Decisions of the Atlanta Campaign

The Twenty-One Critical Decisions That Defined the Operation

  • Author(s): Peterson, Larry
  • Series: Command Decisions in America's Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2019-03-10
  • Status: Active
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At the close of the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, Georgia was ripe for invasion by Union forces. As Gen. Joseph E. Johnston continued to retreat farther south, consistently outflanked by Gen. William T. Sherman’s divisions, Confederate president Jefferson Davis grew increasingly restless and replaced Johnston with Gen. John Bell Hood, hoping the more aggressive Hood would stem Sherman’s advance. On September 2, 1864, Hood’s armies were besieged at Atlanta and eventually defeated, clearing the way for Sherman’s devastating March to the Sea.

Decisions of the Atlanta Campaign introduces readers to critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders throughout that tide-turning summer of 1864. Rather than offering a history of the Atlanta Campaign, Larry Peterson hones in on a sequence of critical decisions confronting commanders on both sides of the clash to provide a blueprint of the campaign at its tactical core. Identifying and exploring the critical decisions in this way allows students of the campaign to progress from a rudimentary sense of the what of warfare, to a mature grasp of why.

Complete with maps and a guided tour, Decisions of the Atlanta Campaign is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a digestible introduction to the Battle of Chattanooga can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the campaign and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.
Decisions of the Atlanta Campaign is the fifth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.

LARRY PETERSON retired from United Airlines as a Boeing 757/767 Standard Captain. He is the author of Confederate Combat Commander: The Remarkable Life of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughn Jr. and Decisions at Chattanooga.