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SHERMAN'S DARING PLAN.
It was at this time, during the latter with, and the course which they depart of September, that Jeff. Davis went termined upon was exactly that which to Macon, Georgia, and, aware of the Grant and Sherman desired. The latter
terrible blow which had already was entirely unwilling to remain sim.
been struck, and of the neces- ply on the defensive at Atlanta, and sity of doing something to counteract expend his energies in guarding the it, made a speech, which Pollard calls road to Chattanooga and Nashville ; “ill tempered and swollen," and which and so he formed the bold plan of cutwas probably more unwise than any ting loose from his bases and destroything he had done for a long time. He ing effectually the railroad to Chattaannounced a line of policy which was nooga; thence, mainly subsisting on the in imitation of Sherman's flanking rich country in the interior of Georgia, movements, and in accordance with he meant to march through the state which Hood was to get to the rear of directly to the sea. Atlanta, break up the communications Accordingly, the damage done to the of Sherman, and thus compel him to railroad having been repaired, Sherman retreat again into Tennessee. By so in. took the preliminary steps for
1864. discreet exposure of his plans, Davis carrying out his plan, keeping enabled Sherman to take measures fully watch meanwhile of Hood and his proto meet them; and, as Grant says, in ceedings. The early part of November his report, " he exhibited the weakness was spent in sending to Chattanooga of supposing that an army that had the sick and wounded and surplus been beaten and fearfully decimated in stores; in bringing to Atlanta the con a vain attempt at the defensive, could valescents, furloughed men and ord successfully undertake the offensive nance supplies; and in getting everyagainst the army that had so often de. thing in most complete readiness for feated it."
the march of the army. Before pro Davis and his co-workers, however, ceeding, however, to give a narrative did not appreciate the daring boldness of Sherman's great march, we must and energy of the man they had to deal briefly record what Hood undertook to
do, under the vain delusion noted Gen. Sherman still defiantly holds Atlanta. He can and must be driven from it. It is only for the good
above.* people of Georgia and the surrounding states to speak
From Jacksonville Hood s army the word, and the work is done. We have abundent marched in a northwesterly direction provisions. There are men enough in the country liable to and able for service to accomplish this result. to Guntersville, on the Tennessee River, To all such I earnestly appeal to report promptly to which they reached on the 22d of Octheir respective commands, and let those who cannot go see to it that none remain who are able to strike & blow in this critical and decisive hour...
* Gen. Grant, in his report, (p. 44) says, very forcı The security of your wives and daughters from the bly: “ Hood, instead of following Sherman, continuea insults and outrages of a brutal foe shall be established his move northward, which seemed to me to be leading soon, and be followed by a permanent and honorable to his certain doom. At all events, had I had the peace. The claims of home and country, wife and power to command both armies, I should not have children, uniting with the demands of honor and changed the orders under which be seemed to be actpatriotism, summon us to the field.”
tober, and thence, after some delays, Columbia and Spring Hill, Forrest's made their way to Florence, in the cavalry pressing hard upon the column. . vicinity of which Forrest had been ope. On the 30th of November, Schofield rating with his cavalry, interrupting occupied Franklin. Repeated assaults communication on the river. Hood were made by the rebels during the was now preparing for his intended in- afternoon until late at night; but they vasion of Tennessee. Gen. Thomas were in every instance repulsed. The was in command, at Nashville, of all rebel loss in this battle was 1,750 killed, the troops which Sherman did not wish 702 prisoners, and 3,800 wounded. to use for his own especial purpose; Among the losses were six general offi. and this brave and accomplished officer cers killed, six wounded, and one capwas diligently guarding his northern tured. Our entire loss was 2,300. “This line of railroad, and preparing to meet was the first serious opposition the enethe threatened invasion. Several weeks my met with,” says Grant, in his report, elapsed before Hood began his advance. “and I am satisfied was the fatal blow to On the 20th of November, he moved all his expectations. During the night, northwardly from Florence, between Gen. Schofield fell back toward Nashwhich place and Corinth his forces had ville. This left the field to the enemy been gathered, and advanced to Waynes -not lost by battle, but voluntarily borough and Lawrenceburg, where he abandoned—so that Gen. Thomas's outflanked the advanced Union posi- whole force might be brought together. tion on the line of the Nashville and The enemy followed up and commenced Decatur Railroad at Pulaski. From the establishment of his line in front the latter place Gen. Thomas now with of Nashville on the 2d of December.” drew his forces to Franklin, on the Although the central and southern same road, eighteen miles south of Nash portions of Tennessee were left open to ville. In this retreat, which was a pre. the enemy by Schofield's retiring to concerted strategic movement of the Nashville, and though they drove out Union commander, to concentrate his the garrisons and for the time possessed forces for the defence of the latter city, themselves of various towns and staour troops were closely pursued by the tions, yet they were not able to accomenemy, whose aggregate strength, in- plish anything of moment. Murfreescluding the infantry corps of S. D. Lee, borough, where Rousseau was stationed, Cheatham, Stewart, and Taylor, and effectually resisted the enemy; the line Forrest's superior cavalry, was esti- of road below, from Stevenson to Chatmated at about 40,000. Gen. Schofield tanooga, was firmly held; and the de was in command of the force at Pulaski, fences of Nashville, where Thomas's which consisted of Stanley's 4th and main army was, proved unassailable. Cox's 23d corps, together with a few Hood's army entrenched itself in front regiments which had recently entered of Nashville, on the southerly side the service. There was some sharp throwing up a complete line extending fighting on the road to Franklin, at to the Cumberland River, on both
HOOD ROUTED AT NASHVILLE.
wings. Thomas's line of entrenchments, hoped and expected by Davis and supported by a chain of forts, protected others, resulted in complete rout and the city, and reached on each flank to confusion.* the river, which was protected and se- Gen. Sherman, having sent two of curely held by gun boats and two iron. his army corps to aid Thomas against clads.
Hood, retained the four others and the After delaying action for nearly two cavalry division for carrying weeks, mainly on account of the in- out the work which he had
1864. clemency of the weather and the re- set himself to do. On the 9th of Nomounting his cavalry force, Thomas vember, he issued a special order to assumed the offensive, on the morning this effect : the army was divided into of the 15th of December, and began two wings; the right, consisting of the the attack upon Hood's army. The 15th and 17th corps, was under com.
battle lasted for two days, and mand of Gen. Howard; the left, con
the rebels were driven from the sisting of the 14th and 20th corps, was river, from their entrenchments, from under command of Gen. Slocum; and the range of hills on which their left the cavalry division was assigned to rested, and forced back at all points, the command of Gen. Kilpatrick. The during the 15th and 16th of December, habitual order of march, it was ordered, for some eight or nine miles. They should be, whenever practicable, by were, in fact, completely routed, and four roads, as nearly parallel as posanxious only to escape from the vic. sible, and converging at points to be torious defenders of the cause of loy- hereafter indicated. There were to he alty and order. Sixty-eight pieces of no general trains of supplies, and each artillery were taken from the enemy, corps was to have its limited ammuni besides about 10,000 prisoners. In tion and provision train so distributed addition, they lost in killed and wound. that, in case of danger, the advance and ed at least 10,000 more. Pursuit was rear brigades should be unencumbered kept up for several days, notwithstand. by wheels. The separate columns were ing the roads were almost impassable to start habitually at seven, A.m., and in consequence of the heavy rains and deep mud, and the shattered forces of
• * Pollard, in his account of this mortifying and disthe enemy were closely pressed, prin- creditable termination of the battle and campaign, cipally by our cavalry, even to the says of Hood, no favorite with him (see p. 472, note):
“He finally made his escape across the Tennessee Tennessee River. On the 28th of De- River with the remnant of his army, having lost from cember, our advance ascertained that various causes more than 10,000 men, half of his gen
erals, and nearly all of his artillery. Such was the Hood and his army had made good disastrous issue of the Tennessee campaign, which pat their escape to the south side of the out of existence, as it were, the splendid army that
Johnston had given up at Atlanta, and terminated river. Thus, the close of the year saw forever the whole scheme of Confederate defence west Tennessee thoroughly freed from the of the Alleghanies.” Pollard also says: “the effect
of Sherman's march to the sea on the morale of the presence of the rebel army, and the in. Confederacy dates the first chapter of its subjugation.” vasion, from which so much had been –“ Last Year of the War," pp. 128, 129.