WAR SO TERRIBLE: Sherman and Atlanta by James Lee & James Pickett Jones McDonough

WAR SO TERRIBLE: Sherman and Atlanta

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KIRKUS REVIEW

McDonough, the author of five books on Civil War subjects, and Jones, the author of three, collaborate for the first time and produce a history of Union Major General William T. ""War is Hell"" Sherman's 1864 Atlanta Campaign, a momentous event in world military history that has, surprisingly, been the subject of very few serious or light treatments. In May 1864, Sherman's forces pressed south from the vicinity of Chattanooga, and by September, after no less than six major engagements and several more serious actions, found themselves in possession of Atlanta. With a deftness and skill that is exceptional for a collaborative effort, the authors tell the story of those five months of civil war, profile the contending Confederate and Union generals (using memoirs and letters), highlight the experiences of civilians and private soldiers who endured the campaign, discuss the political significance of Union success and Confederate defeat, explain what Sherman meant to achieve militarily when he marched into the heart of the Deep South to take the ""Gate City"" and its railroads, and--for those who may not be familiar with the campaign--make it abundantly clear that this operation was something altogether different and more deadly than the later and more famous ""March to the Sea."" For serious students of Civil War history, the authors have also provided accounts of some important engagements that have previously received little scholarly attention, such as the May 27, 1864, fights at Pickett's Mills and Mount Zion Church. And, despite the Union bias implied by the title, the historians have made a serious effort to be evenhanded, doling out credit, praise, and damnation (where it is due) to the soldiers and commanders of the Confederate Army of Tennessee as well as to Sherman and his men. An engrossing, well-written history.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1987
Publisher: Norton