Winston Groom’s (Forrest Gump) latest book is long but very much worth reading. Groom presents the eight Union attempts during the Civil War to capture the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, considered to be the most important city on the Mississippi River after New Orleans was lost.
Vicksburg kept the two parts of the Confederacy divided by the Mississippi together. Losing Vicksburg would result in the transport of food, soldiers and other war materials from the Trans-Mississippi area to the East difficult to impossible. Groom details why this city was so important and how Grant and his army finally overcame great obstacles at the price of many lives. The author introduces the people important to the telling of this story - Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, John C. Pemberton, Joseph E. Johnston, and others, as well as relating how Vicksburg was founded and grew.
Groom uses many primary sources in his narrative such as diaries from civilians and soldiers on both sides of the war. There are seven maps at the front of the book, a 16-page centerfold of pictures and illustrations from the Civil War period, an index and a bibliography. Notes at the bottom the page describe or explain a topic or event related to the story. The book jacket designed by Jason Booher features the siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863, from a sketch by F. B. Shell. Vicksburg, 1863 is highly recommended to those interested in the Civil War and in Vicksburg.
Winston Groom is the author of fourteen previous books, including Patriotic Fire (2006), Shrouds of Glory (1995), and Forrest Gump (1994), and co-author of Conversations with the Enemy (1983).