The Emerging Civil War Series is delighted to welcome the foremost authority on all things related to the battles for Atlanta, acclaimed Georgia historian Stephen Davis.
Steve will cover the action in Georgia in two volumes: A Long and Bloody Task: The Atlanta Campaign, From Dalton through Kennesaw Mountain to the Chattahoochee River and All the Fighting They Want: The Atlanta Campaign, from Peachtree Creek to the City’s Surrender.
In All the Fighting They Want and A Long and Bloody Task, Georgia native Steve Davis, the world’s foremost authority on the Atlanta campaign, tells the tale of the last great struggle for the city. His Southern sensibility and his knowledge of the battle, accumulated over a lifetime of living on the ground, make this an indispensable addition to the Emerging Civil War Series (published by Savas Beatie).
“I’ve been an Atlantan since the age of three,” said Davis. “Growing up here in the Centennial, already a Civil Warrior, I counted just two thin books on the Atlanta Campaign. Since then we have at least six more. I’m proud to contribute to this bookshelf with my titles for Savas Beatie’s Emerging Civil War Series.”
Steve’s two books on the Atlanta Campaign round out our foray into the West for this year–but we have others in the pipeline for next year, so stay tuned.
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From the back cover of A Long and Bloody Task:
Spring of 1864 brought a whole new war to the Western Theater, with new commanders and what would become a new style of warfare. Federal armies, perched in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after their stunning victories there the previous fall, poised on the edge of Georgia for the first time in the war.
Atlanta sat in the far distance. Major General William T. Sherman, newly elevated to command the Union’s western armies, eyed it covetously―the South’s last great untouched prize. “Get into the interior of the enemy’s country as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their War resources,” his superior, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, ordered.
But if Atlanta sat some 100 miles away as the crow flies, it lay more than 140 miles away for the marching Federal armies, which had to navigate snaking roads and treacherous mountain passes.
Blocking the way, too, was the Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanded by one of the Confederacy’s most defensive-minded generals, Joseph E. Johnston. All Johnston had to do, as Sherman moved through hostile territory, was slow the Federal advance long enough to find the perfect opportunity to strike.
And so began the last great campaign in the West: Sherman’s long and bloody task.
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From the back cover of All the Fighting They Want:
John Bell Hood brought a hang-dog look and a hard-fighting spirit to the Army of Tennessee. Once one of the ablest division commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia, he found himself, by the spring of 1864, in the war’s Western Theater. Recently recovered from grievous wounds sustained at Chickamauga, he suddenly found himself thrust into command of the Confederacy’s ill-starred army even as Federals pounded on the door of the Deep South’s greatest untouched city, Atlanta.
His predecessor, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, had failed to stop the advance of armies under Federal commander William T. Sherman, who had pushed and maneuvered his way from Chattanooga, Tennessee, right to Atlanta’s very doorstep. Johnston had been able to do little to stop him.
The crisis could not have been more acute.
Hood, an aggressive risk-taker, threw his men into the fray with unprecedented vigor. Sherman welcomed it.
“We’ll give them all the fighting they want,” Sherman said.
He proved a man of his word.
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About the Author:
Steve Davis, an Atlanta-based historian, is the author of several books about the war in north Georgia. He is the former book review editor for Blue & Gray Magazine, and he now works for the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum.