Earl J. Hess: The Battle of Peach Tree Creek

Earl Hess: The Battle of Peach Tree CreekCan you believe the fall season is almost upon us? July is racing by, so now we’re turning our attention to our amazing line-up of fall books. We’ll be highlighting a few of our picks this week on the blog. First up—The Battle of Peach Tree Creek by Earl J. Hess.


Famed Civil War historian Earl J. Hess is releasing the latest title in the Civil War America series this fall! The Battle of Peach Tree Creek: Hood’s First Effort to Save Atlanta is now available for pre-order—just in time to reserve your copy around the anniversary of the battle.

On July 20, 1864, the Civil War struggle for Atlanta reached a pivotal moment. As William T. Sherman’s Union forces came ever nearer the city, the defending Confederate Army of Tennessee replaced its commanding general, removing Joseph E. Johnston and elevating John Bell Hood. This decision stunned and demoralized Confederate troops just when Hood was compelled to take the offensive against the approaching Federals. Attacking northward from Atlanta’s defenses, Hood’s men struck George H. Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland just after it crossed Peach Tree Creek on July 20. Initially taken by surprise, the Federals fought back with spirit and nullified all the advantages the Confederates first enjoyed. As a result, the Federals achieved a remarkable defensive victory.

Offering new and definitive interpretations of the battle’s place within the Atlanta campaign, Earl J. Hess describes how several Confederate regiments and brigades made a pretense of advancing but then stopped partway to the objective and took cover for the rest of the afternoon on July 20. Hess shows that morale played an unusually important role in determining the outcome at Peach Tree Creek—a soured mood among the Confederates and overwhelming confidence among the Federals spelled disaster for one side and victory for the other.

“Earl Hess is one of our finest Civil War military historians, and he’s done another masterful job in The Battle of Peach Tree Creek. Through impeccable scholarship, Hess not only clearly describes the battle’s tactical history but also places the fight into the larger context of the Atlanta campaign and the Civil War.”—A. Wilson Greene, author of The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion

Award-winning historian Earl J. Hess is author of many books on Civil War history, including Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy.