Thursday, May 7, 2009


Non-fiction, illustrated, maps, notes, bibliography, index, 371 pp., 2008. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640, $55 plus shipping.

For genealogists, ancestors become more than a name on a family tree, but an individual who lived with ideas and dreams, someone who helped to create the individual researching his/ her past. To find a book that describes what your Confederate ancestor endured while serving for his country is always exhilarating. The Fourth Louisiana Battalion in the Civil War, a History and Roster is one such book that can give a glimpse into the activity of this particular battalion from Louisiana’s secession to the final surrender at Gainesville, Alabama. Yet, the account does not just chronicle the movements of the 4th Louisiana Battalion, but this book goes into great detail to record all of the activities during the battle.
The authors utilize primary sources whenever possible to help narrate the saga. Letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other correspondence are used tirelessly. This section of the manuscript offers the reader an easy but informative examination of what took place before, during and after the battle. The siege at Vicksburg, the Battle of Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and other significant battles are explored within the history section.

At the conclusion of each chapter, an “Order of Battle” is listed. In a quick glance, the reader can ascertain who was in charge of the Union and Confederate forces, and what corps, brigade or division was involved. Maps and pictures are also utilized to help the reader to visualize the actual movement of a certain battle, or its devastation to an area. Many tools are employed to simplify the complexity of the unfolding battle.

The second section of the book is a biographical register including commanding officers, staff, color bearers, and soldiers who served the battalion. “The biographical register for the citizen soldiers of the Fourth Louisiana Battalion Infantry has been designed to provide an accurate record of each soldiers’ Confederate military service, pensions and land warrant applications, veterans’ census, civilian life, spouses, children, and death and burial information. The information on some of the men is far from complete.”

The Fourth Louisiana Battalion in the Civil War is a worthy addition to those interested in the history of the men from Louisiana who served. This book is a must for all genealogy libraries and collections. It is an invaluable research tool for those in search of their ancestors’ legacy.

Review Written by: Cassie A. Barrow

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