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Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg [Paperback]

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Item description for Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg by Timothy B. Smith & Terrence J. Winschel...

The Battle of Champion Hill was the decisive land engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign. The May 16, 1863, fighting took place just 20 miles east of the river city, where the advance of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army attacked Gen. John C. Pemberton's hastily gathered Confederates.

The bloody fighting seesawed back and forth until superior Union leadership broke apart the Southern line, sending Pemberton's army into headlong retreat. The victory on Mississippi's wooded hills sealed the fate of both Vicksburg and her large field army, propelled Grant into the national spotlight, and earned him the command of the entire U.S. armed forces.

Timothy Smith, who holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State and works as a historian for the National Park Service, has written the definitive account of this long overlooked battle. His vivid prose is grounded upon years of primary research and is rich in analysis, strategic and tactical action, and character development.

Champion Hill will become a classic Civil War battle study.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   502
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.52 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Savas Beatie
ISBN  1932714197  
ISBN13  9781932714197  

Availability  0 units.

More About Timothy B. Smith & Terrence J. Winschel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Timothy Smith is Associate Professor of History at Queen's University, Ontario where he teaches Modern European history, comparative public policy and the history of globalization. His previous publications include Creating the Welfare State in France, 1880-1940 (2003).

Timothy B. Smith currently resides in the state of Tennessee. Timothy B. Smith was born in 1974.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 19th Century > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > Mississippi
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
7Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg?

Another Winner for Timothy Smith!  Jun 7, 2007
The reviews tell the story. This is a great book. Champion Hill isn't one of my areas of interest, but every time I saw this book, it ended up in my hands until my wife yelled for us to go. If I were to write a book about my favorite lesser known battle, this is the way I would hope it would come out. Exhaustive research, flowing text, sufficient photographs, and some of the best maps that I've ever seen. There are plenty of them, very detailed, and thank you Mr. Smith for breaking them down to individual regiments! He wraps it up with an Order of Battle (thank you!) and a zillion photographs of the battlefield today (thank you again!). It would be hard to top this book. Even if you aren't into Champion Hill or Vicksburg, you'll love this book for the job the author did. Incidentally, check out his "This Great Battlefield of Shiloh.." as well. I look forward to more works by this author.
Maps and more Maps  Jun 29, 2006
I am what is commonly referred to as a Civil War buff, what ever that means, and I feel compelled to write you about the work of Timothy B. Smith.

My biggest frustration about a lot of books on the civil is the lack of good quality maps that allows the reader to get a sense of who was where and what was happening on the battlefield. How one could write an account of a battle with out good maps is beyond me.

The maps in Champion Hill are fantastic. Not only for their clarity but the sheer number of them is truly amazing. Needless to say I loved them.

The style of his writing actually left me with the desire to pick it up again to see how things were going on the Middle Road and the Jackson Rd., just like a good mystery book.

I give it an A+.

Keep'em coming but don't forget the maps !!
My praise will not do this volume adequate justice  Jun 28, 2006
CHAMPION HILL is, unequivocally, the best non-fiction narrative of a Civil War engagement that I've ever read - and that includes works by Shelby Foote and James McPherson.It generally concerns U.S. Major General Ulysses Grant's capture of Vicksburg, but is more specifically about the crucial Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, 1863, which essentially sealed Vicksburg's fate by forcing its defenders back into the city, around which Grant ultimately established siege lines.

The volume's initial fifteen pages briefly summarize Grant's various abortive attempts to take Vicksburg from the north before he was able to cross his Army of the Tennessee to the Mississippi's east bank south of the city on April 30. The next ninety describe the preliminary battles at Port Gibson, Raymond, and Jackson. The bulk of the book, 280 pages, concerns itself with the Champion Hill collision between Grant's forces and Lieutenant General John Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg. There's a penultimate 12-page chapter on the battle's aftermath that includes Vicksburg's capitulation on July 4, and a concluding 11-page postscript chapter on the post-battle and post-Civil War careers of the numerous commanders that are named (and pictured) in the text. Finally, there's a 10-page Appendix with the Order of Battle for both armies, thirty pages of Notes, sixteen pages of contemporary battlefield photos keyed to a reference map, and a 12-page Bibliography. I suggest that author Timothy Smith has penned a battle narrative as satisfyingly complete as any you'll ever come across.

Champion Hill was a seesawing, day-long, complex affair, the account of which will likely spellbind the reader to the point of emotional exhaustion. What I found most impressive was the extreme lucidity of Smith's description of the various military units' maneuvers across the landscape mostly described at brigade and regimental levels. The evolution of the Champion Hill clash is traced by forty - count 'em, 40! - marvelously illustrative maps rendered in black, white and gray that coincide at all times with the textual narrative. Smith even goes so far as to depict the field positioning of units during and after disintegration and, in some cases, their subsequent reformation and re-entry into the fray. At no time was I in the least confused about the tide of battle and the organizational identity of the combatants. These battlefield maps demonstrate how such should be constructed, but which so often are not in otherwise faultless works.

For Grant, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Champion Hill was another close run thing - more so than it should have been. Generally speaking, each side suffered from committing its forces piecemeal - Grant because of overcautious orders to his chief subordinate on-site, commander of the XIII Corps Major General John McClernand, and Pemberton because of inadequate intelligence as to Federal troop dispositions combined with a rancorous relationship with division commander Major General William Loring. Particularly speaking, the Confederates perhaps lost Champion Hill because of a wayward ordnance train that handicapped beleaguered rebels in the face of fresh, but the last, Union reserves at a critical point of confrontation.

CHAMPION HILL is an obligatory read for any student, casual or serious, of the Civil War. I was sorry to come to the end of the story, a reaction usually reserved for fiction.
One minute you are charging forward with victory, and the next minute you are running for your life!  May 14, 2006
Timothy B. Smith's "Champion Hill Decisive Battle for Vicksburg" is a must read. A little known battle but one of great magnitude. Many historians have often over look the battles that led to the doom of Vicksburg. Leading up to to Champion Hill were the battles of Port Gibson, Raymond and Jackson. Timothy B. Smith keeps the story flowing and leads you breathless to the climax at Champion Hill. Such research is much needed and is so well written I could not put the book down. This book is a instant "Classic". The book has lot's of maps to help the reader understand the battle geologically. The timeline is easy to keep up with, which is often very hard to do in a Civil War battle. Also included is a very nice selection of photo's to illustrate the participants as Timothy weave's you though the thick Minnie's. One minute you are charging forward with victory and the next minute you are running for your life!
Excellent book on the Battle of Champion Hill  Sep 29, 2005
Being a novice to the study of the civil war, I found this book to be helpful in my pursuit of knowledge about the Battle of Champion Hill. It was well written and easy to read. Not being one who necessarily understands military tactics or maneuvers, Timothy Smith's book allowed me to follow the battle with a clear understanding of troop movements and placements and was enhanced by the excellent maps. Having read the book prior to a trip to the Vicksburg area, the battle came to life for me because of the knowledge gleaned. I especially enjoyed the personal accounts, pictures and bios of the officers and soldiers.

I think this battle is best summed up by a quote from the book about a young Iowan, Sam Byers, that said, "But, on May 16, 1863, he was just a frightened young man standing with hundreds of other frightened young men looking up the slopes of Champion Hill in an effort to stare down random death.." This is definitely a book that every serious student of the civil war will want in his or her library.

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