Notes Concerning the Author
Edward Porter Thompson was with the brigade from the beginning, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. After the war, in Kentucky, he was State Librarian, October, 1888, to March, 1890; Private Secretary to Gov. Buckner, March, 1890, to September, 1891; Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sept. 7, 1891, to Jan. 7, 1896; President of Frankfort Board of Education, term beginning 1897.
This book provides a thorough background on the formation, staffing, component units, battles, and leadership throughout the War. It takes you from the Kentucky parade grounds in the summer of 1861, to the recruitment and training camps on the Tennessee border, and through the battles at Shiloh, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, and Atlanta. Thompson develops a wonderful history of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th Kentucky Infantry Regiments, as well as detailed accounts of Artillery, Cavalry and other brigade units.
Thompson enlisted as a private, was promoted to first-sergeant, and, eventually, to Captain. He was well read, knowledgeable and convinced of the special place in history that would be bestowed on his Orphan Brigade. His participation in most of the battles, in either a line or staff position, and his access to the brigade records and papers, led to one of the most accurate War of Northern Aggression unit histories written. Thompson’s efforts resulted in a monumental work and was accurate thanks to a thorough grounding in the brigade’s official papers.
Ed Porter Thompson believed that no history of the command would be adequate that did not take cognizance of all the individuals whose conduct helped to make the fame of the organization, and this belief was one of his guiding principles in preparing his manuscript. To that end, more than half of the pages are devoted to this endeavor. The personnel section of the book is organized into unit rosters, with individuals listed under their assigned units. There are numerous photographs and engravings of many of the officers, as well as biographical information on officers and men in the ranks, making this book an exceptional memorial to the brigade’s individual members.
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