cover image Rising in Flames: Sherman’s March and the Fight for a New Nation

Rising in Flames: Sherman’s March and the Fight for a New Nation

J.D. Dickey. Pegasus, $29.95 (420p) ISBN 978-1-68177-757-3

This superlative, impeccably researched account of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s march through Georgia in 1864–1865 brings to life Civil War history through personal accounts and vivid descriptions of military strategy. Sherman, an avowed and largely unrepentant racist who came to despise slavery as both the driving force and supporting labor of secession, is thoughtfully portrayed as a complex figure whose unflinching military strategy eviscerated the rebel armies’ military capabilities. Dickey, a perceptive and agile writer, masterfully evokes the momentous military campaign, sweeping up the tales of home-front politics, newly freed slaves, an army chaplain, front-line officers, and fascinating portrayals of diverse Union Army members. He gives particular focus to Mary Bickerdyke, who worked for the U.S. Sanitary Commission channeling war relief funds and medical care efforts on a massive scale to save lives and feed troops as they carried out the invasion of the deep South, and “Black Eagle” John Logan, an Illinois legislator who began the war an ardent foe of Abraham Lincoln and author of proslavery laws and, after seeing the horrors of slavery firsthand, became aligned with Lincoln’s goals. Dickey fuses tactical analysis and terrifying descriptions of combat to make Sherman’s military strategy clear, and his accounts of the Battle for Atlanta, its subsequent burning, and the fight for Missionary Ridge are riveting. Dickey tells the story of Sherman’s march unforgettably, with power on every page. Agent: Adam Chromy, Movable Type. (June)