Under Siege!

Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg

By Andrea Warren
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374312558, 176pp.)

Publication Date: April 27, 2009

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“Living in a cave under the ground for six weeks . . . I do not think a child could have passed through what I did and have forgotten it.” – Lucy McRae, age 10, 1863

Meet Lucy McRae and two other young people, Willie Lord and Frederick Grant, all survivors of the Civil War’s Battle for Vicksburg. In 1863, Union troops intend to silence the cannons guarding the Mississippi River at Vicksburg – even if they have to take the city by siege. To hasten surrender, they are shelling Vicksburg night and day. Terrified townspeople, including Lucy and Willie, take shelter in caves – enduring heat, snakes, and near suffocation. On the Union side, twelve-year-old Frederick Grant has come to visit his father, General Ulysses S. Grant, only to find himself in the midst of battle, experiencing firsthand the horrors of war.

Period photographs, engravings, and maps extend this dramatic story as award-winning author Andrea Warren re-creates one of the most important Civil War battles through the eyes of ordinary townspeople, officers and enlisted men from both sides, and, above all, three brave children who were there.

About the Author

ANDREA WARREN’s noteworthy nonfiction has received the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award as well as a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Award. Her most recent book, Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy, was a Booklist Editors’ Choice and an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, among other recommendations. She lives in the Kansas City area.

Praise For Under Siege!

“Although her subtitle refers to three children, author Andrea Warren offers a wide-ranging account of the tactics, terrain and geography as well as the experience of Vicksburg's residents -- many women, children and slaves among them—who endured the 47-day siege.” —The Washington Post

“This volume is not only an excellent source for reports but is riveting historical reading as well.” School Library Journal

“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.” —The Horn Book

“The many quotes offer insights into the points of view of Vicksburg residents and soldiers on both sides of the conflict . . . . Vivid, informative history.” —Starred, Booklist

“A unique perspective on a pivotal Civil War campaign.” —Kirkus Reviews

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