The Pulitzer Prize–nominated author of Forrest Gump examines Confederate general John Bell Hood’s fateful maneuvers in the final moments of the Civil War.
In Shrouds of Glory, acclaimed novelist and historian Winston Groom introduces readers to the courageous but reckless Hood, prematurely thrust into the spotlight by a combination of destiny and fate. Witness the unlikely rise of this young Confederate, who graduated forty-fourth out of a class of fifty-two at West Point, as he overcomes the nearly fatal amputation of his shattered leg and eventually devises a strategy to turn the tide of the war.
Weaving together eyewitness accounts, journal entries, military communiqués, and newspaper headlines, Groom recreates the war from the charged battlefields to the general’s tent where Grant, Sherman, Lee, and others plotted their unorthodox strategies. He paints vivid portraits of the major players in the conflict, revealing the character, the faults, the emotions, and most of all the doubts that molded the course of the war.
“Storytelling with energy, surprise, freshness, power, and yes, art.” —Chicago Tribune
“Meticulously reconstructed . . . shows us the war in all its savagery.” —Los Angeles Times
“An excellent introduction into a complex campaign.” —Publishers Weekly
This well-written narrative makes a revisionist argument that the Confederacy's desperate offensive against Nashville in the winter of 1864-1865 was more than a manifestation of General John Bell Hood's incompetence. Groom argues that Hood took his Army of Tennessee north because President Jefferson Davis demanded an aggressive military policy to avoid the South's being worn down in stages. Groom's analysis of Union and Confederate strategies is solid, and his sketches of the principal commanders, including less familiar figures like Confederate Frank Chestham and the Union's John Schofield, are perceptive. His accounts of the slaughter of Hood's men at Franklin and their overrunning at Nashville by the Union forces of George Thomas convey the horror of Civil War battlefields without sacrificing narrative clarity. An excellent introduction to a complex campaign.