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Brief Overview of Resaca
on November 7, 2005
As I usually point out in cases like this, Mr. Secrist's book is the only one to focus specifically on the Battle of Resaca. In this early fight of the Atlanta Campaign, Secrist believes Sherman had a great chance to trap and destroy Johnston's Army of Tennessee, thus ending the campaign before it had hardly begun. Instead, says Secrist, Sherman failed and doomed his Army to a long journey before they reached Atlanta. The book is rather thin at 102 pages, especially when one considers that only Part I (the first 65 pages of the book) is a narrative of the battle. Part II consists of the Battlefield from the end of the battle through today, with an emphasis on relic hunting and preservation efforts. The maps are average. On the plus side we have topographical lines on the standard maps, but these maps are of the Resaca area today. However, since the land has changed so little since 1864 (aside from the construction of I-75 directly through it!), this is not necessarily a large minus. The troop positions leave something to be desired on the standard maps. Sherman's and Johnston's lines are drawn as one large line, with Corps (and sometimes Divisions) marked off in a vague manner. Secrist does include other maps taken from the Official Records Atlas, but these are pretty small and a little difficult to read. On a lot of pages, text ends early, so this book is really even shorter than the listed 102 pages. On the plus side, Secrist is well-qualified to write the book. He has been studying the Resaca Battlefield since 1958, and is a noted relic hunter. I enjoyed his writing style. The book was definitely not a tedious read. All in all, though, The Battle of Resaca was too short for my taste. It just did not contain enough detail, and only whetted my appetite for more detailed discussion. Sadly, a more detailed discussion does not exist.
102 pp., 12 maps