James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  troops. Aware of his inferiority, Schofield executed a masterly retreat and, through strenuous exertions of officers and men, arrived safely at Franklin, where the impetuous Hood forced him to fight with a river at his back. Hood made a desperate frontal attack and was repulsed with terrible slaughter. General J. D. Cox shared with Schofield the “credit for the brilliant victory.” 1 The Union troops, under orders from Thomas, marched to Nashville.  13   Hood followed Schofield to Nashville and sat down before the city with an army now reduced to 26,000, inviting his doom. 2 The reason he gave for continuing his advance northward was stated in his report of December 11, “to force the enemy to take the initiative.” 3 Thomas had now at Nashville 49,000 men.  14   Thomas understood the position of affairs and knew that he should attack Hood. Feeling pretty sure that Hood would not attempt an advance to the Ohio river, or retreat southward, he was making his preparations complete with the aim of striking the Confederates a crushing blow. Meanwhile Grant was growing impatient—the more so as personally he did not like Thomas. The two were unsympathetic and their view of military movements was diverse. Grant loved Sherman and Sheridan and was always ready to overlook their short-comings, but his attitude toward Thomas during these December days was that of an unrelenting fault-finder. Knowing that Hood’s defeat was necessary for the success of Sherman’s campaign he could not control his annoyance at the delay. “Attack Hood at once” was his order of December 6. As no attack was made, he purposed relieving Thomas and placing Schofield in command; but suspending, for a space, the issuance of an
Note 1. O. R., XLV, Pt. 1, 343. [back]
Note 2. Van Horne’s Thomas, 316. [back]
Note 3. O. R., XLV, Pt. 1, 658. [back]