The Battle of Ezra Church and the Struggle for Atlanta

By Earl J. Hess

288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 16 halftones, 14 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4226-0
    Published: February 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2241-5
    Published: May 2015
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2242-2
    Published: May 2015

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Fought on July 28, 1864, the Battle of Ezra Church was a dramatic engagement during the Civil War's Atlanta campaign. Confederate forces under John Bell Hood desperately fought to stop William T. Sherman's advancing armies as they tried to cut the last Confederate supply line into the city. Confederates under General Stephen D. Lee nearly overwhelmed the Union right flank, but Federals under General Oliver O. Howard decisively repelled every attack. After five hours of struggle, 5,000 Confederates lay dead and wounded, while only 632 Federals were lost. The result was another major step in Sherman's long effort to take Atlanta.

Hess's compelling study is the first book-length account of the fighting at Ezra Church. Detailing Lee's tactical missteps and Howard's vigilant leadership, he challenges many common misconceptions about the battle. Richly narrated and drawn from an array of unpublished manuscripts and firsthand accounts, Hess's work sheds new light on the complexities and significance of this important engagement, both on and off the battlefield.

About the Author

Earl J. Hess is Stewart W. McClelland Chair of history at Lincoln Memorial University and is the author of many books on the Civil War, including Kennesaw Mountain and The Civil War in the West.
For more information about Earl J. Hess, visit the Author Page.


"A detailed and fascinating analytical narrative. . . . A model of well-written Civil War History."--Library Journal

"Brilliantly written . . . [a] ground breaking contribution to the campaign's assemblage of canonical works from Earl Hess."--Civil War Books and Authors

“Lays out an engaging narrative and cross-examines misconceptions.... A welcome addition to Atlanta Campaign scholarship.”--America’s Civil War

“A powerful history of a neglected battle in the Atlanta campaign.”--Journal of Southern History

"Earl Hess has once again proved his skill in writing meticulous battle narratives that will instruct and captivate his readers."--Michigan War Studies Review

"Exploring a pivotal but often overlooked battle in the Civil War, The Battle of Ezra Church and the Struggle for Atlanta is the first book-length examination of the battle of Ezra Church. Well written and well researched, this book offers invaluable descriptions of troop movements and battle actions, as well as keen analysis of strategy and how individual battles fit into the larger context of the Atlanta campaign. In his account of this bloody conflict, Earl Hess reminds us that he is one of the finest Civil War historians writing today."--Keith S. Bohannon, University of West Georgia

Multimedia & Links

Visit the author's website.