This Terrible Sound: THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA

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University of Illinois Press, 1996 - History - 688 pages
When North and South met among the desolate mountains of northwestern Georgia in 1863, they began one of the bloodiest and most decisive campaigns of the Civil War. The climactic Battle of Chickamauga lasted just two days, yet it was nearly as costly as Gettysburg, with casualties among the highest in the war. In this study of the campaign, the first to appear in over thirty years and the most comprehensive account ever written on Chickamauga, Peter Cozzens presents a vivid narrative about an engagement that was crucial to the outcome of the war in the West. Drawing upon a wealth of previously untapped sources, Cozzens offers startling new interpretations that challenge the conventional wisdom on key moments of the battle, such as Rosecrans's fateful order to General Wood and Thomas's historic defense of Horseshoe Ridge. Chickamauga was a battle of missed opportunities, stupendous tactical blunders, and savage fighting by the men in ranks. Cozzens writes movingly of both the heroism and suffering of the common soldiers and of the strengths and tragic flaws of their commanders. Enhanced by the detailed battle maps and original sketches by the noted artist Keith Rocco, this book will appeal to all Civil War enthusiasts and students of military history.''Cozzens expertly renders the furious ebb and flow of the two-day battle, capturing both the evolving strategies of each side and the horrendous experience of the fight. . . . [This book] is built upon a bonanza of primary research, with the author having combed hundreds of diaries, letters, memoirs, interviews, official reports, and regimental histories. The individual voices and the rich experiences they represent are unforgettably presented here. . . . Five hundred thirty-six pages of the two-day Battle of Chickamauga? Thanks to Mr. Cozzens's bracing, vivid prose style and marvelous eye for personal detail, this reader hankered for even more.''--David Haward Bain, New York Times Book Review ''Cozzens magnificently conveys the madness of it all. He sketches dozens of biographies and quotes from letters and memoirs to give an intimate sense of how men acted in those days: the pompous, the sentimental, the fatalistic; the stalwarts who died with a one-liner; the thieves and clowns and quiet heroes in the ranks.''--Michael Keman, Washington Post Book World ''This massive volume is likely to remain the definitive account of the battle for a generation or more. . . . It cannot be too highly recommended for Civil War collections.''--Roland Green, ALA Booklist

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User Review  - dhughes - LibraryThing

Peter Cozzens walks the complete battle through and provides a day by day positioning of the two forces. The detail is exact however doesn't delve into the personalities of the main characters. Reread ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ksmyth - LibraryThing

We are introduced to William Rosecrans, and his command of the Army of Tennessee. The focus of the book, however, is the nasty Battle of Chickamauga. Fought over terrible terrain, every clearing ... Read full review

Contents

Two GOLDEN MOMENTS ARE PASSING
21
THREE I HAVE NEVER FELT SO GLAD TO BE A SOLDIER
35
FIVE WE ARE IN A TICKLISH PLACE HERE
76
SEVEN WITHDRAW IF NOT ALREADY TOO LATE
121
EIGHT THEY ARE COMING LIKE A PACK OF WOLVES
139
TEN GIVE HELP WHERE IT IS NEEDED
167
TWELVE THEY SKEDADDLED IN FINE STYLE
230
NINETEEN TO FIRE AT THOSE BREASTWORKS SEEMED FOOLISH
338
TWENTYTHREE THE SIGNS GREW RAPIDLY WORSE
397
TWENTYFOUR THEY CAN KILL US BUT WHIP US NEVER
406
TWENTYSIX THOMAS IS HAVING A HELL OF A FIGHT
432
TWENTYSEVEN A FEW ARE HOLDING OUT UP YONDER
454
TWENTYNINE DONT WASTE ANY CARTRIDGES Now Boys
478
THIRTY THE STORM BROKE LOOSE
488
THIRTYONE GOD HELP ME TO BEAR IT ARIGHT
510
THIRTYTWO DENUNCIATIONS FIERCE AND STRONG
522

TWENTY GENTLEMEN I HOLD THE FATAL ORDER OF THE DAY
357
TWENTYONE ALL WAS A SICKENING CONFUSION
368
TWENTYTWO NO MORE SHOW THAN A BROKENBACKED CAT
376
APPENDIX THE OPPOSING FORCES IN
537
BIBLIOGRAPHY
621
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About the author (1996)

Peter Cozzens is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and the author of No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River and The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga. He has contributed articles to the Illinois Historical Journal and has written introductions to new editions of Thomas Van Horne's History of the Army of the Cumberland and Henry Cist's Army of the Cumberland.

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