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Question for you gentlemen (ladies).

During an episode of TV show Columbo entitled “Grand Deceptions”, there is a brief scene where Columbo is talking about Gettysburg with the character portraying a retired general.

Columbo mentions three books—one of which I recently bought and am loving every word of it.

I bought Lincoln and His Generals by T. Harry Williams.

Columbo mentioned two other books but I can’t seem to locate them.

Could you please look at that episode (I saw it on TV and replayed on YouTube) and the scene begins around 46 minutes into the movie.

He mentions Blue Bellies and Johnny Reb (or Rem?)  and The Gray Runs Red?

Are these REAL books?  They said Blue Bellies was a “classic.”

Do I have the titles of the books correct?  If so, do you know the authors?

Could you help me at all?

I didn’t know about Lincoln and His Generals until I saw the episode and I find this book so interesting that I can’t put it down.

Please help me identify the two other books mentioned in the episode.

Thank you.

? ? ?

Dear Ms Rella,

Apparently the writers for “Grand Deceptions” were more concerned about conjuring up typical or likely Civil War book titles than researching actual books, though God knows they have thousands from which to select as is. Lincoln and his Generals turned out to be an actual book written by T. Harry Williams. The Gray Runs Red: The End of an Era was not a real book, but there was a real Civil War memoir entitled End of an Era published by John Sergeant Wise. Blue Bellies and Johnny Reb was fictional, but The Embattled Confederacy, also mentioned in the episode, was volume 3 of a six-volume set of illustrated books, The Image of War 1861-1865. So reality is roughly and two a half for four in that show.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group

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