For more than 150 years, the story of the First West Tennessee Cavalry U.S.A. (renamed the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry) has been told from the perspectives of Col. Fielding Hurst, his critics, and his defenders. Now the story of this misunderstood irregular Union cavalry regiment is portrayed through the eyes and emotions of his second-in-command, Lt. Col. William K.M. Breckenridge. Long silenced by death and the mist of history, Breckenridge’s journal retells the regiment’s story. His contemporary voice and facts drawn from period documents provide a far clearer portrait than previously available.
Through careful and detailed research, In The Shadow of the Devil debunks many legends and folklore regarding both Fielding Hurst and the First West Tennessee Cavalry. Further, the reputations of the soldiers themselves are somewhat restored as the specific war crimes of a few are detailed. A life too long hidden by death and the fog of history emerges with a strong and compelling voice. Now allowed to speak, that voice tells a story both convincing and historically significant.