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Publisher's Summary

The rise of Civil War general John Bell Hood, his command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, and the decisions that led to its downfall.

Though he barely escaped expulsion from West Point, John Bell Hood quickly rose through the ranks of the Confederate army. With bold leadership in the battles of Gaines' Mill and Antietam, Hood won favor with Confederate president Jefferson Davis. But his fortunes in war took a tragic turn when he assumed command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. 

After the fall of Atlanta, Hood marched his troops north in an attempt to draw Union army general William T. Sherman from his devastating "March to the Sea." But the ploy proved ruinous for the South. While Sherman was undeterred from his scorched-earth campaign, Hood and his troops charged headlong into catastrophe. 

In this compelling account, Wiley Sword illustrates the poor command decisions and reckless pride that made a disaster of the Army of Tennessee's final campaign. From Spring Hill, where they squandered an early advantage, Hood and his troops launched an ill-fated attack on the neighboring town of Franklin. The disastrous battle came to be known as the "Gettysburg of the West." But worse was to come as Hood pressed on to Nashville, where his battered troops suffered the worst defeat of the entire war. 

Winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award for best work of nonfiction about the Civil War, The Confederacy's Last Hurrah chronicles the destruction of the South's second largest army. "Narrated with brisk attention to the nuances of strategy - and with measured solemnity over the waste of life in war," it is a groundbreaking work of scholarship told with authority and compassion (Kirkus Reviews).

©1992 by Wiley Sword. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Charles
  • 07-08-2020

Oh dear, pronunciation again

I guess I can understand how one could mispronounce “fetes” or “echelon” (albeit not one who gets paid for doing this) but hear me: This guy can pronounce the letter “L” - he does it frequently and therefore has no speech impediment.

So why does he leave out that consonant in the word “railroad”? It comes out “RAIR road.” Inexplicable and exceedingly irritating.

So once again the major problem in an otherwise worthwhile book is the narrator.

Clone Grover Gardner.

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  • David
  • 07-11-2019

A great read and now a fantastic listen.

If this is your first introduction to the Wiley Sword Classic then I hope you enjoyed the story and the narration. Very well done in both the written and spoken version, Last Hurrah was a thoroughly researched and assembled story. Mr. Sword painted a masterpiece by description and vividly portrays the horrors of Franklin and Nashville. He wraps up the saga as few Civil War history writers can do and fortunately for the readers/listeners, we are able to benefit from his literary gift. Enjoy.

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  • chris calabrese
  • 19-07-2020

Exceptional

It’s not every civil war history or narrative that quite grabs you and draws you in as well as this one. The narrator is top notch the story is excellent and very detailed. I found it very easy to listen to and learned a lot. If you are into civil war history you will love this book. Also it covers some background history if you are just getting into civil war history I think you will still enjoy it.

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  • Leo Donelon
  • 28-05-2021

it is a subject that has been forgotten

wonderful, informational, about battles that the general public has forgotten. points out how foraging stripped the clean of food. points out how These events changed the participants

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  • Fred
  • 11-04-2021

Fascinating look at one of key battles

The author was fascinated by the Civil War from his teenage years. He started collecting weapons of that period, but eventually moved on to letters. Most people that collect letters look for famous participants, Wiley Sword did not, he preferred the common soldiers’ letters that told stories. This is what brings life to this book. The feeling you get is like knowing the person personally, it’s a rare gift for a historian and author.

The author is not kind to a number of major characters, specifically John Bell Hood and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, both of whom come across as vain and petty - those traits leading to disastrous decisions in selecting personnel to lead the crucial final campaign of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. That proud army was moving towards a bloody ending (more than a defeat, a total destruction).

The author is very impressed with General Patrick Cleburne a native Irishman often called the “Stonewall of the West”. It was he that was passed over by Davis to give command to Hood (for what appears to be petty reasons). Hood was very brave and aggressive, but as some of his contemporaries at the time said was “too much lion and too little fox”. But like the Arm of Tennessee as whole - his fate was to die heroically, but needlessly.

I highly recommend this book.

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