Friday, June 3, 2022

Booknotes: Unceasing Fury

New Arrival:
Unceasing Fury: Texans at the Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863 by Scott L. Mingus & Joseph L. Owen (Savas Beatie, 2022).

As David Powell references in his introduction, the completion of the bedrock work for Chickamauga [ed.: of which he is arguably the greatest single contributor, along with William Glenn Robertson] has now opened up space and opportunity for an unending supply of future book-length studies of particular individuals, topics, and themes associated with the campaign and battle. Among such works are those that delve deeper into "the experiences of specific brigades, regiments, and state-affiliated troops." There is a lot of labor to be done in these areas before Chickamauga can even begin to catch up with Gettysburg, but the journey has begun. A recent example from the same publisher is Eric Wittenberg's Holding the Line on the River of Death: Union Mounted Forces at Chickamauga, September 18, 1863 (2018).

Another contribution of this type is Scott Mingus and Joseph Owen's Unceasing Fury: Texans at the Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863. Readers will recall Mingus's extensive work related to the Gettysburg Campaign and Owen's recent published compilations of Texas unit source materials. As far as I can tell, this collaboration represents the first foray into the western theater proper for both authors. Their joint Chickamauga project "is the first full-length book to examine in detail the role of troops from the Lone Star State."

More from the description: "Texas troops fought in almost every major sector of the sprawling Chickamauga battlefield, from the first attacks on September 18 on the bridges spanning the creek to the final attack on Snodgrass Hill on September 20. Fortunately, many of the survivors left vivid descriptions of battle action, the anguish of losing friends, the pain and loneliness of being so far away from home, and their often-colorful opinions of their generals." At Chickamauga, Texans regiments were part of Deshler's, Ector's, Gregg's, and Robertson's infantry brigades and Harrison's cavalry brigade. There was only one Texas battery (Douglas's) present. Collectively, they suffered nearly 30% casualties, a horrific toll.

Integrating quotes gleaned from "hundreds of personal accounts, memoirs, postwar newspaper articles, diaries, and other primary sources," Mingus and Owen's narrative provides an exhaustive record of Texas's role in the costly Confederate victory. Enhancing the text are a dozen maps and numerous photographs. Detailed casualty records, in both gross numbers and at the individual level, can be found in the appendix section.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing about our new book! Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a fan of Chickamauga (and especially of Powell's magnificent work on it), I hope that a flood of Chickamauga titles is only just beginning.
    Isaac Dickman

    ReplyDelete

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