Grenville M. Dodge The Battle of Atlanta

ISBN 13: 9781508485681

The Battle of Atlanta

 
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The Battle of Atlanta is an American Civil War classic by Grenville M. Dodge that contains the following passages: The southwestern campaign -- Letter of General Dodge to his father [on the battle of Pea Ridge] -- The battle of Atlanta -- Letter to General Raum [correcting some statements in his description of the battle of Atlanta] -- The Indian campaigns of 1864-65 -- The Indian campaigns of 1865-66 -- Campaign up the Tennessee River valley -- The Army of the Tennessee -- The campaign in the West -- A talk to old comrades -- General Grant -- Use of block-houses during the Civil War -- An incident of the war [execution of the Confederate spy, Samuel Davis] -- Gen. G.M. Dodge on the water cure -- Misplaced sympathy. The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing their summer campaign to seize the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union forces commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman overwhelmed and defeated Confederate forces defending the city under John Bell Hood. Union Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson was killed during the battle. Despite the implication of finality in its name, the battle occurred midway through the campaign, and the city did not fall until September 2, 1864, after a Union siege and various attempts to seize railroads and supply lines leading to Atlanta. After taking the city, Sherman's troops headed south-southeastward toward Milledgeville, the state capital, and on to Savannah with the March to the Sea. The fall of Atlanta was especially noteworthy for its political ramifications. In the 1864 election, former Union general George B. McClellan, a Democrat, ran against President Lincoln, on a peace platform calling for a truce with the Confederacy. The capture of Atlanta and Hood's burning of military facilities as he evacuated were extensively covered by Northern newspapers, significantly boosting Northern morale, and Lincoln was re-elected by a significant margin. In the Atlanta Campaign, Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman commanded the Union forces of the Western Theater. The main Union force in this battle was the Army of the Tennessee, under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson. He was one of Sherman's and Grant's favorite commanders, as he was very quick and aggressive. Within Sherman's army, the XV Corps was commanded by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the XVI Corps was commanded by Maj. Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, and Maj. Gen. Frank P. Blair Jr. commanded the XVII Corps. During the months leading up to the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had repeatedly retreated from Sherman's superior force. All along the Western and Atlantic Railroad line, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Marietta, Georgia, a pattern was played and replayed: Johnston took up a defensive position, Sherman marched to outflank the Confederate defenses, and Johnston retreated again. After Johnston's withdrawal following the Battle of Resaca, the two armies clashed again at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, but the Confederate senior leadership in Richmond was unhappy with Johnston's perceived reluctance to fight the Union army, even though he had little chance of winning. Thus, on July 17, 1864, as he was preparing for the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Johnston was relieved of his command and replaced by Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood. The dismissal and replacement of Johnston remains one of the most controversial decisions of the civil war. Hood, who was fond of taking risks, lashed out at Sherman's army at Peachtree Creek, but the attack failed with more than two thousand five hundred Confederate casualties. Hood needed to defend the city of Atlanta, which was an important rail hub and industrial center for the Confederacy, but his army was small in comparison to the armies that Sherman commanded.

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