Academic journal article Military Review

Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar

Academic journal article Military Review

Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar

Article excerpt

VICKSBURG: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar, Terrence J. Winschel, McWhiney Foundation Press, Abilene, TX, 1999, 168 pages, $12.95.

For a conflict that lasted only four years and occurred 135 years ago, the American Civil War has spawned a publication industry. Terry J. Winschel's Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar, is another welcomed addition, although I rate his book as a good text for a beginner or novice.

Winschel does an excellent job of covering a major campaign with just enough detail to make sense, but several points will raise military readers' antennae. Winschel identifies only two of three levels of war-the tactical and strategic. The intermediate, operational level is post-Vietnam US military vocabulary taxonomy. In this book it would have been useful to differentiate it from the strategic level to provide an understanding of how Union General Ulysses S. Grant developed his plan in complementary stages.

One glaring inaccuracy is Winschel's discussion of the 13th Infantry shoulder patch. The designation "First at Vicksburg" is an honor, although I consider this dubious because the unit was repulsed! It is not worn on any US Army patch. The 13th Infantry has not been a separate regimental organization for well over 50 years and even then it was not worn as a regimental shoulder patch. …

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