The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the phrase "Sketches of Life" in the subtitle. It is sketchy indeed.
That is not to say the content, such as it is, lacks entertainment or
enlightenment. Larry L. King's poignant but often humorous recollec-
tion of his father, "The Old Man," will alone prove to be worth the
price of this book to anyone who has not read the piece before.
Waco JOHN EDWARD WEEMS
Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin. By James Lee McDonough
and Thomas L. Connelly. (Knoxville: The University of Tennes-
see Press, 1983. Pp. xiii+ 217. Foreword, acknowledgments, illus-
trations, notes, commentary on sources, index. $19.95.)
Franklin-the name evokes images of fearful slaughter. Fought on
a late fall afternoon in 1864, the battle lasted just five hours. Confed-
erate General John Bell Hood hurled two-thirds of his Army of Ten-
nessee against an entrenched Union army commanded by General
John M. Schofield. The result, in the words of a southern private, was
"a grand holocaust of death" (p. 113) that produced seven thousand
Confederate casualties, among them twelve generals. Though a
debacle at Nashville and final scenes in the Carolinas lay ahead, Frank-
lin marked the end of the Army of Tennessee as a major factor in
the war.
Thomas L. Connelly and James Lee McDonough, between them
responsible for much of the best recent work on the Army of Tennes-
see and its battles, provide a dramatic and engrossing account of
Franklin. Their discussion of the preliminaries (including the affair
at Spring Hill on November 29, which, they argue, was not a critical
lost opportunity for Hood as so often described) and aftermath of the
battle nicely complements a well-crafted narrative of the fierce combat
on November 3o. Unsparing character sketches of leaders on both
sides dot the text and stand in contrast to the authors' manifest ad-
miration for the rank and file of the Army of Tennessee.
John Bell Hood, who accused his soldiers of cowardice before he
sacrificed them at Franklin, comes under very harsh scrutiny. An emo-
tional romantic who hungered for the glory he had known in Vir-
ginia early in the war, Hood sought to emulate the success of Robert E.
Lee and Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson but lacked their intellectual
ability. His plans were fuzzy and impractical, inspired by a dreamer's
notion that the South could still carry the war into the North. Hood's
incapacity for army command is beyond question and the haste with
which he committed his infantry at Franklin unpardonable; still, the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed July 25, 2014.