In his latest book on the Civil War, Washington and Lee graduate Kent Masterson Brown, of the Law Class of 1974, has edited and annotated the memoirs of a Confederate cavalry officer from Kentucky into a volume that one reviewer calls “authoritative, balanced, and engagingly anecdotal.” One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry was published in February by the University Press of Kentucky.
Lieutenant Porter wrote his memoirs in 1872, and a copy was typed up in 1927. A Porter family member gave Kent that typescript, and he spent five years editing and annotating the document. Porter’s memoirs cover his years as a Confederate soldier under John Hunt Morgan, from the outbreak of the Civil War until his capture in June 1863, his imprisonment at Johnson’s Island, and his release and his journey back home to Butler County, Ky. These are the first memoirs of one of Morgan’s men to be published since 1917.
Kent, who is in private law practice in Lexington, Ky., has won numerous awards for his previous books, which include Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander, and The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State. He was founder and editor-in-chief from 1981 to 1988 of The Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society.
In a review of Kent’s latest book, William C. Davis of the Center for Civil War Studies writes: “John Hunt Morgan’s Kentucky cavalrymen stand perhaps second only to Jeb Stuart’s Virginians in public perceptions of dashing mounted Confederates, yet few memoirs from Morgan’s men have survived. John M. Porter’s early postwar recollections, as elegantly annotated by Kent Masterson Brown, are at once authoritative, balanced, and engagingly anecdotal. Anyone interested in the exploits of that daring and romantic body of Kentuckians will profit from reading One of Morgan’s Men.”