On a November afternoon in 1864, the weary Gen. John Bell Hood surveyed the army waiting to attack the Federals at Franklin, Tennessee. He gave the signal almost at dusk, and the Confederates rushed forward to utter devastation. This book describes the events and causes of the five-hour battle in gripping detail, particularly focusing on the reasons for such slaughter at a time when the outcome of the war had already been decided.
The genesis of the senseless tragedy, according to McDonough and Connelly, lay in the appointment of Hood to command the Army of Tennessee. It was his decision to throw a total force of some 20,000 men into an ill-advised frontal assault against the Union troops. The Confederates made their approach, without substantial artillery support, on a level of some two miles. Why did Hood select such a catastrophic strategy? The authors analyze his reasoning in full. Their vivid and moving narrative, with statements from eyewitnesses to the battle, make compelling reading for all Civil War buffs and historians.
James Lee McDonough is Justin Potter Professor of History at David-Lipscomb College and is the author of Shiloh and Stones River.
Thomas L. Connelly, professor of history at the university of South Carolina, is the author of Army of the Heartland, The Marble Man, and Autumn of Glory, a two-volume history of the Army of Tennessee