The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 – September 23, 1863
by David A Powell & David Friedrichs
Reviewed by Roger Lee Hattabaugh II
I eagerly jumped at the chance to get my hands on this and provide the TVCWRT members with a short review of this excellent work by historian David A. Powell and cartographer Davi d A Friedrichs. According to Amazon.com, Mr. 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, his focus has been on the epic battle of Chickamauga, and he is nationally recognized for his tours of that important battlefield. He lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, where he owns and operates a delivery company. David A. Friedrichs graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1982 and has worked as a civil engineer since then. He is the author of numerous articles and papers on topics ranging from public asset management to military history.
This is the third book in a series of campaign studies published by Savas Beatie LLC. The first two in the series, written by Bradley M Gottfried, discussed and explained the battles of First Bull Run (Manassas) and Gettysburg. A fourth volume on Antietam (Sharpsburg), also by Mr. Gottfried, is also now in print. The series of atlases uses what is considered to be a different approach toward military history and the study of battlefields/campaigns by directly combining a written “action-section” with one, or more, maps that illustrate the written word. In The Maps of Chickamauga, this is accomplished by text on one page and a map on the opposite page, giving readers an opportunity to see what they are reading without having to flip through or bookmark a separate map page in the book.
While the chapters at the beginning and end of the book describe the approach to and retreat from, the area, the “action-sections” in this volume cover a range from 15-20 minutes to several hours throughout each day (18-20 September 1863) of the battle, and each map is beautifully illustrated (by David Friedrichs) in color with ‘standard’ symbols used for the various units and movements. The 129 maps graphically illustrate “the complex tangle of combat’s ebb and flow that makes the titanic bloodshed of Chickamauga one of the most confusing actions of the American Civil War,” (quoted from the publisher’s website). There are also several appendices which provide orders of battle and battlefield losses for both the opening movement from Tullahoma as well as the Battle of Chickamauga.
I particularly enjoyed the closing sections of the book which discussed what happened to various participants and commanders after the action at Chickamauga and Chattanooga was ended. The book is highly recommended to both the seasoned battlefield trekker and the novice who is just beginning their study of this crucial battle of the American Civil War.
Roger Lee Hattabaugh II has a long-time love of history and spends most of his ‘spare’ time reading about various historical periods, researching family histories/genealogies and visiting local cemeteries. He joined the TVCWRT in 2009, and is the Treasurer since 2011. He is, by virtue of his 2d great-grandfather’s service, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Thomas H Hobbs Camp 768, in Athens, Alabama. Lee received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Norwich University in 1994, and served in the US Army from 1997-2003 as a satellite communications operator. He currently is a Project Engineer for Shearer & Associates of Huntsville focused on projects ranging from electronic security systems to energy management. Having lived, and traveled, in many states and a few countries (courtesy of Uncle Sam), Lee now lives near Capshaw, Alabama, with his wife and two male clones.