The Battle of Ezra Church was one of the deadliest engagements in the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War and continues to be one of the least understood. Both official and unofficial reports failed to illuminate the true bloodshed of the conflict: one of every three engaged Confederates was killed or wounded, including four generals. Nor do those reports acknowledge the flaws—let alone the ultimate failure—of Confederate commander John Bell Hood’s plan to thwart Union general William Tecumseh Sherman’s southward advance.
In an account that refutes and improves upon all other interpretations of the Battle of Ezra Church, noted battle historian Gary Ecelbarger consults extensive records, reports, and personal accounts to deliver a nuanced hour-by-hour overview of how the battle actually unfolded. His narrative fills in significant facts and facets of the battle that have long gone unexamined, correcting numerous conclusions that historians have reached about key officers’ intentions and actions before, during, and after this critical contest. Eleven troop movement maps by leading Civil War cartographer Hal Jespersen complement Ecelbarger’s analysis, detailing terrain and battle maneuvers to give the reader an on-the-ground perspective of the conflict.
With new revelations based on solid primary-source documentation, Slaughter at the Chapel is the most comprehensive treatment of the Battle of Ezra Church yet written, as powerful in its implications as it is compelling in its moment-to-moment details.