David A. Powell

PowellMugshot-smDavid A. Powell is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (1983) with a BA in history. He has published numerous articles in various magazines, and more than fifteen historical simulations of different battles.

For the past decade, David’s focus has been on the epic battle of Chickamauga, and he is nationally recognized for his tours of that important battlefield. The result of that study are the volumes, The Maps of Chickamauga (2009), Failure in the Saddle (2010), and the three volumes of a Chickamauga trilogy. The Chickamauga Campaign: A Mad Irregular Battle was published in 2014, The Chickamauga Campaign: Glory or the Grave appeared in 2015; and the final volume, The Chickamauga Campaign: Barren Victory, was published in 2016.

David and his wife Anne live and work in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He is Vice President of Airsped, Inc., a specialized delivery firm.



The Maps of Chickamauga. An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22- September 23, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2009)

Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign (Savas Beatie, 2010)

The Chickamauga Campaign. A Mad Irregular Battle: From the Crossing of the Tennessee River Through the Second Day, August 22-September 19, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2014)

The Chickamauga Campaign. Glory or the Grave: The Breakthrough, the Union Collapse, and the Defense of Horseshoe Ridge, September 20, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2015)

The Chickamauga Campaign. Barren Victory: The Retreat into Chattanooga, The Confederate Pursuit, and the Aftermath of the Battle, September 21 to October 20, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2016)

Battle Above the Clouds: Lifting the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, October 16-November 24, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2017)

Decisions at Chickamauga: The Twenty-Four Critical Decisions that Defined the Battle (University of Tennessee Press, 2018)

Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah Valley: Major General Franz Sigel and the War in the Valley of Virginia, May 1864 (Savas-Beatie, 2019)

All Hell Can’t Stop Them: The Battles for Chattanooga – Missionary Ridge and Ringgold, November 24-27, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2019)

Impulse of Victory: Ulysses S. Grant at Chattanooga (Southern Illinois University Press, 2020)

Tullahoma: The Forgotten Campaign that Changed the Course of the Civil War, June 23—July 4, 1863 (Savas Beatie, 2020) co-authored with Eric Wittenberg.

Decisions at Shiloh: The Twenty-Two Critical Decisions at Shiloh (University of Tennessee Press, 2022)


David A. Powell, “Negley at Horseshoe Ridge,” In Steven E. Woodworth, Ed. The Chickamauga Campaign. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.

David A. Powell, “Nathan Bedford Forrest at Chickamauga,” In Evan C. Jones and Wiley Sword, eds., Gateway to the Confederacy. Louisiana State University Press, 2014.

David A. Powell, “The Army of the Cumberland and the Spirit of Innovation in 1863,” In Evan C. Jones and Wiley Sword, eds., Gateway to the Confederacy. Louisiana State University Press, 2014.

Magazine Articles:

David A. Powell, “Stuart’s Ride: Lee, Stuart, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign.” Gettysburg Magazine, Issue No. 20. (January, 1999) pp. 27-43.

David A. Powell, “A Reconnaissance Gone Awry:  Captain Samuel R. Johnston’s Fateful Trip to Little Round Top.” Gettysburg Magazine, Issue No. 23. (June, 2000) pp. 88-99.

David A. Powell, “Advance to Disaster: Sickles, Longstreet, and July 2nd, 1863.” Gettysburg Magazine, Issue No. 28 (January, 2003). pp. 40-48.

David A. Powell, “the Battles for Horseshoe Ridge.” North & South Magazine, Vol. 8, No, 2 (March, 2005). pp. 48-58.

David A. Powell, “Citizen Soldier: John Beatty and His Brigade at Chickamauga.” North & South Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 1 (May, 2007). pp. 58-67.

David A. Powell, “Failure in the Saddle: Forrest at Chickamauga.” North & South Magazine, Vol. 13, No. 2 (July, 2011). pp. 34-45.

9 Responses to David A. Powell

  1. William Weldon says:

    I am Looking for the complete Davis map used by David Powell in the Capture of Jefferson Davis article.

  2. David Lady says:

    Mr. Powell, you recently published a ECW blog entry Longstreet in the West: Conclusions. The blog post appears in my mail, but the article itself cannot be accessed either using computer or I-phone app. I have found your series of articles fascinating, and am anxious to read your conclusions.

    Can you resend or have the ECW IT person fix the blog post?

    Thank you

  3. Doak Walker says:

    Braxton Bragg was horrible. He was lucky to have NBF, the wizard of the saddle, and more man than any of us will ever be combined. Bragg was spineless and withheld crucial info from Jefferson Davis, who wasn’t much better.

  4. Hugh Evans says:

    I’ve just started your wonderful Chickamauga series. Any chance you’re related to Dr. Benjamin Mercer Powell? He is my 3G grandfather.

  5. Frank Schimberg says:

    In your first book you discuss the physical condition of the Generals, the amount of sleep, etc. Is it possible that General Rosecrans was overly fatigued on Sunday the 20th, and therefore unable to function in a capacity required by a commander? Also, Grant was no fan of Rosecrans, and worse Grant was always close to the frontlines, and I think that may have influenced Grant to relieve Rosecrans. What say you?
    I have all four of you books. Purchased maps book at the visitor center at the battlefield. My wife’s great grandfather was in the 21st Wisconsin Company G, form the start to the end. John Otto was mentioned in book 2 as being in the 10th WI, but he was in the 21st company D. I have seen Otto’s diaries at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. I have his book as well.

    • Dave Powell says:

      Frank, Rosecrans was without a doubt overly fatigued, and I feel that contributed to the downfall. As for Grant, there was certainly an issue with Rosecrans, but I think that Stanton wanted Rosecrans gone, so even if Grant had been favorably disposed towards Rosey, he still would have done as Stanton wished. It was a convenient fiction for the administration to pretend it was Grant’s choice. And you are correct about Otto. At one point in the writing, I mentally swapped him with Charles Bratnober, who’s autobiography is also in the Wisconsin Historical Society. Bratnober was in the 10th. I correctly pegged Otto as a 21st Wisconsin member in the bibliography.

  6. scott williams says:

    I am currently reading Vol. 1 of “The Chickamauga Campaign” and came across a possible discrepancy between the text and a map of unit placements. On page 33 it reads ” Once fully deployed and stable, Jackson’s front from “right to left” included the 5th Georgia, 2nd Battalion/5th Confederate, 5th Mississippi, Scogin’s battery, the 8th Mississippi, and the 2nd Georgia Sharpshooters.”

    However, the map on page 367 shows that unit line up from “left to right.”

    Thank you and I love (and own) all of your books on the Chick/Chatt Campaign.

    Scott Williams

  7. Paul Merida says:

    Mr. Powell, Hello – I’m leading a staff ride of Marine officers stationed at Camp Lejeune on a staff ride that will possibly cover the Tullahoma Campaign through Chickamauga. I’ve done staff rides at Chickamauga several times before but have not included stops that cover the Tullahoma campaign. While I’m familiar with the campaign I’m not familiar with what might be some good stops between Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. I would be travelling in 3-4 vans, 2-3 dozen people. Could you recommend any decent stops where we might be able to discuss various aspects of the Tullahoma campaign? Thanks in advance

    Paul Merida

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