In the fall of 1864, the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood threatened Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman?s lines of communications and central Tennessee by driving north from Atlanta, Georgia. After a brief attempt to pursue Hood, Sherman returned to Atlanta and began his March to the Sea, leaving Union forces under Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to deal with Hood?s threat. Hood hoped to defeat the Union force under Maj. Gen. John Schofield before it could converge with Thomas?s army, but Hood?s forces allowed Schofield to slip past them at Spring Hill, and suffered heavy losses in the desperate fighting the next day at Franklin. Schofield was able to successfully link up with Thomas in Nashville, Tennessee, where the combined Union forces attacked Hood?s depleted army and routed it in the Battle of Nashville, sending it in retreat southward to Tupelo, Mississippi. Hood resigned shortly thereafter, and the Army of Tennessee ceased to exist as an effective fighting force.
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