I10096 - John Bell Hood
“No wonder the general says they talk of him as if he were a centipede. His leg is in everybody’s mouth.” wrote a woman in Richmond, VA
Following a recovery period in Georgia, disabled John Bell Hood spends four months in Richmond, Virginia, where he is the center of attention. His many well-wishers included President Jefferson Davis, who would assist Hood down the church steps after Sunday services.
Hood receives his injuries as a result of his bravery during battle. Hood permanently loses the use of his left arm leading a charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. Three months letter, a Minié ball shatters his leg while leading a charge over and beyond the Federal breastworks at Chickamauga. His leg is amputated four inches below the hip. Hood will spend the rest of his life as a disabled man.
Off the field, Hood is just as reckless. He bets $2,500 in a poker game "with nary a pair his hand".
In January of 1864, Hood rides a horse before a crowd of supporters for the first time since his amputation. One witness remarked, “He has body enough left to hold his soul.”
Hood recalled, “My restoration was so complete that I was enabled to keep in the saddle when on active duty, and, during the remainder of the war, never to require an ambulance either day or night.”
Hood's physical recovery prompts a return to the military. On July 17, 1864, Hood takes command of the Army of Tennessee, replacing General Johnson in Atlanta.
On January 13, 1865, Hood requests to be relieved of the command. Regrettably, the Army of Tennessee, was never able to recover from Hood's leadership.