hours. he feels the panic at nashville and its shame. jack preston pushed further, and the dead at the battlefield of franklin, they say that was a dreadful tight. and the agony on his face comes again and again. i can't keep him out of those absent fits. it is pretty trying to anyone who looks on. when he looks in the fire and f forgets me and seems going through in his own mind the torture of the damned i get out and come out as i did just now. what had happened to john bell hood, who has certainly been described by many historians as
not the brightest bulb in the confederate chandelier of high command. as an officer, hood showed an enormous amount of promise as he effectively led his beloved texas brigade into action under robert e. lee's at pivotal moments during the seven days, antietam, briefly at gettysburg before wounds removed him from the field. now roughly six months after receiving command of the army of tennessee, hood rested on his crutches and stood amongst his friends that day as a battered, defeated, and emotionally broken man. my talk today will try to chronicle the history but more importantly the memories of hood's ill-fated tennessee campaign in the fall of 1864. i come to you today not as a military expert of these campaigns but as a hood biographer, particularly one who is interested in how we as generations of americans have remembered this complicated figure. while hood formulated a campaign plan that lifted the spirits of the confederacy and generated a
wealth of excitement in the midst of devastating defeats around atlanta, hood lacked the luck, the resources and the manpower to achieve one last standing victory in the midst of so many ruinous military failures. after he lost his leg at chick awalking ga, john bell hood returned to military command as a core commander in the army of tennessee in 1864. from the moment of hood's arrival in north georgia, drama emerged between the diva triumvirates of confederate leadership. jefferson davis, who many don't know was voted most likely to secede in high school -- that's an old joke, old as jefferson davis, probably -- john bell hood and everyone's favorite general, joseph johnston, ultimately leading to johnston's removal and hood being named as commander of the army of tennessee. davis decided that johnson had receded just too much ground to sherman in front of the city of
atlanta, that now holding that community proved tenable at best. hood faced a precarious situation as a newly appointed commander and thus decided to throw his army at cher pan in a series of battles around atlanta only a few days after ascending up the chain of command. the blood-letting did not deter sherman who now worked to encircle the city which forced hood to flee atlanta six weeks later. although the army of tennessee had lost over 30,000 men in the course of four months, they still remained a formidable force at roughly about 39,000 strong. according to the new orleans daily pick aunion, when we come to georgia where we are told hood's army is only a debris of the past, a demoralized mob, we actually find a large, compact, tried and patriotic army which despite all its misfortunes is still game. in the days following atlanta, john bell hood stood at a crossroads. this fighting general needed a plan. he needed to orchestrate a military maneuver so bold it
could eradicate the failure at atlanta, not only from the minds of confederate citizens but also alleviate pressure that lee felt as he stood trapped within the city limits of petersburg. hood's force was simply not strong enough to stay in atlanta and attack sherman so he decided to leave atlanta to sherman and turn his eyes northward toward tennessee with hopes of defeating the union force stationed within the city of nashville. then he wanted to continue northward through kentucky, drive across the ohio river, and reunite with lee in order to drive grant out of the trenches at petersburg. he thought that the very threat of his presence in the region would force grant to leave lee alone. although many historians have called this plan pure fantasy, scripted in never neverland, and the delusions of a drug-addicted buffoon, the confederate populace at the time had a very different reaction. one newspaper wrote, in either event hood's movement is as promising as it is bold and daring.
actually, hood had conceived part of this plan as far back as the spring of 1864. in a letter to jefferson davis he wrote, my heart was fixed upon our going to the front and regaining tennessee and kentucky, to regain tennessee would be of more value to us than half a dozen victories in virginia. if hood had found the success that he wanted, the confederacy might achieve a series of stunning victories to prolong the war to the point of northern disillusionment. yet if hood failed any hopes of confederate success in the west would likely dissipate forever. hood's plan got quite a bit of accolade from the confederate civilians. george pfeiffer irwin remembered in a letter to his sister, everybody seems to be taking the movement of hood very quietly. though it appears to me it is one of the most important movements that has been made since the war. ella thomas residing in georgia wrote in her diary, the deep gloom which hung over us just after the fall of atlanta has been lifted from our midst and
the movement of general hood has brightened both the army and the people. the rank and file soldiers exhibited the same optimism as the confederate populace. one soldier wrote, now we are living fine and expect better times when we get into tennessee. hood worked to gather shoes and clothing throughout september resulting in the state of the army to be according to the soldiers in excellent spirits. alex spence reported to his parents, i am pretty well fixed for the trip. a new pair of boots and a good suit of clothes. general hood has got the army in good fighting trim, marching trim. despite this optimism from the civilians and the rank and file, jefferson davis remained concerned and decided to pay hood's army a visit. on his way he stopped at macon, georgia, where he found himself having to defend putting hood in command as a ceo has to listen to irate shareholders. if i knew that a general did not possess the right qualities to
command, davis declared to the irate crowd, would i not be wrong if he were not removed? i thus put a man in command who i knew would strike an honest and manly blow and many a yankee's blood was made to nourish the soil before the prize was won. after rallying the folks in macon or attempting to davis then spoke to the soldiers who were less than thrilled to see him but he told them, be of good cheer for within a short while your faces will be turned homeward and your feet pressing the soil of tennessee. with the visit concluded hood's men prepared to disembark within the next few weeks. captain george irwin, an assistant quarter master, described spirits at buoyant. samuel t. foster said, the whole army right now is in hey spirits as the troops began moving in mid-october. reports came of one continued shout for miles. the men cheered general hood when he comes about them and say, if he will only take them back to tennessee, they will be
perfectly satisfied and fair well on one ear of corn apiece per day. that's a lot of optimism on one ear of corn. as hood departed he issued some orders to his troops which got a hearty response. william barry hill remembered and general hood issued an order to these troops when we started on this raid saying that he would not force them to ever charge any strongly fortified positions. time would surely tell if hood could live up to this promise. when hood moved northward he started retracing the steps of previous months of campaigning. demanded the union forces there immediately surrender. hood fervently declared to the federal ouchts, if the place is carried by assault no prisoners will be taken. the union troops though refused to capitulate. clark weaver, the union commander there, replied back to hood, in my opinion i could hold this post. if you want it, come and take it.
hood decided to follow his promise to his soldiers and not attack this garrison. in his memoir he explained, in officer should allow his soldiers to burn and pillage after victory has been secured. instead of recklessly hurling his troops against the garrison, hood decided simply to observe the enemy and move northward, destroying the railroad between rosaka and tunnel hill throughout mid-october. the army of tennessee prepared to cross the tennessee river at guntersville in late october. however, without nathan bedford forrest's cavalry, as well as a lack of provisions for the army to move on their own, hood moved further west to decatur, alabama, to cross the river there. private coleman said, they looked sad and low-spirited. some of the men were nearly barefoot. had few clothes. but the weather being warm, they seemed that they could stand it. rations were scarce also but they were ready to do or die in the attempt. the charleston mercury at the
time reported whole regiments are barefooted while blankets with any of the men are rather the exception to the rule and there are some regiments who have not been paid in 15 months. the waning support for the war effort throughout the confederacy hampered supplies yet the paper hoped that the country promptly could forward any supplies that they had or general hood goes into kentucky and tennessee and captures them there or there would be great suffering amongst his troops. delays and dwindling supplies sapped the enthusiasm that had been exhibited by the soldiers. robert patrick wrote, i have no confidence in hood's abilities. he is a good, rough fighter. when that is said, all is said. he hasn't the knowledge of military affairs that joseph johnston possesses. champion duke in a letter to his wife predicted that hood will fail in his object inject, in my opinion. another soldier explained nothing seems to work right here anymore. the trains are all mixed pell mell, nobody knows where to find
anything or anybody, there are no bread rations. the problem here with food rations led private e.g. littlejohn from texas to write, we have suffered more for the want of something to eat on this campaign than on any previous one. having been compelled to eat parched corn right ahead. north alabama left no breakfast of champions for the soldiers to munch on other than animal, corn, and acorns as hood kept waiting for godot, i mean nathan bedford forrest, to ever show up. although crowds of women came to see the army as they passed through florence, alabama, the southern populace had no food to distribute. the crowds of confederate spectators that did come out could not alter mother nature's grip on the region, particularly the tennessee river. the roads were described by brigadier general tyree bell as the worst roads on earth. rain swelled the rivers and horses drowned amidst the speeding current.
forrest did not arrive until november the 16th which resulted in hood having spent weeks trying to get into tennessee. he explained this to jefferson davis that high water and the fact that i had to draw supplies from through a department not under my command involving delay in their reaching me have retarded my operations. but due to the delay, hood wrote beauregard on november the 17th stating, i have now seven days' rations on hand and need 13 days additional. please use every effort to have these supplies passed forward. the army finally crossed on november the 20th as the river levels fell and moved the army ahead. as hood prepared to fight and face off against union commander john scofield near columbia, tennessee, whom cher han had detached from atlanta to deal with hood's invasion. the enemy must give fight or i'll be in nashville before tomorrow night. hood even sent a telegram to jefferson davis on november the 28th stating, the enemy
evacuated columbia last night and are retreating towards nashville. our army is again moving forward. i have no difficulty about supplies and anticipate none in the future. the optimism had certainly returned. as scofield pulled out of columbia and moved north ward, hood continued his pursuit. he told his army after they crossed the tennessee river, you march today to redeem your valor and your arms, one of fairest portions of our confederacy. this can only be achieved by battle and by victory. sum it up in behalf of a consummation so glorious all the elements of soldiership and all the instincts of manhood and you will will render the campaign full of awe pishs fruit to your country and lasting renown to yourselves. at spring hill, tennessee, on november the 29th, 1864, hood had the opportunity to outflank the union army and trap john scofield. if hood could eliminate scofield's army, he would have a clear path into nashville and
prevent additional troops on the union side from arriving to further solidify the city's defenses. but in order to catch scofield, someone had to block the main pike in order to trap him. hood ordered benjamin cheatham to attack and block the pike, supported by alexander stewart's corps. however, cheatham's men, especially those led by patrick clay burn, did not know where the union defensive position was located due to the fact that forrest's cavalry had never even scouted the ground. when cheatham rode to meet with hood he found the general quite irritated. hood remarked, general, why in the name of god have you not attacked the enemy and taken possession of that pike? cleatham explained that he did not act because he was waiting for stewart, who was supposed to assist him, who in turn never arrived because hood had told him, stewart, to stay at rutherford creek. hood remarked, the men have had a hard day's march and i do not you wish you, stewart, to march your whole corps up to the
right. it will be too far for the men to march. thus, with the men being shuffled about in a confusing fashion with little knowledge of the precise location of the union force, no one attacked or moved to block the pike. the opportunity to capture scofield slipped away into the night. the next day, november the 30th, 1864, hood, who was quite disappointed with the missed opportunity at spring hill, attended a very tense breakfast of fried ham, hot biscuits, and steaming coffee. where the accusations over the failure at spring hill flew faster than morning than the biscuits did. hood alleviated the blame from stewart telling him, i wish you and your people to understand that i attach no blame to you for the failure at spring hill. on the contrary, i know if i had you there, the attack would have been made. but despite his own mistakes hood decided to blame cheatham and his attitude according to cheatham at breakfast was wrathy as a rattlesnake. a few days following spring hill
hood will rescind his recommendation to the confederate government to promote cheatham. hood had every right to be angry because he realized scofield had escaped making this campaign plan now ten times harder. but at the same time he clearly erred, hood did, not making his instructions increase call clear to both cheatham and stewart. furthermore, the soldiers in the army realized a tactical error had been committed, which reflected poorly on hood's command ability. j.p. cannon wrote, every private was impressed with the idea that a fearful blunder had been made and many remarks were made uncomplimentary to those in command. of course we were not in position to know who was responsible for this failure. the lack of clear communication between hood and his core commanders has prompted some historians to claim that hood had been drugged up on laudanum or drunk at spring hill. historians look at confederate scout john gregory's claim a few hours before the spring hill
engagement, there had been a good deal of drinking among the officers. gregory claimed that cheatham had been drunk and other support nate officers also had reached the point of intexas case. john johnson, a soldier with nathan bedford forrest, claimed whiskey was the true root of the failure at spring hill. other historians have suggested since hood had been strapped to his horse since 3:00 a.m., it may have placed the general in a state of utter physical exhaustion resulting in him taking painkillers, especially if hood's horse had taken a fall on a muddy, badly rutted davis ferry road they were on. now, any analysis that bases failure at spring hill on alcohol or drug usage is problematic, particularly with the limited amount of evidence, and of course in the 19th century there wasn't a walgreens on every corner open 24 hours for hot to get more painkillers. while it is documented that drinking took place among the officers there are no specific references that day to hood
being drunk. furthermore, there are no sources indicating that hood had taken any painkillers to alleviate his constant pain from the injuries that he had suffered earlier in the war. until evidence appears directly indicating that hood had been drunk or under the influence of narcotics, they cannot be included in the analysis of why the army of tennessee failed at spring hill. the failure to know the precise location of union forces, coupled with hood's inability to effectively communicate with his officers, result in a failure that really did not destroy this campaign. flanking scofield at spring hill would have certainly helped hood in his ambitious plan but the incident here is nothing more than a missed opportunity. even with the mishap at spring hill, hood later remembered, i hereupon decided before the enemy would be able to reach a stronghold at nashville to overtake and rout him, since i could no longer hope to get between him and nashville. the afternoon following the tense breakfast, hood decided to
send his nearly 20,000 man army forward against an entrenched position over a stretch of field at the small town of franklin, tennessee. thus, in many ways, breaking his earlier campaign pie crust promises of not attacking against entrenched positions. formulating a plan from the william harrison house outside of franklin, hood surveyed the field and announced, we will make this fight. moreover, the highest perfection in the education of troops well disciplined can only be attained through continued appeals to their pride and through incitement to make known their prowess by the substantial test of guns and colors captured upon the field of battle. soldiers thus educated will ever prove a terror to their foe. hood planned for this newfound military higher education to take place that afternoon around 4:00 p.m. thus, the battle of franklin commenced. one union siege commented, it was worth a year of one's
lifetime to witness the marshaling in advance of the rebel line of battle. emerging from the woods in the most perfect order, two corps in front and one division in reserve. nothing could be more suggestive of strength and discipline and resistless power than was this long, great line advancing over the plain. the grand scene of the soldiers marching in line in that late afternoon turned chaotic as the confederates attacked again and again to the point where blood actually ran in the ditch and in places saturated our clothing where we were lying down, remembered one confederate soldier. bullets shot across the landscape, according to another, with one unceasing volley. confederate general patrick clay burn personally led an assault that briefly broke the union position in the fight near the gin house near the easternmost point of the union position. hood ordered clayburn at the start of the battle, commanding him, general, form your division to the right of the pike. i wish you to move on the enemy.
give orders to your men not to fire a gun until you run the yankee skirmish line from behind the first line of works in your front, then press them and shoot them in their backs as they run to their main line. then charge the enemy works. hood spoke that day of the importance of the task placed before clayburn by emphasizing, franklin is the key to nashvi e nashville, and nashville is the key to our independence. now, even though he thought the charge was a mistake, clayburn remarked, general, i will take the works or fall in an attempt. union reinforcements under general emerson updike halted the confederate advance, resulting in the death of clayburn in the midst of trying to achieve this victory. the continual two-mile frontal assaults against the union army failed to dislodge scofield from his entrenchments. the confederate army did have early success in smashing a hole in the center of the line, but union troops rushed forward quickly to close the gap. in the attempts to break the
union line the confederate dead and wounded piled up quickly. sergeant major arthur falkerson of the 19th tennessee had his body torn by 16 different bullets during the battle. private walshham also in that same regiment declared, oh, this one scene of butchery will go down the ages in history as a blank page in the memory of our lost cause. amongst clayburn's man, general hyrum grandberry who led texas soldiers forward only to be struck in the cheek with a mini ball. another eyewitness remembered throwing both hands to his face as in the impulse of the instant to find where the pain was, he sank forward on his knees and there half sitting, half crouching with his hands over his face, he remained rigid in the attitude in which the bullet with its flow and its swift coming of death had left him. general henry clayton commanding his division came later to the field and recalled, moving rapidly up the road to franklin we came up the balance of the
army at spring hill and all soon moved onwards to franklin. we found that bloody and disastrous engagement begun and were put in positions to attack. but night mercifully interposed to save us from the terrible scourge which our brave companions had suffered. the brutal fighting moved a private in the 11th tennessee to recall, two men on each side of me and one behind me were shot dead. we would drop and load and rise and fire. the second man on my right while i was down was shot through the head and fell dead across my body. one of abraham brewford's men, part of the confederate cavalry, remembered, our whole line would have been swept away had we not been ordered to throw ourselves on the ground, not daring to raise our heads nor crawl forward even a new rods to give succor to the wounded and dying. during the battle general hood decided not to use his artillery to its fullest capacity. because of the women and children remaining in town.
a few months earlier, hood had engaged in a very tense debate through correspondence with william tecumseh sherman over the killing of civilians with artillery shells during military campaigns. while hood understood that casualties can come with any war, he did not appreciate how sherman had fired on civilian populations for weeks. according to hood, well beyond the defensive positions of the confederate army. the correspondence with sherman must have influenced hood's decisions that day in regards to his own batteries and firing on civilian populations. hood did later recall that he planned to use artillery if needed the following day, but that battle never game. w.l. truman, a member of the 1st missouri field battery, wrote, general hood gave orders that not a cannon should be fired. we cannoneers begged our officers to let us go into battery. they told us they wanted to do it as bad as we did but could not disobey orders. with the confederate artillery remaining silent truman saw the impact of union shells stating,
i saw one shell from the battery explode immediately in front of our advancing line and at least ten men fell in a heap and never rose again, but the line never lost step. firing slowly died off in the late evening hours and scofield decided that evening to retreat to nashville, giving the confederates control of field and therefore a technical victory. but it was one that came at a bloody price. hood claimed that the loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was 4,500 and that the number of dead left by the enemy on the field indicated that his loss was equal or near our own. in reality, hood lost nearly 7,000 irreplaceable soldiers compared to about 2,300 for the united states, and among the officers lost 14 confederate generals and 55 regimental commanders, either dead or wounded. his battlefield report stated, about 4:00 p.m. november the 30th we attacked the enemy at franklin and drove them from
their center line of temporary work into their inner lines which they evacuated during the night leaving their dead and wounded in our possession and retired to nashville closely pursued by our cavalry. hood concluded his field report to secretary of war stating, our troops fought with real gallantry. we have to lament the loss of so many gallant officers and brave men. at the same time, though, hood justified this attack, explaining how he had no other choice with that lost opportunity back at spring hill. he later remembered the attack which entailed so great sacrifice of life had for reasons already stated become a necessity as imperative as that which impelled general lee to order the assault against mill when our troops charged across an open space. as the smoke eventually cleared from the field of battle, the grim reality of death and destruction began to settle into the hearts and minds of the soldiers. the scene of so much human ruination left impressions for
years after the war. the scene allowed one confederate to recall, the crimson from chivalrous sons simply stain the field with color so heart-rending it can never be forgotten by those present. william barry hill recalled, they say that it is horrible to behold. they are laying, men in piles, some across others, in some places the yankees and confederates are piled up together. bowers, a member of ferguson's battery, said, general hood stopped close to where i was standing and took a long view of the arena of that awful contest. his sturdy visage assumed a melancholy appearance and for considerable time he sat on his horse and wept like a child. when hood received word reporting the death of clayburn, he took the cigar out of his mouth, according to an eyewitness, lowered his head, and wept for half an hour. as the residents of franklin began to clean up the mess of war, 8-year-old alice macphail
nichol said, we saw a man sitting in a chair in our yard. he looked so sad. and grandpa told me that was general hood. moss cal carter, resident of franklin, recalled that although hood was said to be a rash fighter it was hardly thought he would be so reckless enough to make a determined assault on the formidable works in front of him. immediately after the battle, captain samuel t. foster gave vent to frustration and anger. on december the 1st he wrote, general hood has betrayed us. this is not the kind of fighting he promised. this was not a fight with equal numbers. even though it kind of was. and choice of the ground by no means. now, foster, who was an ardent supporter of joseph johnson, criticized hood's inability to fulfill those campaign promises. but his most telling words about hood followed. he wrote, the wails and cries of the widows and orphans made at
franklin, tennessee, on november the 30th, 1864, will heat up with fires of the bottomless pit to burn the soul of general j.b. hood for murdering their husbands and fathers at that place that day. it can't be called anything else but cold-blooded murder. and the word murder was capitalized in both instances. reverberating the deadly effects of casualties on the heart and soul of an already shaky army. foster concluded that hood had sacrificed those men to make the name hood famous. in the end, however, foster concluded, it will make him infamous. now, since hood called this battle a victory, many of the soldiers stood dumbfounded on how a victory could be declared because they were so focused on the thousands of horrific casualties. one mississippi soldier recalled, god grant i may never again behold our victorious van
so deeply dyed in blood, the blood of the noblest and bravest men who battled in freedom's cause. the bodies on the field held a look with ghastly faces and glassy eyes, remembered another soldier. the dead, according to one mississippian, expressed supreme fear and terror now frozen on their countenances. he described the mental agony they had been enduring before death had released them. fred hughes, another mississippi soldier, recalled, we had so many wounded that all could not be removed and an intelligent humanity now became necessary. when the search party reached a friend of hughes' who had been hit by a grape shot, a blanket was drawn over him and he was left in his broad alone to die. not one word of spiritual comfort, not even a friendly touch to ease his pain. the only sounds, the groans of the wounded and the murmurs of the dying. as his friend perished from the earth, hughes noted that the temperature dropped that evening and declared, the blessed
merciful god sent the cold to freeze his blood that his pains might cease and he passed into peace. by dislodging the union army, hood moved forward towards nashville. he issued words to his soldiers and officers offering them congratulations on their big success that had been achieved through heroic and determined courage. hood acknowledged that although the soldiers would lament the fall of many gallant officers and brave men, his army still had sent the union forces in disorder and confusion into nashville. the confederate force, despite some misgivings, regroup asked now marched to nashville. joseph cumming remembered, we had an abundance of good food. beef, mutton, pork, flour, and potatoes. but despite this new influx of food rations franklin weighed heavily still on the minds of the men as they trumged northward. one missouri captain remarked, our army was a wreck. i can safely say that just two such victories will wipe out any
army the power of man can organize. as they filed out of franklin one soldier recalled, nothing better calculated to afright and demoralize an army could have been devised than the exhibition of the dead as they appeared to those who viewed them there in marching past the gin house that morning. captain henry clay weaver, a member of the 16th kentucky, wrote a letter to his sweetheart in which he said, franklin taught me the horrors of war. and remember, darling that while i cannot consent to call myself a base coward, i cannot even yet think of some incidents witnessed on that bloody field without a cold chill running over me. as the remnants of the army of tennessee moved into position around nashville, hood decided to order his men to throw up earth works and await attack as he told one chaplain that he planned to force the enemy this time to do the attacking. as the army waited in the entrenchments the weather, which had been reasonably mild for
december in tennessee, drastically changed on december the 7th with a blast of cold air followed now by five continuous days of ice and sleet. with several soldiers without shoes, clothing, blankets, and with food rations on the wane, the weather proved a formidable opponent as the soldiers sat, forcing them to now look for sticks, twigs, or even possibly dirt as a means for shelter. hood's men would only have to wait about a week for the attack to commence. mostly due to the enormous amount of pressure union general george "the rock of chickamauga" thomas received from grant. attack hood at once and wait no longer for remount of your cavalry. there is a great danger of delay resulting in a campaign back to the ohio river. grant's panic may have rested on a report from major general george stoneman who told him, bristol papers say hood has been -- has whipped thomas badly and hood is on his way into
kentucky. thomas urged grant to let it go and that he would attack as soon as that frozen region had melted. thomas attacked on december the 15th, 1864, advancing all along the confederate position. soldiers from texas protected the far right on the confederate line. hood declared texans, i want you to hold this hill regardless of what transpires around you. hood trusted in the soldiers to protect the flanks of the line. but the texas trues, sensing hesitation, decided to unleash a volley of lead and then stampeded the union troops, halting any further attacks on the confederate right during the first day. thomas though remained confident after the first day's action and he wrote, our troops behaved splendidly, all taking their share and assaulting and charging the enemy's breastworks. i shall attack the enemy again tomorrow if he stands to fight. and if he retreats during the night i will pursue him, throwing a heavy cavalry force in his rear to destroy his
trains, if possible. during the night, hood ordered his soldiers to dig in a new line two miles backwards towards the south and prepare for the fight the next day. that next morning, joseph cumming had a strange memory of hood. he said, we were in the saddle by daybreak of the 16th. while we waited the house for the general to limp out and mount the ladies started to appear at the upper windows. cumming noticed that the women had recently awoken for he recalled, they held the curtains across their perpendiculars up to their chins and over those breastworks, that's his pun not mine, gave us their wishes and blessings. however, that humor quickly dissipated as the first rays of daylight gave way to war again. when thomas attacked and opened the battle with a two-hour bombardment followed by an assault with heavy double lines against the confederates at overton hill where thomas believed the confederate line was the most vulnerable.
the attack including colonel c.r. thompson's brigade of african-american troops stormed up a slope only to be swept away by musketry and grape shot. the federalists regrouped and charged again 30 miles -- excuse me, 30 yards from the confederate lines, only to be shattered by the confederate defenses. at some locations, dead men in blue lay five deep. 30% of all union casualties occurred at the assault made that day at overton hill. meanwhile, along the rest of the confederate line, matters worsened and quickly. at cha hill union artillery delivered deadly crossfire to the troops. seasonals fr . the heavy numbers of union soldiers overcame the confederate positions and stormed forward. basil duke recalled, a major on general hood's staff told me after the men commissioned leaving the line of works that every breathing thing -- man,
horse, jack, mule and dog -- all turned their faces toward the franklin pike and ran as hard as they could, everything frightened almost to death. william dudley gale, while witnessing the retreat, wrote of a woman named mary bradford who ran out under heavy fire and did all she could to induce the men to stop and fight but her appeals fell on deaf and defeated ears as the day and the dreams of getting into kentucky faded into darkness. with the confederate line broken beyond repair, the union army continued forward and drove hood from the city of nashville, forcing the confederates to leave behind 54 artillery pieces. hood lost about 4,400 men killed, wounded or missing. again, suffering several irreplaceable casualties now in the face of a stunning union victory. as the confederates departed nashville hood called out to his men, boys, the cards were fairly dealt at nashville and thomas beat the game. sergeant james stevenson of the
19th tennessee quipped back, yes, general, but the cards were damn badly shuffled. the plans that davis and beauregard had approved for the of tennessee and any hopes of success in reviving this confederate independence movement in the western theater collapsed on the frozen ground along the cumberland river. nothing could replace the thousands of dead and now dispirited soldiers who had endured hood's tennessee campaign, resulting in what war clerk john jones called an irretrievable disaster. the army of tennessee had become a ghostly resemblance of its former moments of glory. the horses who had not eaten anything for hours resembled the walking dead as they fairly staggered over the rough roads. finally after these horses rode an additional 52 highs, joseph cumming recalled, we got a scanty supply of forage for them. the country was desolate and barren and everything near the road in the way of the horse feed had been consumed by our
army during the invasion. the army of tennessee now disillusioned to the point of despair complained about their commander and longed for a day back when joseph johnston was in command. john forsythe recalled, hood's army is not worth the value of a regiment if that officer is retained in command. is a shattered debris of an army and needs careful yet vigorous handling to now hold it together. most importantly, hood's plan of reuniting with lee vanished in the midst of all of this fire and destructive lead. as the disasters of franklin and nashville reverberated throughout the south, a cloud of gloom once again settled over that general populace that had been so excited about this campaign. one citizen simply noted, it is a truly gloomy time. henry garadell called the loss at nashville simply very disturbing and with hood beaten he noted, this miserable war drags on and on. in a letter to his wife melinda,
grant taylor wrote, as to going to the cavalry i have no idea if i can get a transfer. i know i cannot get one to go with jack and if i could get one to go with wick i would have to go to the army of tennessee and be under old hood and i do not like that thought. taylor knew that as a member of the cavalry he would not only avoid the bloody engagements the infantry had faced in recent weeks but he would also get to ride a horse, especially after the hard travel many of the soldiers had endured during this campaign. others looked to blame hood not only for the loss in tennessee but also the ease with which sherman ransacked the state of georgia. william pitt chambers stated, the campaign inaugurated by general hood in september has proven the most disastrous of any we have yet sustained. chambers looked at the dual consequences of this campaign recalling, in addition to the loss of an army and its equipments, a way was opened for general sherman to march through the entire state of georgia, which he promptly did, leaving a
broad train of desolation behind him. the same level of criticism came from other soldiers. david pearson wrote a letter to his father william dated january the 11th of 1865. this letter read, i presume you have heard all the bad news that was on hand about a week ago about sherman's taking savannah and hood's defeat in tennessee. it was the worst of the war and spread gloom and dismay here btss. pearson wrote men of sense and position were freely talking on the streets of our being whipped. he concluded, such has never been the case before and it clearly shows the ominous state of affairs. we are in a bad fix and everybody knows it and feels it. if something is not done and that speedily, all must be lost. sarah wadly recalled, hood is defeated, lee threatened, the yankees are in exexalt. the insurrection they say is about to collapse.
writing to his brother asserted that hood has again been badly whipped near nashville. he wrote, i have only hope that we might get his army back again from tennessee. now i very much fear that it will be entirely destroyed. it is simply too bad, he remembered. basil duke recalled, general hood is very unpopular at present but a great many hoff certificates say if his orders had been carried out or even obeyed, tennessee would have been ours today. now, duke pointed the finger of blame at cheatham who he once again returned to the fact that cheatham had disobeyed an order at spring hill. duke proclaimed that cheatham had been ordered to attack at that place and did not do it but let the enemy pass a short distance of him. even though the army failed at nashville, duke observed that the enemy was repulsed several times with great slaughter. robert keane, who had been horrified by the nearly 3,000 wounded confederates who had to be left behind at nashville, observed that disasters have come thick and fast.
he pointed out the fearless loss left hood fleeing with the shattered remains of that unfortunate army which has never yet fought under a general nor gained a victory except the sorrowful one at chick ka walking ga. heavy casualties at franklin and nashville shattered the optimism of robert keane who had been so excited about the campaign in october, now all of that hope seemed to vanish like a flash of gunpowder. james feelen in a letter to jefferson davis in january of 1865 described the present unhappy condition of general hood's army. noting that the physical wants have been satisfied but the emotional state of the army remained in shambles. as feelen noted, its spirit and morale are simply gone. the army of tennessee had been reduced to a mere mob without spirit but out of mute us in anger and without hope or care for the future. even with this conclusion in regards to the condition of the army, feelen did not take the opportunity though to lash out
at hood. instead, he called hood a gallant, true man. deeply do i sympathize with him in his misfortunes and earnestly do i labor to sustain his palsied arm and defend his noble character, remembered feelen. hood, according to him, had continued to believe that the morale of the army had not fallen to devastating levels, as witnessed by feelen. instead of placing the blame on hood for the failure of the campaign, he concluded, hood is only human and we can all well appreciate the causes which prompt him to hope and believe better things than appear to every impartial eye and mind. truth when terrible is hard to bear. but safety abides only in its utterances. with hood's army no longer threatening to prolong the war, abraham lincoln spoke with his cabinet in washington and told a parable about a man named slocum and his bulldog. slocum was described as a certain rough, rude, and bullying man. and he possessed the same
characteristics as his bulldog, or vice versa. the two terrorized a small community in illinois and one day a neighbor came up with a plan. lincoln said, seeing slocum plodding along the road one day, his dog a little ahead, this neighbor took from his pocket a chunk of meat in which he had concealed a big charge of powder to which he had fastened a deadwood slow match. after the match had been lit, the neighbor threw the chunk of meat onto the road. the bulldog saw the meat, licked his lips, and gave one big gulp of it. after enjoying the morsel of meat the dog took a few joyous steps forward and then suddenly blew up into fragments. a four quarter lodging in the neighbor's tree. a hind quarter on the roof of a cabin. his head in one place, his tail in another, and the rest of the dog scattered all along the dusty road. when the dog's master slocum came to view the remains of his
beloved bulldog, he cried out, bill was a good dog, but as a dog i reckon his usefulness is over. heen conthen offered the moral of the story. hood's army was a good army. we have been very much afraid of it. but as an army, i reckon, its usefulness is over. with failure dashing all efforts of the tennessee campaign and a rising sentiment against his ability to command, hood decided to resign his position on january the 23rd of 1865. in his official report to davis, hood noted finding so much dissatisfaction throughout the country. hood asked to be removed with the hope that another might be assigned to command who might do more than i could, hood hoped to accomplish. hood separated from the army of tennessee at tupelo, mississippi, and returned to richmond. he departed with a farewell address saying, in taking leave of you, accept my thanks for the patience with which you have
endured your many hardships during the recent campaign. i am alone responsible for its conception and strived hard to do my duty in its execution. hood returned to richmond and constructed his official report of the campaign. to no surprise, hood's report blamed joseph johnston for his early conduct during the atlanta campaign and he blamed william hardy for the failures in the battles around atlanta once johnston had been removed. hood remembered, i was placed in command under the most trying circumstances which can surround an officer when assigned to a new and most important command. hood maintained that the position through the rest of his life, never letting go of this belief. after hood died in the post-war era an obituary writer re-examined moflt into tennessee and recalled a post-war conversation that he had had with the general. hood explained, do you know what a for lorn hope and is what the
duty and position of the officer who leads it? when the oy bit water writer acknowledged that he knew hood impressively stated, then i have nothing more to say. when word reached confederate military personnel of hood's campaign report a flurry of angry and overly dramatic correspondence erupted. a festivus of airing grievances against general hood. a few anonymous reports appeared in southern papers that blasted the tone and language of hood's official report. joseph johnston wrote to hood, after reading your report as submitted i informed general cooper i should prefer charges against you as soon as i had the leisure to do so and desired him to give you that information. william hardy wrote to john breckenridge to refute the report stating, it is well known that i felt unwilling to serve under general hood upon his accession to the command of the army of tennessee because i believed him, though a tried and gallant officer, to be unequal in both experience and natural
ability that is so important to command. he questioned hood's failure to be on the field of battle at crucial times during the war and further asserted that hood allowed an enemy superior in numbers to pass unmolested around his flank and that he failed to attack with his whole army. furthermore, he wrote, hood directly, noting, i cannot say that i am much surprised at the character of this report. my question certainly indicated that i at least suspected you to be capable of attempting to thrust another between yourself and responsibility. hardy accused hood of committing slanderous words toward a brother officer. hood replied hardy's correspondence had been filled with insults and imputations and demanded an immediate retraction of that statement. hood's report did receive abundant criticism in the newspapers. one editor hoped the confederacy could simply forget about the horrific failures at atlanta and
tennessee but that was no longer possible. general hood would not have it so, said the editor. a great part of his report consists of controversy against general johnston. it must now be at least admitted that if general hood cannot conduct a campaign, he at least could go write a pamphlet. the editor did not necessarily blame hood for the failures of the campaign, but instead blamed jefferson davis for naming him to the position in the first place. he wrote, i will be admitted further that general hood is a brave and patriotic officer, and in his proper sphere has done good service. in fact, that in all this transaction he was not so much criminal as unfortunate. but then his countrymen were more unfortunate still. while hood's name had been dear to his texas brigade when he led them through storms of fire, everything changed when he had been named by davis to command the army in an evil hour,
according to the editor, who concluded, the country sympathizes with general hood on that sinister present emotion, but desires for future if possible to be permitted to simply forget his name. in a letter to jefferson davis, governor isham harris reflected on hood's career and the reason for failure in tennessee. he wrote, i have been with general hood from the beginning of this campaign and beg to say, as disastrous as it ended, i am not able to see anything that general hood has done that he should not or neglected anything that he should have done which it was possible to do. harris not only justified hood's actions but also justified his inactions as well, commenting, indeed, the more that i have seen and known of him and his policy, the more i have been pleased with him. harris concluded, if all have performed their parts as well as hood had, the results would have been very different.
now, harris in this sort of laudatory memory of general hood here anticipated in the end that there would be a flurry of blame that would be placed on the subordinates of hood and their actions at franklin and nashville in stunning clarity that day. these phases of blame would emerge over the next several decades and even today in the modern era as the war of words began to explode upon the print landscape and the memory wars within the lost cause. thank you very much for your time today. i appreciate it. i will be happy now to as best attempt to answer any questions or thoughts that you may have. >> on? oh, yeah.
would you place address how the new book by steven hood has been received among hood scholars? >> the new book by steven hood. i got a chance to meet steven hood a few years ago. steven hood has written -- i believe it is the rise -- pete so is good at these book titles. the rise, fall, resurrection, something along those lines, of general hood. i think that as a hood scholar, and there are not many of us at all, would say that there is -- it's a big tent, right? hood is a very vibrant, illustrious personality that i think there is room for lots of different assessments. i would encourage you to read steven hood's book. it takes a very different approach to remembering john hood than wily sword has done. most of the book, as hood's medical lawyer is mostly entitled a reply to general johnston, steven hood's book is mostly a reply to wily sword. he sort of steered clear of me, he leaves me alone for the
entire book. i would encourage you to pick it up, to engage it, to see a very different side of what john bell hood is presented. hood -- steven hood is trying to go i think more to a more positive side of general hood, whereas other historians have been more on the negative side. and my belief is probably the real hood falls somewhere in between. yes, sir? >> lee elder from ohio. we are given sort of two different versions of hood early in the war. we hear about some of these sweeping movements that he proposes. he proposed one here at gettysburg. but then the two battles that you were just talking about, in that era he drives them straight ahead. do you have any idea what lengths these two individuals -- was there -- is there a reason for that or was it just the circumstances that had him change his attack? to is on to speak. >> hood always seems in the positions that he's placed in command, whether -- it always seems to be a heavily offensive
maneuver. in fact, robert e. lee calls on him, especially at gains mill, he's forced to do something important at each of these junctures early on in the war under lee's direction that results in horrific numbers of casualties but did in some ways help bring about success or blunt a unioned advancement. i think it's that sort of mantra that's part of hood's fighting dna, if you will. he believes in aggressive military maneuvers for the most part. this is why -- his whole complaint with joseph johnston during the atlanta campaign is johnston is receding ground, he's not fighting. hood claims there were several times he recommended to johnston, this is the time to attack, but johnston wasn't do it. once hood is put in command of the army he immediately attacks and attacks and attacks and this whole campaign is just another series of offensive maneuvers. i don't think hood, even until nashville, until all the disasters of franklin had happened, does he become into a point of mind where he has to be
on the defensive and then he simply has no choice. he is outnumbered 2-1 at nashville. nashville is a heavily fort tied city that has been occupied as you know by union forces since march of 1862. it is a very tough nut to crack. and it certainly wouldn't have been broken open by an offensive maneuver. so maybe it took that reality to actually change hood's sort of very aggressive fighting tactics that had sustained him through the whole war. it brought him accolades. it got him moved up the command structure. but it also led to his ultimate downfall.