Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga and the Organizations Engaged

The Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga and the Organizations Engaged. By Henry V. Boynton. Edited by Tim Smith.

Henry V. Boynton should be much more well known than he is. It is due to his efforts that the battlefields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga were preserved by the federal government, the first battlefields to be preserved by the federal government. This lead to the creation of other battlefield parks in the 1890s and has continued to the present day. When the battlefields were preserved one of the first tasks was to create troop movement maps with accompanying text, which then became the basis for the iron interpretive markers on the battlefields.

In his role as the first park historian Boynton wrote quite a bit on Chickamauga and Chattanooga. He wrote an extensive tour of the battlefields with a history of the preservation efforts. He also wrote a book covering the formation of the park for the grand dedication in 1895. These books can still be found in libraries and appear for sale online quite regularly. Boynton also wrote three small books that are much less readily available in libraries or for sale. Timothy B. Smith has collected these three short volumes into one book. He also provides an introduction that places Boynton and these three volumes in their proper historical context. The three volumes are presented as originally published, Smith confined his notes about the books to the introduction.

This is a very useful addition to the study of these battles. These rare volumes can now be owned by anyone. Then being able to pair the text with the maps, available online, makes it an even more worthwhile book.

If you wish to learn more about Boynton’s role in the formation of Chickamauga check out A Chickamauga Memorial: The Establishment of America’s First Civil War National Military Park by Timothy B. Smith

The full review will appear here after its publication in Civil War News.

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