Hood: Arrested, Then Promoted

7 months ago

Texan John Bell Hood was not one to back down, on or off the battlefield.

At the end of the Second Battle of Manassas 1862, Hood’s men captured some Union ambulances, and he allowed the men to keep them for the brigade’s personal use. General N. G. Evans ordered him to turn them over. But Hood refused, because he “did not consider it just” to yield the ambulances “to another brigade of the division, which was in no manner entitled to them.”

So Evans had Hood  arrested.

This did not go over well with the Texans. An angry shockwave went over the Texas brigade. Rev. Nicholas Davis wrote:”The men were not willing to go into an engagement without him, and many had positively declared they they would stack arms.”

They cried “Give us Hood!” and “If there is any fighting to be done by the Texas Brigade, Hood must lead it!”

Robert E. Lee had to get involved, telling Hood:

“…here I am just on upon the eve of entering into battle, and with one of my best officers under arrest. If you will merely say that you regret this occurrence, I will release you and restore you to the command of your division.”

But Hood was having none of it:

“I am unable to do so, since I cannot admit or see the justice of General Evans’ demand for ambulances my men have captured.”

Lee needed Hood, so he suspended the arrest until the upcoming battle was over.

This news made the troops very happy. As Hood rode to the front of the army after his release, “he was cheered long and loud by each regiment of the division.”

Hood and his Texans joined in and victory was had. In fact, Stonewall Jackson wrote to Lee, saying Hood acted “with such ability and zeal as to command my admiration… I regard him as one of the most promising officers in the army.”

Lee had seen what Hood had accomplished. So instead of reinstating the arrest, Lee promoted Hood to Major General.

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