Here is something I have been waiting for a long time…

 

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Dr. William Glenn Robertson is an outstanding historian. Meticulous, dedicated, and above all, determined to tell the complete story.

So while I have my own books about Chickamauga to tout – and I am certainly proud of my own work – I want to go out of my way to tell you all about this one.

NPS Chickamauga park historian Jim Ogden once said something about Glenn Robertson’s work (specifically, about his series in Blue & Gray Magazine) that struck me then, and has never really left me. He stated that Robertson’s work was one of the few pieces of Operational-level Military History ever done on Civil War affairs. The other most prominent example of that genre, he thought, was Coddington’s masterpiece, The Gettysburg Campaign. 

After I had given that some thought, I’d have to agree – and with my own work included. The field of Civil War history is well-populated with tactical battle studies, biographies, and regimental/organizational history. But there is very little that rises to the level of campaign-level analysis. Certainly I was focused on telling the blow-by-blow of regimental conflict in those North Georgia Woods, and I am glad I did so.

But I have read a lot of military history, especially in the era of Napoleon, WWI, and WWII – where operational narrative and analysis (for obvious reasons) predominates. So I got to thinking more about that comment.

I just received this first volume of Glenn’s work. It is a true operational history, worthy of the best work produce by F. Lorraine Petrie, John Terraine, or, perhaps, any number of recent east front scholars.

So I am going to urge you to buy this book, and the subsequent volume. Am I suggesting that you go read the competition? Absolutely. Why? Two reasons. First, because this is a first-rate work piece of scholarship. Second, because the Chickamauga Campaign is so rich a topic of military history that it deserves all the attention it is finally receiving.

One final note: ACW scholarship is often divided into two camps: Academia and popular history. But there is a third grouping, which brings in the professional military perspective. IMO, the best work ends up appealing to all three points of view. And I think we managed that with River of Death. 

 

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Lee Elder Says:

    I have to agree with you on Robertson’s work, everything I have read had been terrific. In particular, his essay, Bull of the Woods? James Longstreet at Chickamauga, is just tremendous and I look forward to reading River of Death. I didn’t know about this series, so thanks for the alert!

  2. OhioatPerryville Says:

    Looking forward to adding his works to my growing Chickamauga collection!

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