Earl Hess speaks on the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

Jackson County Justice Center
Marcia Woosley
Oct 14, 2013
7:00 PM

The October meeting of the Western North Carolina Civil War Round Table will be held Monday, Oct. 14, in the Jury Room of the Jackson County Justice Center, 2nd floor. We will welcome Dr. Earl Hess, a very prolific Civil War author.  His topic will be "Kennesaw Mountain — Sherman, Johnston and the Atlanta Campaign." Hess will explore the battle itself and its lasting effects on Sherman's reputation.

General Sherman encountered the most difficult time of his effort to approach the Gate City of the South during the Kennesaw Mountain phase from June to July, 1864. General Sherman was stymied by rains and the careful defensive strategy of his opponent, Joseph E. Johnston. Thus, he decided to launch a major frontal attack against well-defended Confederate positions on June 27, 1864. The results created a dark memory among the Federals who survived the attack and a good deal of controversy that Sherman had to answer to for a long time. Dr. Hess' multi-media presentation promises to be clear in its detail, illustrated with new maps of the battle and with photographs of the preserved battlefield today.

Earl Hess has been a student of Civil War history since he was a teenager, growing up in rural Missouri. He completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees in History at Southeast Missouri State University and his Ph.D. in American Studies, concentrating in history, at Purdue University in 1986. Dr. Hess has taught at Texas Tech University, and the Universities of both Georgia and Arkansas. He has been at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee since 1989 where he holds the Stewart W. McClelland Chair. Dr. Hess has contributed greatly to the scholarship of Civil War military science by his many writings. Among these are a trilogy of books, "Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War" (2005), "Trench Warfare Under Grant and Lee" (2007), and "In the Trenches at Petersburg" (2009), which have questioned the conventional thinking of their effects on certain battles' outcomes. His book "The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Realety and Myth" (2008) challenges the notion of riflings vast superiority as well as the evolution of skirmishing and sniping tactics.  Dr. Hess has also published nearly twenty books, more than twenty articles and over 100 book reviews. These include his recent publications: "Kennesaw Mountain — Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign" (2013), "The Knoxville Campaign — Burnside and Longstreet in East Tennessee" (2012, "The Civil War in the West — Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi" (2012).

Dr. Hess will be accompanied by his wife, Dr. Pratibha Dabholkar, who is recognized as a leading authority in her own field, services management and technologies. Together they have coauthored "Singin' in the Rain — The Making of an American Masterpiece" (2009) and have a forthcoming book "The Pirate — Kelly, Minnelli and Garland at Work."

Come join the author and WNCCWRT members for dinner at 5 p.m. at Bogart's in Sylva. Then we will move to the Jury Room (# 20) in the Jackson County Justice Center for a social hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by Dr. Hess' presentation at 7 p.m.

For more information, call Chuck Beemer at 456-4212.