The generals of the Confederacy are perhaps unfairly more renowned than are colonels. Generals were
higher ranking and oversaw more than colonels, but colonels were usually the ones who stuck their necks out in directing their regiments, either leading their men to victory or dying in the process. There were some famous colonels, like John S. Mosby and General George Patton’s (of World War II fame) great-grandfather George Smith Patton.
Bruce S. Allardice has compiled an interesting register of the colonels of the Confederate States of America’s army covering 1,583 men. There were two kinds of colonels in the Confederacy, Allardice says - the ones who had their commission from the Confederate government, and those who had their commissions from state governments. This registry focuses on those whose commissions came from the Confederate government. Allardice also discusses the various kinds of statistics about colonels in the Confederate army.
Allardice provides a short guide on how to use the register following the introduction. The register includes information on the colonels including standard information - where and when the person was born, where he was educated, who his spouse was, etc.; geographical information, such as where he was born and what state he moved to, if he did; what regiments the colonel was part of and its various designations; the date of his commission or commissions; the place of his burial, if he did not die on the battlefield (if he died on the battlefield, it is assumed he is buried there unless noted otherwise). The copious minute information in this book will fascinate Civil War history buffs, especially those interested in the Confederate army. The colonels are listed alphabetically by last name, and many entries include notes and comments about each particular colonel.
There are twenty-four black and white photographs of colonels and three appendices. Appendix one lists colonels who became generals; appendix two lists colonels in state armies, and appendix three lists those other officers who were called “colonel.” Allardice used various sources in compiling this entry in the Shades of Blue and Gray series from the University of Missouri Press, including surviving Confederate records available in the National Archives. This is a great resource for students researching the Civil War, especially the Confederate army.
Bruce S. Allardice is an adjunct professor at South Suburban College and Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois. He is the author of More Generals in Gray (1995) and co-author of Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables (2002).