Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hunt: "COLONELS IN BLUE - INDIANA, KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary"

[Colonels in Blue - Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary by Roger D. Hunt (McFarland ph. 800-253-2187, 2014). Softcover, photos, bibliography, index. 246 pp. ISBN:978-0-7864-7318-2 $39.95]

With his latest book Colonels in Blue - Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary, Roger D. Hunt has contributed to the Civil War literature yet another authoritative reference work of great worth to scholars and researchers. His previous publications include a photographic and biographical register for colonels commanding regiments from New York, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic states and a volume dedicated to brevet brigadier generals. With current publisher McFarland, he's released Colonels in Blue--Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary (2011) and it's probably safe to say more are on the way.

The book's highest level of organization is by state, in this case Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Under these are the regiment and biographical sections. The former is comprised of a listing of the state's militia and volunteer regiments, accompanied by the name(s) of the colonel(s) commanding and their appointment dates and fates (e.g. mustering out, promotion, wounds, death, etc.). The latter is the impressively thorough biographical register, or 'dictionary' as Hunt terms it.

Each entry in the dictionary begins with a command and promotion summary for the officer, followed by date of birth & death, education, occupation(s)/offices/honors, and burial site. There is also a "Miscellaneous" section comprised of interesting information and trivia spanning the subject's life. A list of references is also conveniently placed at the bottom of each register listing. Finding photographs of some Civil War officers, even those with status as high as colonel, can be surprisingly difficult, but Hunt was able to track down one for most of his subjects.

Judging from the bibliography's massive list of manuscript sources, government records, newspapers, and published works of all types, it's clear that Hunt's dedication toward finding every existing scrap of pertinent information has not waned over time. Colonels in Blue--Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee is another invaluable resource dedicated to the men that commanded the regiments of the Union army, and those readers with a special research interest in Southern Unionist units will especially appreciate the focus of this one. This volume, along with all members of the Colonels in Blue series, is highly recommended.

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