Boy Colonel of the Confederacy

The Life and Times of Henry King Burgwyn, Jr.

By Archie K. Davis

420 pp., 6 x 9, 10 illus., 14 maps

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4709-1
    Published: March 1998
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6661-0
    Published: November 2000

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Awards & distinctions

1986 Willie Parker Peace History Book Award, North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians

Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. (1841-63), one of the youngest colonels in the Confederate Army, died at the age of twenty-one while leading the twenty-sixth North Carolina regiment into action at the battle of Gettysburg. In this sensitive biography, originally published by UNC Press in 1985, Archie Davis provides a revealing portrait of the young man's character and a striking example of a soldier who selflessly fulfilled his duty. Drawing on Burgwyn's own letters and diary, Davis also offers a fascinating glimpse into North Carolina society during the antebellum period and the Civil War.

About the Author

Archie K. Davis is a retired banker who resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His avocation has long been the study of the Civil War.
For more information about Archie K. Davis, visit the Author Page.


"This superb biography recounts the life and times of 'Harry' Burgwyn en route to his fateful rendezvous with the Iron Brigade in McPherson's Grove. . . . An excellent contribution to Civil War biography."--Blue & Gray

"The quality and scope of research is quite admirable, and the writing is carefully crafted."--American Historical Review

"Davis makes good use of a rich collection of Burgwyn manuscripts and a variety of other sources to fashion this detailed biography. His narrative is interesting . . . for its successful delineation of Burgwyn's aspirations and attitudes and its evocation of the time and place in which the boy colonel lived. . . . [Readers] will come away with a sense of having known Harry Burgwyn. That is strong praise for any biography."--North Carolina Historical Review

"One of the very finest Civil War books to appear in recent years. . . . Graced by an unusually poignant and felicitous style of writing, Mr. Davis's book will readily appeal to the interested lay reader as well as to the military historian and scholar of the Civil War period."--Warren W. Hassler, Jr.