Book Review: Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State


by Bruce S. Allardice and Lawrence Lee Hewitt, eds

Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2008. Pp. viii, 336. Illus., biblio., index. $40.00. ISBN:0813124751

In Kentuckians in Gray, Allardice, author of More Generals in Gray, and Hewitt, author of Port Hudson, Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi, have compiled an anthology profiling more than 150 Confederate generals and field officers with roots in the Blue Grass State. 

The 39 generals are each treated to a biographical sketch that runs 3-8 pages, depending upon subject, while the more than 125 field officers are covered in short thumbnails. Some lesser-known commanders, such as Richard Taylor Tyree H. Bell, Abraham Buford, and Thomas James Churchill, very properly receive more extensive coverage than more well-known figures such as Albert Sidney Johnston or John Bell Hood, who have been the subject of numerous volumes. 

The essays, mostly drawn from on secondary sources, are by nearly a score of scholars, academic and independent, and vary somewhat in quality. A handful betray a certain fondness for the "Lost Cause" or rely on dated treatments, such as the Confederate Military History ( Atlanta : 1899), but most have a more scholarly attitude, make use of the most recent scholarship, and some even delve into primary sources.

A useful reference for anyone working in Confederate military history, the book is probably most valuable for its coverage of the more obscure generals and of the many " Kentucky Colonels."

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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