In February of 1862, the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson near the Tennessee-Kentucky border forced a Confederate retreat into northern Alabama. After the Southern forces failed that spring at Shiloh to throw back the Federal advance, the controversial General Braxton Bragg, newly promoted by Jefferson Davis, launched a countermovement that would sweep eastward to Chattanooga and then northwest through Middle Tennessee. Capturing Kentucky became the ultimate goal, which, if achieved, would lend the war a different complexion indeed. Giving equal attention to the strategies of both sides, McDonough describes the ill-fated Union effort to capture Chattanooga with an advance through Alabama, the Confederate march across Tennessee, and the subsequent two-pronged invasion of Kentucky. He vividly recounts the fighting at Richmond, Munfordville, and Perryville, where the Confederate dream of controlling Kentucky finally ended.
The author: James Lee McDonough, a native of Tennessee, is professor of history at Auburn University. Among his other books are Stones River Bloody Winter in Tennessee and Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin, which he co-wrote with Thomas L. Connelly."