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Hood's Tennessee Campaign

HOOD'S TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN

HOOD'S TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN (October–December 1864). After the evacuation of Atlanta, Confederate president Jefferson Davis visited General J. B. Hood's army and proposed a move northward to cut General William Tecumseh Sherman's communications to Chattanooga, with the possibility of moving on through Tennessee and Kentucky to "the banks of the Ohio."

In an effort to lure Sherman west, Hood marched in early October to Tuscumbia on the Tennessee River. He waited there for three weeks anticipating Sherman's pursuit. Instead, Sherman, forewarned by a speech from Davis, sent the Army of the Ohio under General J. M. Schofield to reinforce Colonel George H. Thomas's force at Nashville. On 15 November, Sherman began his ruinous raid to the sea.

Hood ignored Sherman and pushed into Tennessee to scatter the Union forces gathering at Nashville. On 29 November, he failed to cut off Schofield's retreating army near Spring Hill; the next day, Hood was repulsed with heavy losses at the Battle of Franklin. Schofield hurriedly retreated into Nashville. Hood followed, but delayed for two weeks, awaiting Thomas's move. On 15 and 16 December, Thomas attacked with precision, crushed the left of Hood's line, and forced the Confederate army to withdraw to shorter lines. For the first time, a veteran Confederate army was driven in disorder from the field of battle. Thomas's cavalry pursued vigorously but was unable to disperse Hood's army, which crossed the Tennessee River and turned westward to Corinth, Mississippi. Hood soon relinquished his command to General Richard Taylor. The war in the West was over.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ash, Stephen V. Middle Tennessee Society Transformed, 1860–1870: War and Peace in the Upper South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.

Groom, Winston. Shrouds of Glory: From Atlanta to Nashville: The Last Great Campaign of the Civil War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995.

Hay, Thomas R. Hood's Tennessee Campaign. New York: Neale, 1929.

Thomas RobsonHay/a. r.

See alsoNashville, Battle of ; Sherman's March to the Sea ; Tennessee, Army of .

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