Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Basil Wilson Duke


Sallie E. Marshall Hardy, Some Kentucky Lawyers of the Past and Present
9 The Green Bag 260, 268 (1897)(part I of III)

General Basil W. Duke "[w]as born in Scott County, Kentucky, on May 28, 1837; was educated at Georgetown and at Centre College, and commenced the practice of law in 1856 at St. Louis. His taste and talent for military life led to his becoming a captain in the State Guard; and in 1861 he gave his services to the Confederacy at Bowling Green, Kentucky. His career as a cavalry leader, in line of service created by himself and General Morgan, was as brilliant as it was novel in warfare. The close of the war found him a Brigadier-General, with an independent command. Returning to civil life with the fall of the Confederacy, he resumed the practice of the law at Louisville; served in the Kentucky Legislature, and as Commonwealth's Attorney for Louisville, and is now one of the counsel of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company. He was married in the year 1861 to a sister of General John H. Morgan.

During the war General Duke was the author of a 'System of Cavalry Tactics,' and, since the war, of a 'History of Morgan's Command' and for several years one of the editors, in his odd hours, of The Southern Bivouac."

[Fannie Porter Dickey (ed.), Blades o' Bluegrass: Choice Selections of Kentucky Poetry, Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Authors 305 (Louisville: John P. Morton & Company, 1892)] [online text]

B.W. Duke is interred at Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.

Basil W. Duke

A Military Bio of Brig.-General Basil W. Duke

Confederate Military History


B.W. Duke, "Song of the Raid," in Bennett H. Young (ed.), Kentucky Eloquence. Past and Present. Library of Orations, After-Dinner Speeches, Popular and Classic Lectures Addresses and Poetry 450-451 (Louisville, Kentucky: Ben LaBree, 1907) [online text]


Basil Wilson Duke, History of Morgan's Cavalery (Cincinnati: Miami Printing and Pub. Co., 1867) [online text] [online text] (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1960)(Cecil Fletcher Holland ed.)(New York: Kraus Reprint, 1969)

______________, Legislation Concerning Railroads (Louisville, 1881)

______________, Transportation Tariffs a discussion of the proper relative rates on short hauls as compared with long hauls (Louisville: Printed by J.P. Morton, 1886)

______________ et. al., The Great Indiana Ohio Raid by Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and His Men, July 1863 (Louisville, Kentucky: Book Nook Press, 1891)

______________, History of the Bank of Kentucky, 1792-1895 (Louisville: J.P. Morton & Co., 1895)(New York: Arno Press, 1980)

_____________, The Money Question: In its Relation to Railroad Employees ([Louisville]: Courier-Journal, 1896)

_____________, Morgan's Cavalry (New York & Washington: Neale Pub. Co., 1906)(New York & Washington: Neale Pub. Co., 1909)

______________, Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1911) [online text] (Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1969)(West Jefferson, Ohio: Genesis Pub., 1997)


Basil Wilson Duke, Governmental Regulation of Railroads; an address (Louisville, Kentucky: Courier-journal, 1884)

______________, Address to the Corps of Cadets, Virginia Military Institute, June 23, 1892 by General Basil W. Duke, Louisville, Ky. (Richmond, Virginia: Baughman Stationery Co., 1892)

Research Resources

Basil Wilson Duke Papers
Special Collections, Frances Carrick Thomas Library
Transylvania University
Lexington, Kentucky

Basil Wilson Duke: Miscellaneous Papers, 1864-1870
Filson Historical Society
Louisville, Kentucky

Basil Wilson Duke Papers
Southern Historical Collection
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina