long, and at the end, disastrous campaign, one can lean upon this note from such a competent military critic as Lieut-Gen. S. D. Lee
, bravely commanding the rear guard of the army from Nashville
: ‘The officers and men of the artillery behaved admirably.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon this efficient arm of the service in the army of Tennessee.’
We have Lee
's corroborative authority equally for the assertion that ‘6 guns were lost by the artillery in my corps.
The greater portion of these were without horses. ... The noble gunners, reluctant to leave their guns, fought the enemy, in many instances, almost within reach of the guns.’
With this retreat, John B. Hood
passed from the field of active Confederate movement.
Time was passing swiftly; the Confederacy
was within a few months of Appomattox
A moribund government, no more than a dying man, cares about new ventures with old agents.
Like the Marechal de Villars
, full of fire, had always shown himself a better fighter than a strategist He planned a campaign as impetuously as he fought, and in his ear rang ever the trumpet's note.
He loved best the wild excitement of a charge, the crash of blow for blow; himself dearly preferring to deal the first sounding stroke.
His initiative always displayed dash with momentum.
Once taken, he sustained it with set lips and eager eye. A man intensely brave, not only in the field, but what is still rarer, in his thought, he was like many men of his class almost femininely sanguine.
With this sanguineness went a most controlling desire to conquer.
The reaction after Nashville
was intensely painful for a nature so ardent and hopeful as Hood
's. Far more painful, however, was the dissatisfaction which, as he learned day by day during that retreat, had sprung up among the people with the entire campaign.
With nothing to do at Tupelo, Miss.
, he wrote with strong feeling from that point, to President Davis
: ‘With no desire but to serve my country, I ask to be relieved with the hope ’