Colonels in Blue

18 10 2007


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Earlier this week I received the latest volume in Roger Hunt’s Colonels in Blue series, The Mid-Atlantic States.  This series has been invaluable in my research, as has Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue, which Hunt co-authored with Jack Brown, so I’m glad to see that, after a four year interruption, it has picked up pretty much where it left off.

The first two volumes, The New England States and New York, were published by Schiffer Military History of Atglen, PA.  Every officer to attain the rank of colonel and command a regiment, but was never promoted to brigadier general or brevet brigadier general, is profiled in a brief biographical sketch that includes a Heitman-like military chronology as well as birth and death facts, pre-war occupation, miscellaneous information and burial details.  And photos: lots and lots of wonderful photos, sometimes three or four for one colonel, from various phases of life.

The Mid-Atlantic States (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, & Delaware), follows the same format.  There are significant differences, however.  First and foremost, this volume is published by Stackpole Books of Mechanicsburg, PA.  While the dimensions of the book are the same as the first two volumes, the dust jacket is white as opposed to navy blue.  Stackpole also used lower quality paper than Schiffer, and for the most part limited the number of photos to one for each colonel.  The result is a shorter – 241 pages versus 315 pages for New York – and much lighter book.  But the gripe about the first two volumes was their price, a hefty $59.95 each.  The Mid-Atlantic States retails for $29.95, and I got mine from Amazon for $19.77.  You get what you pay for.  I would have paid the premium for more photos and quality materials, but I’m glad Stackpole at least provided a way for the series to continue.

Hopefully Ohio is next on Hunt’s list.  Lots of Ohioans at Bull Run.