"Never had there been such an overwhelming victory during the Civil War - indeed, never in American military history." - Wiley Ford's comment on the Franklin-Nashville Campaign
As Sherman began his infamous march to the sea, Lincoln instructed Grant to redirect General George H. Thomas' efforts back to Tennessee to protect Union supply lines and stop the offensive mounted by Confederate general John Bell Hood. With Sherman marching east toward the sea, he directed Thomas to try to block Hood around Nashville.
On November 30, the Union army began digging in around Franklin, and that afternoon Hood ordered a frontal assault on the dug in Union army. After repeated frontal assaults failed to create a gap in the Union lines, Schofield withdrew his men across the river on the night of November 30, successfully escaping Hood's army. Meanwhile, Hood had inflicted nearly 8,000 casualties upon his army while the Union lost about a quarter of that. Despite practically wrecking his army, Hood marched his battered army to a position outside Nashville, Tennessee, where he took up defensive positions while awaiting reinforcements from Texas.
Even as Grant sniped at him, Thomas held back for nearly two weeks, partly because of a bad ice storm, and his delay nearly resulted in having Grant remove him from command. When reinforcements didn't arrive by December 15, Thomas finally devised a complex two-pronged attack that feinted at Hood's right flank while bringing overwhelming force on the left flank. During the two day battle, Thomas effectively destroyed Hood's command, inflicting over 6,000 more Confederate casualties while losing less than half that. Upon reaching his headquarters at Tupelo, Mississippi, General Hood requested to be relieved of command rather than be removed in disgrace.
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