The Bonfire

The Bonfire

The Siege and Burning of Atlanta

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
In this history of Atlanta's destruction, the author offers points of view of Confederate and Union soldiers and officers during a pivotal moment in the Civil War. By the author of The Millionaire's Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power, in development as a feature film.

Perseus Publishing
An epic narrative account of a pivotal moment in the defeat of the Confederacy: the ruinous siege and destruction of Atlanta

The destruction of Atlanta is an iconic moment in American history?it was the centerpiece of Gone with the Wind. But though the epic sieges of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Berlin have all been explored in bestselling books, the one great American example has been treated only cursorily in more general histories. Marc Wortman remedies that conspicuous absence in grand fashion with The Bonfire, an absorbing narrative history told through the points of view of key participants both Confederate and Union.

The Bonfire reveals an Atlanta of unexpected paradoxes: a new mercantile city dependent on the primitive institution of slavery; governed by a pro-Union mayor, James Calhoun, whose cousin was a famous defender of the South. When he surrendered the city to General Sherman after forty-four terrible days, Calhoun was accompanied by Bob Yancey, a black slave likely the son of Union advocate Daniel Webster. Atlanta was both the last of the medieval city sieges and the first modern urban devastation. From its ashes, a new South would arise.

Blackwell North Amer
The Bonfire is the intimate and epic story of the most terrible city siege in American history: the destruction and burning of Atlanta.
The struggle for Atlanta, the Gate City of the South, culminated a series of brutal battles on the western front of the Civil War. From Tennessee to the banks of the Chattahoochee River, federal invaders and Confederate defenders fought mile by bloody mile until finally Atlanta was partially encircled and besieged. Presidents Lincoln and Davis and the people of North and South followed the vicious fighting every step of the way. The future of one - or two - nations hung upon its outcome.
The story of Atlanta's cataclysmic final days begins in the story of its equally spectacular rise. The development of the city by men such as its Civil War mayor, James Calhoun, was closely connected with the settlement of the American West and the country's long struggle to displace the native population.
The story of Civil War Atlanta is also a rich and contrary social history. Nothing is quite what it is supposed to be: Sherman, who made Georgia howl, was as unreconstructed a racist at the end of the war as at the beginning; Union troops and Confederate forces laughed and sang together from opposite sides of the Chattahoochee River before the hellacious final conflict in which they slaughtered each other unhesitatingly by the thousands; Mayor Calhoun remained a staunch believer in the Union at the same time he waged war against it; and a handful of slaves - like Bob Yancey, who rode out alongside the town's leading citizens to surrender the city to Sherman's forces - exited the war not only freed of slavery's yoke but among the wealthiest citizens of a devastated city that would emerge as the engine of the New South.
Through the compelling, interwoven, and often surprising life stories of a diverse cast of colorful characters - schoolchildren and booksellers, bootleggers and covert Unionists, bondsmen and soldiers - Marc Wortman creates a rich and multilayered portrait of the age, the city, and the terrible siege. The rise and fall of Atlanta embodied all the myths, contradictions, and aspirations of the American South, and it was in Atlanta, in 1864, that the Confederacy met its destiny.

& Taylor

Offers points of view of Confederate and Union soldiers and officers during the siege and burning of Atlanta, a pivotal moment in the Civil War.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781586484828
Branch Call Number: 973.736 WOR
Characteristics: viii, 431 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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