THE WEB OF VICTORY by Earl Schenck Miers


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Grant at Vicksburg- so reads the sub-title of this lively, vivid account of those fateful months. Just as Miers brought General Sherman to life in his earlier book, The General Who Marched to Hell (1951) and did a creative job of weaving authentic primary sources into a narrative, he has here achieved the same miracle. The contemporary records, from both sides of the conflict, form an integral part of what reads like a story, so one has a sense of contemporary reporting, and at the same time a conviction that that was the way it was. Many will feel that Miers has perhaps overstressed the contributory evidence on Grant's propensity to turn to drink when loneliness and discouragement prevail over his dedication to duty. But- at the same time- Miers indicates that those closest to him shielded him from the catastrophic results that might have been, and that at no time did the job really suffer. More of the details of the various attempts to encircle Vicksburg, more of the setbacks and discouragements, the internal conflicts with subordinates, the heartbreaks are given than in any other record of the campaign I have encountered. But the victory, with its tragic overtones, is all the more impressive. A book that makes good reading and for Civil War enthusiasts, strategists and armchair campaigners, this is a must.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1955
Publisher: Knopf