Book Chat
For Cause & For Country
A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin
Eric A. Jacobson and Richard A. Rupp

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 02/05/07 and covered Chapter 2.  This discussion was participated in by "Eric A. Jacobson", one of the authors of the book.

2/5/2007 8:02 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the weekly Book Chat. Tonight we will be discussing For Cause & For Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin Tonight's discussion will be focused on Chapter 2, The March To the Ohio. It's also great to have the author of the book Eric A. Jacobson joining us tonight. Please refrain from using the PM function during the chat.

2/5/2007 8:03 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:04 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Widow.

2/5/2007 8:05 pm (et) Widow: Eric, early in Chap. 2 you said that Hood seemed unsure of his plans and destination. I thought he'd had enough experience to know better. What was going on?

2/5/2007 8:06 pm (et) EricJacobson: Widow - a question with the potential for a long answer....

2/5/2007 8:06 pm (et) Widow: Then a short question. Why didn't he tell Beauregard of his route changes?

2/5/2007 8:07 pm (et) EricJacobson: Because he really didn't have to tell Beauregard anything. Davis sets Beauregard almost like a puppet to be ignored.

2/5/2007 8:08 pm (et) ole: Doesn't sound very cooperative.

2/5/2007 8:08 pm (et) EricJacobson: As for Hood being unsure of what to do, after Sherman cuts the chase short after crossing the Alabama line, Hood has a choice to make. Eventually he settles on going into Middle Tennessee via Florence.

2/5/2007 8:09 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, as a follow up on Hood, Just how well did Hood know the area he was marching through??

2/5/2007 8:09 pm (et) EricJacobson: I think Hood must have been just annoyed by having to deal with Beauregard

2/5/2007 8:09 pm (et) EricJacobson: I don't think Hood was familiar with northern Alabama at all

2/5/2007 8:10 pm (et) ole: He seems to have been familiar with where he could cross the Tennessee.

2/5/2007 8:11 pm (et) Widow: That annoyance went both ways, according to your quote from PGTB.

2/5/2007 8:11 pm (et) EricJacobson: He was familiar with points to cross, but not whether they were "crossable" or not

2/5/2007 8:11 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:12 pm (et) EricJacobson: That is why Hood keeps jumping west, looking for a good spot to cross

2/5/2007 8:12 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Widow.

2/5/2007 8:12 pm (et) EricJacobson: Oh I think PGTB was annoyed by Hood tremendously. It's just a bad situation, thanks to Davis.

2/5/2007 8:12 pm (et) Widow: Eric, what was the relationship between Hood and Forrest?

2/5/2007 8:13 pm (et) Widow: I mean their attitudes, not their positions.

2/5/2007 8:13 pm (et) EricJacobson: To be honest, there is no relationship prior to Oct '64. Frankly, Hood uses Forrest very well going into Tennessee. Hood allows Forrest latitude, which is when Forrest is best.

2/5/2007 8:15 pm (et) Widow: I was wondering about rival egos, snot-nosed kid vs. experienced old gent.

2/5/2007 8:16 pm (et) EricJacobson: I guess I don't quite understand your "kid" and "gent" representations

2/5/2007 8:17 pm (et) Widow: Sorry. Hood was younger than Forrest, wasn't he? I wondered if Forrest thought Hood was too young to be in command.

2/5/2007 8:18 pm (et) ole: Or if he bore any resentment towards West Pointers?

2/5/2007 8:18 pm (et) EricJacobson: Forrest never said much of anything about what he thought of Hood. Others have embellished alot of stuff over the years, but nothing that can be attributed to Forrest. As for age, can't answer that question.

2/5/2007 8:19 pm (et) EricJacobson: I think Forrest bore resentment toward ANYONE he didn't think was doing a good job

2/5/2007 8:19 pm (et) Widow: OK, thx, Eric.

2/5/2007 8:19 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, This is from ks. She loved the reference you made about the Missouri boys and how they "enjoyed" marching in that weather. Could you relate just how important they were to the fighting effectiveness of the AoT at this juncture of the war?

2/5/2007 8:19 pm (et) ole: ?

2/5/2007 8:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Forrest was 10 years older than Hood

2/5/2007 8:20 pm (et) EricJacobson: I think Cockrell's Missourians were the elite brigade in the A of T. I'd take them any day of the week, against anybody.

2/5/2007 8:21 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Ole.

2/5/2007 8:21 pm (et) ole: Were any of Forrest's lieutenants West Pointers?

2/5/2007 8:21 pm (et) ole: Or even experience military men pre-war.

2/5/2007 8:23 pm (et) EricJacobson: Division commander William H. Jackson was a West Pointer

2/5/2007 8:24 pm (et) EricJacobson: Brigade commander Frank Armstrong had military experience; he even fought for the North at 1st Bull Run

2/5/2007 8:24 pm (et) ole: Tnx

2/5/2007 8:25 pm (et) EricJacobson: Division commander Abe Buford was a West Point grad, too

2/5/2007 8:26 pm (et) Widow: Fighting for the other side is an unusual way to get military experience.

2/5/2007 8:26 pm (et) Basecat: Wasn't Abe Buford related to John Buford of Gettysburg fame?

2/5/2007 8:27 pm (et) EricJacobson: He also had pre-war military experience

2/5/2007 8:27 pm (et) EricJacobson: As far as I know the Bufords were not related

2/5/2007 8:27 pm (et) Widow: John Buford was from Kentucky, I believe Abe was a half-brother or cousin.

2/5/2007 8:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Abe was John's cousin

2/5/2007 8:28 pm (et) EricJacobson: Armstrong even graduated from Holy Cross (what a Yankee)

2/5/2007 8:28 pm (et) Babs: I appreciated the mini bios of the participants.

2/5/2007 8:29 pm (et) ole: Yes, just enough without approaching tedious.

2/5/2007 8:29 pm (et) Widow: Yes, it gives them faces. Not just buttons and braid.

2/5/2007 8:30 pm (et) Babs: Now if you could just color code the text to help me keep track of who is on which side.

2/5/2007 8:31 pm (et) Widow: Babs, that what markers are for. And Order of Battle.

2/5/2007 8:31 pm (et) Widow: I mean marking pens.

2/5/2007 8:31 pm (et) EricJacobson: Any other book questions?

2/5/2007 8:31 pm (et) Babs: Write in a book?!?!? I couldn't.

2/5/2007 8:32 pm (et) Widow: I make my notes with a pencil. Esp. to identify the generals. States where towns are. All the towns have the same three names.

2/5/2007 8:33 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:33 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, While reading this today, I can just imagine the logistics problems Hood must have had during the march. You made mention of the men eating a few scant biscuits on some days, and that trying to get forage for the horses was next to impossible. Just how did Hood try to keep his army supplied while on the march North?

2/5/2007 8:33 pm (et) Widow: My question too, Basecat.

2/5/2007 8:35 pm (et) EricJacobson: Simple answer - as best he could. The supply system was a mess. Once he pushed up to Franklin they could use some of the Nashville & Decatur Railroad, but overall the whole situation is really unbelievable

2/5/2007 8:36 pm (et) EricJacobson: I have read accounts where Rebs were eating sorghum, acorns, raw pork, crackers, whatever. Same with the Yankees. But the Yanks did have one thing many Rebs didn't. Coffee and cigars. :)

2/5/2007 8:36 pm (et) Widow: Lo-cal and lo-carb.

2/5/2007 8:37 pm (et) Babs: Why did they eat raw pork? because they were moving and couldn't stop to cook?

2/5/2007 8:37 pm (et) Basecat: It's amazing to me, even after the defeats in and out of Atlanta, which were disastrous, and yet from reading today I don't notice that the morale in the AoT did not really sag. Guess it is more of a statement than a question, as the intestinal fortitude that Army had is unreal, and yet they really did not have much to show for their efforts to stay in tact as much as they did.

2/5/2007 8:38 pm (et) amhistoryguy: ?

2/5/2007 8:38 pm (et) EricJacobson: On Nov 22, 23, and 24, in particular, the Rebs were in an area that was nearly devoid of any trees. No wood for fire for many men, Just cramming into their mouths whatever they had.

2/5/2007 8:39 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead AMHG.

2/5/2007 8:39 pm (et) EricJacobson: One thing Hood has never gotten credit for. When the Southerners pushed into Middle Tennessee the morale of the men went up.

2/5/2007 8:39 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Considering lack of supply, poor weather, etc. Was consideration ever given to going into camp and waiting to launch a spring offensive?

2/5/2007 8:40 pm (et) EricJacobson: Things weren't good, but many felt they were at least moving in the right direction, so to speak

2/5/2007 8:40 pm (et) EricJacobson: AMHG - no thought at all. The Yankees had a full court press on. Sherman and Grant were not going to stop because of the weather and the Rebels largely knew it,

2/5/2007 8:41 pm (et) EricJacobson: Hood, Davis, even Beauregard, felt the time was now

2/5/2007 8:42 pm (et) Widow: Yes, Eric, you mentioned they were looking for a stunning victory before everything collapsed.

2/5/2007 8:43 pm (et) EricJacobson: They were hoping against hope

2/5/2007 8:44 pm (et) ole: With Lee all but bottled up and Sherman gaily traipsing through Georgia, there wasn't much time for Hood to go into winter camp.

2/5/2007 8:44 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:45 pm (et) Basecat: I found it interesting, when Hood wrote about the campaign after the war, he actually felt he could pick up more men in TN and KY, especially KY because they were even more dissatisfied with the Union than they were when Bragg had the same thoughts when he invaded North back in 1862. Am glad you added that passage from his memoirs when he was describing what he thought he could accomplish.

2/5/2007 8:45 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Widow.

2/5/2007 8:46 pm (et) Widow: In planning this big offensive, were they hoping it would help defeat Lincoln before the election?

2/5/2007 8:47 pm (et) EricJacobson: No - I don't think that was a consideration. Hood didn't even get to Florence until a few days before the election.

2/5/2007 8:47 pm (et) EricJacobson: He was simply trying to bag Nashville and run the rails from there

2/5/2007 8:47 pm (et) Widow: Thx.

2/5/2007 8:48 pm (et) EricJacobson: Did someone have a question from last week about the cover?

2/5/2007 8:49 pm (et) Widow: Several people wondered if the crackling was part of the original photos or was it added for the antiquing effect?

2/5/2007 8:50 pm (et) EricJacobson: Crackling effect was added. The original photos are immaculately clear black and whites from the early 1880's

2/5/2007 8:50 pm (et) Widow: Also, are the soldier silhouettes part of the original photo?

2/5/2007 8:50 pm (et) Widow: Ok, there's my answer. Thx.

2/5/2007 8:51 pm (et) EricJacobson: No the silhouettes were added.

2/5/2007 8:51 pm (et) Babs: Are they from a different photo or made up?

2/5/2007 8:52 pm (et) ole: And the view's from Privet Knob looking south.

2/5/2007 8:53 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:53 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, I also liked your description of General Bate, and his attitudes. Are there any book length biographies of him out there?

2/5/2007 8:54 pm (et) Basecat: Type away Widow.

2/5/2007 8:54 pm (et) EricJacobson: I believe the view is from Privet Knob or darn close to it. You can see Columbia Pike coming between Winstead and Breezy Hills in the distance

2/5/2007 8:54 pm (et) Widow: Eric, about Forrest's cavalry. He rode all over the place. By 1864, was he facing the same supply and refit problems as the ANV cavalry?

2/5/2007 8:55 pm (et) EricJacobson: No good bios of Bate. One needs to be written, though. He's quite a character, one of those who I have come to really not like to be honest.

2/5/2007 8:56 pm (et) EricJacobson: I am no expert on ANV problems, but Forrest was facing what everyone in the Western Theater was dealing with

2/5/2007 8:57 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 8:57 pm (et) Basecat: Will just add...I tend to think Forrest was different. By that I mean, he seemed to always get supplies in the raids he made even at this juncture of the war. Eric told about the haul he made in the raid on Johnsonville.

2/5/2007 8:58 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Widow.

2/5/2007 8:59 pm (et) EricJacobson: He did grab some booty at Johnsonville for sure

2/5/2007 8:59 pm (et) Widow: Sorry. Pass me by, please.

2/5/2007 9:00 pm (et) ole: Horses had to have been his toughest problem. He didn't mind arming his troops from US supply dumps and seemed to have no lack of recruits.

2/5/2007 9:02 pm (et) Widow: ?

2/5/2007 9:02 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, Your thoughts on the job Thomas did at this time of the Campaign?? IMHO, he was put into a very bad position and yet seemed to have some sort of grasp on the situation.

2/5/2007 9:03 pm (et) EricJacobson: I think Thomas did a superb job. He didn't overreact, kept things in perspective, etc. In my opinion he is the most unappreciated Union general.

2/5/2007 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: Widow's ? will be the last for this evening, as our time is almost up. Go ahead Widow.

2/5/2007 9:05 pm (et) Widow: Was the National Tribune a southern publication? Or northern?

2/5/2007 9:06 pm (et) EricJacobson: Glad you asked. Northern veterans newspaper, weekly release. Later becomes Stars and Stripes. It is without question the greatest untapped Civil War resource.

2/5/2007 9:06 pm (et) EricJacobson: It began about 10 years before Confederate Veteran so it has some early stuff in it

2/5/2007 9:07 pm (et) ole: Website?

2/5/2007 9:07 pm (et) Widow: Gordon Rhea cited it in one of his books on the Overland Campaign.

2/5/2007 9:07 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Ole.

2/5/2007 9:08 pm (et) ole: Already asked. Is there a website?

2/5/2007 9:08 pm (et) Basecat: Just wanted those who do not know, Eric will be one of our Guides at the Muster in TN this June.

2/5/2007 9:08 pm (et) EricJacobson: A website for the Tribune - no. It is only available on microfilm.

2/5/2007 9:09 pm (et) Widow: Ya-a-ay!

2/5/2007 9:09 pm (et) Widow: I mean, Huzzah!

2/5/2007 9:09 pm (et) EricJacobson: Thanks everyone

2/5/2007 9:09 pm (et) ole: Thank you.

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) EricJacobson: Goodnight

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) Basecat: Thank you Eric. I know all appreciate that you could spend an hour plus answering our questions.

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) Babs: I thought the Ya-a-ay was in reference to the microfilm.

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) Widow: I'll read it for the third time, just before the muster.

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) Babs: Yes thank you

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Good night Eric

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) Widow: Naw, Babs. for Eric's being our guide.

2/5/2007 9:10 pm (et) ole: Thought you were going to read up on Stone's River. Or was that someone else?

2/5/2007 9:11 pm (et) Babs: Base, I have a procedural question.

2/5/2007 9:11 pm (et) EricJacobson: logs off.

2/5/2007 9:11 pm (et) Widow: Well, ole, since we're hitting both places, I'll read up on both. I have Shelby Foote on Stone's River, but that's about all.

2/5/2007 9:12 pm (et) Basecat: Go ahead Babs.

2/5/2007 9:13 pm (et) Babs: My gggrandfather was in the 8th Mich Cal and in the action described in tonight's reading. If I were to type of his description (from his pension records) would it be appropriate for me to post them here?

2/5/2007 9:14 pm (et) Basecat: Of course it would be. :)

2/5/2007 9:15 pm (et) Widow: That would be so neat, Babs. What a wonderful treasure to have such into.

2/5/2007 9:15 pm (et) Babs: I will try to do that and maybe put them up just before next week's chat.

2/5/2007 9:16 pm (et) Babs: He was my intro to the CW. Saw a little flag on his grave and wondered what was up with that.

2/5/2007 9:16 pm (et) Basecat: Babs.. If you do so...I will copy and paste it right before the chat so all can see it without having to go to the scroll to find it.

2/5/2007 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: Or you could e-mail it to me, and I can post in here that way as well.

2/5/2007 9:17 pm (et) Babs: Ok that will work. Maybe I will just email it to you and you can insert it where you want.

2/5/2007 9:17 pm (et) Babs: oh. See you had the same idea.

2/5/2007 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: That's AOK with me. :) And I will post it.

2/5/2007 9:19 pm (et) Basecat: As for homework for next week...Am thinking just Chapter 3, as Chapter 4 is about 70 pages. Your thoughts?

2/5/2007 9:19 pm (et) Widow: Babs, I think your GG grandfather would be proud and happy to know that his service and suffering haven't been lost and forgotten.

2/5/2007 9:19 pm (et) ole: Suits me BC.

2/5/2007 9:19 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Chapter 3 sounds good for next week.

2/5/2007 9:20 pm (et) Widow: Chapter 3 is 30 pages. We can handle that easily.

2/5/2007 9:20 pm (et) Basecat: Just don't think in the time allotted we could get to all that would be covered if assignment was both chapters.

2/5/2007 9:21 pm (et) Widow: Hey, we're all speed readers in here. But not necessarily speed typers.

2/5/2007 9:22 pm (et) Basecat: Heck we barely even touched the Union reaction to what Hood was doing on the march North...not that there is anything wrong with that. :)

2/5/2007 9:24 pm (et) Widow: Well, Sherman and Grant decided to leave it to Thomas, not much interesting action going on there. So far it's been mostly about Hood. Later the focus shifts, though.

2/5/2007 9:24 pm (et) Basecat: all on board for Chapter 3 next week?? If so, that will be the homework, and will send that along to ks so she can update YODB.

2/5/2007 9:24 pm (et) ole: The next thirty will have more on response.

2/5/2007 9:25 pm (et) Babs: Widow: Thank you. And suffer he did as you will see from his description.

2/5/2007 9:25 pm (et) Widow: Thanks Basecat.

2/5/2007 9:26 pm (et) ole: G'night all.

2/5/2007 9:26 pm (et) ole: logs off.

2/5/2007 9:26 pm (et) Basecat: Night Ole...Take care.

2/5/2007 9:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Good nite ole

2/5/2007 9:28 pm (et) Widow: By the way, AHG, I had no idea that Forrest was only 10 years older than Hood. Forrest looks much older than 40 in his picture. All that wind and weather can age the skin fast, hmm?

2/5/2007 9:29 pm (et) Widow: Or was the picture taken many years later?

2/5/2007 9:29 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...No that photo of NBF was taken during the war.

2/5/2007 9:30 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Couldn't tell you when the photos were taken.

2/5/2007 9:30 pm (et) Widow: That face. He looks like Mephistopheles, the devil in "Faust." Handsome and evil.

2/5/2007 9:31 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Forrest was born July 13, 1821, and Hood on June 1, 1831.

2/5/2007 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: IIRC, that photo when taken was after the wounds he suffered in the early part of the war...Sorta reminds me of the change Lincoln went through as the war progressed.