Appointed to West Point by his congressman uncle. Hood reported on July 1,1849. He graduated forty-fifth in a class of fifty-five and was sent to the Fourth Infantry Regiment, stationed in California. Assigned to the Second Cavalry Regiment in Texas in 1855 with Lee and George Thomas.
16, 1861 Hood resigns from the Union Army and four days later was commissioned First Lieutenant in Confederate cavalry. He reported to Lee in Virginia who promoted him to Major. In October of the same year he was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Fourth Texas Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia. He was known for being aggressive in battle and again promoted to Brigadier General in March 1862 in command of the Texas Brigade. In October 1862 he received a promotion to Major General and given division command under Longstreet.
On July 2, 1863 he was wounded in the arm at Gettysburg. He was on convalescence leave until his return to his division command en route to Chattanooga on September 5, 1863.
John Hood was a hero at the Battle of Chickamauga. He was reported dead on the battle field on September 20 but surgeons were able to save him. His right leg was amputated. He recuperated in Atlanta for two months.
Promoted to Lieutenant General by Davis February 2, 1864 with date of rank from September 20, 1863, the date he fell at Chickamauga. He reported later in the month to the to take command of Second Corps, Army of Tennessee and served under Johnson.
His policy was taking the offensive at any cost, General John B. Hood brought his reduced army before the defenses of Nashville, where it was repulsed by General George H. Thomas on December 15-16 1864, in the most complete victory of the war.
The Atlanta Campaign spring of 1864
June 22 : Hood attacks at Kolb Farm, halting Sherman's attempt to bypass Kennesaw.
July 17 : After extended skirmishes and withdrawals around the Chattahoochee River and Peachtree Creek, President Jefferson Davis relieves Johnston of command and places Hood in charge with the rank of full General. In a meeting with his men, Sherman instructs them to expect an attack at any moment, given Hood's aggressive nature.
July 20 : Hood attacks and loses at Peachtree Creek
July 22 : Hood attacks the Federal left at Atlanta and loses. General McPherson dies.
July 28 : Hood attacks and loses at Ezra Church
Aug. 31 : September 1- Hood attacks at Jonesboro and loses.
May 31, 1865 Surrenders at Natchez, Mississippi and is paroled.
After the war Hood takes up residence in New Orleans where he fails in attempts to earn a living in the cotton and insurance industries. He visits Washington where he tries to sell his war stories, this is also unsuccessful. He married Anna Marie Hennen in April 1868. They have 13 children (three sets of twins) in eleven years of marriage.
General John B. Hood dies of Yellow Fever August 30, 1879.
Fort Hood Texas is named for the Confederate general who was almost court-martialed.
John Bell Hood was saved from court-martial and restored to command by the loyalty he inspired in the Texans he led.
The incident was during Second Manassas and Hood had risen to command a "half division," the Texas Brigade and another. During the battle, his Texans captured some field ambulances from the federals. He was ordered to turn the ambulances over to another unit. Having no ambulances of his own, he refused. He was relieved of command and was following in the rear of his half division as it marched towards Antietam. General Robert E. Lee was watching the march. As the Texas Brigade passed the Confederate leader, the Texans let Lee know in no uncertain terms that they wanted Hood in command in the coming battle.
Lee made one last effort to "save face" for the general who had ordered Hood to give up the ambulances. He told the Texas general that if he would apologize to the man whose order he had refused he would be restored to command. Hood refused to apologize, but Lee gave him back his command anyway.
Antietam was possibly the bloodiest battle of the war for the Texas Brigade. After the battle Hood was asked where his division was. His reply: "dead in the field." More than half the men of the brigade were killed or wounded in the battle.
Hood was in direct command of the Texas Brigade — known then and now as Hood's Texas Brigade — less than six months. But he commanded the 4th Texas Infantry Regiment — part of the brigade — from the time Texas seceded until he became commander of the brigade and the brigade continued as a part of his command as he rose to leadership of a "half division" and then a division. The Texans were still part of his command when he lost a leg at Chickamauga and was unable to continue as a field commander.
The ambulance incident was neither the first nor the last time that Hood did not exactly follow the orders he had been given. The first action of the Texans, while Hood commanded the 4th Texas Infantry is an example.
At Elthem's Landing on the York River, May 7, 1861, a force of federals estimated at three to five thousand disembarked from gunboats.
Hood's orders were to "feel the enemy gently and fall back, avoiding an engagement, and draw them away from the protection of their gunboats…"
Hood found the federals already away from the protection of their gunboats and attacked — driving them back a mile and one half until they were again under the protection of the boats.
His Texans killed or wounded 300 and captured 126. The Texans loss was 37 killed or wounded.
General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate forces, said, "General Hood, you have given an illustration of the Texas idea of feeling the enemy gently and falling back. What would you Texans have done, sir, if I had ordered you to charge and drive back the enemy?"
Hood replied, "I suppose, general, they would have driven them into the river and tried to swim out and capture the gunboats."
He got off with a mild reprimand to the effect that soldiers are suppose to obey orders.
Lee thought highly of Hood's Texas Brigade. In a letter to a Texas member of the Confederate Congress, urging that more troops be raised in Texas, he wrote:
"I rely on those we have in tight places and fear that I have to call on them too often. They have fought grandly and nobly…With a few more, as an example of daring and bravery, I could feel more confident of the campaign."
On another occasion the Texas Brigade was passing in review to honor a visiting British colonel. The visitor noticed that the wear and tear of months in the field had taken the seat of almost every Texan's trousers. Some had patched them, but a good many more hadn't.
"Never mind their raggedness, Colonel. The enemy never sees the back of my Texans," said Lee.
The men in the regiment he first commanded — the 4th Texas Infantry — were from this area. Company E was recruited from Waco and McLennan County; Co. B from San Antonio and Bexar County.
When he was wounded at Chickamauga, Hood's last order to the Texas Brigade was in the spirit of the proud command.
"Go ahead and stay ahead of everything."
Nashville: The Western Confederacy's Final Gamble
Adequately mapped and illustrated, the read was an enjoyable one. The author was more than fair and accurate in his assessment of Hood who mismanaged, waisted and destroyed the superb Army of Tennessee, in effect throwing away the Confederacy's most viable hope
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