On today's date in 1864, Hood moved his army from Gadsden to Alpine on the Georgia-Alabama border, then crossed the Sand Mountain into Alabama. It rained most of the way. The roads were muddy and full of water, in some places knee deep. From there the army moved toward Guntersville, Alabama, the nearest point of crossing the Tennessee River. From Guntersville he planned to capture the large Federal base at Nashville before the Federals could be reinforced. Beyond accomplishing that, Hood's grand hope was to march into Kentucky to threaten Louisville and Cincinnati. From that point he would march east to join Robert E. Lee's army in fighting Ulysses S. Grant.
Divining the object of his movement against our communications, which had been thus far rapid and skillful, I detached by rail General Schofield and two of my six corps to Nashville, all the reinforcements that Thomas deemed necessary to enable him to defend Tennessee, and began my systematic preparations for resuming the offensive against Georgia.The 2 armies then went their separate ways: Hood into Tennessee and Sherman back to Atlanta, planning his infamous March to the Sea.