James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
to be sure, of that compact and well-disciplined force of 53,000 with which Johnston had begun to resist Shermans advance in May had been killed, wounded or made prisoners, but through casualties, desertions and forced furloughs, practically none of it was left as a fighting body. As an army it is no longer known in the annals of the war, although two detachments of it appear to recall to us its wrecked fortunes. Nine thousand of these discouraged and partially equipped soldiers turned up under Johnston in North Carolina and 1692 went to Mobile
Jefferson Davis had unwittingly helped to bring about the destruction of the Confederate force in the Southwest by removing Joseph E. Johnston and placing Hood in command. Sherman began the ruin of Hoods army about Atlanta; Schofield gave it a severe blow at Franklin; Thomas completed the work at Nashville. There was good generalship; there were brave, devoted and energetic officers and men. Of course Shermans successful march to the sea would have been a bitter disappointment to the North without Thomass victory at Nashville; but the two together formed an important part of the grand scheme which broke down the military resistance of the South. The great achievement, the capture of Lees army, still remained. While the people were rejoicing in the merriest season of the year over the success of Sherman and of Thomas, the President, Grant and Sherman were evolving the plan which should end the Civil War.1