On May 22, 1863, after two failed attempts to take the city of Vicksburg by assault, Major General Ulysses S. Grant declared in a letter to the commander of the Union fleet on the Mississippi River that “the nature of the ground about Vicksburg is such that it can only be taken by a siege.” The 47-day siege of Vicksburg orchestrated by Grant resulted in the eventual surrenOn May 22, 1863, after two failed attempts to take the city of Vicksburg by assault, Major General Ulysses S. Grant declared in a letter to the commander of the Union fleet on the Mississippi River that “the nature of the ground about Vicksburg is such that it can only be taken by a siege.” The 47-day siege of Vicksburg orchestrated by Grant resulted in the eventual surrender of the city and fulfilled a major strategic goal for the Union: command of the Mississippi River for the remainder of the war. In this revealing volume, Michael B. Ballard offers the first in-depth exploration of Grant’s thoughts and actions during this critical operation, providing a never-before-seen portrait of the general in the midst of one of his most notable achievements.After an overview of Grant’s early Civil War career from his first battle through the early stages of the attacks on Vicksburg, Ballard describes in detail how Grant conducted the siege, examining his military decisions, placement of troops, strategy and tactics, engineering objectives, and relationships with other officers. Grant’s worried obsession with a perceived danger of a rear attack by Joseph Johnston’s Confederate army, Ballard shows, affected his decision making, and shows how threats of Confederate action occupied more of Grant’s time than did the siege itself. In addition, Ballard soundly dispels a false story about Grant’s alleged drinking binge early in the siege that has been taken as truthful by many historians, examines how racism in Grant’s army impacted the lives of freed black people and slaves in the Vicksburg area, and explores Grant’s strained relationship with John McClernand, a politically appointed general from Illinois. The book concludes with the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, the expulsion of Johnston and his army from the region, and demonstrates the impact of the siege on the outcome on the short and long-terms of Grant’s military career.By analyzing Grant’s personality during the siege and how he dealt with myriad issues as both a general and an administrator, Grant at Vicksburg offers a revealing rendering of the legendary general. ...
|Title||:||Grant at Vicksburg: The General and the Siege|
|Number of Pages||:||232 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Grant at Vicksburg: The General and the Siege Reviews
I didn't like this book quite as much as I thought I was going to like it. The writing is a little disjointed, as if it was several individual pieces of writing imperfectly grafted together, rather than a smooth narrative. There are a few jarring discontinuities, such as a chapter that goes in depth on the difficult relationship between Grant and his subordinate McClernand, culminating in McClernand's removal; the next chapter picks up the overall story of the campaign earlier on, with McClernand still in charge of his corps. The reader realizes that the McClernand piece went a bit "into the future," as it were, before returning to the narrative, but it's still jarring.Noteworthy is a thorough deconstruction of the alleged drinking spree up the Yazoo River, though it pays tribute to Brooks D. Simpson's Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 as the true pioneer in that regard. It becomes quite clear that the account of the spree was a vengeful fiction by Cadwallader, probably in return for what he saw as a slighting of Grant's chief of staff John Rawlins in Grant's memoirs.Overall, I much preferred Ballard's Vicksburg: The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi; Grant at Vickburg is only a shadow of that real tour de force.
My sister used to work for SIU Press and knows of my interest in Civil War history, so she used to send me books like this every so often. Since I was way behind on my reading goal for 2017, and this looked thin on my shelf, I decided to finally pick it up.I actually don't know much about the Western theater in the Civil War, and I was hoping this was a good place to start. But the subject matter was so specific that I still don't feel like I have a big picture view. The title says it all, this is about Grant at Vicksburg. Given that limitation, the author does a good job with the story. Very detailed, but I just feel I would have gotten more out of it with better prior knowledge of the siege. 2.5 stars.