Holding the Line on the River of Death
The award-winning Civil War historian examines the actions of Union Cavalry on the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga in this history and tour guide.This volume provides an in-depth study of the two important delaying actions conducted by mounted Union soldiers at Reed’s and Alexander’s bridges on the first day of Chickamauga. Much like Eric J, Wittenberg’s “The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg—which won the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s 2015 Book Award—this volume combines engaging military history with a detailed walking and driving tour complete with the GPS coordinates.On September, 18, 1863, a cavalry brigade under Col. Robert H. G. Minty and Col. John T. Wilder’s legendary “Lightning Brigade” of mounted infantry made stout stands at a pair of chokepoints crossing Chickamauga Creek. Minty’s small cavalry brigade held off nearly ten times its number by designing and implementing a textbook example of a delaying action. Their efforts thwarted Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s entire battle plan by delaying his army’s advance for an entire day. The appendices of this book include two orders of battle, a discussion of the tactics employed by the Union mounted force, and an epilogue on how the War Department and National Park Service have remembered these events. Complete with more than 60 photos and 15 maps by master cartographer Mark Anderson Moore, Holding the Line on the River of Death is a valuable addition to the burgeoning Chickamauga historiography.
- 2018 Eric J. Wittenberg
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