Thursday, September 25, 2008

Historic Photos of Chickamauga - Chattanooga

Of the three historic photos books done by Turner Publishing this is my favorite. I think as far as quality goes it ranks even with the Gettysburg volume but since it is of one of my favorite battlefields this volume ranks higher in my mind overall.

The pictures are broken down into four chapters; Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauga Campaign, Siege of Chattanooga and Remembrance, Reunion and Preservation. The book follows the path set forth in the other Historic Photos books from Turner Publishing. There is a page or two of introductory text for each chapter followed by one big photo per page with a sentence or two for a caption.

The Tullahoma chapter is very short, only a few pages, Chickamauga's is not much bigger. The Chattanooga chapter is fairly decent in length. The bulk of the book is in the final chapter, Remembrance, Reunion and Preservation.

This chapter shows a fair amount of photos for monument dedications and dignitaries visiting the field. It also has quite a few chapters showing park workers doing projects for the park, like making roads or building bases for monuments. There is also quite a bit of photos for when Chickamauga served as a training camp for the military, first for the Spanish-American War and then again for World War 1. Some of these pictures show camp life which isn't all that exciting but some show men posing with monuments or the fact that barracks were built in fields with monuments so a monument ends up being right next to the building.

My initial worry with this book was that there would be quite a bit of overlap between this book and Hoobler's "Cities Under the Gun" which had a ton of pictures of Nashville and Chattanooga during the war. That is not the case though as that earlier work shows much more of the town of Chattanooga while this book focuses much more on the battlefields around Chattanooga. I think both books are worthy additions to any Western Theater Civil War library.

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