“We had no time to pause for thought of dread or danger. We were in the very jaws of the monster.” — Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Sawyer 24th Alabama
Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863
by William Lee White
“an excellent, well-written, easy-to-read overview” — TOCWOC
“an excellent book that provides a general overview and gives enough detail for more knowledgeable readers.” — Civil War News
“Those who want a relatively quick read with a level of detail that is more intermediate will appreciate many of the book’s features.” — Civil War Book Review
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The Battle of Chickamauga brought an early fall to the Georgia countryside in 1863, where men fell like autumn leaves.
The smoke of gunfire filled the vine-choked forest around Chickamauga Creek, making the already impenetrable landscape an impossible place for battle. Unable to see beyond their immediate surroundings, officers found it impossible to exercise effective command, and the engagement deteriorated into what many participants later called “a soldier’s battle.” It was, said Union Brigadier General John Turchin, “Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale.”
The battle of Chickamauga is remembered as the only victory for the ill-starred Confederate Army of Tennessee. At stake: control of Chattanooga, “the Gateway City” to the Deep South. The battle left a legacy of dashed hopes for both Confederate commander Braxton Bragg, who won the costly victory but lost the city he fought the battle for, and Union commander William Starke Rosecrans, who, though defeated, held the city that President Lincoln considered just as important as the Confederate capitol of Richmond. Despite its importance, however, the battle has been largely overlooked and is rife with myths and misunderstandings.
Author William Lee White has spent most of his life on the Chickamauga battlefield, taking thousands of visitors through the wooded landscape and telling the story of this bloodiest engagement in the Western Theater. Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale describes the tragic events of Chickamauga but also includes many insights about often-neglected aspects of the battle that White has gained from his many years studying the battle and exploring its landscape.
Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale can be enjoyed in the comfort of one’s favorite armchair or as a battlefield guide. It is part of the new Emerging Civil War Series, which offers compelling, easy-to-read overviews of some of the Civil War’s most important stories. The masterful storytelling is richly enhanced with hundreds of photos, illustrations, and maps.
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Bushwhacking also includes:
- Appendix A: Longstreet’s Move
- Appendix B: Civilians at Chickamauga
- Appendix C: Chickamauga in Memory
- Order of Battle
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About the Author: William Lee White is a National Park Service Ranger at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park who can say that he was born on the battlefield and has spent most of his life working there. Lee has edited and authored several essays, articles, and books on the war in the Western Theater.