Timothy B. Smith, Bayou Battles of Vicksburg: The Swamp and River Expeditions January 1-April 30, 1863, Signed on Bookplate
Volume Five in Smith’s Vicksburg Campaign Series
In Bayou Battles for Vicksburg, the latest volume in his five-volume history of the Vicksburg Campaign of the US Civil War, Timothy B. Smith offers the first book-length examination of Ulysses S. Grant’s winter waterborne attempts to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The accepted strategy up to this point in the war was aligned with the principles of the Swiss theorist Antoine-Henri Jomini, whose work was taught at West Point, where commanders on both sides of the conflict had been educated. But Jomini emphasized secure supply lines and a slow, steady, unified approach to a target such as Vicksburg, and never had much to say about creeks, rivers, and bayous in a subtropical swamp environment. Grant threw out conventional wisdom with a bold, and ultimately successful, plan to avoid a direct approach and rather divide his forces to accomplish multiple goals and to confuse the enemy by cutting levies, flooding whole sections of watersheds, and bypassing strongholds by digging canals far around them.
Bayou Battles for Vicksburg details each of the Union attempts to reach high ground east of the Mississippi River and includes fresh research on the Yazoo Pass and Steele’s Bayou expeditions, Grant’s canal, and the Lake Providence effort. Smith weaves several simultaneous Union initiatives together into a chronological narrative that provides great detail on the Union’s successful final attempt to get to good ground east of the Mississippi.
Timothy B. Smith. Bayou Battles of Vicksburg: The Swamp and River Expeditions January 1-April 30, 1863. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2023. 1st ed, 552p., dj. Signed on Bookplate.
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