Decisions of the Vicksburg Campaign

The Eighteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Operation

  • Author(s): Peterson, Larry
  • Series: Command Decisions in America's Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2024-05-06
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now
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Vicksburg, nicknamed the Gibraltar of the Confederacy, was vital to Confederate supply lines, troop movements, and access to port cities on the Gulf of Mexico. The fortified city had been under constant attack since 1862 as Admiral Farragut assaulted Vicksburg after capturing New Orleans, and Major General Halleck enlisted then Major General Grant to devise an overland campaign to support a naval engagement. As Vicksburg was heavily garrisoned and resupplied regularly, Federal plans came up short again and again. But the pugnacious Grant would eventually devise a bold plan to cross the Mississippi River and advance along the western bank, use a feint by General Sherman’s forces and a raid by Colonel Grierson’s cavalry to draw out Confederate troops, then recross the river and capture Vicksburg.

Decisions of the Vicksburg Campaign explores the critical decisions made by Confederate and Federal commanders during the battle and how these decisions shaped its outcome. Rather than offering a history of the battle, Larry Peterson hones in on a sequence of critical decisions made by commanders on both sides of the contest to provide a blueprint of the battles for Vicksburg at their tactical core. Identifying and exploring the critical decisions in this way allows students of the battles to progress from a knowledge of what happened to a mature grasp of why events unfolded as they did.

Complete with maps and a driving tour, Decisions of the Vicksburg Campaign is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a concise introduction to the battle can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the campaign and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself. Decisions of the Vicksburg Campaign is the twentieth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.

LARRY PETERSON retired from United Airlines as a Boeing 757/767 Standards Captain. He is the author of Confederate Commander: The Remarkable Life of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr. and several volumes in the Command Decisions in America’s Civil War series.