Vicksburg

Written by James Reasoner
Review by Kim Murphy

This fifth novel in the Civil War Battle series focuses on the West and on the Union taking the city of the book’s title. Cory Brannon is called away from the wagon train supplying the city for a special mission. The dangerous duty takes him to Tennessee, where he meets up with his old friend, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Circumstances delay his return to Vicksburg, making him late for his wedding to Lucille Farrell. Finally, Union soldiers lay siege to the city, and the citizens face starvation.

The vast array of characters present in the previous book was mostly absent. Except for Cory, none of the Brannon family appears. The characters lacked depth, and I had difficulty getting my orientation, since Vicksburg begins before the fourth book ends. Halfway through, when the timeline was back on track, I finally realized the regression. The author’s research is excellent, but the battle narrative comes uncomfortably close to reading like a battlefield brochure. Die-hard fans of the series will certainly enjoy this installment and not want to miss it. Most Civil War buffs will probably prefer to wait for the sixth book, Gettysburg. Hopefully, the fast-paced action and basic plot of how one Southern family copes with the war will resume.