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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954

Notes aid ZocKmve#ts
A ote ao the Death of John Ae! aood
T HERE are few individuals of greater military importance
to Texans than Lieutenant General John Bell Hood of
the Confederate Army. The student of Texana will find
much about the life and exploits of General Hood but little
regarding his death.1
In the summer of 1879 New Orleans was plagued with yellow
fever, a scourge which had been endemic since 1796. One of the
first cases of the year occurred in a house diagonally across from
the Hood mansion at Camp and Third Streets. Dr. S. M. Bemiss,
friend of General Hood, was consultant on the case, and as soon
as the diagnosis of yellow fever had been established, he gave this
information to Dr. T. G. Richardson, the Hood family physician,
and advised that the general and his family be moved away from
the neighborhood and suggested Old Lake End.2
For some unknown reason the Hoods elected to remain in their
house, although it was believed at that time that yellow fever
was contagious.
The next morning, July 3o, when General Hood happened to
be on the gallery of his house, he saw Dr. Bemiss passing and
called to him, inquiring whether the case across the way was
really yellow fever. The physician answered in the affirmative,
and the general is quoted as saying, "Well, doctor, if we are
taken sick, we will fall into your hands as Dr. Richardson is going
away." To which Dr. Bemiss answered, "General, I hope sincerely
that no such thing will ever occur, but should the fever get into
your large family, it can hardly be expected that all will get
well." Again the good physician advised that at least the children
be moved to a safe place. This suggestion the general proposed to
take into consideration.
'Through the co-operation of Miss Ida Richardson Hood, daughter of the
general, data relating to his death have been made available.
2Now West End.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 29, 2016.

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