11 January 2007 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 14 comments

For those of you not familiar with the works of Roger D. Hunt, I thought I would take an opportunity to introduce you to some of the most valuable reference works on the Civil War out there.

Roger D. Hunt (along with his late friend and collaborator, Jack Brown) has specialized in compiling the biographies, necrology, and photographs of the Union brevet brigadier generals and regimental colonels. In the capacity, Roger has published three books to date. Each one of these books is one of the most useful resources in my library.

The first book was titled Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue, which is an alphabetical compilation of every Union brevet brigadier general. The book includes a brief biographical sketch of each officer, the date of his death and place of his burial, and for about 95% of them, a photograph.

When he finished that work, Roger started on an even more ambitious project: documenting the regimental commanders of every Union regiment. The series is titled Colonels in Blue: Union Army Colonels of the Civil War. To date, two volumes have been published. The first, published in 2001, covers the New England states. The second, devoted just to the regiments of the State of New York, was published in 2003. The books follow the same format as Brigadier Generals in Blue, with the primary difference being that there is often more than one photograph included for the regimental commanders being profiled. These two books were published by Schiffer Books. These two volumes are oversized, and were published on Baxter paper. My only real complaint with them is that they were expensive, at $59.95 per book.

However, Schiffer apparently decided that there is not a sufficient market for these books, because it’s not going to be publishing any more in the series. It’s too bad, because the volumes published to date are handsome, well-done books. Since it’s been several years since the second book was published, I assumed that there would be no more.

I spoke to Roger this evening, and he told me some very good news. Roger informed me that Stackpole Books will be publishing the next volume in the series, which will cover the Mid-Atlantic states, including my home state of Pennsylvania. I will eagerly await its publication.

Roger Hunt has done some spectacular work on these officers, and I commend his work to you. He’s also a real gentleman, someone who is always willing to help and who is always willing to share the fruits of his labors. I called him a couple of days ago to ask his assistance on tracking down some information on the ever-elusive Col. William H. Boyd of the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, and, as always, Roger responded promptly, and with precisely the information I was looking for.

It’s also worth noting that Roger has amassed an awesome collection of images, and that he has donated most–if not all–of them to the United States Army Military History Institute’s photographic archive. Many of these images are not available elsewhere, and have been made available to researchers like me through Roger’s generosity. I doubt that there are many good recent Civil War books out there that don’t include at least one of Roger’s photos. His photos grace the pages of many of my books.

In my humble opinion, no serious Civil War library should be without these books, and I cannot say enough good things about them.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Thu 11th Jan 2007 at 11:53 pm

    I love the Colonels books, (and the Brevets book too) and use them extensively in compiling the biographies for my Bull Run orders of battle. I called Schiffer a few months ago, was very bummed when told they had no intention to continue the series, and am inversely ecstatic to hear that someone else is picking it up. Let’s just hope Stackpole is up to the task. I’d hate to see all those wonderful photos relegated to cheap paper. Any word on when the next book is due out?

  2. Thu 11th Jan 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Harry,

    He said by year’s end, but didn’t get any more specific than that. I’m not persuaded that he knows anything more specific than that.

    Eric

  3. David Kelly
    Fri 12th Jan 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for posting this kudo to Roger Hunt. I left a similar one on amazon.com several years ago. Have all three. Was hoping there’d be a few more. Have made use of Mr Hunt’s gifts to USAMHI. What a treasure!!!

    Every taken a peek at the GeneralsandBrevets.com site? Fellow who owns it is a basque/spaniard who just started accumulating images years ago. He’s been getting shots from all sorts of people and institutions. Thousands of images alphabetisized (however zero documentation).

  4. Fri 12th Jan 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Dave,

    You’re welcome.

    I have some issues with the Generals and Brevets site. The guy just posts images and doesn’t ask for permission. He has no respect for anyone’s copyright rights. But, it’s an awesome collection of images, pretty much unparalleled.

    Eric

  5. Fri 12th Jan 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Eric,

    Thanks for the links. These are exactly the types of books I’m looking for to build my reference library. I’ve got Bob Krick’s book on Confederate Colonels in the Army of Northern Virginia for help with studying the Petersburg Campaign, and I’ll have to slowly pick these up as well over time.

    Brett

  6. Fri 12th Jan 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Brett,

    My pleasure. As I said, these are “must have’s” for any serious student of the Late Unpleasantness.

    Eric

  7. Sat 13th Jan 2007 at 10:34 am

    The GeneralsandBrevets site is indeed awesome, but I’m one that the guy has stolen images from. There are a couple images on there lifted from my website (which I’ve since removed) given me by family members of the officers. They’re unique and I’m the only one with permission to use them – but it didn’t stop the guy from stealing them. Needless to say, the descendants are very pissed off, and contact with the webmaster meets with silence.

    J.D.

  8. james r h spears
    Thu 17th Jan 2008 at 1:28 am

    Can you give me am email address for roger hunt? I have a question.

  9. Thu 17th Jan 2008 at 10:26 am

    Unfortunately, I can’t, as I don’t have one. Sorry.

    Eric

  10. Dennis P. Bielewicz
    Tue 31st Mar 2009 at 11:22 am

    Dear “The General”:

    Can you possibly share Roger D. Hunt’s address and/or email address? I would like to correspond with him concerning several photographs he has donated to the USAMHI; my ancestor was a first cousin to one of the soldier’s he has photographs of, and I would like to find that soldiers family to share family history information. It is very important that I contact him; I have tried other avenues to find his address, and have not been successful. Thanks in advance!

    D.P. Bielewicz

  11. G.Fowler
    Tue 18th Aug 2009 at 8:42 am

    I would like permission to use a photograph of one of the Colonel’s In Colonels in Blue. Could you tell me how to go about getting permission from Mr. Hunt?

  12. Elizabeth Blair Matisz
    Thu 25th Feb 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Dear Mr. Hunt,

    I have looked at the site for your book ‘Colonels in blue: Union Army colonels of the Civil War’

    I was reseraching some old silver and things that we had after my mother passed away. I was trying to find out information about Christian Knoderer and the engravings on old snuff boxes. When I saw the information about Charles August Knoderer in your book I recognised the photo image as we have the same photo in a box of very old photos that belonged to my Grandmother and Great Grandmother. My German relatives come from Emmendingen. I am trying to just get some history for some very old things and was so excited to see the photograph. We have several of those photographs and I am interested in finding out a bit more about them. In no way do I wish you to think that we are trying to sell these items, I just wish to have a historical background on them and these photographs are the closest that I have come to doing that. I have ordered copies of you book for myself and my brothers.

    Do you know anything else about Charles August Knoderer? I would be so grateful for your response.

    Yours truly,

    Elizabeth Blair Matisz

  13. Thu 21st Jul 2011 at 2:13 pm

    THERE IN NOT A NICER MAN AND FELLOW CIVIL WAR HISTORIAN THAN ROGER HUNT.

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