Despite a series of defeats in the closing days of November, 1864, Confederate Lieut. Gen. John Bell Hood continued to drag his bloodied Army of Tennessee, approximately 30,000 strong, north towards Nashville. The city was protected by 55,000 Union soldiers, which should have precluded further offensive operations, but Hood was determined and his situation was dire. Hood reached Nashville on December 2nd and staked out a position south of the city, hoping to draw the Union forces into a costly attack. Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln urged Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to attack but he delayed for nearly two weeks, citing freezing weather and limited cavalry support. On December 15th, Thomas finally moved forward. The Union plan called for a demonstration on the Confederate right while the main assault struck a cluster of earthen redoubts on the Confederate left. The diversionary attack broke against artillery posted along present-day Battery Lane. To the west, fierce close-range combat erupted as Thomas’s men swept over the redoubts. That night, Hood retreated two miles further south. Thomas renewed the attack the next afternoon. After several hours of fighting, Brig. Gen. John McArthur broke through the Confederate left at Shy’s Hill. Hood ordered a hasty retreat south, and only a skillful rearguard action allowed his army to escape. The Union victory at Nashville shattered Hood's Army of Tennessee and effectively ended the war in Tennessee.