War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta

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Westholme, 2009 - History - 522 pages
2 Reviews

An absolute pleasure to read.” —Civil War News

“The freshness of the writing style, the pace of the story, and the handling of an entire campaign is as compelling as Bruce Catton's landmark Army of the Potomac trilogy.” —Civil War Librarian

“Well-researched and well-written. . . . excellent character sketches. . . vivid and moving. . . . maps and diagrams of the battles are outstanding.” —Bowling Green Daily News

“Magnificent.”—Civil War Notebook

Excellent. . . Bonds provides the reader with a memorable and moving portrait of a besieged city."Booklist

"For all Atlanta's passion and fiery agony in that long ago time, one must now consult history books, and there is none better than 'War Like the Thunderbolt.'”—John Sledge, Mobile Press-Register

"This gripping story of the battles for Atlanta in 1864 provides new insights on a campaign that ensured Lincoln's reelection and the ultimate destruction of the Confederacy. Russell S. Bonds has an impressive ability to combine combat narrative with shrewd analyses of commanders' performances.” —James M. McPherson, author of Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

“Through the power of Margaret Mitchell's words and the film they inspired, the struggle for Atlanta became all that most folks needed to know about our nation's four-year bloodbath. In War Like the Thunderbolt, using his skills as both historian and storyteller, Russell S. Bonds has given us what might have seemed impossible—a fresh, new look back at Atlanta.” —Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South

Called “the greatest event of the Civil War” by New York diarist George Templeton Strong, the epic struggle for the city of Atlanta in the bloody summer of 1864 was a pivotal moment in American history. Union commander William Tecumseh Sherman's relentless fight for the city secured the reelection of Abraham Lincoln, sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy, and set a precedent for military campaigns that endures today. Its depiction in the novel and motion picture Gone with the Wind established the fight for Atlanta as an iconic episode in our nation's most terrible war. In War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta, award-winning author Russell S. Bonds takes the reader behind the lines and across the smoky battlefields of Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church, and Jonesboro, and into the lives of fascinating characters, both the famous and the forgotten, including the fiery and brilliant Sherman; General John Bell Hood, the Confederacy's last hope to defend Atlanta; Benjamin Harrison, the diminutive young Indiana colonel who would rise to become President of the United States; Patrick Cleburne, the Irishmanturned- Southern officer; and ten-year-old diarist Carrie Berry, who bravely withstood and bore witness to the fall of the city. Here also is the dramatic story of the ordeal of Atlanta itself—the five-week artillery bombardment, the expulsion of its civilian population, and the infamous fire that followed. Based on new research in diaries, newspapers, previously unpublished letters, and other archival sources, War Like the Thunderbolt is a combination of captivating narrative and insightful military analysis—a stirring account of the battle and burning of the “Gate City of the South.”

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - THARVEYME - LibraryThing

Excellent coverage of Sherman vs Johnston and then Hood in the four major Battles around Atlanta, the burning of the city by both sides, and Atlanta before and after the war. Plenty of good maps which ... Read full review

Atlanta is the focus

User Review  - James Durney - Borders

This is not the book I expected. My expectations were 544 pages of front, flank & feints dealing with Sherman’s maneuvers around the city. My expectations were a book long on battle details ... Read full review


Crazy Bill
The Gamecock
Hoods First Sortie

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About the author (2009)

Russell S. Bonds is an attorney in Atlanta and author of Stealing the General, also available from Westholme Publishing.

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