Since yesterday’s post has been so well received, and because reader Don Hallstrom asked for it, here’s a list of biographies that are needed. Again, these are in no particular order, and I hope that you will all pitch in as you did yesterday.

1. David M. Gregg
2. A fair and balanced bio of Judson Kilpatrick (the existing one certainly is not either fair or balanced)
3. Thomas T. Munford
4. David F. Day
5. George G. Meade
6. Thomas L. Rosser
7. Richard Taylor
8. D. H. Hill (in fairness, my friend Chris Hartley told me last week that he’s researching one)
9. Abner Doubleday (a thoroughly dislikable guy, but scoundrels can be fun)
10. William Mahone
11. Richard H. Anderson
12. John Bell Hood (again, a fair and balanced treatment is needed)
13. Jubal A. Early (Whatever happened to Gary Gallagher’s Early bio project?)
14. Fitz-John Porter
15. John Gibbon
16. Alfred Pleasonton

Those are the ones that come to my mind. Have at it. Perhaps we will inspire someone to take on one of these projects.

Scridb filter


  1. Fri 08th May 2009 at 10:56 am

    Has anyone done a study of E.O.C. Ord? Sort of a cross theater subject there. I think an interesting part would be his post-war career. If memory serves he was essentially forced into retirement due to some War Department politics.

  2. Fri 08th May 2009 at 1:18 pm

    There’s “Appomattox Commander: Story of General E.O.C.Ord” by Bernarr Cresap. I thumbed through it at a bookstore years ago, and only recall being unimpressed.

    I think Joe Reinhart would be a good choice for a Willich biographer. He recently edited “August Willich’s Gallant Dutchmen”.

  3. Stefan
    Sat 09th May 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Forthcoming: A Bio on PJ Osterhaus by one gggranddaughter, Mary B. Townsend.. UMOP


  4. Dave Powell
    Sun 10th May 2009 at 7:13 am


    I agree about Joe working on Willich, if he were interested. There is so much stuff in German, and about Germany’s political turmoil at the time, that it would take an expert with the language.

    Those old boys were angry.

  5. Lee White
    Sun 10th May 2009 at 11:43 am

    I think Bragg is also in need of a fair and balanced appraisal as is Cleburne and Leonidas Polk.

    Others that I can think of are:
    John C. Brown
    Patton Anderson
    Tom Crittenden
    Alex McCook
    Tom Wood
    Joe Reynolds
    A.J. Smith

  6. Lee White
    Sun 10th May 2009 at 11:47 am

    I wish I could spend the time needed on Willich, I would love to write about him. But, if someone does tackle him they will have to face his true nature as a radical. I have seen several articles on him and they all tend to shy away from that. He had some very enflamatory articles that he wrote while editing his german language newspaper. Also, as a tidbit, he is responsible for the use of red flags by communists.

  7. MAJ Perry Bennett, US Army Historian
    Sun 10th May 2009 at 2:47 pm

    In regards to a biography of Major General William B Bate, CSA there are reasons one was never written.

    He was a man of high character, and he performed well during the Mexican as well as Civil War.

    His Brigade at Chickamauga performed superbly and even had a greater impact at the Battle of Utoy Creek, GA Aug 6, 1864. However the mistaken attack at Dallas Ga by one of his brigades, the escape of Schofield at Spring Hill, TN is subjects of controversy he did not wish to bring up after the war. His papers are missing on these time periods. The lack of information leads one to interesting speculations as to the reasons for his decisions and actions.


    MAJ Perry Bennett
    Army Historian
    Fort McPherson, GA

  8. Sam Elliott
    Sun 10th May 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I understand the comments about Bate’s command problems. In addition to his good work at Chickamauga and Utoy Creek, he also was given a great deal of credit by Bragg for a fighting withdrawal from Missionary Ridge. I will note that Dallas report was published about 15 years ago in a book on the Atlanta Campaign, and few reports survive relative to Spring Hill on the Confederate side. Nonetheless, he was a significant political figure in Tennessee until his death in 1905 and is deserving of biographical treatment.

  9. Mon 11th May 2009 at 11:34 am

    A biography of Francis H. Smith, long overdue, had been completed by Bradford Wineman. My last correspondence with him indicated that it had been accepted for publication by a university press.

  10. Wed 13th May 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I have just completed a book on “Upton’s Regulars: the 121st New York in the Civil War,” which will be published by the University Press of Kansas, June 11. A full, modern biography of Emory Upton is called for. Peter Michie, his instructor at West Point wrote “Upton’s Life and Letters” in 1885 and Stephen Ambrose cobbled together a piece called “Upton and the Army” in 1964. David Fitzpatrick wrote an unpublished dissertation on Upton entitled, “Emory Upton, the Misunderstood Reformer,” in 1997. Does anyone know of an author working on a bio of Upton as I am considering it.

  11. Jane Johansson
    Wed 13th May 2009 at 10:11 pm

    As a Trans-Mississippi scholar, I wanted to note that T. Michael Parrish authored a good biography of Richard Taylor in 1992. Titled RICHARD TAYLOR: SOLDIER PRINCE OF DIXIE, it was published by the University of North Carolina Press. I found the book to be quite helpful in my own research.

  12. Sat 16th May 2009 at 2:54 pm

    It might be interesting to get some folks together, and do a book of essays on some of the lesser lights who don’t really have a book’s worth of information.

  13. Randall Flynn
    Sun 17th May 2009 at 9:04 pm

    This is a great place to post a “need to-do” list. I’ve always wanted to write a bio of Billy Mahone, Richard Anderson or even “Extra-Billy”. I do advertising editing/writing at work but I’d be a novice at tackling Civil War pieces. I see a lot of familiar authors commenting on needed bios/battles. But there could be some “would-be” Civil War writers out there that would like to tackle some of these topics but don’t know where to start. Maybe the pros would be willing to mentor some new writers on what’s required and what to expect.

  14. Mike
    Thu 21st May 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Two bio’s long overdue:
    1. John A. Rawlins
    2. James Harrison Wilson

    At one time I understood that the reknowed Grant scholar and teacher, Dr John Y. Simon, was gathering material for a Rawlins volume. I learned this from a manuscripts and book seller at Galena, Illinois about a decade ago. Unfortunately Dr Simons passed away last year.

    Harrison, I believe, has been overlooked to some degree. Certainly lesser lights have had their adventures retold by an admiring biographer. This may be somewhat understandable as in his autobiography Wilson seems to claim a fair amount of the success of Union arms to his own decisions and input. Never-the-less he had an active, adventurous life and served his commanders and his country well.

  15. Doug Crenshaw
    Mon 25th May 2009 at 1:37 pm

    i have been considering doing some work on Fitz-John Porter, but first plan to read Donald Jermann’s recent work.

  16. Dan
    Mon 13th Jul 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Just thought of another one the other day: David S. Stanley. Service in the Trans-Mississippi; service in the Western Theater; a cavalry commander; an infantry division commander; a corps commander (briefly); with a little controversy—Jonesboro–thrown into the mix. I’d certainly read it.

  17. Sat 22nd Jun 2013 at 6:29 am

    I’m working on a biography of Colonel Charles J Colcock, commander of the 3rd SC Cavalry based along the SC coast for the duration of the war. Does anyone know of any other ongoing projects related to that theatre? It’d be great to correspond.

  18. Butch Barringer
    Tue 06th Aug 2013 at 10:42 pm

    It have a biography on Rosser under contract with Savis-Beatie hopefully due to be published next year. Am working on a biography of Munford now. Completed a biography of Gen.. Rufus Barringer almost 2 years ago, under contract with Savis-Beatie.
    Anyone with any prewar or postwar info on Munford, please contact me at Thanks.
    Butch Barringer

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