Hood Resigns

January 23, 1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis accepted the resignation of General John Bell Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Replacing Hood was Lieutenant General Richard Taylor.

Confederate General J.B. Hood | Image Credit: Flickr.com

Confederate General J.B. Hood | Image Credit: Flickr.com

The Confederate armies of Hood and Taylor belonged to the Military Division of the West, commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard. Beauregard had left Charleston, South Carolina on New Year’s Eve to personally inspect Hood’s army after recent defeats at Nashville and Franklin. En route, President Davis instructed Beauregard to relieve Hood from command if necessary.[1]

Communications problems in the Confederacy meant that southerners knew little about the Battles of Franklin or Nashville besides reports in northern newspapers calling them tremendous Federal victories. As Beauregard traveled west to Hood’s new camp at Tupelo, Mississippi, he received suspicious reports from Hood downplaying the defeats, including an old message from the day after the Battle of Nashville stating, “Our loss in killed and wounded is very small.” Hood sent another message asserting, “Our exact loss in prisoners I have not been able to ascertain, but do not think it great.”[2]

Confederate suspicions were confirmed on January 13 when Hood telegraphed Secretary of War James Seddon: “I respectfully request to be relieved from the command of this army.” Seddon replied two days later: “Your request is complied with… Report to the War Department in Richmond.” Hood had originally been given command to stop William T. Sherman’s advance into Georgia, but he had shattered his own army in several significant defeats. This ended Hood’s checkered military career.[3]

The same day that Seddon accepted Hood’s resignation, Beauregard arrived in Tupelo and took temporary command. He found the army in even worse condition than he had feared. The once-formidable Army of Tennessee had dwindled to less than 15,000 men, nearly all of whom lacked adequate food, clothing, or shoes.[4]

Ten days after Hood resigned, Taylor absorbed the Army of Tennessee into his military Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana while Beauregard later took command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. President Davis hoped that Taylor and Beauregard could rally enough Confederates to stop Sherman’s advance into the Carolinas, but by that time the cause was all but lost.[5]

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  • [1] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 15836-15846; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 618-19
  • [2] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 15816-15836
  • [3] Nevin, David, Sherman’s March: Atlanta to the Sea (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1983), p. 144; Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 15836-15846; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 623-24
  • [4] Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 15836-15846; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 623-24
  • [5] Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 628; Nevin, David, Sherman’s March: Atlanta to the Sea (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1983), p. 144; Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (Vintage Civil War Library, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Kindle Edition, 2011-01-26), Kindle Locations 16079-16089
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One thought on “Hood Resigns

  1. […] General John Bell Hood submitted his resignation as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. […]

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