Recently, Connie Bernard of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board got in trouble for saying we should study the history of Robert E. Lee. I took her advice to study but chose John B. Hood.
Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, was officially opened Sept. 18, 1942, and is named for Confederate Gen. John B. Hood. Hood was born in Kentucky and died of yellow fever in New Orleans in 1879. He graduated from West Point and served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Texas.
In 1861 he resigned his commission and joined the army of the Confederacy. He initially had great success leading men into battle at Bull Run and Fredericksburg, among others. He was wounded at Gettysburg and was later assigned to the Army of Tennessee to defend Atlanta.
Through political maneuvers, he was given command of the Army of Tennessee with 65,000 men. Through various raids and attacks against Sherman he suffered over 50% casualties. He then attempted to draw W.T. Sherman’s army north, which failed and he marched toward Nashville.
At the Battle of Franklin he made several disastrous decisions and his army again suffered heavy losses with over 1,700 dead, including four generals. In December 1864, after several failed attacks on Nashville, the defeated Army of Tennessee marched west. Shortly after Dec. 25, 1864, Hood resigned in disgrace.
Continuing my reading, I learned three brave men from Texas earned the Medal of Honor during World War I. Twenty Texans were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously from World War II.
Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier in World War II, including the Medal of Honor, was from Hunt County, Texas. More than 50 Texans have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
I encourage everyone to read the Medal citations of just a few of these brave men and then you may agree that it is time to change the names of our forts. You don’t change history; you choose to honor others who are more deserving.
U.S. Navy, (ret.)