Warren, Andrea. 2009. UNDER SIEGE!: THREE CHILDREN AT THE CIVIL WAR BATTLE FOR VICKSBURG. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 9780374312558 [Suggested Grade Levels 5- 9]
Andrea Warren’s nonfiction book describes the Battle of Vicksburg as seen through the eyes of three children who lived through the siege. These three children came from different social and political backgrounds, but each chronicled their experiences for later generations. Warren skillfully weaves their stories together, and includes other primary sources, to create a cohesive view of this important military campaign.
Warren’s book compares the experiences of Vicksburg residents, Lucy McRae and Willie Lord, with Frederick Grant’s time spent living with his father, General Grant, and the invading Union army. While the constant shelling forced Lucy and Willie’s families to seek protection in underground caves, Fred suffered from a bullet wound and dysentery which were common ailments among soldiers. Warren’s meticulously researched book includes several reference features, including postscripts on the major figures and supporting facts about the war and reconstruction. Photographs, newspaper articles, and journal entries help today’s readers relate to the survivors on both sides of the war.
This substantial work of nonfiction would be an excellent reference book for a Civil War unit. Warren’s extensive research notes, especially the recommended reading list and selected bibliography, will be useful for readers wishing to learn more about the Battle of Vicksburg.
Other books about children in the Civil War:
Fleischman, Paul. BULL RUN. ISBN 9780064405881
Murphy, Jim. THE BOYS’ WAR: CONFEDERATE AND UNION SOLDIERS TALK ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR. ISBN 9780395664124
Paulsen, Gary. SOLDIER’S HEART: BEING THE STORY OF THE ENLISTMENT AND DUE SERVICE OF THE BOY CHARLEY GODDARD IN THE FIRST MINNESOTA VOLUNTEERS. ISBN 9780440228387
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird