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A Dry Eye For Hood

April 2024
1min read

Your story in “The Time Machine” (September/October) about the defeat of General Hood at Atlanta by General Sherman brought forth a flood of memories for me.

My maternal grandmother, Olivia Bowers Beeson, was born on the Hood plantation, as it was known locally, in Washington County, Texas, in 1871, the daughter of James and Clarissa Hood Bowers. She was, and remained all her seventy-nine years, a Texan and an unreconstructed Confederate Southerner. Grandmother was a wonderful teller of tales and held very strong opinions about certain things.

One time I mentioned we were beginning to study the Civil War, only to be brought up peremptorily with “No, it was not the Civil War, it was the War Between the States, and don’t ever forget it!” Further along in our talk she mentioned, almost offhandedly, that she was distantly related to the Confederate general John Bell Hood. This was pretty heady stuff to a young boy—a real Confederate general in the family. When asked if he had been a good general, Grandmother harrumphed and replied, “Well, we lost the war, didn’t we?” So much for any reflected historical glory.

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