, but approved by Jefferson Davis
The design avowedly was, either to force Sherman
to fall back from Atlanta
, or, failing in this, to crush the force that was left behind, and at least secure Nashville
and large reinforcements and supplies.
Even more than this, however, was generally expected, and the invasion of Kentucky
and of the country beyond the Ohio
was confidently anticipated by the greater part of the rebel army.
's first blunder undoubtedly consisted in remaining three weeks on the Tennessee
, and allowing Thomas
time to collect his scattered commands.
After this, he was six days marching to Columbia
, and at Spring Hill
his campaign really failed; for here he had the opportunity he sought, of striking Schofield
, in motion and in flank, and greatly his inferior in numbers.
But from whatever cause, Hood
was unable to inflict the blow; and Schofield
marched by unhurt, within gun-shot of the rebel army, which bivouacked when it could, and should, have destroyed him. The battle of Franklin
, however, was splendidly fought by the rebels; they seemed determined to atone for the fault of the day and the night before.
was able to hold his own. His position was admirable, his men behaved like heroes; and though the rebels were equally gallant, they were repelled.
lost six thousand men in a few hours.
This was the deathblow of his army.
His men never fought so well again.
for his course at the beginning of the campaign, and still more severely for his conduct after the repulse at Franklin