Grant's Convoluted Tour de Force in the West
The Taking of Lady Gibraltar is about one of the major events of the Civil War: the campaign to seize Vicksburg by Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant. Before 1863, Vicksburg, situated on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, was thought to be impregnable. Grant created a new reality. The capture of Vicksburg and its garrison was, if not the signature northern victory of the Civil War, at least among the top contenders. It denied the Confederacy free access to the Mississippi River, it split the South in two, and, perhaps most importantly, it ultimately persuaded Abraham Lincoln to appoint Grant commander of all Union armies. In the words of the sixteenth president: “I can’t spare this man. He fights.”
It may be inaccurate to say that Grant won the Civil War for the North, but there is truth in the claim. His success, first in the west and later in the east, was phenomenal. Was he a military genius? Probably not. But he had a keen sense for the opportunistic moment and the fortitude to pursue a course of action relentlessly, once chosen. The Taking of Lady Gibraltar illustrates these qualities—and some shortcomings—in an exciting and stimulating read for anyone who loves Civil War history and historical fiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dick Schwirian resides in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Jo.
Author: Dick Schwirian
Fiction / Historical / Civil War