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Atlanta 1864

Last Chance for the Confederacy

Richard M. McMurry

Publication Year: 2000

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Series: Great Campaigns of the Civil War


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pp. vii


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pp. viii


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pp. ix-x

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Series Editors’ Introduction

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pp. xi-xii

Americans remain fascinated by the Civil War. Movies,television,and video—even computer software—have augmented the ever-expanding list of books on the war. Although it stands to reason that a large portion of recent work concentrates...

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pp. xiii-xiv

Four great campaigns determined the military outcome of the American Civil War. The first of those epic struggles was the Fort Henry–Fort Donelson–Shiloh campaign (and its ancillary operations) in the late winter and spring of 1862. By those victories Union forces secured control of Missouri,Kentucky ,and most....

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pp. xv

My mother was born in a house a short distance east of Cheatham’s Hill and not far south of Kennesaw Mountain. Many of her uncles,aunts,and cousins lived in houses west of Marietta on and near the 1864 battlefield. I still have several bullets,cannonballs,ba yonets,belt buckles,and other military artifacts...

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CHAPTER ONE Presidents and Generals

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pp. 1-11

Late in the afternoon of Tuesday,the eighth of March 1864—almost at the beginning of the fourth year of the American Civil War—Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant,his fourteen-year-old son,and two of the general’s staff officers arrived by...

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CHAPTER TWO Grand Strategy for 1864

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pp. 12-25

Even before leaving for Washington to accept his lieutenant general’s commission from the hands of President Lincoln,Grant knew that he would be elevated to higher command. Earlier,in response to a request from Maj. Gen. Henry...

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CHAPTER THREE Preparations for the Field

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pp. 26-41

“The great question of the campaign,” Sherman was to write a decade later,“w as one of supplies.” Indeed,as Sherman—a former supply officer —well knew,log istics had determined the outcome of more military operations than had any...

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CHAPTER FOUR The Best Laid Plans

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pp. 42-53

Johnston’s decision to wait passively in his defensive works at Dalton meant that the Rebel commander had yielded the initiative completely to his opponent. Sherman,therefore,enjoyed the great advantage of selecting the time,place...

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CHAPTER FIVE To the Oostanaula

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pp. 54-74

By the time Sherman moved his headquarters from Nashville to Chattanooga, Grant’ s grand strategy for the Union’s 1864 military operations had begun to fall apart. It had,in fact,star ted to unravel even before Grant conceived it. In January...

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CHAPTER SIX On to the Etowah

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pp. 75-84

The armies of Johnston and Sherman found a different environment south of the Oostanaula. The steep ridges,nar row gaps,and heavy woods that characterized the region north of the river gave way to more open terrain and gently...

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CHAPTER SEVEN Into the Hell Hole

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pp. 85-99

The Confederate retreat from Cassville was marked by some confusion, but on the twentieth Johnston got his entire force south of the Etowah and removed or destroyed the bridges near Cartersville. The Rebels continued on southward along...

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CHAPTER EIGHT On the Kennesaw Line

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pp. 100-112

While exhausted Federal soldiers enjoyed a few days’ rest in their camps about Acworth,Yankee repair crews labored to rebuild the railroad bridge across the Etowah River. They completed that task ahead of schedule on June 11,and once again...

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CHAPTER NINE Across the Chattahoochee

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pp. 113-120

When word reached Sherman’s headquarters that the Southerners had abandoned the third Kennesaw line,the Yankee commander’s characteristic optimism surfaced again. Convinced yet one more time that Johnston was hastening to...

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CHAPTER TEN On Other Fields

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pp. 121-128

In the afternoon of July 9, the day after Schofield’s men splashed across the Chattahoochee near Soap Creek,another army forced its way across another river some 550 miles to the northeast. A Confederate force under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early had...

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CHAPTER ELEVEN Hood Takes Command

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pp. 129-140

The cheerful new interpretation of the campaign in Georgia to which Johnston and his military family had come in late May and early June created a hopeful outlook at the headquarters of the Army of Tennessee. Few Southerners outside...

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CHAPTER TWELVE The Rebels Strike Back

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pp. 141-159

Rarely has a general assumed command of an army under more inauspicious circumstances than those facing John Bell Hood on the morning of Monday,July 18, 1864. His army was backed up to a city it had to hold—a fact that limited his strategic options and room to maneuver. He also had to keep...

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN Battle for the Macon & Western

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pp. 160-176

For almost a month after the engagement at Ezra Church and the failure of the McCook-Stoneman raid,the opposing armies remained in relatively stable positions about Atlanta. Their parallel sets of heavily fortified trenches and artillery...

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN “Let Old Abe Settle It”

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pp. 177-190

News of Sherman’s success at Atlanta flew across the North,touching off massive public celebrations from coast to coast as citizens responded to the New York Herald’s “Let the Loyal North take heart.” No sooner did President Lincoln learn of the occupation of Atlanta (from Slocum’s September 2 telegram) than...

APPENDIX ONE Chickamauga Fever and Grant’s Grand Strategy for 1864

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pp. 191-193

APPENDIX TWO Numbers and Losses

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pp. 194-197

APPENDIX THREE Johnston’s Railroad Strategy

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pp. 198-203

APPENDIX FOUR The Atlanta Campaign and the Election of 1864

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pp. 204-208


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pp. 209-220

Bibliographical Essay

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pp. 221-222


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pp. 223-229

E-ISBN-13: 9780803201774
E-ISBN-10: 080320177X

Page Count: 236
Illustrations: Illus., maps
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: Great Campaigns of the Civil War