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The Atlanta Campaign ground on for more than four months and proved one of the most decisive of the Civil War. Cautious General Joseph Johnston was popular with the troops but, from the government's viewpoint, produced no results. Confederate President Jefferson Davis searched for a replacement with a less deliberate strategy and a more aggressive style. In short, a fighter. John Bell Hood was such a man, having led troops in battle, fighting and bleeding on behalf of the cause. He was Johnston's chief subordinate and the natural candidate as his replacement.
Even so, Sherman eventually captured Atlanta and contributed to Abraham Lincoln's reelection. Hood's effort to save the railroad and manufacturing center has historically been considered a failure, with his selection as Johnston's replacement considered extremely controversial.
Coffey tackles this issue, and argues for the necessity of replacing General Johnston with the most logical choice, Hood. The author also explains that, despite his scrappy reputation and aggressive style, Hood had inherited a near impossible situation in trying to save Atlanta but, according to this book, his performance was praiseworthy.