Checking In

It’s been a while since I posted. Time for an update.

First, the status of Volume One of “The Chickamauga Campaign,” titled “A Mad Irregular Battle.”

We have finished what you might call the developmental editing stage, where we go through the book chapter by chapter to ferret out anything that needs amplification, clarification, etc. That process has taken a while, but we are now in layout, on our way to publication. Since I have been wildly optimistic in the past about publication dates, I will not offer any new predictions here – other than to say, “soon.” Savas-Beatie has produced a lot of titles in the past year or so, so I know they are busy, and can only guess how long it will take to get this book into print and in your hands.

In between, I have been working ahead on the second volume in order to speed up that aforementioned developmental editing, which should mean that Volume II – “Glory or the Grave” should not be all that far behind.

As for exact dates, I refer you to my estimable publisher for that information.

The completion of Volume I has also marked a transition point in my own career – it closes the book (so to speak) on nearly fifteen years of continual research into the Battle of Chickamauga. This is part of why posts here have been sparse. I am not sure how much more I have to say just on Chickamauga.

So I think I am going to use this post to mark an important transition.

I am interested in pursuing a new overarching research and writing project concerning the Civil War. Casting about, I don’t see all that much opportunity in the Eastern Theater. I am working on another maps book, on Chattanooga, and I will pursue various Maps projects as they come up. But I want something larger to focus on as well, some reason goading me into visiting libraries and collecting those letters and diaries.

That project is the Atlanta Campaign. There is surprisingly little written about Atlanta. Certainly Albert Castel’s “Decision in the West,” But his work came out in 1992. There have been a spate of recent battle books on Kennesaw, Peachtree Creek and the battle of Atlanta proper (July 22) but, compared to the attention garnered by the war in the East or even battles like Shiloh, not a lot of effort is being exerted on Atlanta.

So I have begun to collect on the subject. This is a massive undertaking, given how many men were involved, and my preliminary work into archival libraries suggests that there are many hundreds of potential primary source accounts. That should keep me happy for a long while.  

Ultimately, I hope that this work produces something similar to “The Chickamauga Campaign”  – a multi-volume study of Atlanta that draws on a vast number of primary accounts. But we shall see.

What it means for this Blog is that I am going to follow the Armies southward, posting questions, thoughts and ideas here as they come to me. At the very least, Chattanooga and Atlanta will become fair game for posts, maybe other things as they come up.

I am also going to try and resume a more frequent posting schedule here by posting some short excerpts from Volume I, just to let readers see what they can expect when they finally crack the spine of “A Mad Irregular Battle.”



7 Responses to “Checking In”

  1. Andy Papen Says:

    After following you around Chickamauga the last few years, I am convinced that no one could do a large scale Atlanta study better than you. Good luck!

  2. Cheryl K. Says:

    You have treated Chickamauga pretty exhaustively so it’s not a surprise you should move on – I am pleased to read that you have chosen the campaign for Atlanta as your next field of endeavor.

  3. Don Hallstrom Says:

    Thanks for the update on volume 1 of Chickamauga. Although I’m interested in the campaign itself, I’m very interested in volume 3. Really looking forward to what it will contain.

    I’m also very interested to hear you are considering the Georgia Campaign. I do think Castel’s book is a good starting point and some of the other recent battle studies also add valuable information.

    However, the campaign certainly seems to need a much deeper look. I’m not sure what you can find on Joe Johnston and his decision making and how these decisions were influenced by his major lieutenants performances but I find that very interesting.


  4. nitrofd Says:

    Hi dave, in the past we have spoken of a paper that you did on the numbes and losses at chickamauga and I asked you if it was available online and yoy said it wasn’t available but it wwas on file at the park.if possible this would make for a good appendix for volume 3.just a thought if possiple.
    your choice to attack the Atlanta campaign will take some big shoes of which I think you a start I would get very familiar with uncle billie and a good place to start would be nov.25 and his meeting with pat cleburne.alot to be learned there..also I would become good friends with earl hess as he knows alot.

  5. Brett S. - Siege of Petersburg Online Says:


    Excellent news on the trilogy. I’ll be buying them all. The Atlanta Campaign was one of three, with the Peninsula and of course Petersburg, that I considered doing my “battle blog” on. Might I humbly suggest that you start a new blog focusing on Atlanta, and save this one for Chickamauga and Chattanooga? Then all you’d have to do is link the two together frequently. It will help your SEO for sure so people interested in Atlanta find those posts easier. In any event, good luck in your new studies. I’m sure you will find even more on the Atlanta Campaign than you did on Chickamauga. If Chickamauga took three volumes, I’m looking forward to your 15 volume Atlanta Campaign study to be finished in 2050… 🙂


  6. Chris Evans Says:

    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to everything.

    Always like books on the Atlanta Campaign. I collect what I can about it and one of my favorite volumes (besides Castel, Hess, and Ecelbarger) is the Savas essay collection from ’94.


  7. Pat McCormick Says:

    Atlanta sounds like a great idea, Dave!

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