Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Sam Hood and “The Lost Papers of John Bell Hood”

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 10, 2016

Next Thursday, May 19, is the final meeting of the 2015-16 campaign season for the Houston Civil War Round Table. It will be a special evening, with two special guests.

HoodPapersStephen M. “Sam” Hood will be the main speaker for the evening, presenting on “The Lost Papers of John Bell Hood.” This collection of 200-plus documents sheds important light on some of the war’s lingering mysteries and controversies. For example, letters from Confederate officers help explain Hood’s failure to entrap Schofield’s Union army at Spring Hill, Tennessee, on November 29, 1864. Another letter by Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee helps to explain Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne’s gallant but reckless conduct that resulted in his death at Franklin. Lee also lodges serious allegations against Confederate Maj. Gen. William Bate’s troops. Other papers explain, for the first time, the purpose and intent behind Hood’s “controversial” memoir Advance and Retreat, and validate its contents. While these and others offer a military perspective of Hood the general, the revealing letters between he and Anna, his beloved and devoted wife, help us better understand Hood — the man and husband.

In addition, the HCWRT will present its annual Frank E. Vandiver Award of Merit, in recognition of an individual or an organization making a substantial contribution to the preservation of Civil War heritage. The Vandiver Award is named for the late Civil War historian and former President of Texas A&M University, the University of North Texas, and Rice University, who also was one of the earliest members of the HCWRT. This year, the Vandiver award will be presented to Eric A. Jacobson, Chief Executive Officer and Historian for the Battle of Franklin Trust, which manages the Carter House and Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee.

The HCWRT meets at the Hess Club, with a meet-and-greet beginning at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. Spaces are available for the meeting, but reservations are required. Costs are $30 for dinner and speaker, and $10 for the speaker/presentation only. E-mail Don Zuckero at Reservations-at-HoustonCivilWar-dot-com by 6:00 p.m. the Monday preceding the Thursday meeting (i.e., by the 16th). The Hess Club’s address is 5430 Westheimer, a short distance west of the Galleria. The club is situated on the corner of Westheimer Way and Westheimer Court. Free, convenient, and handicap-accessible parking is across the street.

Preliminary speaker schedule for the 2016-17 Campaign Season:

Sep. 15, 2016, Wayne Mott: “Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg: A Fresh Perspective”
Oct. 18, 2016, A. Wilson Greene: “Civil War Petersburg” (Note: This is a TUESDAY Night!)
Nov. 17, 2016, Susannah J. Ural: “Hood’s Boys”
Dec. 8, 2016, Donald S. Frazier: “Blood on the Bayou: Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and the Trans-Mississippi”
Jan. 19, 2017, Edwin C. Bearss: “The Camden Expedition and Battle of Jenkin’s Ferry, AR”
Feb. 16, 2017, Edward H. Bonekemper III: “The Myth of the Lost Cause”
Mar. 16, 2017, Brian Steel Wills: “George Thomas at Nashville”
Apr. 20, 2017, Elizabeth R. Varon: “Legacies of Appomattox: Lee’s Surrender in History and Memory”


See you there.





7 Responses

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  1. Jim McGhee said, on May 11, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    That is a meeting I would love to attend. Unfortunately, Houston is a long way from mid-Missouri.

  2. woodrowfan said, on May 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    one of my great-great* grandfathers fought under Hood. he HATED him. He worshiped Johnston though.

    * never remember if it’s 2 or 3 greats.

    • Andy Hall said, on May 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Really? One of my ancestors in the Texas Brigade, who witnessed Hood’s wounding at Chickamauga, seems to have held him in high regard. But he (the relative) was captured at the end of 1863. Soldiers who served under Hood during the Atlanta and Franklin Campaigns might well have had a starkly different view of the man.

      • woodrowfan said, on May 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

        yeah, my great-great lost a brother at Franklin. He buried him on the battlefield later.

        • Andy Hall said, on May 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          That would make a huge difference, I think. Soldiers will despise a commander they believe will throw their lives away.

  3. Mel Tenorio said, on May 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Andy, I’ve been watching these lectures over the past view days. Very interesting. Some of your other blog followers might enjoy it. Open Yale Courses | The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 | | | | | |


    | | | | Open Yale Courses | The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The… | |



  4. Shoshana Bee said, on May 18, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Hi Andy,

    I am really late to the party here, but I just learned a bit more about the “The Lost Papers of John Bell Hood” quite accidentally, by watching a video on the 1864 Atlanta Campaign (as presented by Richard McMurry). My goal was to understand the difference between Johnston and Hood (which I did learn) but there was a bonus commentary about the Lost papers, which immediately piqued my interest. What a trove this sounds to be. I can imagine that it would be any historian’s dream to get that call: “I found a box of paperwork that you might be interested in”. Another quest to add to the list of quests: Learn more about the Lost Papers of John Bell Hood.

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