Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863

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9781933337449: Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863
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Echoes from the Battle of Galveston had barely faded before a new Federal offensive began rolling down the banks of the Mississippi River. General Ulysses S. Grant, intent on reducing the Confederate citadel at Vicksburg, began looking for ways to reduce the fortress and return control of the mightiest of American rivers to northern control. Downstream in New Orleans, General Nathaniel P. Banks received orders to cooperate however he could in this effort, but faced challenges of his own, blocked by the Confederate bastion at Port Hudson. The problem facing Union war planners seemed nearly intractable.
Both of these Confederate positions had key vulnerabilities. Both garrisons depended heavily on supplies thrown across the Mississippi from sources in Louisiana and Texas, and the task fell to the United States Navy to cut off this stream of cattle and corn. The ensuing campaign to interdict these rations turned into one of the most massive raids in Civil War history, involving tens of thousands of Union foot soldiers and cavalry and scores of warships and transports, plunging Louisiana into the pit of a destructive war that wrecked everything in its path. When General Banks launched his campaign up Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana, Confederates in the region faced the greatest challenge yet to their claims of independence and experienced for the first time the true devastation of war and the consequences of rebellion.      
Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February–May 1863 is the second of the four books in Donald S. Frazier’s highly acclaimed Louisiana Quadrille. In this fast-paced narrative, readers ride along with gunboat skippers in duels along the Mississippi, trot along with cavalrymen as they slash their way through enemy lines, experience the dust and confusion of infantry assaults, and mourn with Louisiana, Texas, and New England families that watch their property and families destroyed by civil war. Most students of this national calamity may believe they know well the campaigns on the Mississippi; Thunder Across the Swamp promises to fill in the less well-known story of the fight to control the west bank during the crucial campaigns of 1863.

 

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Taylor had cause to be optimistic. The Federal Army and navy had been trying the direct approach against Vicksburg and Port Hudson with mounting casualties, lost ships, and growing frustration. “There is no use longer deceiving the public, for the Banks expedition is a failure,” wrote a Massachusetts journalist. “Much as I admire Gen. Banks I am forced to admit that he is not the soldier I judged him to be nor the general this department needs.” 

About the Author:

DONALD S. FRAZIER is the award-winning author of Blood and Treasure; Cottonclads!; Fire in the Cane Field; and Thunder Across the Swamp. His other work include serving as co-author of Frontier Texas and editor of Love and War: The Civil War Letters and Medicinal Book of Augustus V. Ball.

 

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Book Description State House Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Confederate President Jefferson Davis hoped one of his commanders could baffle the enemy in his designs on the Mississippi Valley. Confederate Major General Richard Taylor knew that the only long- term solution to protecting the twin river citadels at Vicksburg and Port Hudson was an active offensive. To that end he had already built a modest but well-supplied army while his powerful Rebel gunboat flotilla grew daily. Taylor just needed time. With the enemy army under General Nathaniel P. Banks fixated east of the Mississippi, Taylor believed he might just see his plans put into action With luck, the Confederate army might regain territory lost in Louisiana and its flag might once against float over New Orleans. The Union army would then have much larger issues to worry about.Taylor had cause to be optimistic. The Federal Army and navy had been trying the direct approach against Vicksburg and Port Hudson with mounting casualties, lost ships, and growing frustration. "There is no use longer deceiving the public, for the Banks expedition is a failure," wrote a Massachusetts journalist. "Much as I admire Gen. Banks I am forced to admit that he is not the soldier I judged him to be nor the general this department needs."As Rebel plans matured, time grew short for Union efforts. Banks needed to redeem himself, and his officers suggested an indirect approach west of the Mississippi, working from enclaves captured the previous fall, as the the key to victory. "The Teche county was to the war in Louisiana what the Shenandoah Valley was to the war in Virginia" Captain John William De Forest of the 12th Connecticut Infantry noted. "It was sort of a back alley, parallel to the main street wherein the heavy fighting must go on". Instead of wasting his army against enemy entrenchments and prepared positions, Banks decided instead to roll up Bayou Teche, destroy Taylor's small army, and isolate Port Hudson from its groceries. Capturing places like Franklin, New Iberia, Opelousas, and Alexandria, he might even open the possibility of cooperation with the army under General Ulysses S. Grant operating against Vicksburg.Taylor, caught by surprise and beaten to the punch, reacted with typical pugnacity "To retreat without fighting was . . . to abandon Louisiana", he wrote. Unless his army held its ground, the way across the Pelican State lay open to Union invasion with potentially catastrophic results for the fight for the lower Mississippi River. If Union land and naval forces gained control of the Red River, they would shut off the steady supply of corn, hogs, and beef heading into the forts across the river.In the spring of 1863, the opening act of the final scene of the Mississippi Valley campaign would play out in southwestern Louisiana among the bayous and swamps of the massive Atchafalaya Basin.Donald S. Frazier, author of the award-winning Fire in the Cane Field, expands up his Louisiana Quadrille with the release of book two, Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863. The better known stories of the campaigns for Vicksburg and Port Hudson grow richer and more nuanced by taking a look at the fighting west of the river as part of a larger picture. Seller Inventory # AAS9781933337449

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Book Description State House Press. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover in Dust Jacket - 630pp - Echoes from the Battle of Galveston had barely faded before a new Federal offensive began rolling down the banks of the Mississippi River. General Ulysses S. Grant, intent on reducing the Confederate citadel at Vicksburg, began looking for ways to reduce the fortress and return control of the mightiest of American rivers to northern control. Downstream in New Orleans, General Nathaniel P. Banks received orders to cooperate however he could in this effort, but faced challenges of his own, blocked by the Confederate bastion at Port Hudson. The problem facing Union war planners seemed nearly intractable. Both of these Confederate positions had key vulnerabilities. Both garrisons depended heavily on supplies thrown across the Mississippi from sources in Louisiana and Texas, and the task fell to the United States Navy to cut off this stream of cattle and corn. The ensuing campaign to interdict these rations turned into one of the most massive raids in Civil War history, involving tens of thousands of Union foot soldiers and cavalry and scores of warships and transports, plunging Louisiana into the pit of a destructive war that wrecked everything in its path. When General Banks launched his campaign up Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana, Confederates in the region faced the greatest challenge yet to their claims of independence and experienced for the first time the true devastation of war and the consequences of rebellion. Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February–May 1863 is the second of the four books in Donald S. Frazier’s highly acclaimed Louisiana Quadrille. In this fast-paced narrative, readers ride along with gunboat skippers in duels along the Mississippi, trot along with cavalrymen as they slash their way through enemy lines, experience the dust and confusion of infantry assaults, and mourn with Louisiana, Texas, and New England families that watch their property and families destroyed by civil war. Most students of this national calamity may believe they know well the campaigns on the Mississippi; Thunder Across the Swamp promises to fill in the less well-known story of the fight to control the west bank during the crucial campaigns of 1863. A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 731315

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Book Description State House Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Confederate President Jefferson Davis hoped one of his commanders could baffle the enemy in his designs on the Mississippi Valley. Confederate Major General Richard Taylor knew that the only long- term solution to protecting the twin river citadels at Vicksburg and Port Hudson was an active offensive. To that end he had already built a modest but well-supplied army while his powerful Rebel gunboat flotilla grew daily. Taylor just needed time. With the enemy army under General Nathaniel P. Banks fixated east of the Mississippi, Taylor believed he might just see his plans put into action With luck, the Confederate army might regain territory lost in Louisiana and its flag might once against float over New Orleans. The Union army would then have much larger issues to worry about.Taylor had cause to be optimistic. The Federal Army and navy had been trying the direct approach against Vicksburg and Port Hudson with mounting casualties, lost ships, and growing frustration. "There is no use longer deceiving the public, for the Banks expedition is a failure," wrote a Massachusetts journalist. "Much as I admire Gen. Banks I am forced to admit that he is not the soldier I judged him to be nor the general this department needs."As Rebel plans matured, time grew short for Union efforts. Banks needed to redeem himself, and his officers suggested an indirect approach west of the Mississippi, working from enclaves captured the previous fall, as the the key to victory. "The Teche county was to the war in Louisiana what the Shenandoah Valley was to the war in Virginia" Captain John William De Forest of the 12th Connecticut Infantry noted. "It was sort of a back alley, parallel to the main street wherein the heavy fighting must go on". Instead of wasting his army against enemy entrenchments and prepared positions, Banks decided instead to roll up Bayou Teche, destroy Taylor's small army, and isolate Port Hudson from its groceries. Capturing places like Franklin, New Iberia, Opelousas, and Alexandria, he might even open the possibility of cooperation with the army under General Ulysses S. Grant operating against Vicksburg.Taylor, caught by surprise and beaten to the punch, reacted with typical pugnacity "To retreat without fighting was . . . to abandon Louisiana", he wrote. Unless his army held its ground, the way across the Pelican State lay open to Union invasion with potentially catastrophic results for the fight for the lower Mississippi River. If Union land and naval forces gained control of the Red River, they would shut off the steady supply of corn, hogs, and beef heading into the forts across the river.In the spring of 1863, the opening act of the final scene of the Mississippi Valley campaign would play out in southwestern Louisiana among the bayous and swamps of the massive Atchafalaya Basin.Donald S. Frazier, author of the award-winning Fire in the Cane Field, expands up his Louisiana Quadrille with the release of book two, Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863. The better known stories of the campaigns for Vicksburg and Port Hudson grow richer and more nuanced by taking a look at the fighting west of the river as part of a larger picture. Seller Inventory # AAS9781933337449

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