The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville

Open Road Media
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The rise of Civil War general John Bell Hood, his command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, and the decisions that led to its downfall.

Though he barely escaped expulsion from West Point, John Bell Hood quickly rose through the ranks of the Confederate army. With bold leadership in the battles of Gaines’ Mill and Antietam, Hood won favor with Confederate president Jefferson Davis. But his fortunes in war took a tragic turn when he assumed command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
 
After the fall of Atlanta, Hood marched his troops north in an attempt to draw Union army general William T. Sherman from his devastating “March to the Sea.” But the ploy proved ruinous for the South. While Sherman was undeterred from his scorched-earth campaign, Hood and his troops charged headlong into catastrophe.
 
In this compelling account, Wiley Sword illustrates the poor command decisions and reckless pride that made a disaster of the Army of Tennessee’s final campaign. From Spring Hill, where they squandered an early advantage, Hood and his troops launched an ill-fated attack on the neighboring town of Franklin. The disastrous battle came to be known as the “Gettysburg of the West.” But worse was to come as Hood pressed on to Nashville, where his battered troops suffered the worst defeat of the entire war.
 
Winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award for best work of nonfiction about the Civil War, The Confederacy’s Last Hurrah chronicles the destruction of the South’s second largest army. “Narrated with brisk attention to the nuances of strategy—and with measured solemnity over the waste of life in war,” it is a groundbreaking work of scholarship told with authority and compassion (Kirkus Reviews).
 
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About the author

Wiley Sword (1937–2015) was an award-winning author and historian. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Sword spent six decades amassing one of the nation’s most extensive private collections of Civil War memorabilia. He wrote many books on the subject, including The Confederacy’s Last Hurrah: Spring Hill,Franklin, andNashville (1992), which won the Fletcher Pratt Award for best work of nonfiction about the Civil War, Mountains Touched with Fire: Chattanooga Besieged, 1863 (1995), and Southern Invincibility: A History of the Confederate Heart (1999). President Washington’s Indian War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1790–1795 (1985) was nominated for the Pulitzer, Parkman, Bancroft, and Western Heritage Prizes. In 2015, Sword’s collection of more than one thousand soldiers’ letters and other artifacts was acquired by the Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Virginia. 
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 28, 2017
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Pages
499
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ISBN
9781504042901
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / Military / Strategy
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Gettysburg is one of the most famous and studied battles of history, and Pickett’s Charge, its climax on the third day, continues to fascinate a new generation of readers. Most accounts of the grand assault focus on General Robert E. Lee’s reasons for making the charge, its preparation, organization, and ultimate failure. Author David Shultz, however, in “Double Canister at Ten Yards”: The Federal Artillery and the Repulse of Pickett’s Charge, July 3, 1863, focuses his examination on how and why the Union long-arm beat back the Confederate foot soldiers. After two days of heavy fighting on July 1 and 2, 1863, the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. General George G. Meade, correctly surmised General Lee would remain on the offensive on July 3 and strike the Union center on Cemetery Ridge. Meade informed Maj. Gen. Winfield Hancock, whose infantry lined the ridge, that his sector would bear the brunt on the morrow and to prepare accordingly. Meade also warned to his capable chief of artillery, Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt, and tasked him with preparing his guns to deal with the approaching assault. Shultz, who has studied Gettysburg for decades and walked every yard of its hallowed ground, uses official reports, letters, diaries, and other accounts to meticulously explain how Hunt and his officers and men worked tirelessly that night and well into July 3 to organize a lethal package of orchestrated destruction to greet Lee’s vaunted infantry in an effort that would be hailed by many historians as “The High Water Mark of the Confederacy.” The war witnessed many large scale assaults and artillery bombardments, but no example of defensive gunnery was more destructive than the ring of direct frontal and full-flank enfilading fire Hunt’s batteries unleashed upon Lee’s assaulting columns. The iron rain broke and drove back the massed attack within a short time, leaving a fraction of the attacking force to cross the Emmitsburg Road to scale the deadly Ridge. “Double Canister at Ten Yards” will change the way you look at Pickett’s Charge, and leave you wondering yet again why an officer as experienced and gifted as General Lee ordered it in the first place.
Originally published in 1909, this biography by Isabel Wallace recounts the life of her adoptive father, the little-recognized William Hervy Lamme Wallace, the highest-ranking Union officer to fall at the battle of Shiloh.


Born in 1821 in Ohio, Wallace and his family moved to Illinois in 1834, where he was educated at Rock Springs Seminary in Mount Morris. On his way to study law with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in 1844, Wallace was persuaded by local attorney T. Lyle Dickey, a close friend of Lincoln, to join his practice in Ottawa instead. Wallace eventually married Dickey’ s daughter, Martha Ann, in 1851.


When the Civil War broke out, both Wallace and Dickey immediately volunteered for service with the Eleventh Illinois, which assembled in Springfield. Wallace was elected as the unit’ s colonel; a successful lawyer, a friend of President Lincoln, a generation older than most privates, and an officer with Mexican War experience, he was entirely suited for such command. Wallace was appointed brigadier general for his performance at Fort Donelson, the first notable Union victory in the Civil War. Wallace’ s troops had saved the day, although the Eleventh Illinois had lost nearly two-thirds of its men. He then moved with his troops to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, where Confederates launched a surprise attack on the forces of Major General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh Church on Sunday, April 6, 1862. Wallace, who held only temporary command of one of Grant’ s six divisions, fought bravely but was mortally wounded as he began to withdraw his men on the afternoon of the battle. His wife, who had arrived at Pittsburg Landing by steamer on the day of the battle, was at his side when he died three days later. Grant praised Wallace in 1868 as “ the equal of the best, if not the very best, of the Volunteer Generals with me at the date of his death.”


Isabel Wallace traces her father’ s life from his upbringing in Ottawa through his education, his service in the Mexican War, his law practice, his courtship of and marriage to her mother, and his service in the Eleventh Illinois until his mortal injury at Shiloh. She also details his funeral and her and her mother’ s life in the postwar years. Based on the copious letters and family papers of the general and his wife, the biography also provides historical information on federal politics of the period, including commentary on Lincoln’ s campaign and election and on state politics, especially regarding T. Lyle Dickey, Wallace’ s father-in-law and law partner, prominent Illinois politician, and associate of Lincoln. It is illustrated with fifteen black-and-white halftones.

Includes Civil War Map and Illustrations Pack – 224 battle plans, campaign maps and detailed analyses of actions spanning the entire period of hostilities.

“When John Bell Hood entered into the services of the Confederate Army, he was 29 years old, a handsome man and courageous soldier, loyal to the ideal of Confederate Independence and eager to fight for it. He led his men bravely into the battles of Second Manassas, Gaines’s Mill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. He rose fast, attaining the temporary rank of full general, only to fall faster. Hood emerged from the war with his left arm shattered and useless, his right leg missing, his face aged far beyond his 33 years, and with his military reputation in disgrace. Blamed by contemporaries for contributing to the defeat of his beloved Confederacy, Hood struggled to refute their accusations. His most vehement critic, General Johnston, charged Hood with insubordination while serving under him and, after succeeding him in command, of recklessly leading Confederate troops to their “slaughter” and “useless butchery.” Sherman, too, in his Memoirs, took a harsh view of Hood. Born of controversy, Advance and Retreat is of course a highly controversial book. It is also full of invaluable information and insights into the retreat from Dalton in early 1864, the fighting around Atlanta, and the disastrous Tennessee Campaign in winter of that year. Far from being a careful, sober, objective account, this book is the passionate, bitter attempt of a soldier to rebut history’s judgment of himself as general and man.”-Print ed.
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