- Difficulty of Compiling military history of Kentucky -- Meager official statistics -- organized commands in Confederate service -- Approximate number of Kentuckians in Federal and Confederate service -- list of Confederate Generals from Kentucky -- Kentuckians as soldiers -- their physique and record for gallantry -- Professor Shaler's estimate -- the Kentucky Confederates -- their heavy losses -- number of battles fought on Kentucky soil -- words of wisdom from the leader whose Destinies we followed.
It has been a difficult task to write the military history of Kentucky from a Confederate stand. point. The facts that the enlistment and organization of the troops which served in the Confederate army were effected without State action, and that the muster-rolls have never been published, has made it impossible to write with that exactness attainable as to the organization and services of the various commands of other States, the history of which is preserved in the State archives. For much that has been written recourse has been had to the official correspondence and reports scattered through many volumes of the Rebellion Records, supplemented by the personal information of the writer acquired during the war. In Washington are filed in confused mass the muster-rolls, captured among the Confederate archives, of the Kentucky troops which served in the Confederate army, but these are in no condition to furnish a complete or accurate history of the various commands, being full of palpable errors, both of commission and omission. Kentucky,  of whose history their service is as much a part as that of the troops who served in the Federal army, should long since have had these records properly collated, edited and published, as she did with promptness in the case of the Federal commands. Sufficient time has elapsed to eliminate all partisan feeling, and the matter should not be deferred until those competent from possession of the necessary information for a correct execution of the work shall have passed away. From these imperfect papers have been taken the following extracts, showing approximately the organizations, with the names of their commanders and the dates of commissions, now for the first time published: First Regiment Kentucky infantry: Thomas H. Taylor, Colonel, October 14, 1861—Blanton Duncan, Lieutenant-Colonel, October 14, 1861—Thomas H. Taylor, Lieutenant-Colonel, July 3, 1861—Wm. Preston Johnston, Lieutenant-Colonel, October 14, 1861—Edward Crossland, Lieutenant-Colonel, April 19, 1861—Benjamin Anderson, Major. Second Regiment Kentucky infantry: James M. Hawes, Colonel, July 17, 1861—Roger W. Hanson, Colonel, 1861—Robert A. Johnson, Lieutenant-Colonel, July 17, 1861—James W. Hewitt, Major, July 17, 1861—James W. Moss, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel—Philip Lee, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel—Hervey McDowell, Major—Joel Higgins, Major. Third Regiment Kentucky infantry: Lloyd Tilghman, Colonel, July 5, 1861—Albert P. Thompson, Colonel, October 25, 1861—G. A. C. Holt, Colonel, March 25, 1864 —Alfred Johnston, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel—James H. Bowman, Major-Al. McGoodwin, Major. Fourth Regiment Kentucky infantry: Robert P. Trabue, Colonel, September 23, 1861—Andrew R. Hynes, Lieutenant-Colonel, September 23, 1861— Thomas B. Monroe, Major, September 23, 1861—Joseph P. Nuckols, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel—Thomas  W. Thompson, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel—John A. Adair, Lieutenant-Colonel—John B. Rogers, Major— Joseph H. Millett, Major. Fifth Kentucky infantry: John S. Williams, Colonel, November 16, 1861—Andrew J. May, Colonel, May 21, 1861—Hiram Hawkins, Colonel, November 14, 1862— William Mynhier, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel—George W. Connor, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel—Richard Hawes, Major. Sixth Regiment Kentucky infantry: Joseph H. Lewis, Colonel, November 1, 1861—Martin H. Cofer, Lieutenant-Colonel, November 1, 1861—William L. Clarke, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel—Thomas H. Hays, Major, October 8, 1861—George W. Maxon, Major. Seventh Regiment Kentucky infantry: Charles Wickliffe, Colonel, November 1, 1861—Edward Crossland, Colonel, May 25, 1862—William D. Lannom, Lieutenant-Colonel—L. J. Sherrill, Lieutenant-Colonel—H. S. Hale, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel—W. J. N. Welborn, Major. Eighth Regiment Kentucky infantry: Henry C. Burnett, Colonel, November 11, 1861—H. B. Lyon, Colonel, February 13, 1862—A. R. Shacklett, Lieutenant-Colonel —Jabez Bingham, Major—R. W. Henry, Major. Ninth Regiment Kentucky infantry: Thomas H. Hunt, Colonel, October 3, 1861—J. W. Caldwell, Lieutenant-Colonel, May 15, 1862, Colonel—J. C. Wickliffe, Major, May 15, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel—Alexander Casseday, Lieutenant-Colonel—Ben Desha, Major. Graves' Battery Kentucky artillery: Rice E. Graves, Captain, November 8, 1861; Major. Lyon's and Cobb's Battery Kentucky artillery: H. B. Lyon, Captain, September 30, 1861—Robert L. Cobb, Captain, December 15, 1861; Major—Frank P. Gracey, Captain. Corbett's Battery Kentucky artillery: C. C. Corbett. Cumberland artillery, Kentucky: Henry D. Green, Captain—W. H. Hedden, Captain.  First Regiment Kentucky cavalry: Ben Hardin Helm, Colonel, October, 1861, first organization—J. Russell Butler, Colonel, September 2, 1862, second organization— J. W. Griffith, Lieutenant-Colonel—H. C. Leavill, Lieutenant-Colonel—Thomas G. Woodward, LieutenantCol-onel—J. W. Caldwell, Major—N. R. Chambliss, Major. Second Regiment Kentucky cavalry: John H. Morgan, Colonel—Basil W. Duke, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel— James W. Bowles, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel— John B. Hutcheson, Lieutenant-Colonel—G. W. Morgan, Major—T. B. Webber, Major. Third Regiment Kentucky cavalry (consolidated with First cavalry): J. Russell Butler, Colonel—Jack Allen, Lieutenant-Colonel—J. W. Griffith, Lieutenant-Colonel —J. Q. Chenoweth, Major. Fourth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: Henry L. Giltner, Colonel, October 6, 1861—Moses T. Pryor, Lieutenant-Colonel—Nathan Parker, Major. Fifth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: D. Howard Smith, Colonel, September 2, 1861—Preston Thompson, Lieutenant-Colonel, September 2, 1861—Churchill G. Campbell, Major—Thomas Y. Brent, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel. Sixth Regiment Kentucky Cavalry: J. Warren Grigsby, Colonel, Sept. 2, 1862—Thomas W. Napier, Lieutenant-Colonel—William G. Bullitt, Major. Seventh Regiment Kentucky cavalry: R. M. Gano, Colonel, September 2, 1862—J. M. Huffman, Lieutenant-Colonel—M. D. Logan, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel— Theophilus Steele, Major. Eighth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: Roy S. Cluke, Colonel, September 10, 1862—Cicero Coleman, Lieutenant-Colonel—Robert S. Bullock, Major. Ninth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: W. C. P. Breckinridge, Colonel, December 17, 1862—Robert G. Stoner, Lieutenant-Colonel—John P. Austin, Major. Tenth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: Adam R. Johnson,  Colonel, August 13, 1862—R. M. Martin, Colonel, June 1, 1863—G. Washington Owen, Major. May's Battalion Kentucky and Virginia Mounted rifles (called also Tenth Kentucky cavalry): A. J. May, Colonel— George R. Diamond, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel—Edwin Trimble, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel—Cox, Major. Eleventh Regiment Kentucky cavalry: D. W. Chenault, Colonel, September 10, 1862—Jos. T. Tucker, Colonel, July 4, 1863—James B. McCreary, Major, Lieutenant-Colonel. Twelfth Regiment Kentucky cavalry: W. W. Faulkner, Colonel, September 15, 1863—W. D. Lannom, Lieutenant—Colonel-John M. Malone, Major—Thomas S. Tate, Major. Eleventh Regiment Kentucky infantry (known also as Thirteenth regiment): Benjamin E. Caudill, Colonel, November 2, 1862—David J. Caudill, Lieutenant-Colonel —Thomas J. Chenoweth, Major. First Battalion Kentucky cavalry: Wm. E. Simms, Lieutenant-Colonel, 1861—John Shawhan, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel. Second Battalion Kentucky cavalry: Clar. J. Prentice. First Battalion Kentucky mounted rifles: Benjamin F. Bradley, Major, 1861—Orville G. Cameron, Major, September 10, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel. First Special Battalion cavalry (Duke's Brigade, November 10, 1864): Wm. W. Ward, Colonel—R. A. Alston, Lieutenant-Colonel—J. G. Lowe, Major. Second Battalion Kentucky mounted rifles: Thomas Johnson, Lieutenant-Colonel, March 12, 1862—Otis T. Tenny, Major. Second Special Battalion cavalry (Duke's Brigade, 1864): Richard C. Morgan, Colonel—O. P. Hamilton, Lieutenant-Colonel—J. T. Cassell, Major. Third Battalion Kentucky Mounted rifles: Ezekiel F. Clay, Lieutenant-Colonel, November 7, 1862—Peter M. Everett, Major—John B. Holloway, Major.  Third Special Battalion cavalry (Duke's Brigade, November 10, 1864): Joseph T. Tucker, Colonel—T. W. Napier, Lieutenant-Colonel. Company of Kentucky Scouts: Thomas Quirk, Captain, 1862. Independent Company Kentucky cavalry: Bart W. Jenkins, Captain. Jessee's Battalion cavalry (afterwards Sixth Battalion): George M. Jessee, Major. Independent Company Kentucky cavalry: Thomas G. Woodward, Captain, August 25, 1862. (Afterwards known as Woodward's regiment: Woodward, Colonel—T. W. Lewis, Major ) Independent Company Kentucky cavalry: James M. Bolin, Captain, November 21, 1861. King's Cavalry Battalion: H. Clay King, Major. Independent Company Kentucky cavalry: J. J. Murphay, Captain. Morehead's Partisan Rangers: J. C. Morehead, Colonel. Patton's Partisan Rangers: Oliver A. Patton, Lieutenant-Colonel. Buckner Guards (assigned to Gen. P. R. Cleburne's Division): Culvin F. Sanders, Captain. Company of Kentucky Partisan Rangers: William J. Fields, Captain, August 1, 1862. Company of Kentucky Partisan Rangers: Phil M. Victor, Captain. There were other organizations composed in whole or in part of Kentuckians of which there is no official record; as Byrne's battery of artillery, which though first organized in Mississippi, was composed of and officered by Kentuckians almost exclusively, and won distinction in the service, besides many others less known. Kentucky contributed to the Confederate army a large number of able and distinguished officers, some of whom from their residence are credited to other States, but most of whom went directly from Kentucky. The following is the list with their rank:  General Albert Sidney Johnston (Texas.) Lieutenant-General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Lieutenant-General John B. Hood (Texas). Lieutenant-General Richard Taylor (Louisiana). Major-Generals John C. Breckinridge, George B. Crittenden, William Preston, Gustavus W. Smith. Brigadier-Generals John. H. Morgan, Daniel W. Adams (Louisiana), Roger W. Hanson, Basil W. Duke, Abram Buford, Geo. B. Cosby, John S. Williams, James M. Hawes, Ben Hardin Helm, George B. Hodge, Claiborne F. Jackson (Missouri), Joseph H. Lewis, Samuel B. Maxey (Texas), H. B. Lyon, Randall L. Gibson (Louisiana), Thomas H. Taylor. The number of the rank and file in the Confederate army can only be estimated, but the total number of officers and men of all arms is computed by those most competent to judge at 25,000, and represents strictly a volunteer force free from the call of any State or national authority or the offer of any bounty or contingent pension. Instead of such inducement the most of them went in the face of laws of expatriation, the virtual confiscation of their property, indefinite separation from their families, and with the fulmination of State and national wrath of the penalties of treason reserved for them. Rarely has such a spectacle been presented of men making such sacrifice for their convictions. That there was similar heroism among those who espoused the Federal cause is readily admitted, but in their case there were many inducements besides those of mere principle, and this together with the protection afforded for enlistment, the influence of the presence of a friendly army, and the greater relative strength of the opposing governments, well accounts for the greater number who were enrolled in the Federal army. This has been estimated at 75,000 and includes not only those who threw themselves into the breach from principle, but also negroes, substitutes, drafted men, those secured by means  of liberal bounties, and recruits drawn from the States immediately north, as in the First and Second infantry and the Third infantry, recruited largely in Ohio and Indiana and credited to Kentucky. Whatever may be said of the character of the men whom Kentucky furnished to the Confederate army, the Federal statistics of the war show that judged by all the known physical tests, the Federal troops from Kentucky excelled those of all other States. In the history of Kentucky by Prof. N. S. Shaler, published in the Commonwealth series, is exhibited, page 372, a table of measurements of American white men compiled from the report of the Sanitary Commission, made from measurements of the United States volunteers during the civil war, by B. A. Gould. In it is given the nativity of nearly one million men who served in the Federal armies, their height, weight, circumference of chest and head, and the proportion of tall men in each one thousand. An analysis of the table shows that Kentucky and Tennessee, which are grouped together, exceed in each particular those of every other State and foreign country, except that Scandinavia shows an excess of .05 of an inch in the circumference of the head. There was no such test made as to the physical properties of the Kentuckians in the Confederate service, but the testimony of Professor Shaler, a native Kentuckian, who was a gallant Federal soldier and who for more than a quarter of a century has filled the chair of Agassiz at Harvard university, as to the other merits of the Confederates from Kentucky, is well worth noting in this connection. Professor Shaler had noted the fact that Kentucky was peopled more directly by persons of pure English blood and had less proportion of foreign born population than any other State in the Union, the statistics of the eleventh census showing less than sixty thousand out of a total of nearly two millions. He then says on the subject under consideration:
The rebel exiles who braved all consequences and  forced their way through the lines to form Morgan's cavalry, the First brigade of infantry, the commands of Marshall and others, and the earliest volunteer Federal regiments, were probably the superior element of these Kentucky contributions to the war. They were the first runnings of the press, and naturally had the peculiar quality of their vintage more clearly marked than the later product, when the mass became more turgid with conscripts, substitutes and bounty volunteers. Had the measurements and classified results applied only to the representative native element, the standard of average of manhood would have been shown to be perceptibly higher. Though the ancestors of these soldiers had been fighting people, yet for forty years their children had known and followed only the peaceful pursuits of agriculture and the industries of trade peculiar to the commonwealth, with the limited exception of the Mexican war interlude, which made an inconsiderable draft of a few thousand volunteers during its brief existence. They may be said to have been wholly unused to the spirit and untutored in the arts of war. Yet their record of bold and daring skill, of heroic courage, and of indomitable endurance, was equal to that of the best troops on either side of the combatants in this great civil war, and certainly unsurpassed by the soldiers of Europe of the present or any past age. Take for illustration on the one side the force of Morgan, and we find in this remarkable body of men great capacity at once for dash and endurance. Its leader, suddenly improvised from the ranks of citizenship, not only organized, aligned and led this splendid squadron, but possessed the intuitive genius to develop a new feature in the art of war, in which was a rare combination of vigilance, daring fertility of resource, and an impetuous power of hurling all the husbanded force of body and mind into a period of ceaseless activity. Theirs was the capacity to break through the lines of the enemy, to live for weeks in an atmosphere of battle, fighting and destroying by day, and  marching by night, deploying in front of the enemy or attacking his lines and posts far in the rear, a life that only men of the toughest and finest fiber can endure; yet this force owed its peculiar excellence as much to the qualities of the men and the subordinate officers as to the distinguished leader. Such a list of superior subordinate commanders as Basil Duke, Hynes, D. Howard Smith, Grigsby, Cluke, Alston, Steele, Gano, Castleman, Chenault, Brent, and others, was perhaps found in no other brigade of Kentucky cavalry. Yet at the head of their regiments and brigades such leaders as Woodford, Green Clay Smith, Hobson and others, showed qualities of a high order, and their commands proved to be the most effective cavalry of the war. The fighting of the Federal regiments of Kentucky infantry and cavalry throughout the great campaigns and battles of the war showed the men to be possessed of the highest soldierly qualities; but so merged were they in the great Union armies, and so little of distinctive Kentucky history has been collated or published of these, that we find it difficult to illustrate with the recount of their exceptional services.Again at page 476, he says: ‘The most marked example of the character and success of the Kentucky troops in the Confederate infantry service has been given us in the well preserved history and statistics of the First Kentucky Confederate brigade. We have already noted the daring and gallantry of these troops in the battles of Donelson, of Shiloh, of Baton Rouge, of Chickamauga, and other conflicts, to Dalton, Ga., in May, 1864. On the authority of Gen. Fayette Hewitt, this brigade marched out of Dalton eleven hundred and forty strong on the 7th of May. The hospital reports show that up to September 1st, not quite four months, eighteen hundred and sixty wounds were taken by this command. This includes the killed, but many were struck several times in one engagement, in which case the wounds were counted as one. In  two battles over 51 per cent of all were killed or wounded. During the time of this campaign there were no more than ten desertions. The campaign ended with two hundred and forty men able to do duty; less than fifty were without wounds. It will be remembered that this campaign was at a time when the hopes of the Confederate armies were well nigh gone, and they were fighting amid the darkness of despair.’ Prof. Shaler adds that excluding the loss in the many smaller fights, between the home guards and other irregular troops and the raiding parties of the Confederates, ‘It is estimated that in the two regular armies the State lost approximately thirty-five thousand men by wounds in battle, and by disease in hospitals and elsewhere, contracted in battle. To these may be added several thousand whose lives were sacrificed in the State from irregular causes. There must be added to this sad reckoning of consequences the vast number of men who were shorn of their limbs, afflicted with internal disease bred by camp and march, or aged by swift expenditure of force that such war demands. Omitting many small encounters and irregular engagements in which there was much loss of life, but which have no place in our histories, Capt. L. R. Hawthorne in a manuscript summary of the history of the war enumerates one hundred and thirty-eight combats within the borders of Kentucky.’ In conclusion, the writer, cherishing in vivid memory the deeds of the South in its struggle against great odds, yet with a feeling void of all bitterness toward those to whom it had to yield, and looking forward only to the future glory of a united republic, knows not how he can more fittingly close his work than in quoting the words of one whose pure life was sanctified by the sufferings he endured for his people, and who by fortitude under affliction wrung even from his enemies a tardy recognition of his exalted virtues. They are the closing lines of ‘The Rise and Fall of the Confederate States,’ by Jefferson Davis.  ‘The want of space has compelled me to omit a notice of many noble deeds both of heroic men and women. The roll of honor merely would fill more than the pages allotted to this work. To others who can say cuncta quorum vidi, I must leave the pleasant task of paying the tribute due to their associate patriots. In asserting the right of secession, it has not been my wish to incite to its exercise. I recognize the fact that the war showed it to be impracticable, but this did not prove it to be wrong; and now, that it may not be again tempted and that the Union may promote the general welfare, it is needful that the truth should be known, so that crimination and recrimination may forever cease, and then, as the basis of fraternity and faithful regard for the rights of the States, there may be written on the arch of the Union, “Esto perpetua.” ’