Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege


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Adolph A. Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege.

Battle and Siege of Vicksburg | American Battlefield Trust

Publisher: The Fairfax Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis Recounts a crucial battle in the Civil War and offers public and private documents discussing the major operations in Vicksburg, Mississippi "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Vicksburg Battle Map

Seller Inventory Xn. Although Hoehling asserts that he gives time to both sides, most of the reports appear to me to come from those besieged within the city. I'm perfectly fine with th I think I purchased this book at the time of my first visit to the Vicksburg battlefield. I'm perfectly fine with this and indeed would welcome a book which provides a clear picture of life in Vicksburg in those summer days of But this is not that book.

Hoehling seems to target a lay-audience more interested in human interest stories than in military stories. Again, this would be acceptable to me. A big part of the problem though is his obdurate failure to identify his sources. It's next to impossible, without an inordinate amount of work, to tie in any of his text with the bibliography he provides.

Vicksburg: A 150 Year Walk Through History

Moreover, it's often enough apparent that Hoehling's sources are describing events that they experienced over many days, perhaps which they recalled years later, that maybe were chronicled in letters or diaries or other reminiscences, but Hoehling, possibly arbitrarily, assigns all of these "recollections" to specific dates in the siege as he gives us a running chronology that claims to recount what happened each day between 18 May and 4 July It's often or even usually impossible to confirm that his supposed chronology is accurate, ballpark-accurate, at all plausible, a creative guess-work reconstruction or, most likely, an irregular combination of all of the above.

This makes for a most frustrating read and accounts for the several years it took me to get from the first page to the last. What's more, Hoehling does not quote his sources in a conventional or consistent manner. Sometimes he uses quotation marks, but other long passages are demarcated within enclosing clusters of asterisms. There's no apparent significance to this unruliness.

Who is "speaking" and why their words are set off in this way is by turns obscure and baffling.

Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege

An index would make some of these problematic structural problems more or less immaterial; unfortunately, there is no index: this book cannot be made to function in any scholarly or reference manner. The "album" of photos appended is likewise perplexing if not misleading, since none of the images are dated and many do not provide locations where they were taken some for example are well-known Civil War images taken a year later in Virginia and Georgia; no mention is made of the discrepancies. I have a few more books about Grant's Vicksburg campaign that I eagerly anticipate reading.


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There may be a good book about those Mississippian civilians and the rebel soldiers who ended up confined behind the entrenchments that encircled the city. If so, I don't yet know about it. Aug 07, Roger Taylor rated it really liked it. I read Hoehling's book on Vicksburg in order to help prepare for a talk I have to give on the Siege of Vicksburg to a local Civil War group.

It provided a lot of valuable information on the impact of the siege upon the civilians in the town and their sufferings and sacrifices as well as their lives in the caves many of them inhabited for safety from the constant shelling. He also gives a real insight into the life of the Rebel soldiers manning the long line of fortifications.

Well worth reading I read Hoehling's book on Vicksburg in order to help prepare for a talk I have to give on the Siege of Vicksburg to a local Civil War group. Well worth reading!!!


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  • Mar 27, Tim rated it really liked it. War and rumors. Hoehling's "Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege" has plenty of both.

    ISBN 13: 9780811729802

    This valuable, mostly fascinating look from the viewpoints of the noncombatants and soldiery during the Summer siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, is a nice complement to Edwin Bearss' three-volume Vicksburg Campaign epic, especially considering that Bearss pretty much ignores the citizens caught in the Union encirclement. In fact, I jumped into this right after finishing Bearss' work. Diaries and other published War and rumors. Diaries and other published works from 36 "main characters" form the backbone of this work, though there are entries from a good dozen or so others thrown in.

    We get to know them through frequent entries. Union and Confederate soldiers, chaplains from both sides, children and adults, men and women; Hoehling presents a good cross-section of people as they try to live their lives amid the bizarre swirl of war. Many of these excerpts are a couple of pages long; therein lies the book's strength and weakness.

    It's highly valuable and usually very interesting to get these detailed words from the participants. But some people will think it's all too much of a good thing. Hoehling's approach is almost entirely chronological. The descriptions are day-by-day, though a few of them, I think, are general and are plugged in on various days. This allows us to see the shifting attitudes and see the role of rumor in war.

    Diary entries time and again repeat information that General Joseph Johnston's army is arriving any time to relieve the Vicksburg Confederates, as well as relating wild talk about Confederate successes in the eastern theater that never happened, many fueled by wildly erroneous newspaper reports. The writers also state as truth the supposed death of many civilians because of the Union bombardments. Objective history tells us very few civilians actually died; there couldn't have been as many as these writers heard about.

    Still, the danger and daily horror these citizens endured comes through loud and clear.

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