Civil War military ranks

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Dec 11, 2004.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Helping my daughter with some research.

    How different were the USA/CSA army and navy ranks in the Civil War than the ranks which exist now?
     
  2. rsr

    rsr
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    Very much the same. (Except, probably, the enlisted ranks, which have undergone more revision than the officer ranks. And naval ranks have been more vairable than Army ranks.)

    It also should be pointed out that the rank of lieutenant general was created for Grant; until then, major general was the highest rank. (General was created in 1866 especially for Grant in recognition of his Civil War service.)

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/cwrank.htm

    http://users.sisna.com/justinb/cwrank3.html
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I just found out that major general is beneath lieutenant general because it originally sergeant major general.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I am also looking for ranks of British soldiers during the mid 19th century
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Civil war
    Squad - 18 men + 2 corporals + 1 sergeant

    Company - 5 squads, including 2 lieutenants + 1 captain over all (about 105-110 men)

    Regiment - 10 companies + 2 majors + 1 colonel over all (roughly 1000 men)

    Brigade - 3 regiments + 2 more colonels + 1 Brigadier General over all (roughly 3000 men)

    Division - 3-4 brigades + 1 general and staff over all (rought 10,000 men)

    Corp - at least 2 divisions + 1 major general and staff over all as corp commander (roughly 20,000 men)

    Now these numbers are IDEAL and just to show a sample of how these really worked, First Minnesota Regiment had full complement of 1000 men when they left the Mississippi Valley by steamer and train for Washington DC.

    By the time they saw the main conflict (Gettysburg Day 2, two years later) they had under 600 fit for duty. Much illness, wounds, deaths and they could not recruit enough new soldiers to replace the ones they lost.

    BTW, after standing on little Plum Run that day against about 5000 confederates, the next morning they had under 100 answer roll call.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Thanks - sent that off to Beth!
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Officers below colonel were elected by the men. Usually an influential leader of an area of the state (maybe a newspaper man, state politician, mayor) would be given the comission of Colonel IF he could "raise" a regiment.

    He would then get special bounties and incentives from regional businesses or state coffers to bribe men into joining HIS unit. Often the ladies of a region would make uniforms, flags, etc and local tanneries would provide leather goods, etc.

    Remember, there was NO centralized system for providing ANYTHING for these men. They were soldiers first from a state, then sworn into Federal Service. The state must provide everything they needed.

    [I was a sergeant in the 3rd US Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company I, guarding the telegraph lines to California based at the Platte Bridge Station (present Casper). Our unit here were 100 POW's from Rock Island Prison Camp, who with 4900 other prisoners in 5 Regiments, had evaded starvation and disease by putting on a blue uniform and plugging the manpower gap on the Frontier.

    Our Regiment had companies from North Platte Nebraska up the Platte to South Pass. Men marched between posts (usually 1 squad marched to check the wire each direction from the post; indians were wont to tear it down regularly. 1 squad cut wood all year for heat. 1 squad guarded the post and 1 squad was "off duty".

    The sergeant-major, 2 lieutenants and our captain were all yankeescum officers. The rest of us were simply galvanized until our enlistment was up.]
     
  8. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    The Confederate rank structure was somewhat different from those in the U.S. Army at the time.

    At the bottom, you had the privates, no PFC like today.

    You had four corporals per company, usually designated 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th corporals.

    You had 5 sergeants per company, a company 1st sergeant, and then one sergeant per squad.

    Next you have three lieutenants, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Sometimes the 3rd lieutenant is desginated as ensign (like the navy). Sometimes the ensign or sometimes a fellow designated a color bearer, color corporal or color sergeant, carried the regimental colors or unit colors into battle. Not a good job to have.

    Above the lieutenants you have the captains.

    Above Captain was a major, only one to a regiment in the C.S. A major might command an independent unit composed of four companies or less.

    Above the major was the lieutenant colonel, who also might command an independent unit composed of between 5 and 9 companies.

    A Colonel was in command of a Confederate regiment, which was usually composed of 10 companies, rarely more.

    A brigade was composed of 2-5 regiments, (usually four), and was commanded by a brigadier general.

    A Division was composed of 2-5 brigades (usually 3 or 4), and was commanded by a major general.

    A Corps was composed of usually 3 divisions, and was commanded by a lieutenant general.

    A full general, like Lee, Bragg, Johnston, commanded an army, e.g., Army of Northern Virginia, Army of Tennessee; though there were exceptions. Brigadier General Humphrey Marshall commanded the Army of Eastern Kentucky for example.

    In addition to these ranks, the Confederates had other "ranks" as well.

    In a regiment you would have an adjutant (paid as a lieutenant); an AQM (Assistant quartermaster paid as a captain); an ACS (Assistant Commissary Officer paid as a Captain); (A Chaplain, who might rank for pay purposes all over the map); and various degrees of surgeons. Some medical personnel might bear the title surgeon, but never practiced medicine in civil life at all; some physicians in civil life were ranked as hospital stewards, with enlisted grade pay. There was little rhyme nor reason for it, but most surgeons were paid as majors. A sergeant major, who was paid slightly more than the other sergeants. Various support enlisted ment were possible in various units, such as quartermaster sergeant, waggoneer, forage master, cooks, blacksmith, sappers, miners, etc., all of whom have those titles as their rank in Confederate records. And still further you had a group of "volunteer aids" who may or may not have been paid, and may or may not have been in any real danger.

    It was a mixed bag of stuff

    Regards
    Jeff Weaver
     

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