tells the story of how the heavily fortified logistics and transportation hub became the key to victory in the Western Theater. A unique fort of star-bastion design, Fort Negley became the symbol of hope for enslaved persons as it provided protection, opportunity, and freedom. As the war progressed, African-American men became laborers and then soldiers for the Federal Army, which transformed pro-Confederate Nashville into a massive military base. The book explores every facet of the Federal infrastructure built in Nashville and Middle Tennessee so that armies under Grant, Thomas, and Sherman could capture Chattanooga and Atlanta and march to the sea. Topics explored include the Pioneer Brigade, the First Michigan Engineers, U.S. Military Railroads, fortification technology and design, military hospitals, army depots and garrison towns, the Confederate river forts and fortifications associated with the epic Battle of Nashville. A 40-page section explores the building and design of Fort Negley, an iconic stone fortress that survived periods of neglect only to become one of the major Civil War and Civil Rights attractions of the South. Featured are literally hundreds of maps and photos, blueprints of forts, charts and graphs, including 14 original artworks by artists such as Philip Duer, David Meagher, John Paul Strain, Andy Thomas, and Rick Reeves. The book also includes descriptions of pioneer forts, a glossary of fortification terminology, and full texts of Federal wartime reports regarding the fortifications.