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The Richmond authorities desired Johnston to take the offensive. He insisted on being largely reinforced for that purpose, and there was an immediate disagreement as to lines and details. Meanwhile Sherman had completed his concentration, and the campaign of 1864 began with his advance southward. Johnston impeded Sherman's march, declined to fight except on his own terms, and was gradually pushed back to Atlanta, in what is generally admitted to have been a masterly retreat. But Davis was dissatisfied, believing that Johnston had missed several opportunities to fight a successful general battle. On July 17 Johnston was superseded in the command by Hood, who immediately fought some disastrous battles under spur from Richmond, followed by the loss of Atlanta. With depleted forces he finally took the general offensive, and was defeated and practically destroyed at Franklin and before Nashville, closing the war in the West, and making possible and easy the march through Georgia and the Carolinas.

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