Civil War Book Review: Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863

Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863 (Emerging Civil War)
by William Lee White

Product Details

  • Series: Emerging Civil War
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie (September 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611211581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611211580


Bushwhacking On A Grand Scale Chickamauga by William Lee White (Savas Beatie)For a number of years, I spent a weekend in March at Chickamauga following Dave Powell, Jim Ogden and the author around the battlefield.  During that time, I had many opportunities to hear Lee speak and have him answer my questions.  Over the years, I have watched Lee develop into an accomplished speaker and one of our promising young authors.

This book is a comprehensive tour of the battlefield’s 15 most important sites following the idea that Chickamauga is a 3-day battle not the traditional 2-day one.  The 3-day battle is what the veterans had in mind at the park’s dedication.  This is a fuller more logical history giving a much better understanding of the events.

The Prolog and first chapter are an overview of the battle and the campaign that end with driving directions to the first stop.

Chapter 2 covers the important fighting on the 18th at Alexander’s Bridge where Bragg attempts to force a crossing of the creek in a bid to cut the main road to Chattanooga.

Chapters 3 thru 8 cover the fighting on the 19th.  This bloody seesaw battle in the woods was truly “Bushwhacking on a grand scale”.

Chapter 9 covers the decisions and events on the night of the 19-20 that produce the fighting on the 20th.

Chapters 10 thru 15 cover the battle of the 20th.  This is the National Park tour covering Longstreet’s breakthrough, the collapse of the Army of the Cumberland and Thomas’ stand on Horseshoe Ridge.

Chapter 16 covers the withdrawal of the Union army and capture of hospitals and supplies.

An Epilogue looks at the actions of Rosecrans and Bragg following the battle.

Three excellent Appendixes cover the movement of Longstreet’s Corps from Virginia to Georgia, civilians on the battlefield and how we remember the battle.  Hal Jespersen’s maps are in the right place and there are plenty of them.  Photographs and illustrations grace almost every page.  An order of battle and suggested reading complete this book.

This is the best choice for someone that wants more than the standard NPS driving tour of action on the 20th.  Additionally, the book is an excellent well written easy to read overview of this battle.



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