1980 1st year edition; by William C. Davis; Doubleday & Company publishers, New York; hardbound in black boards with silver lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor edge wear.
The First Kentucky Brigade was one of the most famous units in the Confederate army. Composed largely of Kentuckians who fought tenaciously but were impatient with discipline, the "Orphans" haunted the southern imagination. The unit's association with such noted leaders as John C. Breckinridge, Simon Bolivar Buckner, and John Hunt Morgan added lustre to its reputation. Organized at Bowling Green in the autumn of 1861, the brigade and its auxiliaries numbered 3,680 men. Three years later the number was well under one thousand, despite the presence of such soldiers as John Mahon who was wounded five times but always recovered in time for the next battle. Some Tennessee and Alabama troops were a part of the brigade until November 1863, when it became an all Kentucky unit. Its history was confused for several months in 1862 when it was divided and each part claimed to be the First Kentucky Brigade.
The Orphans never knew just when they acquired their name, but it probably dated from the bloody battle at Stone's River. John C. Breckinridge saw over a quarter of the brigade become casualties in less than an hour, and he was said to have cried in anguish, "My poor OrphansI My poor Orphans! My poor Orphan Brigade! They have cut it to pieces!" (p. 160). The Orphans spent themselves recklessly on many of the major battlefields in the western theatre...