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Following up on the popular success of his earlier book of the same name, Winschel offers ten new chapters of insights into what has been declared by many to have been the most decisive ...
Following up on the popular success of his earlier book of the same name, Winschel offers ten new chapters of insights into what has been declared by many to have been the most decisive campaign of the Civil War. Designed to appeal to both general readers and serious students, Winschel's essays cover a wide range of topics, including military operations, naval engagements, leading personalities, and even a specific family caught up in the nightmarish 47-day siege that nearly cost them their lives.
Smoothly written and deeply researched, these fresh chapters offer balanced and comprehensive analysis written with the authority that only someone who has served as Vicksburg's Chief Historian since 1978 can produce. Bolstered by photographs, illustrations, and numerous outstanding original maps, this second volume in the Triumph & Defeat series will stand as a lasting contribution to the study of the Civil War.
About the author: Winschel is author of many books, including Triumph & Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign (1998, 2004), Vicksburg is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River (2003), Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar (1999), and The Civil War Diary of a Common Soldier (2000). Terry is also a popular speaker on the Civil War Round Table circuit and has made frequent appearances on the History Channel. He lives in Vicksburg, where he works as the battlefield's chief historian.
Posted November 22, 2004
Triumph & Defeat And now there are two. It has been well established that the historian of the all important Vicksburg Campaign in the Civil War was none other than Ed Bearss. His fame and knowledge is uncontested, or was, until now. Terrence Winschel may, proudly, take his well deserved and hard earned place beside the legend. With Bearss and Winchel as impetus, it would well serve the Civil War community to have a quarterly publication concerning Vicksburg that would rival if not surpass its counterpart of the battle that took place at that small village in Pennsylvania. Terrence Winchel, Chief Historian at the Vicksburg National Military Park has put together ten great essays regarding ten different aspects of the Vicksburg Campaign. Some of the strength of the ten essays lies with a fresh and different handling of some of the same events of that campaign. Each essay retains the accuracy of the information with a freshness of the writing. Triumph & Defeat, published by Savas Publishing Company, begins with a concise explanation of U. S. Grant¿s options in taking the river town and explains fully why each of these efforts failed. He shows us Pemberton¿s abilities or lack of abilities and also presents often overlooked critical problems that Pemberton suffered in his defenses of the Gibraltar of the Mississippi. Winchel points out the place of birth of General Sherman¿s well know ability to destroy the land in his marches. Not on the Meridian Campaign but on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River, west of Vicksburg, from Lake Providence to Hard Times first saw Sherman¿s destructive abilities. Essay #3, concerning the celebrated Grierson Raid, does a splendid service in the brief but accurate explanation of what the raid meant to both Grant and Pemberton. It was here that this reviewer found that ¿one error¿ that perhaps places a hint of shadow over the entire presentation. Lt. Colonel Reuben Loomis, 6th Illinois Cavalry, was not ¿killed in action later that year¿ but was indeed murdered by a fellow officer of the 6th Cavalry, Major Thomas G. S. Herod who was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was released in 1866 by President Andrew Johnson. Winchel does, however, give credit to Major General Charles Hamilton who made the first suggestion to Major General Stephan Hurlbut regarding the celebrated raid. Neither is known for other major contributions to the war effort. The expansion of the initial idea was, however, instigated by Generals Grant and Sooy Smith and thus the raid was a total success and a great hindrance to Pemberton at Vicksburg. Following with essays on Port Gibson, Champion Hill and the Assaults on the Vicksburg works, the author continued to demonstrate his vast knowledge on the subject. Port Gibson, a small relative ¿unimportant¿ battle in the big picture was indeed hard fought and brutal to the utmost. The Champion Hill essay explained some of Pemberton¿s problems, such as defending the area with poor staff, mediocre subordinates, and late messages from staff, supply train mishaps and other mishaps. It well may have been an impossible assignment. Of course Joe Johnston should receive his fair share of the blame, if there is blame to be shared. The remaining essays, all of different aspects of the complicated campaign all contribute well to an overall understanding of the event. In the ¿Spades are Trump¿ essay may be the key to explaining Grant¿s actions and philosophy which seemed to be a large factor in his failure to support the tunneling endeavor later in the war near Petersburg, Virginia. Some may read this as Grant learned from his previous mistake while others may see it as he was a slow learner. Whichever, the Vicksburg action did indeed influence grant when he was placed in command in the east. Rescuing Vicksburg, by the Trans-Mississippi troops, is yet another fine example of the many untold stories of the Vicksburg Campaign. Other such stories, effortWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.