Symposium Spotlight: Joe Ricci and Hood’s Tennessee Campaign

On the downside, we’ve had to make a change to our Symposium line-up; on the upside, we now get to feature one of the great “emerging” historians working in public history today: Joe Ricci, historian with the Battle of Franklin Trust!

Joe will join us to talk about “Open Road to Appomattox”: The Tennessee Campaign, the Battles of Spring Hill and Franklin, and the End of the War in the West.

In November 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood launched a daring offensive into Tennessee with the largest mobile Rebel army in existence. Hood hoped to prolong the Civil War and stave off the defeat of the Confederacy. In Nashville, Federal forces under the command of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas assembled to protect the heartland. All the while, his superior, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and the authorities at the War Department in Washington, D.C., waited with bated breath to find out the result of the campaign in Tennessee.

In the 160 years since Hood’s Tennessee Campaign met its disastrous end, it has become common to assume the entire endeavor was a forgone conclusion. Careful study of the political and military situation, however, proves how potent Hood’s offensive into Tennessee was. For those who were drawn into the campaign—soldier and civilian alike—the end of the war hung in the balance. The “black curtain of destiny had fallen on the vast stage of human grief” amid fights at Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. The destruction of the Army of Tennessee and the incredible, hard-fought victory earned by Thomas’ army heralded the end of the war in the Western Theater.

About Joe:

A native of New Orleans, LA, Joseph D. Ricci, serves as the historian for the Battle of Franklin Trust (BOFT). Joseph holds a Master’s Degree in History from Southeastern Louisiana University. Joseph’s fascination with history stems from his early years of involvement with, and travel to, various museums and battlefields connected the American Civil War and the Second World War.

For the last two years, he has written extensively for the BOFT’s Dispatch magazine, produced the Dispatch Podcast, and appeared in several BOFT Films productions, in addition to leading tours of the BOFT’s three historic homes and the surrounding battlefields. Joseph is a frequent speaker to Civil War Round Tables and has been a guest on several podcasts. Additionally, he has contributed essays published in the Emerging Civil War Series, and is the producer and host of Home Brew History Podcast, which is available on all podcast platforms.

In his free time, Joseph enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife, Katharyn, and daughter, Hattie.

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