Item description for TRIUMPH AND DEFEAT: The Vicksburg Campaign by Terrence J. Winschel...
Now available in paper for the first time. Ten fascinating chapters on the complex and decisive campaign to capture the city of Vicksburg and sever the Confederacy in two.
Author Terry Winschel, chief historian at Vicksburg National Military Park, weaves a professional lifetime of personal experience and scholarship into this remarkable study. His chapters cover every major aspect of what many consider to have been the decisive military achievement of the war--the capture of "The Gibraltar of the Confederacy."
How good was General Grant's generalship? Was Confederate Lieutenant General John Pemberton really as inept as we have been led to believe? Which battle of the months-long campaign was decisive and sealed the fate of the city? How did the civilians deal with the lack of food and supplies? What role did cavalry play in this critical campaign? Winschel discusses these issues and many others with articles on General Grant's march through Louisiana, Grierson's Federal cavalry raid, the battles of Port Gibson and Champion Hill, the infantry assault on Vicksburg, siege operations, John Walker's Texas Division, the citizens of Vicksburg, and much more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terrence Winschel is the Chief Historian of Vicksburg National Military Park and the author or editor of several books and dozens of articles on the Civil War. He lives withi his family in Vicksburg.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 9" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Publisher Savas Beatie
ISBN 1932714049 ISBN13 9781932714043
Availability 0 units.
More About Terrence J. Winschel
Winschel is chief historian at Vicksburg National Military Park and a 21-year veteran of the National Park Service who has served at Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Valley Forge.
Terrence J. Winschel currently resides in Vicksburg, in the state of Mississippi. Terrence J. Winschel has an academic affiliation as follows - Vicksburg National Military Park.
Reviews - What do customers think about TRIUMPH AND DEFEAT: The Vicksburg Campaign?
Ten Lectures on Vicksburg Mar 20, 2008
This book is very readable and easy to follow. It is a series of 10 independent essays dealing with 10 incidents in the Vicksburg campaign. The essays are well written and researched. The author works at the Vicksburg Military Park and speaks on the Civil War Round Table circuit so each of these essays is an independent presentation. After reading one you want to read another and another until they are all gone leaving you wishing there were more. The author uses illustrations well with a picture of the subject of the essay and makes good use of maps. I have read about half a dozen books on the Vicksburg campaign and this book added significantly to my knowledge of the campaign. The author delivers a great wealth of information on the subject of each essay. He certainly uses some old material but only to reassess it in light of some original material. Where else will you find an assessment of Grant's trust of McClernand, a general he dismissed during the siege of Vicksburg but who had been entrusted with many difficult assignments independent of Grant's oversight during the campaign.
Soup to nuts book on Vicksburg, but skips the main course Nov 30, 2004
This book is a collection of separate articles written by Winschel, Chief Historian of the Vicksburg National Park. The rather thin book makes for a great addition to the library of any fan of the Vicksburg campaign. However, as a collection of articles, it really fails to involve the reader in many of the important dynamics between the main characters in this Confederate tragedy. What really makes the Vicksburg campaign fascinating to me is the endless interpersonal conflict: Loring's insubordination bordering on treason, Davis' meddling, Johnston's passive agression, Pemberton's equivocation, Sherman's doubting stoicism, Grant's audacity, McClernand's political manuevering, and Kirby Smith's apathy towards activities outside his department. In addition, the book fails to give ample consideration to some of the battles leading up to the siege. Chickasaw Bayou, Raymond, Jackson, and Bovina were all mentioned only in passing.
I thought the passages on the movement south through Louisiana, Grierson's Raid, the Battle of Port Gibson, Champion Hill, the belated attempt to cut the federal supply line through Louisiana, and the siege operations at Vicksburg were all very well written and informative. But I would have loved to see him add an additional 100-200 pages and complete the book as a one-volume resource on Vicksburg. At best, for the Vicksburg enthusiast, this will remain on your shelf as a quick reference for some of the particular operations mentioned above.
And now there are two. Nov 23, 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, effort of new research, are undoubtedly present and "Western Theater historians" almost have an obligation to reveal them.
Anyone interested in the Vicksburg Campaign or anyone wishing to know more detailed information concerning the Vicksburg Campaign must make "Triumph & Defeat" a part of their Civil War library.
Submitted by Frank Crawford
Personal Visit by the Chief Historian Nov 14, 2004
Approach this slim volume as if the Chief Historian for the Vicksburg National Military Park was giving you a personal tour and you won't be disappointed. It is composed of ten essays that cover the important events and incidents of the battle for and seige of Vicksburg. There are a number of illustrations and maps that illuminate the text and anecdotal images narratively entertwined to add the personal touch to historical events.
I would have enjoyed it even more had the author taken the time to go ahead and write the full volume this could have been. The essays are stand alone and somewhat repetitious. He knows the material better than perhaps any other. Make this one composite, whole narrative and throw in the kitchen sink. Nevertheless, if you're interested in the battle for Vicksburg, this will provide a decent overview that doesn't fall down to the minute level.
Triumph Oct 9, 2004
This very impressive slim book proves the old adage that good things can come in small packages. This is not Ed Bearss three volume 1,800+ page detailed history of the Vicksburg Campaign and no one should mistake it for a substitute to that work. It is not a one-volume history of the campaign either, being to small for that. My first statement was this is an impressive book but then I told you what it is not. You might now ask what is this book and why should I part with my money to own it?
You are buying ten articles on the Vicksburg Campaign, an introduction, Epilogue, endnotes and index contained in 220 pages. Interspersed are maps and photographs of the participants. Even with the reasonable price, this will not sound impressive to many people. The physical characteristic of the book hide some very interesting and sometimes startling articles dealing with a person or aspect of the Vicksburg Campaign. Together, they form a very coherent picture of the campaign that is both captivating and informative.
Highly recommended is "Playing Smash with the Railroads", "Spades are Trump" and "First Honor at Vicksburg". The first covers the Grierson Raid from La Grange to Baton Rouge. This is the story of fast movement and misdirection as Grierson moving south cuts the railroads and upsets Pemberton. An excellent map complements the article, making it easy to follow the path of the raiders and their pursuers. "Spades are Trump" provides a look at siege operations and the progress Grant's army was making toward reduction of the defensive works. Scheduled was a major assault for July 6. The closeness of siege lines to the defensive works, the several mines in place, forced Vicksburg to surrendered rather than be stormed. The story of the 1st Battalion, 13th U.S. Infantry both explains the desperate initial attacks, the decision for a siege and ties the Civil War to the present day. This unit attacked the Stockade Redan on May 19 and today wears "First at Vicksburg" with pride.
The city and the citizens have full coverage with a quick history of the city and life was like under siege. Both are well done and convey the carnage and disruption of war. Unlike many books, the surrender and events leading up to it are covered. Grant finds himself forced to give more "generous terms" by the realities of transport capacity and not wanting to deal with thousands of half starved POWs.
This is a strong book that does not require the second volume, however, the two volumes provide a more complete history of the campaign and siege. Each book complements the other providing a better picture of the campaign and siege.