July 22: The Civil War Battle of Atlanta (Modern War Studies) (Hardcover)
So remarkable was the fighting to the east of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, that it earned its place as the only engagement of the Civil War to be widely referred to by the date of its occurrence. Also known as the Battle of Atlanta, this was the largest engagement of the four-month-long Atlanta Campaign for control of the city and the region. Although Confederate commander John Bell Hood's forces flanked William T. Sherman's line and were able to crush the end of it, they could go no further. On July 22, 1864, the Confederates came closer to achieving a major tactical victory than on any other day of the Atlanta Campaign.
Prolific Civil War historian Earl Hess's July 22 is a thorough study of all aspects of the most prominent battle of the Civil War's Atlanta Campaign. Based on exhaustive research in primary sources, Hess has crafted a unique and compelling study of not only the tactics and strategy associated with the engagement but also of the personal experiences of Union and Confederate soldiers and the effects the battle had on them. This book offers fresh insights to the significance that the Battle of July 22 held for the larger Atlanta campaign and the entire Union war effort. Hess also provides a thorough discussion of the death of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, the most prominent casualty of the battle, and the effect this loss had on Union soldiers and civilians alike. He concludes with an assessment of the battle's legacy in American history and culture.
Detailing one of the larger and more vigorously fought battles of the Civil War, Hess's treatment of the Battle of Atlanta stands out as a strong example of Civil War operational history. The combination of maneuver, unit handling, stout combat by the individual soldier, and combative spirit on both sides make July 22 one of the most fascinating and remarkable battles in American history. There is much for the student of military history to learn on many levels of tactics, the experience of combat, and battlefield leadership.