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.
On July 4, 1863, Confederate Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg and the Army of Mississippi to Ulysses S. Grant. Pemberton was immediately denounced as a poor general, whose incompetence and indecision cost the South control of the impregnable fortress. Some Southern newspapers were especially harsh, pointing out that Pemberton was a Northerner (he was born in Philadelphia) and suggesting that treachery was behind the fall of “the Confederate Gibraltar.”
He was thoroughly lambasted as being a bungling fool, a poor leader and a hopeless general. Historians have generally followed suit. Forgotten in all of this is the fact that Grant attempted to take or bypass Vicksburg nine times. In five of these attempts, he was fought to a standstill and sometimes convincingly defeated by none other than John C. Pemberton, who was outnumbered 2 to 1 and sometimes more. This is the incredible story of the fall of Vicksburg, told only as acclaimed historian Samuel Mitcham can tell it.