Synopses & Reviews
While fighting his way toward Atlanta, William T. Sherman encountered his biggest roadblock at Kennesaw Mountain, where Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee held a heavily fortified position. The opposing armies confronted each other from June 19 to July 3, 1864, and Sherman initially tried to outflank the Confederates. His men endured heavy rains, artillery duels, sniping, and a fierce battle at Kolb's Farm before Sherman decided to directly attack Johnston's position on June 27. Kennesaw Mountain tells the story of an important phase of the Atlanta campaign.
"Hess (The Civil War in the West) relates in exacting detail a grueling stop along General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War. The book focuses on the Kennesaw Mountain area, beginning with a battle at Kolb's Farm, through a harrowing day of fighting on June 27, 1864, and on to a flanking maneuver that finally convinced Sherman and General Johnston, the Rebel commander, to step back from what seemed like a two-week-long stalemate. Hess supports his assertion that the earthworks of Johnston's Rebel forces were instrumental in slowing Sherman down, and while it couldn't be called a victory for either side (the Union counted 3,000 'killed, wounded, and missing,' and the Confederates tallied 700 casualties), the superior works of the Rebels were impressive even Union commanders acknowledged it. The Kennesaw engagement can be seen as a textbook example of the importance of earthworks, and Hess describes the whole scenario in enough detail that it's easy to see why they were so vital. With plenty of maps and primary sources including diaries, letters, and dispatches readers will be engrossed by the personal story of these soldiers. Civil War buffs and those interested in military history will take to this gripping account. 25 illus., 21 maps, 1 table." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain is one of the most important as yet unexamined subjects in Civil War military history. Earl Hess's thoroughness, precision, and clear and insightful analysis assure that this will be the definitive account of the battle."--Steven E. Woodworth, Texas Christian University
"Readers will be engrossed by the personal story of these soldiers. . . . [A] gripping account."
"Hess is one of the most prolific quality authors of Civil War books going today. . . . Anyone interested in the Atlanta Campaign will find [his book] to be centerpiece of their collection."
-Civil War Book Review
"A superbly researched account of the specifics of the battle that will appeal to scholars and general readers alike."
"Demonstrating exhaustive research, abundant visual aids, and unusually thoughtful approaches to operational and tactical discussion and analysis, Kennesaw Mountain
is everything serious Civil War military history readers want from modern battle studies. . . . This book bridges a significant gap in the Atlanta Campaign historiography [which] makes it all the more indispensable to the Civil War library."
"Reads like a staff ride organized by an officer intimately familiar with the area's topography. . . . Deftly interweaving his own insightful analysis with battle accounts, as recorded in the diaries and letters of combatants, Hess makes a convincing case for the importance of this still unappreciated battle."
-Civil War Times
"An excellent analysis of the most critical engagements of Sherman's Atlanta campaign."
About the Author
Earl J. Hess is Stewart W. McClelland Chair in history at Lincoln Memorial University and has written many books, including The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi.