Franklin-Nashville Campaign: What was the point?


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Brig. General Samuel Wragg Ferguson and his Cavalry Brigade was operating with Hood after the fall of Atlanta during what became known as "Hood`s Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama". During this time (29 Sep 1864 - 28 Oct 1864) Hood had told him that his plan was to go into Tennessee and on to Kentucky, and once there either continue marching north to Ohio or turn east and join forces with General Robert E. Lee`s Army of Northern Virginia to place direct pressure on Lincoln at Washington. Years later when asked about this aspect of the ACW, Ferguson would always refer to Hood`s Tennessee Campaign as "Hood`s March to Tennessee and Kentucky". He wrote several passages in his memoirs and personal papers to that effect as well. Another interesting thing that Ferguson spoke on during this time of the War was that initially Wheeler`s Cavalry Corps was supposed to go into Tennessee with Hood, but Hood changed his mind and called up Forrest`s Cavalry Corps to go with him instead, who had been operating between the Mississippi Delta and middle Tennessee. I guess that Hood had much more confidence in Forrest than Wheeler. Then on 28 Oct 1864, just before Hood crossed into Tennessee he ordered Ferguson back to Atlanta to keep an eye on Sherman. At that time Wheeler had been up in Tennessee for several weeks on raids and Ferguson was temporarily given control of the entire Cavalry in Georgia until General Wheeler returned from his raid and joined Ferguson near Atlanta on 9 Nov 1864. Day`s later this lead to them Harassing Sherman`s rear on his march from Atlanta to Savannah as Hood was making his way northward through Tennessee. I think at the time "Hood`s March to Tennessee and Kentucky" was a sound strategy... but only if Hood could make it out of Tennessee to Kentucky and then make the decision to continue to Ohio or turn towards Virginia.
 
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OldReliable1862

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While I acknowledge the Second World War is not by area of expertise in the slightest, I can't help but see some similarities between the Franklin-Nashville campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. I've wondered sometimes which of the two had a better chance of succeeding.
 

Luke Freet

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While I acknowledge the Second World War is not by area of expertise in the slightest, I can't help but see some similarities between the Franklin-Nashville campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. I've wondered sometimes which of the two had a better chance of succeeding.
The thing with that is, even if the attackers won, that isn't the war won. Just prolonged.
And in the case of the Germans, if they managed to suffer minimal losses and managed to peace out the allies before the Soviets restarted their offensives in January of '45 the forces freed up would not have been enough to stem the tide of the Soviets (who, while not having the utter monolithic numbers western sources love pointing too, were still outnumbering the German Ostheer by factors). So, even if a miracle victor was acheived, it would still end in defeat.
 

archieclement

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The thing with that is, even if the attackers won, that isn't the war won. Just prolonged.
And in the case of the Germans, if they managed to suffer minimal losses and managed to peace out the allies before the Soviets restarted their offensives in January of '45 the forces freed up would not have been enough to stem the tide of the Soviets (who, while not having the utter monolithic numbers western sources love pointing too, were still outnumbering the German Ostheer by factors). So, even if a miracle victor was acheived, it would still end in defeat.
The Germans to some extent believed if the western allies would make peace, that they then would then join them against the soviets. The Germans were amazed the west didn't see communism as the greatest threat........considering the cold war and icey adversarial positions to this day, the German view wasnt entirely without merit.

Also find your hindsight logic rather flawed, If your diagnosed with a severe illness and the only treatment only has a 10% chance of success, human nature isn't to go well its over, I'm more then likely dead so i should just die.........…No most people will take the 10% chance and continue to fight.
 
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scone

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Spring Hill was Hood's greatest missed opportunity. If he pushed the attack and captured the highway, or one of his subordinate commanders had taken the initiative and camped on the road, could he have pulled a victory against the Army of the Ohio? Itd only be a local victory; hood wouldn't have the strength to even dream of taking Nashville.
High way was there but no one followed orders... to cross the pike its was A cluster F... That should have never happened … seasoned solders … court martial me but you know what needs to be done... tired yes the foe no less tired … My campaign its my neighborhood so to speak … No expert it all falls on the commander … And hood takes the fall but ever corp commander and brigade commander and even a regiment commander near by … theses are seasoned vets sad so sad that it would be a gut wrenching disaster on the 30th … God Bless the all … My family in Sd lees corps Jonson Division yes went in with torches...
 

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