Book Review – Grierson’s Raid

Author:          D. Alexander Brown

ISBN:  978-0317527537

Page Count: 242

I was tasked to teach a course on the Vicksburg Campaign to my son’s Boy Scout Troop to support the Troop’s tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park.  I felt it was my honor and privilege to do so and in the run up to teaching the course, I had read a number of books covering all aspects of the campaign.  Now full disclosure, I have spent time in the Army as a 13B, Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember; an 0311, a Marine Corps Combat Rifleman; and a 19D, again in the Army as a Cavalry Scout.  Though I will always be an infantryman at heart, when I look at 19th Century Warfare, I tend to favor the life of a Cavalryman; especially when considering the US Civil War and the Indian Wars.  The book “Grierson’s Raid” was key to me to get an understanding of the strategic situation in Vicksburg and the greater Mississippi theater of operations during the Spring of 1863.  I believe that Brown does an outstanding job of not only giving you the history of the raid, but also the dogged pursuit of the Federal Cavalry by the Confederate defenders.  I believe that D. Alexander Brown did a fantastic job of articulating the strategic value of the raid.  Not only were they able to destroy millions of dollars’ worth of war material, more strategically, the raid succeeded in taking Confederate Lieutenant General Pemberton’s eye off Grant and his upcoming amphibious assault across the Mississippi River.  Pemberton ended up diverting much needed Confederate resources from watching for the crossing to attempting to trying to deal with the Raiders.  I highly recommend “Grierson’s Raid” for anyone interested in the Vicksburg Campaign, Cavalry Warfare and even currently the current military population who would study raids.  Items to discuss that both the US Army and US Marines look at as characteristics of a raid, being speed, surprise and violence of action.  Brown masterfully articulates all three elements. 

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *