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Battles of Franklin and Nashville

Despite being pushed out of Atlanta in September 1864, the forces of John Hood remained in the field, preying upon the rail lines supplying the Union. Hood later hoped to prolong the war and spare Georgia from damage by luring Sherman back into Tennessee. Grant was not tempted to summon Sherman, but he did supply other support to this campaign. Union forces under Major General John M. Schofield retreated toward Nashville before Hood's soldiers. Schofield stopped at Franklin on November 30 and deployed his soldiers in earthen defenses that had been constructed for action the previous year. The ensuing fight was distinguished by valiant Confederate soldiers hoping to erase the memories of continual retreat under Joseph E. Johnston. Confederate casualties numbered 6,300 and the Union 2,300. Nevertheless, the Confederates pushed on toward Nashville. Following the engagement at Franklin, Union forces were supplemented in Nashville by soldiers under George Thomas. Feverish work was done to strengthen area defenses. Thomas attacked on December 15. The following day the confederates were forced from the field and began a retreat toward Mississippi. Many of those defeated soldiers returned home, ending their participation in the conflict. The battles at Franklin and Nashville eliminated Confederate military influence in Tennessee.