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Episode #20 – Vicksburg: The Real Turning Point of the Civil War (Interview with Historian Dr. Samuel Mitcham)

Contrary to most Civil War historians’ views, Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham Jr. posits that it was the Battle of Vicksburg, not Gettysburg, that was the true turning point of the Civil War. Learn about the tumultuous Battle of Vicksburg and why Grant and Lincoln considered its capture essential in winning the Civil War in our exclusive podcast interview with Dr. Mitcham about his new book, Vicksburg: The Bloody Siege That Turned the Tide of the Civil War.


  • 3:08 Learn why the Battle of Vicksburg was more important than the Battle of Gettysburg!
  • 3:40 Not sure how Vicksburg fits into the Civil War story? Dr. Mitcham gives us some context, and tells us why Gen. Sherman thought Vicksburg was the perfect military position on the Mississippi River.
  • 6:15 Winning Vicksburg wasn’t an assured victory – learn how Gen. Grant tried 8 times to take Vicksburg before the Union prevailed!
  • 7:30 Who even is Gen. Pemberton, and how did he become General of the Mississippi? Why has he gotten such a bad rap from history.
  • 10:12 Learn about the final bloody battle that decided the fate of the South.

OUR GUEST AUTHOR – Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.

  • Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham Jr. is the author of more than forty books, mostly about World War II.  He has appeared on the History Channel and the BBC, has been a visiting professor at West Point, and was an Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. He lives with his family in Monroe, Louisiana, where he now devotes his time to writing books about the Civil War.

BOOK OVERVIEW – Vicksburg: The Bloody Siege that Turned the Tide of the Civil War

  • For those who are not familiar with the infamous Battle of Vicksburg, it’s one of the turning points of the Civil War as Grant took the fortress known as the “Confederate Gibraltar.” Vicksburg is a dramatic account of the Confederate Army’s attempts to defend the fortress of Vicksburg from October 1862 to July 1863, with a particular emphasis on the generalship of John C. Pemberton, the commander of the Confederate Army of Mississippi.



Phil Robertson, author and Duck Dynasty patriarch, says,

This is some of the best history I’ve ever read.  The flow of information – to be that in-depth and that precise – was tremendous.  Mitcham uses many original sources and brings events and people to life.  I highly recommend this book.


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