Book Review: The 10th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster


by Dennis W. Belcher

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009. Pp. xi, 225. Illus., map, tables, appends, notes, biblio., index. $55.00 paper. ISBN: 0786441534

A history of the Unionist 10th Kentucky Volunteers.  Like most of the troops who served, these men, recruited mostly from the region around Louisville, spent much of the war marching endless miles in all weather, often ate unpalatable rations, fought in many small actions and a few big ones (Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta), buried their dead, of course, and when peace came went back to their lives, the story of "their" war being largely forgotten. Until now. 

In this work, Dr. Belcher, who has long studied the regiment, to which he has ties of blood, gives us a look at these men and their war, fitting their movements and fights within the larger framework of the conflict. In addition, he follows many of these men into their postwar lives, among them Col. John Marshall Harlan, who later served on the Supreme Court and was an early champion of civil rights, and includes a selection of letters from the men to their families, helping to bring them to life.

A worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in the war and particularly the Western Theater.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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