Vicksburg, 1863

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Vicksburg, 1863

Author: Winston Groom
Publisher: Knopf
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 496
Cover Price: $ 30.00

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A riveting history of the battle that permanently turned the tide of the Civil War. While Gettysburg is better known, Winston Groom makes clear in this engrossing narrative that Vicksburg was the more important battle from a strategic point of view. Re-creating the epic campaign that culminated at Vicksburg, Groom details the arduous struggle by the Union to gain control of the Mississippi River valley and to divide the Confederacy in two.

He takes us back to 1861, when Lincoln chooses Ulysses S. Grant—seen at the time as a mediocre general with a drinking problem—to lead the Union army south from Illinois.We follow Grant and his troops as they fight one campaign after another, including the famous engagements at Forts Henry and Donelson and the bloodbath at Shiloh, until, after almost a year, they close in on Vicksburg. We witness Grant’s seven long months of battle against the determined Confederate army, and the many failed Union attempts to take Vicksburg, during which thousands of soldiers on both sides would be buried and, ultimately, the fate of the Confederacy would be sealed. As Groom recounts this landmark confrontation, he brings the participants to life.

We see Grant in all his grim determination, the feistiness of William Tecumseh Sherman, and the pride and intransigence of Confederate leaders from Jefferson Davis and General Joseph E. Johnston to General John C. Pemberton, the Philadelphia-born Rebel who commanded at Vicksburg and took the blame for losing.A first-rate work of military history and an essential contribution to our understanding of the Civil War.

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Background Information

The important Mississippi river port of Vicksburg was captured by Union forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863. Along with the Missouri, the Mississippi forms the longest river system in the world and ultimately drains almost all of the central United States. Ulysses S. Grant rose from obscurity to head the victorious Union army in the Civil War and later became President. William Tecumseh Sherman fought a war of destruction in Georgia, aimed at destroying the South's will and ability to fight.