Sentinels of Stone
Photographs that capture the battles, landscapes, history, and memories of the Civil War
To the leaders of the North and South, Vicksburg, Mississippi, was the “key” to the Civil War. For the Union, control of the vital Mississippi River would never be regained unless Vicksburg was subdued. For more than a month and a half, the citizens of Vicksburg and Confederate soldiers in the surrounding fortifications endured a violent, almost constant bombardment.
On July 4, 1863, when the Confederate soldiers in the fortifications around the city surrendered to Union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant, the capitulation simultaneously ended a forty-seven-day siege and forever linked the loss of Vicksburg with that at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. These were the dual blows that assured the demise of the Confederacy.
Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone reveals the breadth and scope of Grant’s siege and the city’s stalwart defense in eighty-five color photographs of the monuments, the bluffs, the Mississippi River, the redoubts, and the redans that remain in the modern national park.
Accompanying text explores the stories of the soldiers and citizens who participated in this devastating engagement. In words and images, Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone creates an ideal memento and a superb photographic record of the monuments and scenery that make a visit to Vicksburg National Military Park an unforgettable encounter with Civil War history.
Timothy T. Isbell’s photographs of statues and monuments in beautiful light make them come alive, perhaps more than if one were to see them in person. . . . The author creates a superb photographic record of these important national parks. Rarely can someone photograph a work of art and render its full meaning and beauty. Timothy T. Isbell does just that.- Reba J. McMellon, Mississippi Press
[Isbell’s] descriptions, accompanied by unforgettable full-color photographs, rustle up palpable glimpses into history while showing how our modern-day landscape is still scarred by the gruesome events of 1863.- Jennifer Barnes Moffett, Mississippi Magazine
The Vicksburg National Military Park is one of the most impressively monumented in the United States. Tim Isbell has captured the artful essence and humanity of the monuments as well as illustrations of significant locations beyond the Park’s borders. The long, complex Vicksburg campaign has been relatively overlooked by historians and the American people, and Isbell’s work will surely help to rectify that unjust neglect.- Michael B. Ballard, author of Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi and U. S. Grant: The Making of a General, 1861–1863
Skillfully crafted and beautifully illustrated, Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone tells the dramatic story of the Vicksburg campaign through the statues of stone and bronze that dot the landscape of one of America’s premier Civil War battlefields. Tim Isbell captures, as never before, the grandeur and majesty of the hallowed ground that is Vicksburg along with the solemnity and dignity of its monuments that serve to remind us of a time when brother fought brother in a nation then divided against itself.- Terrence J. Winschel, author of Triumph & Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign and Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River