Summary

The history is good, but the story is better. Seven Days in July immerses the reader in the personalities and decisions of the men in blue and gray in 1864 as a hardened Southern army continues to retreat to save Atlanta from the Union army’s brutal, relentless advance. Command changes, personality clashes, low morale, and the constant presence of death and blood explode into a fight for Atlanta—a city Lincoln knew must fall to help the Union win the Civil War.

 

As each maneuver, each thrust of attack, and the war is shown through the eyes of warriors on both sides, this book exposes the human perspective of the combat at Peachtree Creek and the Battle of Atlanta, bringing the facts of history to life. Although the physical landmarks are now fading and softening with age, this story brings into sharp focus the seven days in July that mark the turning point in the Western Theater of America’s defining war.

 

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Author Bio

 

Ken Griffiths was raised in Florida. He first saw Civil War trenches on the grounds of the Georgia Military Academy in College Park, Georgia, where he was attending high school. He graduated from Florida State University and earned a law degree at the University of Florida.

 

Commissioned in the infantry, Ken served on active duty in the US Army in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps with tours in Vietnam and the Pentagon. Ken spent nearly thirty years in the Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. He went on to practice law with a major soft drink company and then work as a commercial real estate broker in Atlanta, where he lives with his wife and serves on the Georgia Civil War Commission.

 

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Testimonials

Really did enjoy reading your book. It should be of interest to historians as well as buffs. The way you humanized it makes it that much more interesting. Assume some of the meat of the story came from correspondence or post-war writings of combatants from both sides. Will be loaning it to a friend who’s a Civil War buff. Thanks for writing it.

– Chuck

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By the Summer of 1864, the American Civil War had become far bloodier and more destructive than most people could have imagined three years earlier. People in the North had pinned their hopes on a new general – U.S. Grant – and his plan to invade from both Washington and Chattanooga. But his campaign in Virginia had been exceedingly bloody and was bogged down in a siege at Petersburg. Lincoln feared that he would not be re-elected and that there would be a negotiated peace. Hope for the Union rested with General Sherman and his campaign in Georgia.

 

This is the historic background for a compelling new addition to the extensive literature of the Civil War. Kenneth Griffiths has, plainly, researched his subject thoroughly, if not microscopically. He has a fine feel for the time and place and, especially, for the people who fought in the campaign that saved the Union. Many of the characters he brings vividly to life are not so well known as they should be since the war in what was called “the West” was always treated as less vital, somehow, than the one that was fought in the East. The truth, however, might be that victory became certain only when Sherman sent his famous telegram to Lincoln saying, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.”

 

Griffith’s narrative is populated by all ranks. There are the Generals – some as well known as Sherman and his counter-part, Joseph E. Johnston. Others have been less celebrated and unfairly so. Men like Patrick Cleburne, who fought for the South while opposing slavery. He was, to that theatre of the war, what Stonewall Jackson had been in Virginia. And, then, there are the privates. The ordinary soldiers who sometimes are slighted in even the best of Civil War books. Far easier to write of the generals and treat the others as numbers. But Griffiths gives the anonymous fighters names and personalities and they move his book the way they moved the fight.

 

The greatest of this book’s many virtues may be that it tells the story at ground level at the same time that it delivers an appreciation and understanding of the big picture. (To include the kind of maps that are missing in too many Civil War books.) Mr. Griffiths has taken on a very big subject and handled it, from the particulars to the general, with skill and real feeling.

 

This is a book respects both its subject matter and its readers and that can (and will be) read avidly not just by Civil War buffs but also by those who like honest historical fiction ably told.

 

– Geoffrey N.

 

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Wow, impressive, exciting! First of all, I can’t begin to conceive the amount of time you spent in research, nor the inordinate amount of time putting everything together in proper time, place and sequence, nor again the time spent in minute detail of getting everything correct as to weapons and their components, geography, topography, attire, even street names. (The horse vs. the mule is a prime example of the detail not overlooked. Different rifles and types of shot are also valuable knowledge not overlooked.) Amazing!

 

Most important is your attention to character detail and dialogue whether historical or perceived. You feel these people are alive whether they be top ranking generals or immediate underlings or the mundane soldier. You sense their flaws and frailties as well as their consummate bravery.

 

Your battle narrative is superb, from pre-battle movement and placement to imagined drudgery and the absolute horror yet thrill, of actual combat.

 

Ken, this historical narrative will not attract those with attention spans of 15 seconds. However, to those who are scholars (of which I am not), or members of historical clubs or conclaves, this work of yours is absolutely masterful and a must read to all who cherish this type of literature. This wonderful historical novel of yours can be shared by those of any level who would have an interest in such an intriguing time in the history of our country. You should be very proud! (You done good.)

 

– Perry

 

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I just wanted to let you know that I received your book last week and I greatly appreciate it. I have been reading it ever since and I find it quite good. I really enjoy your writing style. Thanks so much!

– Morgan M.

In the Media

Interview with Kenneth Griffiths

Author Ken Griffiths is interviewed on The Dan Vega Show regarding his book, Seven Days in July: A Historic Account of the Battle of Atlanta.

Seven Days in July | Kenneth A. Griffiths

If you are interested in the Civil War, you don’t want to miss this book by Kenneth A. Griffiths. Ken gives a unique perspective on the Battle of Atlanta.