Portrait of John Bell Hood

John Bell Hood was a pugnacious Confederate general who was known for his battlefield bravery during the American Civil War. [Wikimedia Commons]

John Bell Hood - Facts

June 1831 - August 30, 1879

Key facts about Confederate General John Bell Hood.

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Full Name:

  • John Bell Hood

Birth Date:

  • June 1 or June 29, 1831

Birth Location:

  • Owingsville, Kentucky

Parents:

  • Dr. John W. Hood and Theodosia French Hood

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1853)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Lieutenant General (CSA), Army of Tennessee commander

Spouse:

  • Anna Marie Hennen (1868)

Nickname:

  • Sam

Place of Death:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Date of Death:

  • August 30, 1879

Place of Burial:

  • Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans, LA. His body was later moved to the Hennen family tomb at Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans

Significance:

  • Hood’s uncle, U.S. Representative, Richard French, obtained an appointment for Hood at the United States Military Academy, despite a lack of support from Hood’s father.
  • During his senior year at West Point, Hood accumulated 196 demerits, just 4 short of expulsion from the academy.
  • Hood graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1853.
  • After graduating from West Point, Hood served in the U.S. Army in California and Texas.
  • In 1860, Hood declined the position of chief cavalry instructor at West Point.
  • Hood resigned his U.S. Army commission on April 16, 1861, after the Battle of Fort Sumter (April 12 – 13, 1861).
  • When Hood’s native state of Kentucky did not secede from the Union, Hood joined the Confederate Army in Texas.
  • Hood joined the Confederate Army as a captain and was promoted to colonel on September 30, 1861.
  • Hood was appointed commander of Hood’s Texas Brigade on February 20, 1862.
  • Hood was promoted to brigadier general on March 3, 1862.
  • Hood’s Texas Brigade was attached to the Confederate Army of the Potomac and, later the Army of Northern Virginia.
  • Hood’s performance at the Seven Days Battles (June 25 – July 1, 1862) led to his promotion to division commander, serving under Major General James Longstreet.
  • During the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28–30, 1862), James Longstreet had Hood arrested and ordered him to leave the army after Hood engaged in an argument with a superior officer. Confederate commander, Robert E. Lee, later restored Hood’s command.
  • Hood’s performance at the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862) led to his promotion to major general on October 10, 1862.
  • Hood lost the use of his left arm for the remainder of his life from an artillery shell explosion on July 2, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • After his injury at Gettysburg, Hood returned to action on September 18, 1863 in the Western Theater, where Longstreet’s army had been dispatched.
  • At the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19 – 20, 1863), Hood led the assault that resulted in the defeat of Major General William Rosecran’s Union Army of the Cumberland.
  • Hood was severely wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga and doctors had to amputate his right leg just below the hip.
  • Hood’s performance at the Battle of Chickamauga led to his promotion to lieutenant general on February 1, 1864.
  • On July 18, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis promoted Hood to the temporary rank of full general and gave him command of General Joseph Johnston’s army, which was defending Atlanta.
  • Although the Confederate Senate never approved Hood’s appointment to full general, his temporary appointment made him the youngest man to achieve that rank in the Confederate Army.
  • Hood tried to break General William Sherman’s siege of Atlanta with four offensive attacks, all of which failed and resulted in major Confederate casualties.
  • Hood attempted several offensives in Tennessee toward the end of the Civil War without any success.
  • After a devastating defeat at the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864), Hood resigned as commander of the Army of Tennessee and he returned to his previous rank of lieutenant general on January 23, 1865.
  • Hood surrendered to Union forces in Natchez Mississippi on May 31, 1865 and was paroled later.
  • After the Civil War, Hood took up residence in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he operated a cotton brokerage and an insurance company that was ruined financially by a yellow fever epidemic in 1878 – 79.
  • In 1868, Hood married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children.
  • Hood died of yellow fever on August 30, 1879, just days after his wife succumbed to the same disease.
  • Fort Hood, in Texas, is named in honor of John Bell Hood.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title John Bell Hood - Facts
  • Coverage June 1831 - August 30, 1879
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 29, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021