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The Vicksburg Campaign, March 29–May 18, 1863

The Vicksburg Campaign, March 29–May 18, 1863

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Edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear


Hardcover (Other formats: E-book)
272 pages, 6 x 9, 22 illustrations

Civil War Campaigns in the West


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About the Book

Ulysses S. Grant’s ingenious campaign to capture the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River was one of the most decisive events of the Civil War and one of the most storied military expeditions in American history. The ultimate victory at Vicksburg effectively cut the Confederacy in two, gave control of the river to Union forces, and delivered a devastating blow from which the South never fully recovered. Editors Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear have assembled essays by prominent and emerging scholars, who contribute astute analysis of this famous campaign’s most crucial elements and colorful personalities.

Encompassed in this first of five planned volumes on the Vicksburg campaign are examinations of the pivotal events that comprised the campaign’s maneuver stage, from March to May of 1863. The collection sheds new light on Grant’s formidable intelligence network of former slaves, Mississippi loyalists, and Union spies; his now legendary operations to deceive and confuse his Confederate counterparts; and his maneuvers from the perspective of classic warfare. Also presented are insightful accounts of Grant’s contentious relationship with John A. McClernand during the campaign; interactions between hostile Confederate civilians and Union army troops; and the planning behind such battles as Grierson’s Raid, Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, and Big Black River Bridge.


Steven E. Woodworth, a professor of history at Texas Christian University, is the author or editor of thirty-one books, including The Chattanooga Campaign, This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War, Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861–1865, and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West.

Charles D. Grear, an associate professor of history at Prairie View A&M University, is the author or editor of six books, including The Chattanooga Campaign, Why Texans Fought in the Civil War, and The House Divided: America in the Era of the Civil War.


"I highly recommend “The Vicksburg Campaign: March 29–May 18, 1863” as book for both those unfamiliar with Grant’s campaign and those well read students of the campaign and the war itself.   Each essay is well written on its own merit and could stand alone without the others in the volume, but arranged together they present a multifaceted look at the most complicated campaigns of the Civil War."—Jim Miller, Civil War Notebook

“The combined operations of Union land and naval forces that resulted in the fall of Vicksburg made up one of the longest and most complex campaigns ever waged in American military history. Indeed, in light of its results and impacts, it can be argued that the Vicksburg campaign was the most decisive military operation of the Civil War. Steven Woodworth and Charles Grear have assembled a stellar slate of talented historians representing the leading experts and rising stars in Vicksburg historiography. This collection of essays presents a marvelous blend of topics ranging from battle narratives and analysis of leadership, to command relationships and military intelligence, to war’s impact on the civilian population. Some aspects of the campaign are covered here in detail for the first time, which helps make this volume a rich and indispensable addition to the scholarship on Vicksburg.”—Terrence J. Winschel, author of Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign, volumes 1 and 2 

“Civil Warriors interested in the decisive maneuver phase of the Vicksburg campaign—the seven weeks that settled the fate of the Confederacy—will find this book irresistible. Grant’s audacity, adaptability, and opportunism are evident on every page.”—William L. Shea, coauthor of Vicksburg Is the Key

“This collection of essays on U. S. Grant’s stunning Vicksburg campaign, a military masterpiece that historians have come to call the ‘Mississippi Blitzkrieg,’ is a winner. It is intelligently conceived, expertly meshed, skillfully written, and admirably executed by eleven outstanding scholars. To read it is to come away with a clear and insightful understanding of one of the pivotal turning points of the Civil War.”—John C. Waugh, author of The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox—Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers 

The Vicksburg Campaign is a must-read to understand Grant and the fall of' this southern stronghold." - The Journal of Southern History 

“This is a fine overview of several key elements of the Vicksburg campaign. Anyone interested in the campaign should read this book”- Damon R. Eubank, Campbellsville University.