Monday, March 19, 2018

Book News: River of Death - The Chickamauga Campaign

Well, it has now been nearly a full month since the last new release crossed my threshold (26 days to be precise!), a very unwelcome record that has completely shattered the previous one. So, since there are still no March Booknotes to speak of we'll press on with Book News instead.

My favorite non-book treatment of the Chickamauga campaign and battle is the long form (actually, very long form) article from William Glenn Robertson that was published in serial form by Blue & Gray magazine over five issues from Volumes 23-25. Robertson, of course, is a long-recognized expert on the subject, and many have wondered over the decades if he was ever going to shared it with the rest of the world in book form. The definitive answer to this question has finally arrived.

October 2018 is the expected release window for Robertson's River of Death-The Chickamauga Campaign, Volume 1: The Fall of Chattanooga (UNC Press).

From the description: "In this first volume of an authoritative two-volume history of the Chickamauga campaign, William Glenn Robertson provides a richly detailed narrative of military operations in southeastern and eastern Tennessee as two armies prepared to meet along the "River of Death." Robertson tracks the two opposing armies from July 1863 through Bragg's strategic decision to abandon Chattanooga on September 9. Drawing on all relevant primary and secondary sources, Robertson devotes special attention to the personalities and thinking of the opposing generals and their staffs. He also sheds new light on the role of railroads on operations in these landlocked battlegrounds, as well as the intelligence gathered and used by both sides."

I'm sure I'm not the only person that's still a bit Chickamauga'd out after reading David Powell's monumental trilogy, but I should be recovered by the time the leaves turn. I will be curious to discover where significant areas of disagreement exist between the Powell and Robertson interpretations, though I have doubts about my ability to recognize the most subtle ones.


  1. Drew
    Thanks for the update. Wondered if this book would ever be published. Appears that between the university presses and Savas Beatie, lots of good titles being published this year.

    Don H.

  2. Thanks Drew and Don. Glenn is a good friend of both David Powell's and myself. I have discussed Glenn's new offering with him expensively over the last few years. It is quite different from Powell's, which is much more strategy and tactically oriented than Glenn's. I believe Glenn takes a more operational approach--but David P is best situated to discuss this. Both will be required IMHO.

    -- Ted


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