☉ Vicksburg, 1863 PDF / Epub ❤ Author Winston Groom – Stevemiddleton.info
A vivid, well crafted history of the final campaign for Vicksburg Groom s book is of an overview, and he includes all of the relevant context regarding the war, the political situation, and even finance Groom argues that Vicksburg was the most significant battle of the war but never returns to this argument in his text He does do a fine job fleshing out the personalities involved.However, the narrative is a bit disjointed There are also a few errors Groom writes that John Brown was tried in a federal court, that Polk was a major general and died at Atlanta, Lew Wallace s division wading through swamps not the roads Benjamin Butler s atrocities, the village of Antietam, and Kirby Smith and Stephen Lee being major generals Elsewhere he writes that Grant fathered two boys and two girls, that Mississippi didn t secede until after Fort Sumter, that eight states followed South Carolina out of the union, and that James Wilson was present at the Battle of Atlanta And Groom seems to think that ironic and coincidental mean the same thing Groom inexplicably downplays the importance of Champion Hill and accuses Sherman of pyromania Also, there are no citations.Still, a rich, interesting, mostly well written and engaging work. A Riveting History Of The Battle That Permanently Turned The Tide Of The Civil WarWhile Gettysburg Is Better Known, Winston Groom Makes Clear In This Engrossing Narrative That Vicksburg Was The 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 , 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 IllinoisWe 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 LosingA First Rate Work Of Military History And An Essential Contribution To Our Understanding Of The Civil War If you are looking for a general account of the Vicksburg Campaign this certainly fits the bill Mr Groom covers the entire campaign to wrest control of the Mississippi River during the Civil War and although a very general study he does a competent job I would like to be enthusiastic, but the work was filled with cliches and not a few inaccuracies that left questions about the research For example he mentions that the Battle of Antietam was fought at the drowsy little village of Antietam It was fought at Antietam Creek at the village of Sharpsburg, Maryland The short section on the Battle of Shiloh sounded like a watered down account of Ken Burns version Like a bad horror movie I could sometimes see the cliches coming.All that being stated it is still a competent account of the Vicksburg Campaign, although flawed than would be expected. Groom has 5 star writing skills and it shows in this work However, there are too many factual errors and recounting of anecdotes once thought to be real but that scholars have shown to be either apocryphal or pure fiction such as Cadwallader s accounts of Grant and the bottle Additionally, the first two hundred pages of this 450 work are a general overview of the entire war Still, it was enjoyable to read and can function as a good introduction to Grant s campaign. Having read very little about civil war battles, and indeed, having read very little of military strategy, I was astonished at a continual scene of missteps and disasters Misjudging the enemy, bad information, cowardly generals, men sent to be slaughtered because of the bad information it s all here, and much It seemed like every page had at least one, and sometimes multiple agonies Although written mostly from the Union perspective, both sides had their share of troubles Several female diaries describe the tragedy of being in Vicksburg during the siege The book is kind enough to tell us what happened to the major combatants after the conflict.This book no longer needs to sit on a shelf in my front room waiting to be read. Marred by errors and Lost Cause angles stick to Forrest Gump, Winston Groom does a good job of looking at the Vicksburg campaign from its start in 1862 No idea whether he, or an editor, chose Vicksburg 1863 as the title, though, when it s clearly wrong.Anyway, Groom does a good job of looking at the whole, year plus series of efforts to take Vicksburg before Grant succeeded on July 4, 1863 In doing so, he personalizes the history with anecdotes about Grant s drinking, the campaign, and Northern newspaper and political fallout ditto with Sherman s craziness He also looks at the role of the riverine Navy and its interactions with the Army.On the Southern side, Groom rightly spends good time dealing with the interactions between Vicksburg Mississippi commander John Pemberton and the Western Department commander, Joseph E Johnston Groom, without selling too much, does a good job of showing how Pemberton was at least an OK general, how some of his decisions were damned if you do, damned if you don t based on differing high level strategic views from Jeff Davis and Lee about last stand resistance in key cities And, Johnston comes off none too well, but on that in a moment.That said, Groom is about as much in the tank for the Lost Cause as, say, Shelby Foote And, it s interesting at the least that than one five star reviewer of this book has expressly compared Groom to Foote The first and fourth errors I list below definitely impinge on the Lost Cause angle, as does Groom s interpretation of Johnston.In history writing, there s errors of fact, errors of interpretation, and errors of fact put in the service of errors of interpretation, the worst of all And Groom does this than once And, tho I originally thought this was maybe a 3 star work and downgraded it to offset fluff reviews, I now wish I had 1 starred it, given just how much fluff it s attracting First, Groom claims that Lincoln appointed a largely abolitionist Cabinet Totally untrue Welles was strongly anti slavery but not abolitionist Seward certainly wasn t Chase was the only original Cabinet member arguably an abolitionist.Second, and incredibly, at one spot, he claims that Mississippi didn t secede until AFTER Sumter actually, of course, it was the second state to leave.Page 107 Soon AFTER the firing on Fort Sumter, the state legislature called for an election of delegates to a convention on whether or not to secede There it is in black and white.Third, in another spot, he claims eight states followed South Carolina out of course, it was either six before Sumter or ten after in either case, it wasn t eight.Fourth, in looking at the Emancipation Proclamation, he cavalierly dismisses it as a war effort, saying it repelled any chance of Southern conciliation.Duh but Groom is being HIGHLY disingeneous.As a war measure, the Emancipation Proclamation was written for foreign consumption in England and France, elevating the war to one about slavery to keep them out, contra Lost Cause partisans of today who make various false claims about either Lincoln s motives or his intelligence on this issue.As for Joe Johnston, yes, he was not as much an attacker as some Southern generals But, given his later career, at least he didn t wreck an army, like Hood did after replacing him, which Groom only notes in passing.Groom also ignores that Johnston was severely injured while leading an attack of the Army of Northern Virginia at Seven Pines In short, just as D.S Freeman made Longstreet the ultimate scapegoat for the Lost Cause, Groom and he s not alone set Johnston up as a secondary scapegoat.Groom gets a partial kudo, and a kudo against a Lost Cause angle, for not throwing Northerner Pemberton under the bus.Back to Joe J By this time, he was a personal, military strategy and even military foe of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which influenced his interactions with both Pemberton and Braxton Bragg another Jeff Davis BFF at Chattanooga Chickamauga Tho we have not a word from him on the subject, after Missionary Ridge, followed by Grant moving East, at the end of 1863, Johnston was probably ready to end the war there, including accepting emancipation.And, he needs as sympathetic a modern biographer as the one Longstreet got about five years ago.Finally, at one point later in the book, he talks about Vicksburg in the context of northern Mississippi Accepting the Lost Cause angle, the book might well be good enough to earn a third star, but, the errors here, some unrelated to that interpretation, are inexcusable.Stick to writing Forrest Gump, Winston At least we know that s fictional from the start. My family and I took a road trip that included many of the battlefields of Grant s move south in 1862 and 1863, culminating in the siege of Vicksburg the south finally capitulated on July 4, 1863.My husband was reading Grant Moves South by Bruce Catton I read this, which may be titled inaccurately because it covered the same ground as Catton s book, though perhaps with different levels of detail.I ve read other reviews trashing Groom for his academic scholarship and, being a Western Theater neophyte, I cannot say how accurate or inaccurate Groom s reporting may be But I will assume basic accuracy and recommend this account as utterly readable and filled with interesting tidbits about the people, the places and the oddities did you know that when Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War he charged Admiral David Porter to go to the middle east and bring back camels to serve as beasts of burden in the newly acquired American southwest territories The Civil War and the railroads served to disband the Camel Corps and many of the animals were set free to go feral the last one was sighted in the 1930s A good overview of the succession of victories that should have ended the war A good taste of what life was like and why they fought A fair tracing of how the reasons for fighting morphed as the war went on Many instances of southern gentleman voting against secession and then taking up arms anyway, bound by duty and loyalty to state Hints at what the outside world was thinking about what they saw as the incendiary end of the democratic experiment The idea that the siege of Vicksburg and its aftermath a defeated enemy who stubbornly continued to fight even when prospects were than bleak foreshadowed the trench warfare and needless battles and deaths prevalent in WWI The navy on the rivers with their ironclads, the reason the Union could defeat the south at Vicksburg And good trivial tidbits LSU used to be a military school run by Sherman, who left when the Louisiana governor sacked a fort and sent him stolen arms for safe keeping.And a thoughtful quote or two Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad EuripidesAnd a closing great anecdote A friend liked to tell the story of the time years ago when as a small boy he was walking over the battlefield with his great aunts and his grandmother, whose father had fought at Vicksburg during the war Standing at the edge of the magnificent cemetery with its white marble tombstones stretching far as the eye could see, he asked one of the women, But why did they do it, Bamaw Why did they die to which the old lady replied wearily, Oh, I don t know, son I suppose they d all be dead by now anyhow. To Mr Groom s critics Leave him alone, what s wrong with being a good storyteller Maybe history would be appreciated if it was well told My takeaways As in Grant s memoirs I was struck by the role of the navy in the Civil War, of course and especially in the battles for the Mississippi All sorts of commanders and troops tried to conquer Vicksburg a total of 9 times After the last such failure came the siege Pemberton is much villified, and often rightly so His commanders must share the responsibility though as he was getting contradictory and often unclear messages from his Commander in Chief Jeff Davis and the military line command Joe Johnston should be considered a traitor to the confederate cause He should have backed up Pemberton but chose to do nothing or retreat Seems like his career was one big retreat US Unconditional Surrender Grant Had read a lot about Grant s drinking Very nice description of one such bender puts it in perspective He couldn t hold his liquor Highly recommend this if it s a genre you like. very good book on the Vicksburg campaign of the civil war, taking place during the same time the Gettysburg battle was being fought It was the the victory for the Union forces that told the Southerners that victory wasn t going to happen for them Vicksburg did not celebrate a 4th of July celebration until the 1940 s or so. Disappointed I like the topic, but the style of writing is juvenile And boring Couldn t read but few pages.