Review: THE MAPS OF CHICKAMAUGA: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 – September 23, 1863

by James Durney on January 27, 2010 · 4 comments

THE MAPS OF CHICKAMAUGA: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 – September 23, 1863
by David Powell

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie (November 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932714723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932714722

The Savas Beatie Military Atlas Series is one of the few “must have” sets in a Civil War library.  Each book contains sequential detailed maps coupled with excellent commentary solving the”map problem” that many current histories have.  While inconvenient to keep two books opened, the maps in this series make the effort worthwhile.  Each additional book in the series fine-tunes the presentation resulting in a more informative narration and maps that are more useful.  Maps of Chickamauga is the newest book in the series and benefits from prior experience.  The maps are more colorful, the contour lines are better.  David A. Fredrichs produced an outstanding series of maps for this book.  His maps are clear, detailed and make it easy to follow this confusing battle.  The scale of the battle maps is from 80 to 400 yards per inch, depending on the action.  The majority of the maps are 120 to 200 yards per inch giving a real tactical view of the battle.  The larger scale illustrates a general situation or major movement.  Strategic Chickamauga maps are in miles scale covering an area of up to 80 by 100 miles.  The Tullahoma Campaign map scale is in miles except for the few critical actions that took place.  The action maps scale is hundreds of yards per inch to accommodate the larger cavalry areas.

Narration is the key to a good map book.  The author’s narration is intelligent, informative and to the point.  His excellent in-depth knowledge of the subject gives him a confidence few authors have.

The book contains the following major sections:

Prelude: The Strategic Situation in 1863 is a concise, clear overview that sets the stage for the campaign.

Map Set 1: The Tullahoma Campaign is a series of maps and narration that covers this little known but very important campaign.

Map Set 2: Rosecrans Crosses the Tennessee presents the complex maneuvers in a logical easy to understand manner.  The narration and maps complement each other making the marches and counter marches understandable.

Map Set 3 through 16 cover the battle of Chickamauga.  They detail the actions leading to the battle and the retreat into Chattanooga.  A map and narration can be used answer a question.  The best use of this book is to capture the full 3-day of battle by follow the sequence of maps.  Doing that brought back some memories of standing somewhere on that map, listening to the author tells us about the fighting during his battlefield walks in March.

The book contains a complete Order of Battle for Tullahoma and Chickamauga.  A full Bibliography, Endnotes and a must read Epilogue.  Every student of the war in the West will want this excellent book in their library.

Editor’s Note: Jim is a Top 500 Amazon.com reviewer.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

elektratig January 28, 2010 at 5:32 am

James,

Looks interesting, thanks. Do you have any suggestions on books about the Tullahoma Campaign? It seems to be an underreported part of the history.

Reply

James Durney January 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

The only one I know of is “Tullahoma” by Michael R. Bradley from Burd Street Press. My copy has a 2000 publication date.

Reply

elektratig January 28, 2010 at 8:06 am

James,

Yes, I read it and was underwhelmed. I remember the maps in particular – they seemed to have drawn by a five-year-old. Which is one of the things that makes the book you reviewed look so interesting.

Reply

militaryhistory February 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Thank you for the review of The Maps of Chickamauga by David Powell and David Freidrichs. If anyone would like more information about the book, including an except, or about the author, please check at http://www.savasbeatie.com/results.html.

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