"Sam" Grant had his faults, but he was always willing to fight, and often able to win. Frustrated by a tactical stalemate in Virginia in 1863 Ulysses S. Grant embarked upon a strategy of strangling the Confederate supply line on the Mississippi. Central to the Union strategy was the capture of the Confederate-held Mississippi town of Vicksburg.Grant combined the coolness under fire necessary for operational command with a storekeeper's ability to figure odds, anticipate supply needs, and calculate rates of movement of his own and his opponent's armies. Facing him was a determined and talented Confederate opposition. Nathan Bedford Forrest's campaign of protracted cavalry raids frequently placed Grant's supplies and reinforcements in constant jeopardy. Isaac Brown and his scratch-built Confederate ironclad Arkansas took on the Union river fleet single-handedly, writing one of the most interesting chapters in American naval history. Inside the besieged Vicksburg itself, Southern soldiers and civilians alike suffered from hunger and bombardment. Grant's soldiers endured in their turn heat, disease, and costly attacks on the Confederate fortifications.Grant's Vicksburg operations and the experiences of the opposing sides are of lasting historical interest. Day-to-day courage in pursuit of a grand strategic vision combined land and naval operations, guerrilla raids, political infighting and interference, and the riverine operations of America's first "brown water" navy all have been brought together here in a powerful narrative of military history.