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Atlanta’s Fighting Forty-Second: Joseph Johnston's "Old Guard"

By author: W. Clifford Roberts, Jr., Frank E. Clark
Product Code: H985
ISBN: 9780881467413
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The Forty-Second Georgia Volunteer Infantry was organized in the spring of 1862 at Camp McDonald near Big Shanty. The regiment was made up of companies from DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Milton, Newton, and Walton counties. Fighting in the Western Theater, they were major participants at Cumberland Gap, Champion's Hill, Vicksburg, Resaca, Atlanta, Nashville, and Bentonville. These Georgians proved to be capable fighters and were, on four occasions, assigned to cover the retreat of the Army of Tennessee. The furious charge of the Forty-Second Georgia that carried the Federal trenches near the Troup Hurt House was a pivotal moment in the Battle of Atlanta. Their capture of a Federal battery is depicted in the recently restored Atlanta Cyclorama painting. This detailed narrative highlights first person accounts drawn from soldier's letters, diaries, and field reports, as well as from Federal soldiers directly across the trench lines. Excerpts from the letters and diaries of Colonel Lovick P. Thomas and his wife Jennie, stand out in this story for their honesty, devotion, and perseverance in trying times. This story continues past the war and describes how these veterans rebuilt their homes, farms, and communities. Many of the former officers became important civic leaders in Atlanta, with five mayors of Atlanta having direct ties to the Forty-Second Georgia. Controversy would erupt in the 1890s between the Forty-Second Survivor's Association and the survivors of Manigault's South Carolina Brigade, as to which unit captured the famous DeGress Battery during the Battle of Atlanta. The valuable service of the Forty-Second Georgia is an underappreciated aspect of the Confederate fight for Independence.
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