Book Review: Colonels in Blue--Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary


by Roger D. Hunt

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. Pp. xii, 216. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $39.95 paper. ISBN: 0786461551

Beginning with Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue, done in 1990 in collaboration with the late Jack R. Brown, and continuing with his series Colonels in Blue, Roger D. Hunt. a retired software engineer and excellent "amateur" historian, has built a reputation as a careful compiler of biographical references on Union officers.  This is the fourth installment of his guide to Union colonels, and follows volumes on officers from New England (2001), New York (2003), and the Mid-Atlantic states and District of Columbia (2007). 

As with the earlier volumes, this one opens with a short account of each state’s regiments in the war, including both militia and volunteers, with redesignations as applicable, and a list of their commanders.  There follows a listing of all colonels from the state who were not promoted to higher rank.  Each colonel is given a brief biography, outlining his background, education, and civil occupation, his military career, post-war life, and burial site, with references.  The entries are frequently illustrated with a photographic image or sketch.  Entries often include anecdotes, comments on the officer’s performance by others, information on courts martial, and so forth. 

This volume, and indeed the entire series, is an essential tool for any scholar working on the Civil War and may be used with enjoyment by anyone with an interest in the war.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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