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Vicksburg : Grant's campaign that broke the Confederacy

by Miller, Donald L., 1944-

Format: Print Book 2019
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Summary
"A superb account" ( The Wall Street Journal ) of the longest and most decisive military campaign of the Civil War in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which opened the Mississippi River, split the Confederacy, freed tens of thousands of slaves, and made Ulysses S. Grant the most important general of the war.

Vicksburg, Mississippi, was the last stronghold of the Confederacy on the Mississippi River. It prevented the Union from using the river for shipping between the Union-controlled Midwest and New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The Union navy tried to take Vicksburg, which sat on a high bluff overlooking the river, but couldn't do it. General Grant moved his army south and joined forces with Admiral Porter, but even together they could not come up with a successful plan. At one point Grant even tried to build a canal so that the river could be diverted away from Vicksburg.

In Vicksburg , Donald L. Miller tells the full story of this year-long campaign to win the city. He brings to life all the drama, characters, and significance of Vicksburg, a historic moment that rivals any war story in history. Grant's efforts repeatedly failed until he found a way to lay siege and force the city to capitulate. In the course of the campaign, tens of thousands of slaves fled to the Union lines, where more than twenty thousand became soldiers, while others seized the plantations they had been forced to work on, destroying the economy of a large part of Mississippi and creating a social revolution.

Ultimately, Vicksburg was the battle that solidified Grant's reputation as the Union's most capable general. Today no general would ever be permitted to fail as often as Grant did, but in the end he succeeded in what he himself called the most important battle of the war, the one that all but sealed the fate of the Confederacy.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "William Jolley, one of the thousands of Union soldiers massed near Vicksburg, Mississippi, in April 1863, predicted that if his commander, Ulysses S. Grant, could take the Confederate stronghold, he would earn as big a name as Washington. More than 150 years later, Miller vindicates Jolley's enthusiasm as he tells the story of Grant's victory at Vicksburg. Readers will marvel at how Grant a washed-up dry-goods clerk at the beginning of the Civil War acquires the power and skill that made him the mastermind at Vicksburg of the largest amphibious army-navy operation staged by the U.S. military until D-Day. In a narrative taut with drama, Miller recounts how this resolute Union crusader takes the war down the Mississippi, defying geographic and military obstacles, thereby seizing control of the Confederacy's essential internal waterway in a triumph that mattered more than Gettysburg or Antietam, a political as well as military breakthrough, freeing plantation slaves in large southern regions. Readers will recognize defects in Grant, as they see his heedlessness with other men's lives, his intemperance in his own. But Miller leaves no doubt: the nation Washington helped to found needed this dogged warrior to defend it. War history alive with probing intelligence and irresistible passion.--Bryce Christensen Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this elegant Civil War history, Miller (Masters of the Air) meticulously details Ulysses S. Grant's success on the yearlong campaign to take Vicksburg, Miss., "the last obstacle facing Union forces struggling to regain control of the great river of America and split the Confederacy in two." Miller's enlightening chronology explains how the campaign established Union dominance on the western front despite Vicksburg's natural bluffs, which aided the defending Confederate army as it waited desperately for relief that never came. Drawing on military records, personal letters, and diaries, Miller fleshes out the effects of the relentless campaign on the mistake-prone generals on both sides, newly freed slaves impressed into Union service, and the frightened but defiant Vicksburg residents, some of whom left mansions to hide in caves during the siege. Miller reveals that Grant's perseverance despite several significant setbacks (both military and personal--he struggled with alcoholism) won him an unusual written apology from Abraham Lincoln and a promotion. Miller mistakenly repeats the assertion that rape by military personnel was uncommon during the war, but overall this account is well-researched and well-told, incorporating a variety of perspectives and events without becoming shaggy. Military buffs will delight in Miller's rendering of Grant's audacity. (Oct.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Grant, Ulysses S. -- (Ulysses Simpson), -- 1822-1885.
Strategy -- History -- 19th century.
Vicksburg (Miss.) -- History -- Siege, 1863.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description xx, 663 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 597-633) and index.
ISBN 9781451641370
1451641370
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