Before the battle of Franklin, there had been much uncertainty regarding the fate of the Confederate States, despite their many recent losses. Yes, Atlanta had fallen in the summer, leaving General Sherman free to complete his terrorizing of southern civilians in his infamous March to the Sea, which he had begun in the Carolinas the previous spring. In Virginia, a slow hemorrhage had been inflicted by the losses of Spotsylvania Courthouse, New Market and the brutal siege of St. Petersburg. Mobile Bay in Alabama had fallen to Admiral Farragut in August. In a last effort to regroup and seize vital railroad lines, as well as river commerce in Nashville, John Bell Hood took his Army of the Tennessee into middle Tennessee and eventually to Franklin, where in a campaign full of minor victories and substantial failures, the confederacy showcased its last grand display of fortitude.
Columbia, South Carolina after Sherman’s devastating “March to the Sea”