31 October 2006 by Published in: Confederate Cavalry 9 comments

A reader named Don Hallstrom posted a comment that was buried deep in a thread that I posted a year ago. If WordPress didn’t notify me whenever a comment is posted to this blog, I probably never would have noticed it.

Here’s what Don wrote:

I recently purchased a couple of your books and look forward to reading them. This portion of your blog relating to confederate cavalary has raised my interest in other lesser know leaders. I agree with your opinions about Thomas Munford and enjoyed reading them. I wanted to see if you were going to post some others. What do you think about the following:
Laurence Baker
Lunsford Lomax
James B. Gordon
John Chambliss
Pierce M.B. Young

I realize Young and Gordon have had biographies done on them(unsure of the quality). Wondered if you thought any of the others might be good subjects. One other book I have in my collection that I’ve not gotten to is THE LITTLE JEFF- Hopkins. Hopefully, will provide some good reading.

Thanks for your kind words about my work.

I thought I would answer your question here in a separate post, instead of in the comments to a very old post.

You are correct that there is a biography of P.M.B. Young. It’s rather old at this point, and he could probably stand a modern treatment. I am not aware of a specific biography of James B. Gordon, although there is a very good history of his brigade by old friend Chris Hartley. The issue with Gordon, of course, is that he died in May 1864, and I have no idea what primary source material is available on Gordon himself, as opposed to his brigade.

Chambliss and Lomax both probably deserve bios. Chambliss, of course, was KIA in August 1864, but he was a West Pointer, and a very close friend of David McMurtrie Gregg. Chambliss played a very significant role in the evolution of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Cavalry Corps, and commanded a brigade during its most important period. Lomax achieved the rank of major general and divisional command, and he was also a member of one of the First Families of Virginia.

Baker is a pretty minor player, and I think it would be extremely difficult to try to write a bio of him.

That I am no fan of Tom Rosser is no secret. I think Rosser was dramatically overrated and not an especially good soldier. Having said that, Rosser has one biography, and it’s not very good at all. Rosser needs a modern and scholarly biography if for no reason other than that he looms over much of the war in the East.

I hope that answers your questions. If you’re thinking of tackling one or more of these projects, good luck.

Scridb filter


  1. Bob
    Wed 01st Nov 2006 at 11:11 pm

    I’m reading a book now called Jay Cooke’s Gamble, regarding the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Panic of 1873, and the Sioux War. It’s an interesting convergence of big business, railroad finance, Army politics, and Indian warfare – and a central character is Tom Rosser. Anyone interested in Rosser and his relations with a number of his former enemies should read this. Rosser, like his friend Custer, always seemed to have a knack for gaining prominence, whether or not qualified for the tasks, and seeking controversy. Opportunist would be the right word.

  2. Thu 02nd Nov 2006 at 12:32 am


    I hadn’t heard of this book… I’ll have to look for it. Sounds interesting.


  3. MarylandReb
    Thu 02nd Nov 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Lunsford Lomax would be an interesting character to read about! I would also love if someone did a book on the whole “Grumble” Jones brigade. Definately some hard fighting cavalrymen. The 6th,7th, 11th, 12th and 35th Virginia cavalry and the 1st Maryland Cavalry thrown in for a while in ’63.

  4. GALauren
    Tue 10th Apr 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I’m a descendant of Pierce M.B. Young. I noticed this blog looking around for information on him. Do you have any suggestions on research avenues I may take.
    Many thanks.

  5. Wed 03rd Dec 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I’m trying to gather together those who are researching Cobb’s Georgia Legion and Cobb’s Georgia Brigade.

    T.R.R. Cobb House

  6. Sheridan R. Barringer
    Wed 24th Mar 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I am researching and writing a biography of General Rosser. If anyone has any interesting tidbits in the way of letters, diaries, etc. that mention him, please let me know. I have completed a first draft – having maps made, and getting the manuscript reviewed for comments.

    “Butch” Barringer

  7. Patti
    Mon 01st Nov 2010 at 9:41 am

    Watching HGTV this morning, I saw where a woman bought and renovated a home that once belonged to her GG-Grandfather Keister. She found his diaries from the Civil War. He fought with the 16th Pennsylvania. According to the diaries after he killed General Chambliss, he took his Bible, sword, and personal writings. She said he returned everything but the sword (I hope they were returned to the Chambliss family) but she found the sword in the attic of the home. An appraiser is putting a price on it now. I guess one gets to keep the spoils of war. HOW SAD…

  8. Patti
    Mon 01st Nov 2010 at 10:29 am

    I made a mistake, it was a Cormany (another family member was Keister). Anyway the sword was appreaised for $40,000 to $50,000 since it did belong to a famous Confederate General.

  9. Jay
    Sat 05th Feb 2011 at 10:47 pm

    The sword has yet to be returned to the ancestors of the General. The maps were used by the federal troops as they were very detailed and helped them find their way around the Virginia landscape.This map has been reproduced and can be found in a book called Great Maps of the Civil War: Pivotal Battles and Campaigns Featuring 32 Removable Maps (Museum in a Book) [Hardcover] By William J. Miller.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress