This is a breathtaking account of the not quite decisive battle, a Confederate victory lost after the event by the failure of the Southern general, Braxton Bragg, to pursue his defeated enemy. Fought in the deep woods of North Georgia, this was a ""soldiers' battle"", with men on both sides fighting without real commanders. Writing of the confusions and errors of the two-day battle, the author describes in vivid thumbnail sketches the officers who took part in it: Bragg, a disciplinarian hated by his men, refusing to advance after the battle, not knowing he had won it; Bedford Forrest, blistering Bragg for his indecision; the cautious Longstreet, perceiving mistakes and trying to remedy them. For the North, among others, there is a fine estimate of Rosecrans, the commanding general, who lost his head and almost his army in the battle, and of Thomas, ""the Rock of Chickamauga"", holding his men in the midst of murderous fire and turning certain defeat into something like uncertain victory. Although the South won in the end, it was at such a cost that the battle, which might have brought independence to the Confederacy, left her still open to Northern Invasion. Written by a recognized authority on American military affairs, this unbiased and highly readable record of a still controversial battle will appeal to students and historians of the Civil War and to buffs both North and South; its carefully documented biographical sketches and its extensive bibliographical notes will make it a valuable addition to the overloaded shelves of Civil War libraries.