STORMING OF THE GATEWAY by Fairfax Downey

STORMING OF THE GATEWAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This carefully documented book by a prolific Civil War historian and novelist, author of The Guns at Gettysburg, Clash of Cavalry, etc., is an authentic if sometimes too-flowery account of the campaign for Chattanooga in the autumn of 1863, of the men who fought in it, and of the final victory which made possible Sherman's march on Atlanta. Basing his narrative largely on the reports of a war correspondent for the Chicago Evening Journal, Benjamin Taylor, the author writes of battles as bitterly contested as Gettysburg and even more decisive: Chicamauga, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga; he writes also of ordnance and cavalry, of men and mules. On both sides the commanding generals, the universally hated Confederate Bragg and the indecisive Rosecrans, turned certain victory into defeat by failing to attack. The Northern general Thomas, ""rock of Chicamauga"", besieged at Chattanooga, was saved from starvation by a brilliantly executed operation under General ""Baldy"" Smith, who towed in supplies behind a home-made steamboat. Hooker's mule-drawn guns captured Lookout Mountain; at Missionary Ridge Union soldiers, acting without orders, scaled cliffs to dislodge Confederate batteries, and by late November, 1863, with Grant firmly in command and Chattanooga captured, the gateway to the South was open. And on both sides men wrote endless and bad poems about their exploits, most of which are included in an Appendix to the book. Lacking Catton's sure touch but a readable companion-piece to Grant Moves South.

Publisher: David McKay