The Chickamauga Campaign—Barren Victory

The Retreat into Chattanooga, the Confederate Pursuit, and the Aftermath of the Battle, September 21 to October 20, 1863

David Powell

David Powell's The Chickamauga Campaign Trilogy is now complete, with the fighting in the hills and valleys of North Georgia finally receiving the extensive treatment it has so long deserved.
Date Published :
September 2017
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Illustration :
22 images, 7 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781611213287
Pages : 392
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781611213843
Pages : 392
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Winner, 2017, Marilyn W. Laney Book Prize, Given by the Austin Civil War Round Table

"Now in paperback, Barren Victory is the third and concluding volume of the magisterial Chickamauga Campaign trilogy, a comprehensive examination of one of the most important and complex military operations of the Civil War.

The first installment, A Mad Irregular Battle, introduced readers to the major characters of this sweeping drama and carried them from the Union crossing of the Tennessee River in August 1863 up through the bloody but inconclusive combat of the first and second days of the battle (September 18 and 19, 1863). Glory or the Grave, the second volume, focused on September 20—the decisive third day of fighting that included the Confederate late-morning breakthrough and the desperate Union final stand on Horseshoe Ridge. This installment drew to a close at nightfall. Powell’s final installment, Barren Victory, examines the immediate aftermath of the battle with unprecedented clarity and detail.

The narrative opens at dawn on Monday, September 21, 1863, with Union commander William S. Rosecrans in Chattanooga and most of the rest of his Federal army in Rossville, Georgia. Confederate commander Braxton Bragg has won the signal victory of his career, but has yet to fully grasp that fact or the fruits of his success. Unfortunately for the South, the three grueling days of combat broke down the Army of Tennessee and a vigorous pursuit was nearly impossible.

In addition to carefully examining the decisions made by each army commander and the consequences, Powell sets forth the dreadful costs of the fighting in terms of the human suffering involved. Barren Victory concludes with the most detailed Chickamauga orders of battle (including unit strengths and losses) ever compiled, and a comprehensive bibliography more than a decade in the making.

David Powell’s award-winning The Chickamauga Campaign trilogy is now complete. The fighting in the hills and valleys of North Georgia has finally received the extensive treatment it has so long deserved."

About The Author

David A. Powell is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (1983) with a BA in history. He has published numerous articles in various magazines, and more than fifteen historical simulations of different battles. For the past decade, David’s focus has been on the epic battle of Chickamauga, and he is nationally recognized for his tours of that important battlefield. The results of that study are the volumes The Maps of Chickamauga (2009) and Failure in the Saddle (2010), as well as The Chickamauga Campaign trilogy. The Chickamauga Campaign: A Mad Irregular Battle was published in 2014, The Chickamauga Campaign: Glory or the Grave appeared in September 2015, and the final volume, Barren Victory, was released in September 2016. David and his wife Anne live and work in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He is Vice President of Airsped, Inc., a specialized delivery firm.


"Dave Powell concludes his award-winning Chickamauga trilogy with the appropriately titled Barren Victory. The post-battle coverage is simply unprecedented among prior Chickamauga studies, ranging from graphic eyewitness descriptions of the battlefield’s horrors to in-depth consideration of the outcome’s strategic and political implications. Powell seamlessly weaves the stories of the campaign’s large cast of characters together, including full discussions of Braxton Bragg’s limited options and the complex relationship between Rosecrans, Garfield, and Dana. But Powell goes beyond the leaders to argue persuasively that Chickamauga was “the quintessential soldiers’ battle.” Detailed orders of battle, including strengths and losses down to the regimental level for both armies, conclude Powell’s comprehensive analysis. Every enthusiast of the American Civil War’s Western Theater will want this essential final volume of Dave Powell’s series in their personal library.”"

- James A. Hessler, award-winning author of Sickles at Gettysburg and co-author of Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg

“I will not mince words. Dave Powell’s three-volume work on the Chickamauga Campaign represents the most significant Western campaign contribution since Albert Castel’s Decision in the West. The bibliography in Barren Victory, Volume 3 of his trilogy, reveals the breadth and scope of his research. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. In this third volume, the reader discovers how this epic story concludes. Must reading!”

- Larry J. Daniel, author of Days of Glory: The Army of the Cumberland

"An excellent, comprehensive account of one of the key campaigns of the American Civil War."

- Books Monthly

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