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This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga (Civil War Trilogy) Paperback – November 1, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
The descriptions are the most vivid and the telling of the story the best that I have ever read in 40 years of reading Civil War material. By the time one is finished reading, one has come to know almost as personal acquaintances not only the great figures of the battle--Bragg, Rosecrans, Longstreet--but others one might not otherwise have known. Hans Heg in particular, the Norwegian immigrant from Wisconsin whose brigade was left virtually alone to face the onslaught of Longstreet's attack, becomes such a sympathetic character that I became misty-eyed as he met his death. Union generals Lytle,Wilder and Willich are likewise memorable figures, as are on the Confederate side Helm and Liddell. Less sympathetic figures are future president James Garfield, political observer Charles Dana and Confederate general Billy Bate, who emerge as pompous, self-promoting blowhards.
This battle, and the failure of the Confederates to exploit their partial success, may have been more of a turning point of the Civil War than was Gettysburg. It was not at Gettysburg but at Chickamauga that the First Corps, best in the Confederate Army, made its last great attack, and it succeeded only to watch Braxton Bragg fritter away success. This is the best account of that battle that you will read.
The problem is that Mr. Cozzens pounds you with such detail that you might miss some of the best parts of the book. Early on, Gen. George Thomas has sent Col John Croxton to flush a Rebel brigade. Croxton runs headlong into Forrest's cavalry, then is attacked by Claudius Wilson's Georgians. He wires Thomas "Which of the four or five brigades in front of me should I flush out"?
And Cozzens portrayal of Bragg as a mind-numbed leader and Rosecrans as a ranting lunatic is somewhat off-base. And while this was truely a soldier's battle, Cozzens frequently ends up giving short shift to the generals.
If you want to read this book, here's how to get through it. Download the entire series of maps of Chickamauga from [...] As you are reading the book, study the maps. Also buy Chickamauga:A Battlefield Guide by Steven Woodworth as a study guide. You'll make it through it. I did.
Having said all that, I do have a few criticisms. As in his first book, there are not enough maps and it would behoove the reader to bookmark the ones there are for easy reference. The tactical level maps are actually excellent in terms of unit movements if you keep track of where they are, but there is a dearth of large situational maps showing the battlefield as a whole. There are only two, I think, and I found myself flipping back to the first one repeatedly to find terrain features. This worked okay, but you have to try to extrapolate large scale movements and troop positions. Also, the maps that cover the campaign movements prior to the battle are almost useless. If you are not familiar with TN geography, you may want to break out a better map. Finally, be sure to familiarize yourself with the order of battle for both armies, especially the brigade commanders in each division.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best book about the battle of Chickamauga. There are anecdotal biographies each time a new commander is introduced. A great read.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This balanced account effectively details the brutal and almost continuous two day battle in September 1863 in northern Georgia that pitted Rosecrans’ four-Corp, Army of the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by KJAG
My gggrandfather was injured fighting at Chickamagua. This book helps me understand the battle better.Published 15 months ago by bld761
Great book. Just finished it for the third time in about 17 years. All of Cozzens' books that I've read are very, very good. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Crazyhorse 6