The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood, Stephen M. Hood, Savas Beatie Publishing, 284 pp., black and white illustrations, appendix bibliography, index,, 2015, $32.95.
John Bell Hood viewed by historians as being initially ferocious and then pathetic is now redeemed. His side of the story, Advance and Retreat, has been labeled as misleading and self serving. The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood offers over 200 documents that reinforce the findings of John Bell Hood: The r Rise, Fall and Resurrection of a Confederate General offered by Stephen M. Hood and Savas Beatie Publishing in 2013.
Notable among the twelve chapters is 'Dr. John T. Darby's Medical Reports Concerning Hood's Wounds suffered at Gettysburg and Chickamauga which is a superb discussion relying on primary sources. As annotated by the Stephen Hood, it is a fine example of what a Civil War era doctor would know about wound care and what therapies existed at the time. Supported by one of the appendices entitled 'Laudanum, Legends and Lore', The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood lays to rest historian Stanley Horn's reference to local folklore that John Bell Hood became either an addict or a drunk in the last two years of the war.
Since the end of the war, writers have offered speculations regarding Hood military decisions and campfire conduct. Soon military historians will have to reckon with Stephen Hood's The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood and revisit the Atlanta Campaign and the battles of Spring Hill and Nashville.