Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table

Education and Preservation


Patriots Twice – Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War

Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War, Stephen M. Hood, 341 pages (e-book/Kindle); 256 pages (hardcover), Savas Beatie Publishing, 2020. This is a Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table review by Lee Hattabaugh.

The men who fought and served so bravely for what they believed in the War Between the States continued that service to rebuild their reunited country long after the fighting ended in 1865. They were farmers, merchants, soldiers, lawyers, politicians, and leaders before the War and when they returned to their homes following the surrender of the Armies, they continued in these roles. They founded cities, companies, and universities. They were governors, judges, ambassadors, and some even answered the call to became soldiers again. Mr. Hood presents these stories and so much more in this unique and timely book.
For over forty years following the cessation of hostilities, Americans from both sides of the conflict struggled to rebuild and reunite the States under a single government. To accomplish this, the former enemies worked toward this common goal and did so in a time-honored tradition of loyalty, duty, and selfless-service. Mr. Hood’s exhaustive research has identified many of the former Confederates who served the new United States of America.

Following the author’s acknowledgement of those who helped in with research, including a few names your reviewer recognized as personal acquaintances, the book contains eight parts which are defined by the various roles filled including: presidential appointments, Congress, military, state governors, city founders, officers in professional societies, higher education/universities, and Native Americans/others. Also included are an appendix with additional names and information, a full bibliography, and an index. Some of the men who impacted and affected multiple sections of American society are found in appropriate chapters, often with additional information when they are mentioned more than once. This creates some repetition in the text, but it serves to highlight the importance of these men to the new American society; there are also many photographs included.

In correspondence with the author, I was told that over three years of research went into this particular work and the response to it has been tremendous on several fronts. Mr. Hood included a quote from Robert E. Lee written during the post-war years during his tenure as president of Washington & Lee University. Lee wrote, in words that still apply today, “I think it the duty of every citizen in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony.” I believe Mr. Hood has done his part to live up to these ideals in Patriots Twice.

Inspired by the current cultural, political and scholastic movements, the stories and information provided by Mr. Hood in Patriots Twice are especially poignant and important in light of the removal, relocation, and destruction of Confederate monuments and cemeteries we see in our country today. Reading about how our ancestors were able to set aside their differences to rebuild their broken country is a lesson worth learning for all Americans. I strongly encourage you to read this book and learn these lessons for yourself.

Interview with the Author, Sam Hood, by the TVCWRT reviewer Lee Hattabaugh

Lee Hattabaugh: What prompted you to write this book?
Author: Sam Hood: Like most rational people, I was appalled at the destruction of Confederate (and other) history by extremists. I thought surely former Confederates accomplished much in the reunited nation.

Lee Hattabaugh: How long did the research take?
Author: Sam Hood: I spent two years–off and on–researching, and a year organizing, writing, editing, and prepping the book for publication.

Lee Hattabaugh: I noted some repetition in your book. Could you elaborate on your intent?
Author: Sam Hood: You are right, but it was necessary due to the organization and presentation that I chose so the book could not only be something to be read for pleasure, but also as a tool for those fighting to save specific Confederate landmarks and monuments. I wanted to present my research not as a simple alphabetical list/roster, but in categories. The reason is that–for example–someone at a university is trying to save a building named for a Confederate veteran, they can go to my book, find the university, and see the CS veterans who were involved in the founding or development of the school. The same with a US military base…you can go to my chapter on “US Military” and read of the postwar US Army officers that had been Confederates. Thus, I organized the book to be a useful tool for those working to save Confederate memorials.
One problem; many Confederates show up in multiple categories/chapters. For example, some Confederates were presidents of the AMA, American Surgical Society, etc, and also founded medical schools. So I had to present them in the “Higher Education” and “National Professional Organizations” categories. Also, there were former Confederates who were college administrators and also US diplomats. And, of course, even inside a chapter, if a Confederate taught at multiple universities, I had to show him in each university’s section. Take for example, people are trying to save Confederate-named buildings at Virginia Tech, and others are trying to save Confederate memorials at the US Naval Academy. Former Confederate Scott Shipp was involved in both institutions, so he had to be listed as a president in the Virginia Tech section, and also in the US Naval Academy section because he served on the Board of Visitors.
I listed a veteran in every category and section where he would apply, but I only gave a detailed biography of the veteran in one place…not everywhere he appears.

Lee Hattabaugh: What impressed you most during your research that you didn’t feel fit the purpose of your narrative?
Author: Sam Hood: I only wished that I could have included more accomplished ex-Confederates. Book size constraints dictated that I limit the number of characters.

Lee Hattabaugh: What is your next project?
Author: Sam Hood: I have no Civil War history projects on the horizon right now. The college soccer program that I founded and coached in the late 1970s-early 80s, Marshall University, just won its first NCAA Div. 1 national championship and I am organizing a pictorial book on the rise of the program.

The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood

This book is an interesting collection of documents that were passed down through the Hood family and not made available until recently, buttressed by the author’s introduction and explanatory material between documents.  The foreword is by noted historian Richard McMurry. There are 126 primary source documents ranging from letters written by Hood as a lieutenant on the frontier to condolences written to his family after his death.  The editor/author is a distant relative of John Bell Hood who shares the nickname “Sam.”

The items of particular interest to the Civil War buff are in those chapters concerning his wounds and their treatment, the Atlanta Campaign, and the Nashville Campaign.  Much of the material was assembled by Hood from friends and subordinates for his use in writing his book, Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate Armies, which was originally published in 1880.  In many respects that book was a reply to Joe Johnston’s Narrative of Military Operations Directed during the Civil War (1874) and Sherman’s Memoirs of General William T. Sherman (1875), both of which were highly critical of Hood.  Hood solicited letters to refresh his recollections and to provide data to refute the allegations of Johnston and Sherman, while the medical reports shed new light on his mental and physical condition after his devastating wounds at Gettysburg and Chickamauga.

The chapter concerning Hood’s wounds contains the daily notes of the attending physician, Dr. Thompson Darby, and Dr. Darby’s medical reports on his condition.  Not only do these documents give a fascinating glimpse into Civil War medicine, they also decisively refute many theories concerning Hood’s physical abilities and mental sharpness.  According to the reports, Hood had significant use of his injured arm and was no longer using any pain medication by the time he returned to duty after his leg amputation.

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions the letters and documents concerning Atlanta and Nashville are of lesser interest.  All these were written well before the Official Records were issued, so they address opinions and controversies that, in the main, were resolved when these records were published.  Yes, Johnston understated his strength and his casualties in his book, although not quite to the extent Hood alleged.  Hood excused his failure at Cassville by quoting a Union report (included) that documented two Union regiments  (less than 1,000 men) were threatening the rear of his 20,000 man corps—not particularly convincing.  These letters and documents do not address the period when Hood had overall command around Atlanta, but pick up again after its fall and address the Nashville Campaign.  The most interesting new information in this whole section is relayed in a letter written in 1875 from S. D. Lee to Hood, alleging that A. P. Stewart told him Cleburne was overcome by remorse concerning the failure at Spring Hill and hinting that Cleburne pressed the attack at Franklin suicidally because of this.  This second-hand opinion is interesting, although a close reading of the Spring Hill engagement would suggest the primary fault lay first with Brown and then with Cheatham.

To understand many of the points raised in the various letters (and the point of view of the letter writers, both Hood and the others) requires a fairly detailed knowledge of the campaigns and the personalities involved.  For instance, the average reader could hardly be expected to understand why Francis Shoup was supportive of Hood and dismissive of Johnston, while A. P. Stewart inclined to supporting Johnston’s positions over Hood’s.  Some of the author’s notes allude to a few of the issues but not to all.  All in all, this is a book directed more to specialists rather than the general run of Civil War buff, yet it contains interesting sidelights and insight into Hood’s character as well as documenting some of the sources Hood used for his book.


Reviewed by John Scales

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