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Kennesaw Mountain
Cover of Kennesaw Mountain
Kennesaw Mountain
Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign

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. Historian Earl J. Hess explains how this battle, with its combination of maneuver and combat, severely tried the patience and endurance of the common soldier and why Johnston's strategy might have been the Confederates' best chance to halt the Federal drive toward Atlanta. He gives special attention to the engagement at Kolb's Farm on June 22 and Sherman's assault on June 27. A final section explores the Confederate earthworks preserved within the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

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. Historian Earl J. Hess explains how this battle, with its combination of maneuver and combat, severely tried the patience and endurance of the common soldier and why Johnston's strategy might have been the Confederates' best chance to halt the Federal drive toward Atlanta. He gives special attention to the engagement at Kolb's Farm on June 22 and Sherman's assault on June 27. A final section explores the Confederate earthworks preserved within the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

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About the Author-
  • Earl J. Hess holds the Stewart W. McClelland Chair in History at Lincoln Memorial University and is the author of many books on the Civil War, including Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign and The Civil War in the West.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 28, 2013
    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.

  • Steven E. Woodworth, professor of history at Texas Christian University and award-winning author of Civil War history "The battle of Kennesaw Mountain is one of the most important as yet unexamined subjects in Civil War military history. Earl Hess' thoroughness, precision, and clear and insightful analysis assure that this will be the definitive account of the battle."
  • Publishers Weekly "Hess relates in exacting detail a grueling stop along General Sherman's Atlanta campaign of the Civil War...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...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."
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Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign
Earl J. Hess
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