Reviews for Under Siege! : Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg

Booklist Reviews 2009 April #2
*Starred Review* Strategically positioned to control the Mississippi, Vicksburg was well fortified and well defended by Confederate forces during the Civil War. When Union assaults failed to take the city, General Grant's troops began a siege that lasted 47 days. Illustrated with many period photos and prints, this well-researched book offers a chronological account of events laced with quotes from those who were present. In particular, the narrative focuses on three young people who later wrote articles or were interviewed about their memories of the siege: 10-year-old Lucy McRae and 11-year-old Willie Lord, both Vicksburg residents, and 12-year-old Frederick Grant, the general's son. Readers interested in military campaigns will be fascinated by young Grant's observations of battlefields as well as his father's command center, while others will be intrigued by the stories of families living in dug-out caves and eventually facing starvation, while cannonballs, miniť balls, and artillery shells rained down on their city. The many quotes offer insights into the points of view of Vicksburg residents and soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The extensive back matter includes further information about people discussed; facts about the Civil War and Reconstruction; recommended books, films, and Internet sites; a selected bibliography; and source notes. Vivid, informative history. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #3
What is the homefront in a war like when the fighting is in front of one's own home? Three very different children-Lucy McRae, a native of a prominent Vicksburg family; Willie Lord, son of an Episcopal minister; and Frederick Grant, son of Ulysses S. Grant-share, through edited first-person accounts, their experiences over the eighteen-month Battle of Vicksburg. That Fred Grant would be permitted (even encouraged) to accompany his father on such a dangerous campaign shows modern readers a reality much different from their own. The constant bombardment of the town; the very real dangers and inconveniences of hiding in Mississippi River caves; and the alternately festive and morbidly curious citizens of Vicksburg, who would regularly view the battle-all combine to present readers with an 1863 seldom pictured in textbooks. Appended with recommended readings, Internet resources, a selected bibliography, full documentation, and an unseen index. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #1
This engrossing account of the 1863 siege of Vicksburg chronicles the event through the experiences of three young people from December 1862 through the aftermath of the surrender on July 4, 1863. Warren creates a compelling narrative using the points of view of ten-year-old Lucy McRae, the daughter of a successful Vicksburg businessman, Willie Lord, the 11-year-old son of a Vicksburg minister, and Fred Grant, the 12-year-old son of Ulysses S. Grant. Fred is a particularly interesting subject, having accompanied his father for the entire campaign. Despite being shot in the leg and contracting dysentery and typhoid, Fred's enthusiasm for the experience never wanes. Primary sources, including quotes from the children, period photographs, maps and paintings are used throughout. The extensive backmatter includes an annotated list of recommended Civil War books, a longer bibliography of sources, endnotes and illustration credits. A unique perspective on a pivotal Civil War campaign. (Nonfiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

Gr 6-9--This detailed look at the Battle of Vicksburg takes the tack of viewing the siege through the eyes of three children who were eyewitnesses and left written records of their experiences. Lucy McRae, 10, was a young resident from an upper-crust family. Her experiences of living in the caves that the Vicksburg residents dug to keep themselves safe during the shelling certainly draw parallels with those of children in modern-day locations such as Sarajevo. Willie Lord, 11, shared a similar experience to Lucy's. His family was broken up when his fragile mother was evacuated with the children to the countryside, only to find that she could not manage without her husband, the local pastor. They, too, dealt with life in the caves. Frederick Grant, 12, the son of Union General Ulysses S. Grant, accompanied his father throughout the campaign. His narrative gives the Union perspective. Excellent use of primary-source documents, maps, diagrams, and period reproductions adds depth and interest to what is almost a day-by-day recounting of this crucial siege. This volume is not only an excellent source for reports but is riveting historical reading as well. Pair it with Jim Murphy's The Boys' War (Clarion, 1990) for a look at America's bloodiest conflict through the eyes of its youth.--Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA

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VOYA Reviews 2009 February
Warren creates a compelling account of the 1863 siege at Vicksburg that follows three young people from December 1862 through the aftermath of the surrender on July 4, 1863. Several elements make this effort stand out among Civil War books. Vicksburg was a unique city in a matchless position on the Mississippi River. The siege was extraordinary in its length and conditions. Warren tells the story from the point of view of three children: ten-year-old Lucy McRae, the daughter of a successful Vicksburg businessman; Willie Lord, the eleven-year-old son of a Vicksburg minister, originally from the North; and Fred Grant, the twelve-year-old son of Ulysses S. Grant. Fred is a particularly extraordinary subject. Fred joined his father for the entire campaign and was obviously thrilled to be part of the experience, even after he was shot in the leg and contracted dysentery and typhoid feverThe author uses primary sources throughout, including scores of quotes, many attributed to the children themselves, period photographs, maps, and paintings. The book only lacks a clear map of Mississippi and Louisiana, which would make the details of military strategy easier to follow. The back matter is extensive, including an annotated list of recommended Civil War books, a longer bibliography of sources, and extensive endnotes and illustration credits--Angela Carstensen Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. 4Q 3P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.