The Chattanooga Campaign
Edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, Southern Illinois University Press
The entries in this valuable new tribute to the 1863 Chattanooga Campaign provide essential input into a series of events overlooked in most accounts of the Western Theater’s legendary battles. Even readers who know the campaign well are likely to find new insights and perspectives in this aggregation, which features a blend of approaches ranging from media analysis to classic armchair-generaling. Of particular note: a lengthy discussion of what really happened at Orchard Knob; an analysis of press coverage of the campaign events; and a fascinating recap of the battlefield’s preservation history.
In total, the collection presents the Chattanooga Campaign in well-connected, timely and eclectic themes, but it also incorporates the kind of small and large brush strokes that a traditional one-volume battle history would not attempt.
This volume is part of a series on “Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland,” which aims to provide the kind of wider readership and the multi-author campaign studies from which the more familiar Eastern campaigns have long benefited. Within that framework, The Chattanooga Campaign does indeed provide new insights. It also succeeds in elevating the level of discourse about this important part of the conflict.
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.