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Jackson, Harvey H. III. Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.
An overview of the history of the Alabama River System, with special attention paid to the way people lived along the streams. Beginning with Native Americans, the narrative covers the DeSoto expedition, European settlement, the age of the steamboats, Civil War, the coming of the railroads, the building of hydroelectric dams, and the modern uses of the rivers.
__________. Putting "Loafing Streams" to Work: The Building of Lay, Mitchell, Martin, and Jordan Dams, 1910-1929. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.
An account of the men and the company that built Alabama's first major hydroelectric dams. Constructed in remote parts of the Coosa and Tallapoosa valleys, the projects required whole towns to be built and maintained. It is a story of how men worked under primitive conditions to bring Alabama into the twentieth century.
Doster, James F. and David C. Weaver. Tenn-Tom Country, the Upper Tombigbee Valley in History and Geography. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987.
A historical and geographic account of the changes that came with the development of this region. Special attention is paid to the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
Davidson, Donald. The Tennessee, the Old River, Frontier to Secession. New York: Rhinehart and Company, 1946; and The Tennessee, the New River, Civil War to TVA. New York: Rhinehart and Company, 1948.
Older books but full of great stories about the river and its people.