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344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 25 halftones, 21 maps, 1 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

Civil War America

ISBN  978-1-4696-0211-0
Published: April 2013

ISBN  978-1-4696-2988-9
Available: August 2016

Kennesaw Mountain

Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign

By Earl J. Hess

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.

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.


“Readers will be engrossed by the personal story of these soldiers. . . . [A] gripping account.”
--Publishers Weekly

"A superbly researched account of the specifics of the battle that will appeal to scholars and general readers alike."
--McCormick Messenger

"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

"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.”

"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 the centerpiece of their collection."
--Civil War Book Review

“An excellent analysis of the most critical engagements of Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.”
--Army Magazine

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