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 into Tennessee, where he fought one of the fiercest battles in the whole war, at Franklin, September 20. After the battle of Nashville, General Hood was forced to retreat. His opponents were numerically too strong. The campaign had proved disastrous, partly through the non-arrival of expected re-enforcements from the Transmississppi Department, and on January 13, 1865, General Hood requested to be relieved of his command. This request was finally granted, and on the 23d he bade farewell to the Army of Tennessee. After a sojourn in Richmond for several weeks, General Hood then was ordered to Texas to form a new army, when the report of General Lee's surrender reached him. It was not until in receipt of positive information of the surrender of General E. Kirby Smith that he rode into Hatche on the 31st of May, 1865, and there proffered his sword to Major-General Davidson, U. S. A., who bade him retain it and paroled the officers and men in General Hood's company to proceed to New Orleans. A battle is not comparable to a game of chess, in which two keen, agile and alert minds, the leaders of opposing armies, are pitted against each other in a struggle for victory. It is more like a game of probabilities, in which the element of chance plays as important a part as cool calculation. For who can foretell the shower of rain that will retard the advance of the batteries to occupy their assigned places, to cover an attack or to divert the attention of the enemy at the preconceived psychological moment? Who can, like Joshua, bid the sun stand still, lest the advantage gained during the combat of the day be lost or neutralized through the enforced suspension of activities in the night, when the enemy may have time to rally and secure re-enforcements. And who, lastly, can so control the spirits, so animate the mass of his troops that the supreme effort is propelled by ‘all’ the available energy? And yet he who has lost a battle has not only to bear the mortification of defeat, the soul-burning misery of failure, the awful, oh, how awful! feeling that all the sacrifices of life have been in vain, but also the almost crushing burden of reproach, which is then dealt out with so lavish hands. General Hood fearned not the just and unbiased criticism of his superiors. So great was he, indeed, so chivalrous, that, should he have erred deeply, he would not have hesitated, like Cotton Mather, to unbare his head at the corners of the street and ask forgiveness of everybody.
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