- Hood moves north from the Tennessee -- Thomas directs Schofield to fall back -- Schofield evacuates Columbia -- Hood crosses Duck river -- affair at Spring Hill -- Schofield extricates his army -- battle of Franklin -- repulse of Hood -- Thomas directs Schofield to retreat to Nashville -- Grant disapproves this strategy -- anxiety of government -- correspondence between Grant and Thomas -- difference of views between the two commanders -- first news from Sherman -- proposed movement against mouth of Cape Fear river -- orders to Butler and Weitzel -- orders to Sheridan -- movement of Meade against Hicksford -- situation at Nashville -- Thomas delays to fight -- Grant gives peremptory orders -- Excuses of Thomas -- Grant's general supervision of armies -- Butler Starts in person for Fort Fisher, contrary to Grant's expectation -- further delay of Thomas -- correspondence between Grant and the government -- Grant orders Thomas to be relieved -- suspends the order -- Starts for Nashville -- receives news of Thomas's success -- goes no further than Washington -- topography around Nashville -- dispositions of Hood and Thomas -- Thomas's plan of battle -- fighting on 15th of December -- success of national movements -- battle of 16th -- rout of Hood -- pursuit of rebel army -- Hood crosses Tennessee -- congratulations of Grant and the government -- further urging of Thomas -- Thomas defends his course -- news of Sherman's arrival at the coast -- Thomas prepares to go into winter quarters -- Grant makes different dispositions -- results of campaign against Nashville -- criticism of Hood -- behavior of national troops -- criticism of Thomas -- justification of Grant's judgment -- temperament of Thomas -- friendly relations between Grant and Thomas -- in war, nothing which is successful, is wrong.
Thomas's plans and operations were now all dependent on the course that Hood might take when the designs of Sherman could no longer be concealed; and the forces at Florence were anxiously watched to ascertain whether the national army was to advance  into Alabama, or remain for awhile on the defensive in Tennessee. Grant's first order to Thomas after Sherman moved was typical of his character and of what was to follow. On the 13th of November, Thomas telegraphed: ‘Wilson reports to-night that the cavalry arms and equipments applied for some weeks since have not yet reached Louisville. Their non-arrival will delay us in preparing for the field.’ But it was still possible that Hood might re-cross the Tennessee, in pursuit of Sherman. In that event, not a moment must be lost; and Grant telegraphed at once: ‘If Hood commences falling back, it will not do to wait for the full equipment of your cavalry, to follow. He should, in that case, be pressed with such force as you can bring to bear.’ Thomas replied the same night: ‘Your telegram of this A. M. just received. Am watching Hood closely, and should he move after Sherman, I will follow with what force I can raise at hand.’ Hood, however, had no idea of following Sherman. The campaign into Middle Tennessee was his own design,1 and the dispositions of the national commanders appeared not in the least to disturb his plans. On the 16th of November, Sherman marched out of Atlanta, and the same day Beauregard telegraphed the news to Richmond: ‘Sherman is about to move with three corps from Atlanta to Augusta, or Macon, thence probably to Charleston or Savannah, where a junction may be formed with enemy's fleet.’ On the 19th, he announced again: ‘Enemy are turning their columns on shortest road  to Macon, and scouts . . report Fourteenth corps crossed Chattahoochee to join Sherman, giving him four corps. This information has been communicated to