Marc Wortman: The Bonfire

Author Marc Wortman discusses his new book about the Union victory he says “pierced the  heart” of the Confederacy  and all but ended the Civil War.
Civil War Wednesdays
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
6:30pm @ Central Library

Author Marc Wortman discusses his new book The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta on Wednesday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The Bonfire recounts the battle for Atlanta, known then as “the Gate City of the South,” during the summer of 1864 that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers and ultimately lead to the burning of the city in September 1864.

Wortman considers Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s victory at Atlanta to be the most significant event in American history because it “pierced the heart” of the Confederacy, effectively ended a push by Northern peace Democrats to negotiate a truce, and all but ended the Civil War in the eyes of everyone but the most die-hard Confederates.

While sparing no details in explaining the military operation, The Bonfire is unique among similar books due to its focus on the experiences of Atlanta residents: from James Calhoun, the mayor of Atlanta who eventually surrendered the city, to Robert Yancey, a black merchant who built a personal fortune despite being considered “property” in the eyes of the law.

Copies of The Bonfire will be available for sale, and Wortman will sign copies purchased during the event.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Click here to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.

Listen to the audio