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Perhaps more than any other citizens of the nation, Kentuckians held conflicted loyalties during the American Civil War. As a border state, Kentucky was largely pro-slavery but had an economy tied as much to the North as to the South. State government officials tried to keep Kentucky neutral, hoping to play a lead role in compromise efforts between the Union and the Confederacy, but that stance failed to satisfy supporters of both sides, all of whom considered the state’s backing crucial to victory.
President Abraham Lincoln is reported to have once remarked, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” Kentucky did side with Lincoln, officially aligning itself with the Union in 1861. But the conflicted loyalties of Kentucky’s citizens continued to impact the state’s role in the Civil War. When forced to choose between North and South, Kentuckians made the choice as individuals. Many men opted to fight for the Confederate army, where a great number of them rose to high ranks.
With Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State, editors Bruce S. Allardice and Lawrence Lee Hewitt present a volume that examines the lives of these gray-clad warriors. Some of the Kentuckians to serve as Confederate generals are well recognized in state history, such as John Hunt Morgan, John Bell Hood, and Albert Sidney Johnston. However, as the Civil War slips further and further into the past, many other Confederate leaders from the Commonwealth have been forgotten. Kentuckians in Gray contains full biographies of thirty-nine Confederate generals. Its principal subjects are native Kentuckians or commanders of brigades of Kentucky troops, such as Morgan.
The first complete reference source of its type on Kentucky Civil War history, the book contains the most definitive biographies of these generals ever assembled, as well as short biographical sketches on every field officer to serve in a Kentucky unit. This comprehensive collection recognizes Kentucky’s pivotal role in the War between the States, imparting the histories of men who fought “brother against brother” more than any other set of military leaders. Kentuckians in Gray is an invaluable resource for researchers and enthusiasts of Kentucky history and the American Civil War.
Bruce S. Allardice is past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago and the author of More Generals in Gray.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt is a former professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Port Hudson, Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi and Louisianians in the Civil War.
"Such a source on Kentucky’s Confederate colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors has never been published--until now."—James A. Ramage, Regents Professor of History, Northern Kentucky University, and author of Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan
"Kentuckians in Gray offers interesting and valuable biographical essays on the Confederate generals and field-grade officers who were born in Kentucky or whose lives were strongly attached to the state, with full emphasis on their Civil War careers."—Charles P. Roland, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Kentucky
"Kentuckians in Gray makes a noteworthy contribution to Kentucky and Confederate history. The editors have collected a group of informative biographical sketches of every Kentuckian who became a general officer in the Confederate States Army, the famous as well as the not-so famous. The editors also include a bonus, an annotated list of all field grade officers in Confederate units from Kentucky. A valuable reference, this volume should be in the library of both Kentucky history enthusiasts and serious students of the Civil War."—William J. Cooper, author of Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era
"Kentuckians in Gray is an invaluable and original contribution to Kentucky and Civil War history. Both the biographical and bibliographical information in these fine sketches will be of great use to anyone interested in the story of the war in the Bluegrass State and beyond."—George C. Rable, Charles Summersell Chair in Southern History, University of Alabama, author of Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!
"Kentuckians in Gray is not simply a reference work. The mini-biographies of Kentucky generals make it an interesting and informative read at the same time."—TOCWOC Blog
"It has been mentioned before that 2008 saw the publication of a number of top notch reference books, especially Confederate ones, and Kentuckians in Gray is certainly near the top of the pile."—cwba.blogspot.com
“The biographies narrate interesting stories behind the men and explain how they achieved the various ranks of general in the army.” --Bits and Pieces, Hardin County Historical Society"—
"A unique and invaluable reference source, Kentuckians in Gray is essential reading for students and scholars of Kentucky and Confederate military history."—Ohio Valley History
"This work represents a significant addition to the existing literature on the Confederate generals. . . . This volume effectively describes the experiences of Kentucky natives making a choice to serve the Confederate cause while their home state eventually maintained an official allegiance to the Union."—West Virginia History
"The biographical sketches are of uneven quality, ranging from excellent to outstanding."—Journal of America's Military Past
"A welcome addition to the scholarship on Bluegrass Confederates."—Journal of Southern History
"The real prize is to be found among the lesser lights, men who served on the fringes of war... Bruce Allardice and Lawrence Lee Hewitt have done excellent work in assembling these fascinating biographies."—Blue & Gray
"Twenty-eight professors and historians have written the 39 biographies that make up this definitive text on Confederate generals who were either native Kentuckians or commanded Kentucky brigades."—Kentucky Kaleidoscope
"Anyone interested in the military aspects of the war that was fought inside and beyond Kentucky’s borders will find this volume informative and even eye-opening."—Park City Daily News
"Masterfully rendered, in writing style, originality and breadth of research . . . these individual essays are first-rate pieces of scholarship and tackle, if only briefly, important subjects that determined the different trajectories that Kentucky and Tennessee followed during the war years."—Bowling Green Daily News
"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.'"—A. A. Nofi, strategypage.com
"Kentuckians in Gray is not a simple reference work. The mini-biographies of Kentucky generals make it an interesting and informative read at the same time. . . . This complete list of Kentucky Confederate generals and field officers make the book worthwhile and useful reference work for those studying the men and events from that state."—Christie Salisbury, Atlanta Auto Accidental Lawyers Blog
"In many ways, the editors have enhanced the Kentucky portions of Ezra J. Warner's classic Generals in Gray . . . the editors include several of the more fascinating personal stories of some of the commanders. . . The list of contributors is impressive and includes recognized scholars such as Nathaniel C. Hughes, William C. Davis, Lowell Harrison, Charles Roland, Brian Willis, and James A. Ramage summarizing the fruits of their previous studies."—Louisiana History
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Kentucky, Kentucky history, Confederate officers, Confederate generals, United States Civil War, American Civil War
Allardice, Bruce S. and Hewitt, Lawrence Lee, "Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State" (2008). Military History. 30.