Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A selection of lesser appreciated John Hunt Morgan titles

Though I've never been an admirer of Morgan's generalship, a few review titles arriving in close succession [my review of  Morgan's Great Raid: The Remarkable Expedition from Kentucky to Ohio will be posted soon] has renewed thoughts of some under the radar JHM books, at least in contrast to high profile works like Basil Duke's writings and the Ramage and Thomas biographies. One of my favorites is Betty Gorin's "Morgan is Coming!": Confederate Raiders in the Heartland of Kentucky. It is the best account of Tebb's Bend, and covers many other events surrounding that battle. A 2nd edition was published by Harmony House in 2006. A pair of out of print titles, William Penn's Rattling Spurs and Broad-Brimmed Hats: The Civil War in Cynthiana and Harrison County, Kentucky (Battle Grove Press, 1995) and J.T. Heath's Morgan's Daring Raid: The Battle of Hartsville, Tennessee, December 7, 1862 (Author, 1997) are long out of print and very expensive to obtain, the latter difficult to find period. I've never read Heath's book (I passed up on a eBay bidding war a while back and ILL couldn't even find a copy for me to borrow), but Penn's study is a pretty good history of the 1862 and 1864 battles at Cynthiana. He's at work on a revised edition. A recently published memoir, One of Morgan's Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry (UP of Kentucky, 2011), has received more attention, and deservedly so. It is the most informative remembrance I've read of a company level officer serving under Morgan, complemented by Kent Masterson Brown's skillful editing.

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