John Bell Hood — Facts and APUSH Notes

June 1831–August 30, 1879

APUSH Definition — John Bell Hood (1831–1879) was an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He gained a reputation as an excellent field commander during the Peninsula Campaign and Second Battle of Bull Run, and is known for being the youngest man to achieve the rank of full general in the Confederate Army.

John Bell Hood, Civil War General

John Bell Hood was a pugnacious Confederate general who was known for his battlefield bravery during the American Civil War. Image Source: Library of Congress.

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Who was Civil War officer John Bell Hood?

John Bell 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 as a captain in Texas. On February 20, 1862, Hood became commander of Hood’s Texas Brigade, and Confederate army officials promoted him to brigadier general on March 3. On October 10, 1862, he was promoted to major general, and then to lieutenant general on February 1, 1864. On July 18, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis promoted Hood to the temporary rank of full general.

During his long career as a Confederate officer, Hood led troops during the Peninsula Campaign, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, and at the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863, where he lost the use of his left arm for the rest of his life from an artillery shell explosion. In 1863, Hood was transferred to the Western Theater where he led troops at the Battle of Chickamauga, where he received severe wounds that forced doctors to amputate his right leg just below the hip. Hood commanded the Army of Tennessee during the last battles of the Atlanta Campaign and his troops suffered devastating defeats at the battle of Franklin and Nashville during the Franklin-Nashville Campaign.

After the Civil War, Hood took up residence in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he operated a cotton brokerage and an insurance company. In 1868, Hood married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children. An outbreak of yellow fever in 1878–1879 ruined Hood’s insurance company financially and left him impoverished. As the epidemic waned, Hood and his wife contracted the disease. Hood died of yellow fever on August 30, 1879, just days after his wife succumbed to the same disease. Hood was buried in Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans. Later, his body was moved to the Hennen family tomb at Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans.

Battle of Chickamauga, Rosecrans and Bragg in the Field
This illustration depicts the Battle of Chickamauga. Image Source: Library of Congress.

John Bell Hood Facts for APUSH

Birth and Early Life

  • Full Name: His full name was John Bell Hood.
  • Parents: His parents were Dr. John W. Hood and Theodosia French Hood.
  • Date of Birth: He was born on June 1 or June 29, 1831.
  • Birthplace: He was born in Owingsville, Kentucky.

Family Tree

  • Spouse: His spouse was Anna Marie Hennen. They were married in 1868.

Death

  • Death: He died on August 30, 1879.
  • Place of Death: He died in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Burial: He is buried at Lafayette Cemetery, New Orleans, LA. His body was later moved to the Hennen family tomb at Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans.

Education

He attended the United States Military Academy (1853).

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Career

He worked as a Military officer.

Career Summary

He was a Lieutenant General (CSA) and the Army of Tennessee commander.

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Nickname

He was known as Sam.

John Bell Hood — Summary of His Life and Accomplishments for APUSH

  • 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 Rosecrans and the 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 and APUSH Notes
  • Coverage June 1831–August 30, 1879
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date February 6, 2023
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 2, 2023

John Bell Hood — Facts and APUSH Notes is Part of the Following on AHC

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