Ahh, but a successful siege is not the same thing as an open-field battle in which the enemy army is destroyed, as an army, on the field.
In fact, at the time it was a truism that once an army allowed itself to be pinned down in a siege it would inevitably have to capitulate eventually, unless a relieving force was successful.
At ACH Lee’s army was not destroyed, it surrendered because being surrounded, out of ammo, etc. its defeat was inevitable. Same for Johnson, although his army was not in as immediately bad shape as Lee’s. There just wasn’t any more point in continuing to fight once Lee surrendered. In both cases, these armies were defeated and dispersed as the result of a successful campaign, not a single decisive battle.
You have a point about Franklin, but Thomas wasn’t there. He was the theater commander, but not on the battlefield. Also it was Hood destroyed the army. :)
I guess I should concede Nashville as a decisive battle. As its result the CSA western army more or less fell apart. But it was not the result of two more or less equal armies meeting in battle and one destroying the other. Hood’s army had already been more or less destroyed as a result of his inept campaign. He was just too stubborn and/or stupid to admit it.
Possibly it’s a nit, but I think there is a real difference between a single decisive battle and a campaign or war that results in an enemy’s eventually being work down and defeated. IOW, Cannae and Austerlitz were very different from WWI. Or the Battle of France and the conquest of Germany in WWII.
Some wanted Lee to disperse the army so soldiers could disperse to the hills and carry on a guerrilla war. The surrender put an end to that talk and the war.