In this thrilling narrative history of the Civil War’s most strategically important campaign, Winston Groom describes the bloody two-year grind that started when Ulysses S. Grant began taking a series of Confederate strongholds in 1861, climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg two years later. For Grant and the Union it was a crucial success that captured the Mississippi River, divided the South in half, and set the stage for eventual victory. Vicksburg, 1863 brings the battles and the protagonists of this struggle to life: we see Grant in all his grim determination, Sherman with his feistiness and talent for war, and Confederate leaders from Jefferson Davis to Joe Johnston to John Pemberton. It is an epic account by a masterful writer and historian.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Vicksburg, 1863|
|Release Date: 04-07-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Vicksburg, 1863|
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Admiral Porter had his own ideas for the Rebels’ undoing, which presently had nothing to do with armies or canals or amphibious landings. Instead, after correctly identifying the two main objectives of the Mississippi campaign, he just as correctly proceeded to separate them. One, of course, was to reopen the river to commercial traffic from the Midwest to the Gulf and thence to ports far and wide. Desirable as this was, it would still require the reduction of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, which only the army could accomplish, and they weren’t getting anywhere fast. From a purely military standpoint, however, the second goal was even more vital, and that was to sever the Confederate connection between the bountiful lands of the trans- Mississippi, since the ultimate destination of their bounty was the Rebel armies of Virginia, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
In sheer size, the trans- Mississippi was nearly as large as the rest of the Confederacy east of the river. Up until then it had provided the South with more than 100,000 soldiers, about 30 percent of the number presently serving under arms. Perhaps even more significantly, the trans- Mississippi was an inexhaustible granary that supplied much of the beef, corn, hogs, rice, wheat, and staples that filled stockpiles in Atlanta and Richmond. Not only that, but because of the blockade it also was a major conduit of European arms, munitions, and medical supplies through supposedly neutral Mexico. Cut off the supplies, Porter reasoned, and the enemy armies would begin to wither and starve. His view was later shared by no less an authority than the Harvard historian and philosopher John Fiske, who wrote in 1900, “To sev