This Terrible Sound

The Battle of Chickamauga
Author: Peter Cozzens
Selected by Civil War Magazine as one of the 100 essential titles on military campaigns and personalities
Paper – $30.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1998
Cloth: 01/01/1992
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About the Book

When North and South met among the desolate mountains of northwestern Georgia in 1863, they began one of the bloodiest and most decisive campaigns of the Civil War. The climactic Battle of Chickamauga lasted just two days, yet it was nearly as costly as Gettysburg, with casualties among the highest in the war.

In this study of the campaign, the first to appear in over thirty years and the most comprehensive account ever written on Chickamauga, Peter Cozzens presents a vivid narrative about an engagement that was crucial to the outcome of the war in the West. Drawing upon a wealth of previously untapped sources, Cozzens offers startling new interpretations that challenge the conventional wisdom on key moments of the battle, such as Rosecrans's fateful order to General Wood and Thomas's historic defense of Horseshoe Ridge.

Chickamauga was a battle of missed opportunities, stupendous tactical blunders, and savage fighting by the men in ranks. Cozzens writes movingly of both the heroism and suffering of the common soldiers and of the strengths and tragic flaws of their commanders. Enhanced by the detailed battle maps and original sketches by the noted artist Keith Rocco, this book will appeal to all Civil War enthusiasts and students of military history.

About the Author

Peter Cozzens is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and the author of No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River and The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga. He has contributed articles to the Illinois Historical Journal and has written introductions to new editions of Thomas Van Horne's History of the Army of the Cumberland and Henry Cist's Army of the Cumberland.

Also by this author

No Better Place to Die coverThe Shipwreck of Their Hopes coverBattles and Leaders of the Civil War coverBattles and Leaders of the Civil War coverGeneral John Pope cover


"Cozzens expertly renders the furious ebb and flow of the two-day battle, capturing both the evolving strategies of each side and the horrendous experience of the fight. . . . [This book] is built upon a bonanza of primary research, with the author having combed hundreds of diaries, letters, memoirs, interviews, official reports, and regimental histories. The individual voices and the rich experiences they represent are unforgettably presented here. . . . Five hundred thirty-six pages of the two-day Battle of Chickamauga? Thanks to Mr. Cozzens's bracing, vivid prose style and marvelous eye for personal detail, this reader hankered for even more."--David Haward Bain, New York Times Book Review

"Cozzens magnificently conveys the madness of it all. He sketches dozens of biographies and quotes from letters and memoirs to give an intimate sense of how men acted in those days: the pompous, the sentimental, the fatalistic; the stalwarts who died with a one-liner; the thieves and clowns and quiet heroes in the ranks."--Michael Keman, Washington Post Book World

"This massive volume is likely to remain the definitive account of the battle for a generation or more. . . . It cannot be too highly recommended for Civil War collections."--Roland Green, ALA Booklist

"Battle history as it was meant to be written. Mr. Cozzens has produced not only the definitive narrative account of Chickamauga but also one of the season's pre-eminent Civil War books."--Curt Johnson, Washington Times


A Selection of the History Book Club