SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

The Tennessee Campaign of 1864

The Tennessee Campaign of 1864

Add to Cart

Edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear


E-book (Other formats: Hardcover)
14 illustrations

Civil War Campaigns in the West


Additional Materials

About the Book

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.


Steven E. Woodworth is a professor of history at Texas Christian University. He is the author or editor of thirty-one books about the Civil War, including This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War; Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861–1865; and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland series.
Charles D. Grear is a professor of history and the online manager for history and geography at Central Texas College. A specialist on Texas and the Civil War, he is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of six books, including The Chattanooga Campaign, Why Texans Fought in the Civil War, and The House Divided: America in the Era of the Civil War. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland series. 

Contributors include Stewart Bennett, Andrew S. Bledsoe, John J. Gaines, John R. Lundberg, Jennifer M. Murray, Paul L. Schmelzer, Brooks D. Simpson, Timothy B. Smith, Scott L. Stabler, Jonathan M. Steplyk, D. L. Turner, and William Lee White.


“Arguably the most decisive military event of the Civil War, the 1864 Tennessee campaign has finally received the detailed scrutiny it deserves in this excellent volume. Thirteen of the best scholars in the field have produced the most complete and compelling coverage and analysis to date. Great commanders, soldiers in the ranks, and ordinary civilians—white and black alike—emerge starkly, illuminating the campaign’s enormous desperation, mass carnage, and enduring tragedy.”—T. Michael Parrish, Baylor University

“In this superb collection of essays, Steven Woodworth and Charles Grear have assembled a cavalcade of stars to contemplate the Tennessee Campaign of the fall of 1864, with emphasis placed on the battlefields of Franklin and Nashville. The essays, chock-full of new insights and a bounty of primary sources, cover everything from the commanders and the details of battle to the civilians forced to contemplate so much death and destruction. Additionally, a few authors consider the memory of the battle, as well as the failed and successful efforts to preserve the sites where the Army of Tennessee faced its final, tragic chapter.”—Brian Craig Miller, author of John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory

''The Tennessee Campaign of 1864
is another fine addition to the Civil War Campaigns of the Heartland series, with material even the most diehard students of the campaign can freshly appreciate. With twelve more titles in the planning stages [for the series], one earnestly hopes that the positive momentum will continue.''—Civil War Books and Authors 

"Editors Steven E. Woodworth, a professor of history at Texas Christian University, and Charles D. Grear, professor of history at Central Texas College, have filled in the scholarly gaps in this area with an excellent collection of essays in The Tennessee Campaign of 1864.
The majority of the essays make the point that after the fall of Atlanta to Sherman’s army on September 1, 1864, the Southern Confederacy was a doomed dream. The following campaign in north Georgia and Middle Tennessee only prolonged the agony."--Dr. Wallace Cross, Austin Peay State University

"Considering the almost endless list of works on the American Civil War, one would think that everything has been covered; however, The Tennessee Campaign of 1864, a collection of essays edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, demonstrates that the field is still fertile. While historians have paid a great deal of attention to the Atlanta campaign and William T. Sherman's March to the Sea, they have paid much less attention to Confederate efforts to turn things around in the fall and winter of 1864, which culminated in the battle of Nashville." ---Scott Tarnowieckyi, Weatherford College