Few American Civil War operations matched the controversy, intensity, and bloodshed of Confederate general John Bell Hood’s ill-fated 1864 campaign against Union forces in Tennessee. In the first-ever anthology on the subject, The Tennessee Campaign of 1864, edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, fourteen prominent historians and emerging scholars examine the three-month operation, covering the battles of Allatoona, Spring Hill, and Franklin, as well as the decimation of Hood’s army at Nashville.
Contributors explore the campaign’s battlefield action, including how Major General Andrew J. Smith’s three aggressive divisions of the Army of Tennessee became the most successful Federal unit at Nashville, how vastly outnumbered Union troops held the Allatoona Pass, why Hood failed at Spring Hill and how the event has been perceived, and why so many of the Army of Tennessee’s officer corps died at the Battle of Franklin, where the Confederacy suffered a disastrous blow. An exciting inclusion is the diary of Confederate major general Patrick R. Cleburne, which covers the first phase of the campaign. Essays on the strained relationship between Ulysses S. Grant and George H. Thomas and on Thomas’s approach to warfare reveal much about the personalities involved, and chapters about civilians in the campaign’s path and those miles away show how the war affected people not involved in the fighting. An innovative case study of the fighting at Franklin investigates the emotional and psychological impact of killing on the battlefield, and other implications of the campaign include how the courageous actions of the U.S. Colored Troops at Nashville made a lasting impact on the African American community and how preservation efforts met with differing results at Franklin and Nashville.
Canvassing both military and social history, this well-researched volume offers new, illuminating perspectives while furthering long-running debates on more familiar topics. These in-depth essays provide an expert appraisal of one of the most brutal and notorious campaigns in Civil War history.