A Changing Wind

Commerce and Conflict in Civil War Atlanta

Title Details

Pages: 304

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 09/15/2017

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5136-0

List Price: $27.95

A Changing Wind

Commerce and Conflict in Civil War Atlanta

An engaging exploration of what life was like for residents of Civil War-era Atlanta

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews

In 1845 Atlanta was the last stop at the end of a railroad line, the home of just twelve families and three general stores. By the 1860s, it was a thriving Confederate city, second only to Richmond in importance. A Changing Wind is the first history to explore what it meant to live in Atlanta during its rapid growth, its devastation in the Civil War, and its rise as a "New South" city during Reconstruction.

A Changing Wind brings to life the stories of Atlanta's diverse citizens. In a rich account of residents' changing loyalties to the Union and the Confederacy, the book highlights the unequal economic and social impacts of the war, General Sherman's siege, and the stunning rebirth of the city in postwar years. The final chapter focuses on Atlanta's collective memory of the Civil War, showing how racial divisions have led to differing views on the war's meaning and place in the city's history.

An entertaining narrative that evocatively places readers in the midst of Civil War-era Atlanta. This is quite an accomplishment.

—Journal of American History

Overflows with telling details that make the wartime city feel real. . . . Venet gives readers the most fully realized portrait of the fledgling city to date. This is, perhaps, unusually important for a city which, Venet notes, retains no physical vestiges of its Confederate past. But the true measure of her accomplishment is that she has produced a brisk, spirited account that simultaneously manages to be comprehensive.

—Chad Morgan, American Historical Review

A readily accessible and well-researched overview of the 'Gate City's' wartime history. . . . All southern cities contained opponents of secession, and Venet situates Atlanta's Unionist sentiment within a broader framework of disaffection that manifested itself in military desertion, unrest over food shortages and inflation, general war weariness, and expedient relocations to the North or to Europe by profit-minded entrepreneurs whose sectional loyalties were at best fluid.

—Clarence Mohr, Journal of the Civil War Era

This fine book reminds us that war means chaos. . . . Using original research in newspapers, diaries, and archival government records, Venet shows how the war disrupted the lives of a diverse group of people-blacks and whites, men and women, adults and children, secessionists and unionists.

—Mark Wilson, Society of Civil War Historians Newsletter

This deeply researched, informative book provides a panorama of Civil War Atlanta, one admirable for the author's inclusiveness and marshaling of telling details.

—Elizabeth R. Varon, Civil War History

A Changing Wind peels back the layers of myth and replaces it with a solid account of the city's experience, as told by the residents themselves.

—Sean Patrick Adams, Civil War Book Review

About the Author/Editor

WENDY HAMAND VENET is a professor of history at Georgia State University. Her books include Sam Richards's Civil War Diary: A Chronicle of the Atlanta Home Front (Georgia), A Strong-Minded Woman: The Life of Mary Livermore, and Neither Ballots nor Bullets: Women Abolitionists and the Civil War.