The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons

Overview

Long relegated to a secondary position behind Gettysburg, Vicksburg has more recently earned consideration by historians as the truly decisive battle of the Civil War. Indeed, Vicksburg is fascinating on many levels. A focal point of both western armies, the Federal campaign of maneuver that finally isolated the Confederates in the city was masterful. The Navy’s contribution to the Federal victory was significant. The science of the fortifications and siege tactics are rich in detail. The human drama of ...
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Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons

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Overview

Long relegated to a secondary position behind Gettysburg, Vicksburg has more recently earned consideration by historians as the truly decisive battle of the Civil War. Indeed, Vicksburg is fascinating on many levels. A focal point of both western armies, the Federal campaign of maneuver that finally isolated the Confederates in the city was masterful. The Navy’s contribution to the Federal victory was significant. The science of the fortifications and siege tactics are rich in detail. The human drama of Vicksburg’s beleaguered civilian population is compelling, and the Confederate cavalry dashes that first denied the Union victory were thrilling. But perhaps more than any other factor, the key to the Federal victory at Vicksburg was simply better leadership. It is this aspect of the campaign that Leadership Lessons: The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862–1863 seeks to explore.

The first section of this book familiarizes the reader with the challenges, characteristics, and styles associated with leadership during the Civil War in general. It also outlines the Vicksburg Campaign by explaining the strategic significance of the Mississippi River and Vicksburg, detailing the opposing forces and the terrain, discussing the failed attempts to capture Vicksburg over the winter of 1862–63, and tracing the brilliant campaign of maneuver and logistics that allowed Grant to ultimately lay siege and win a Federal victory. The second section of the book contains 30 “leadership vignettes” that span the actions of the most senior leaders down to those of individual soldiers. Each vignette focuses the campaign overview to the specific situation in order to provide appropriate context, explains the action in terms of leadership lessons learned, and concludes with a short list of “take-aways” to crystallize the lessons for the reader.

The human drama of Vicksburg involved such traits as daring, persistence, hesitation, raw courage, vascillation, self-confidence, and over-reliance—all with a great prize at stake. This study of many of the Civil War’s most famous commanders who vied for the Rebel “Gibraltar on the Mississippi” reveals combat on a wide scale, but more importantly lessons on decision-making that still apply to this day.

Kevin Dougherty, a career Army officer and more recently a university history instructor and tactical officer at the Citadel, is the author of six previous books on the Civil War.

REVIEWS

“… written in a clear and lucid style… definitely about Leadership.And therefore I would recommend it as such; the fact that the lessons are based on a fascinating part of a well known conflict is a bonus to those of us whose interests span the fields of military issue and personal self improvement!”
Wargamer.com

“Dougherty offers a thorough campaign history, a basic background to Civil War era military structure, and 30 instructional leadership vignettes. This not only familiarizes readers with the ‘brilliant campaign of maneuver,’ but also highlights the campaign’s many leadership lessons. . . . By presenting the Vicksburg Campaign in concise accounts and incorporating useful takeaways, Dougherty’s work offers a clear decision-making guide and campaign history.”
—Military Review (United States Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS)

“…far exceeds any other summary of similar length… well-written and useful to a wide variety of readers… cadets and midshipmen will garner a number of ideas and techniques to add to their own leadership toolboxes.”
Civil War Book Review

“Five stars plus!.. a valuable addition to the study of leadership and Vicksburg. It would be an excellent study for business leaders as well as the professional officer and soldier. I recommend its addition to the personal library of all students of military science. My hope is it would be included in the reading lists of the officer basic or advanced courses. As in "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun", the lessons presented in "The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862-63: Leadership Lessons" are timeless.”
Kepler’s Military History
\

“…a splendid example of how military history manages to appeal to a broad audience and reach across the boundaries of traditional field of interest…”
The Historian

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Editorial Reviews

The Historian
"...a splendid example of how military history manages to appeal to a broad audience and reach across the boundaries of traditional field of interest"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612000039
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/10/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Part 1 Understanding Vicksburg

Leadership During the Civil War 12

Vicksburg Campaign Overview 25

Part 2 Leadership Vignettes

1 The Mighty Mississippi: Winfield Scott and Strategic Vision 40|2 2 The Battle of Corinth: Ulysses Grant and Creating the Necessary Conditions 45

3 Set Up to Fail: The Confederate Departmental System and Strategic Organization 49

4 The Wrong Man for the Job: John Pemberton and the Peter Principle 53

5 The Confederate Conflict: John Pemberton and Poor Relations with Subordinates 58

6 The Federal Team: Ulysses Grant and Positive Relations with Subordinates 63

7 Chickasaw Bayou: William Sherman and Knowing When to Quit 68

8 The Self-Made Man and the Reinvented Man: The Raids of Forrest and Van Dorn 73

9 Other Failed Attempts: Ulysses Grant and Perseverance 83

10 A Close Call for the Federals: Charles Dana and Dealing with Weakness 92

11 Asymmetric Warfare: Zedekiah McDaniel, Francis Ewing, and Innovation 96

12 Running the Gauntlet: Ulysses Grant, David Porter, and Unity of Effort 102

13 Helping Run the Gaundet: William Sherman and Playing a Supporting Role 109

14 The Battle of Port Gibson: John Bowen and Technical Competence 113

15 "Cutting Loose": Ulysses Grant and Taking Risk 119

16 Confederate Confusion: John Pemberton and Frame of Reference 126

17 Grant Heads Northeast: Ulysses Grant and Clear Communication 131

18 The Battle of Raymond: John Gregg and Understanding the Situation 137

19 The Battle of Jackson: Joseph Johnston and Pessimism 141

20 The Battle of Champion Hill: Ulysses Grant and Personal Presence 146

21 Retreat from Champion Hill: Lloyd Tilghman and Personal Sacrifice 150

22 Assault on Vicksburg: Thomas Higgins and Heroic Leadership 154

23 Problem Removed: John McClernand and Destructive Ambition 158

24 Siege Warfare: Henry Foster and Problem Solving 163

25 The Federal Mine: John Logan and Initiative 168

26 Surrender and Parole: Ulysses Grant and Pragmatism 173

27 Little Help from Above: Jefferson Davis and Strategic Direction 177

28 A Decisive Victory: Abraham Lincoln and Admitting When You're Wrong 182

29 The Meridian Campaign: William Sherman and Creating Opportunity 187

30 A Tragic Hero: John Pemberton and Selfless Service 193

Conclusions about Leadership During the Vicksburg Campaign 197

Appendix Vicksburg Campaign Order of Battle 203

Bibliography 233

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