"The Defense of Vicksburg is the story of the Louisiana soldiers who fought at Vicksburg, as told through their letters, diaries, and remembrances. Most histories of this famous Civil War siege have been written by the victors; this one presents a day-by-day account from the Confederate vantage point. Indeed, these long-dead men come to life as we read their experiences and perceptions told in their own voices, which ring clear and true. In 1862 the Dixie Rebles of DeSoto Parish left for New Orleans. They and other Louisianians were formed into regiments and dispatched to Vickbsurg. In the year that followed, the troops witnessed the shelling of Vickbsurg by Union gunboats, the outbreak of disease, the lonely heroics of the Confederate ironclad "Arkansas, the daily drudgery of camp life, and Jeff Davis's visit to the beleaguered city. With immediacy and in revetting detail, several correspondents describe daily life in the trenches from their individual perspectives during each of the forty-seven days of the siege. And their stories do not end with the capitulation of the city. An epilogue follows the troops as they return home and then continue their service for the balance of the war. Their experiences transcended their own worlds, and these young men of Louisiana still have something important to tell us.
Allan C. Richard, Jr., and Mary Margaret Richard are graduates of Louisiana Tech and live in Shreveport. Active in several historic organizations and societies, they share a mutual love of history and the Civil War.
"The authors have done a superb job in bringing together unpublished letters, diaries and other manuscripts written by Louisiana soldiers defending Vicksburg. In doing so they are providing significant materials which will be of great interest to Civil War scholars. . . . a real contribution to our knowledge of the American Civil War, particularly in reference to the Vicksburg campaign. I have no doubt that it will be quoted from and cited repeatedly by scholars attempting to provide an overall view or synthesis of this extremely important campaign. In addition, the work will be read and re-read by historians seeking additional insight into the lives and experiences of common soldiers in the Civil War."--Ralph C. Wooster, Lamar University
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