NEWS: While researching my 2021 guidebook, Bicycling Chickamauga Battlefield: The Cyclist’s Civil War Travel Guide (paid link), I bought many books on the Battle of Chickamauga (September, 1863). Each book contributed something unique to my studies. All of them helped me to design a historical touring guide for cyclists. Today, I added annotations to my bibliography on this landmark battle, and I posted them here: “Chickamauga Reading Recommendations.”
I hope that the descriptions help you to find your next great book. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases when you click book links (at no cost to you).
If I could pick only one book for a first study of the Battle of Chickamauga, it would be this one:
Woodworth, Steven E. A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle of Chickamauga. Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series (paid link). Abilene, TX: McWhiney Foundation Press, 2006.
Only 134 pages but masterfully written, Woodworth’s book includes fourteen black-and-white military maps that align well with the text. The book presents a clear, flowing military narrative that includes biographical sketches and portrait photos that enliven the battlefield story. The book includes orders of battle (but inexplicably omits the provisional division command of Brig. Gen. Bushrod R. Johnson). There is a section on “Further Reading” that is helpful for its inclusion of memoirs and biographies. The book’s index focuses on people and places. There are no notes.
For a comprehensive history of the battle that includes detailed maps, my favorite book is:
Powell, David A. The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22–September 23, 1863 (paid link). With cartography by David Friedrichs. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2009.
This is a must-have companion for any student of the Battle of Chickamauga. The maps span June 24 to September 23, 1863. Powell describes military actions on left-facing pages. Right-facing pages are Friedrichs (color) maps. The book includes two appendixes with orders of battle, one for Tullahoma and one for Chickamauga.
For short but interesting military summaries that do not neglect the “human interest” elements of the battle, it’s a toss-up:
I recommend both of the following authors (for different reasons), both of whom give battlefield tours. To learn more, please visit “Chickamauga Reading Recommendations.”
White, William Lee. Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18–20, 1863. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2013.
Carter, Robert L. The Fight for Snodgrass Hill and the Rock of Chickamauga: A History and Walking Tour. With cartography by James A. Boyd. Carrollton, GA: Melica Books, 2012.
———. Longstreet’s Breakthrough at Chickamauga: Accidental Victory; A History and Walking Tour. With cartography by James A. Boyd. Carrollton, GA: Melica Books, 2014.
Happy reading adventures!
I hope you can take the time to peruse all the books in Civil War Cycling’s annotated bibliography for the Battle of Chickamauga and the more general topics of the Chickamauga battlefield and tourism.