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Following William T. Sherman's capture of Chattanooga, the Union Army initiated a series of battles and operations that took it from the Tennessee border to the outskirts of Atlanta—with bloody confrontations at places such as Resaca and New Hope Church. Grant had ordered Sherman to penetrate the enemy's interior and inflict "all the damage you can against their War resources," and from the first major engagement at Rocky Face Ridge to the bitter standoff at Kennesaw Mountain, ...
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Following William T. Sherman's capture of Chattanooga, the Union Army initiated a series of battles and operations that took it from the Tennessee border to the outskirts of Atlanta—with bloody confrontations at places such as Resaca and New Hope Church. Grant had ordered Sherman to penetrate the enemy's interior and inflict "all the damage you can against their War resources," and from the first major engagement at Rocky Face Ridge to the bitter standoff at Kennesaw Mountain, Sherman proceeded to do just that.
This latest in the Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles offers a concise and easy-to-use introduction to Sherman's route, focusing on this first and most critical phase of the Atlanta campaign. The Guide to the Atlanta Campaign leads visitors to all of the pertinent sites—Dug Gap, Adairsville, Pickett's Mill, and more—to help them relive the experiences of battle-hardened troops on the ground. Authors Luvaas and Nelson show respect for both sides of the fighting, but especially convey Sherman's special genius in mastering the logistical challenges that confronted him, moving reinforcements and supplies, and directing diverse offensive actions over immense—and immensely hostile—territory.
Like previous guides in the series, this volume helps Civil War enthusiasts vividly envision the actual historical setting. It combines official histories and on-the-scene reports, orders, and letters from commanding officers, and it features specially drawn maps that depict the opposing armies and the terrain in which they fought. It also includes easy-to-follow drive-and-stop maps that guide visitors along and just off Interstate 75, with thestops arranged to present the most important phases of the campaign as it developed. And this book supersedes most previous guides by moving beyond battles to more broadly consider the overall campaign.
The guide culminates with the battle of Kennesaw Mountain (urban growth beyond that battlefield precludes a tour), and also provides full coverage of the operational and strategic decisions that led to Sherman's ultimate victory at Atlanta. It will become an essential traveling companion for visitors to these Civil War sites—and an insightful guide for armchair travelers.
This book is part of the U.S. Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles series.
The most thorough, detailed, and accurate books of their kind. Indeed, they are unique. I have used them to lead guided tours of several battlefields, with great success. (James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom)
These guides bridge the gap between sound military history and battlefield touring literature. They can be enjoyed without ever leaving the easy chair or they can become indispensable companions on tramps over the scenes of the greatest engagements of the Civil War. (William C. Davis, author of Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour)
List of Maps and Illustrations
The U.S. Army War College Guides
How to Use This Book
1 Sherman and Grant Prepare for Active Operations 13
2 General Sherman's Opening Moves 25
3 Mill Creek Gap and Rocky Face 35
4 Confederate Defenses East of Rocky Face 53
5 The Fight at Dug Gap 61
6 Resaca Overview 75
7 Camp Creek 91
8 Action North of Resaca 111
9 Adairsville 131
10 Cassville 143
11 Kingston 157
12 The Confederate Move from the Etowah River 167
13 New Hope Church and the Dallas Line 173
14 Pickett's Mill 201
15 Lost Mountain 233
16 Kennesaw Mountain Overview 247
17 Pigeon Hill 267
18 The Defense of Cheatham Hill 283
19 Thomas's Attack 291
20 Kolb's Farm 317
Appendix "The Greatest Possible Importance": Sherman's Logistics in the Atlanta Campaign, Jay Luvaas 341
Order of Battle 359
Posted May 15, 2010
I Also Recommend:
I purchased this in advance of a trip to Atlanta to use as companion to some battlefield visits, and was thoroughly pleased. I only had time to visit Kennesaw Mountain sites at this time, but this guide made my visit a very memorable one. It is also very current, completed in 2008.
Overview history and maps give great introduction, and turn-by-turn directions give the visitor ease as you make your way along Sherman's advance from Chattanooga/Chickamauga in spring of 1864.
In particular, I recommend the Stop 18, Cheatham Hill, and Stop 19, Thomas' Attack, locations. The power of these guides is that they provide the official reports of soldiers and officers who were there. The reader gets their eyewitness accounts of what happened, while you are on the ground, seeing where these things took place. You can imagine, to a small degree, what they experienced, where they experienced it. The Dead Angle was something I had never read about, but it ranks with the Highwater Mark at Gettysburg, Bloody Lane at Antietam, or Stone Wall at Fredricksburg in the intensity, savagery, courage, and carnage of our history. I spent about two hours around the Hill and was immersed in the stories. This would not have been nearly as moving with only the historical markers, although the site has good interpretive signage. The Illinois monument from 1914 is a poignant reminder of the sacrifice of these Union soldiers, and Sam Watkins, Confederate soldier who was there and author of the popular Company Aytch, gives emotional insight into the Confederate perspective.
The biggest challenge all these guides face is about changing roads and intersections, and park times and hours. No print item can stay up to date of course, and all visitors are advised to check websites and call locations in advance of your visit so you don't lose visit time to logistical details. Of course, those things give the visitor a brief commiseration with the challenges faced by all soldiers with navigation in unknown territory and often minimal or faulty maps!
I look forward to using the guide in the future to visit all locations featured in the book, and encourage you to make historical sites part of your travels, whether you have in the past, but especially if it is a new experience for you.
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