The memory of John Bell Hood has taken on a popular view that more often than not emphasizes the negative while ignoring the positive. As has been mentioned over the course of the last several days in “Hood Remembered,” Hood rendered invaluable service to Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Gaines’ Mill, Second Manassas, and Antietam. These actions have been forgotten in an effort to overemphasize the failure of the Tennessee Campaign.
Unfortunately, Hood is not the only victim of this view. Ulysses S. Grant’s inability to break the Confederate line at Cold Harbor has blotted out his achievements in the Western Theater. Indeed, the final 24-36 hours of George Custer’s life has completely overshadowed his four years of service in the Civil War. In remembering Hood, we should be reminded to view his career in total, as opposed to his final campaign.