In the Confederate Army, the field officer with the rank of colonel had the most direct effect on the survival of the soldiers. The 1,583 men who gained this rank have not received the credit due them, and this work seeks to fill that gap. The introduction provides an overview of how colonels received their rank through election by the regiment or by appointment. The determination of just who was a colonel comes from an officer’s compiled service record. The introduction also provides a number of statistics; for example, Virginia supplied the most colonels (186), 19 colonels were thrown out of the army, and 252 were killed in action. The entries list dates, places, prewar occupations, spouses, service records, and location of collections of papers, and they are full of interesting information. For example, Colonel Charles W. Adams was Helen Keller’s grandfather; Colonel Robert Hamilton Crockett was the grandson of Davy Crockett; and Colonel Upton Hays was the grandson of Daniel Boone. The most famous colonel, John Mosby, the “Gray Ghost,” is well represented. The three appendixes list “Colonels Who Became Generals,” “Colonels of State Armies,” and “Other Officers Called ‘Colonel’” who are identified in other credible sources. This well-written and well-researched book should be included in all libraries collecting Civil War history, especially those with special collections of Confederate materials. It is also useful for genealogy research. --Abbie Landry
About the Author
Bruce S. Allardice is Adjunct Professor at South Suburban College and Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois and the author of More Generals in Gray and coauthor of Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables. He lives in Des Plaines, Illinois.