Generals in Gray - Cover

Generals in Gray

Lives of the Confederate Commanders

420 pages / 6.12 x 9.25 inches / no illustrations

ebook available

Civil War

A most useful and distinguished contribution to the history of the Civil War, this valuable book contains biographical sketches of all 425 Confederate generals and a photograph of each.

Based on ten years of research, this volume corrects many errors in the standard reference works and gives data which is available in no other published source. Thus, Generals in Gray is the only exhaustive guide to the Confederate high command.

The sketches give a concise outline of the careers of the generals, with special attention to their war service, and to the salient facts of their lives before and after the war; dates of birth and death and military ranks are established with scrupulous accuracy, as are the present places of burial. Copious notes and a full bibliography will be immensely helpful to the serious scholar.

The photographs, many of the them from private sources and hence little known, form a unique portrait gallery which will delight the historically-minded reader. Also noteworthy is the thorough introduction which surveys the antebellum professions of the generals, their ages, the number killed or otherwise lost to service during the war and treats such special subjects as uniforms. An appendix sets forth all battles and campaigns mentioned in the text, together with paces and dates.

Generals in Gray is certain to become one of the handful of books indispensable to the student of Civil War history.


Generals in Gray sketches the careers of every Confederate general from the senior ranking Samuel Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, to the youngest brigadier, William Paul Roberts, who in 1861 was only nineteen years of age; from Daniel Weisiger Adams, the lawyer and sometime duelist who was thrice wounded in the war, to Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, the Tennessee Congressman who fell at Fishing Creek.

Besides the individual biographies and the unique assemblage of photographs, Generals in Gray contains a most interesting summary of facts about the Southern military leaders. To mention only a few: 146 of the generals were graduates of West Point, including all the full generals and fourteen of the seventeen lieutenant generals. Two-thirds of the officers had served with the U. S. Army in Mexico, against the Indians, and as far back as the War of 1812! Yet, it was a young man's war—John B. Hood was a full general at 33; Stephen D. Lee, a lieutenant general at 30; and Fitzhugh Lee, a major general at 27. The average ages of the generals in the four grades were, in descending order of rank, 48, 41, 37, and 36 years. Most of the generals (129) were lawyers, but other professions were represented. Of the full roster, 70 per cent were in grade at war's end; but nearly 19 percent of all generals were killed in action. There are dozens of other facts that give the reader an overall view of the Confederate command. 

A native of Lake Forest, Illinois, Ezra J. Warner (1910–1974) lived in La Jolla, California, and was well known for his work in Civil War biography.

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