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Thread: Officer ranks within a company

  1. #21

    USA General of the Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. P. Hill View Post
    You're going to critique me based on a single battle's figures? Frankly, my 40 percent covers your 37.5 percent ... where's the problem?

    Don't get me wrong here, but I really think we're on the same page.
    Bit of a harsh reply there. He can critique you if he wishes, how he wishes.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. P. Hill View Post
    Some general information ....

    First, It is important to understand that most Civil War units in the field were only at anywhere between 20% to 40% of their full strength. Thus, while in theory a company contained 100 men, and would be recruited at that size, by the time they reached the army many companies would be down to 60 or so and after the first battle down to 40 or so. (The full-strength sizes are given below, so remember to knock them down by 50% or more when reading about units engaged in battles, setting up WoR units.)

    Second, due to casualties among the officers, frequently units would find themselves commanded by an officer one or two grades below the rank he should have for the job (e.g., a regiment commanded by a lieutenant colonel or major, and sometimes the senior captain.)

    Third, keep in mind that in the early stages of the war and in the more remote areas (such as the Trans-Mississippi), unit organizations tended to deviate from the norm. What follows are the authorized strengths, not the numbers that were actually in the field.

    I. Infantry Units.

    COMPANY.
    The basic unit is the company, commanded by a captain
    100 men = 2 platoons = 4 sections = 8 squads
    A company has the following officers (commissioned and non-coms):
    Captain (1), 1st. Lieut. (1), 2nd. Lieut. (1)
    1st Sgt. (1), Sgts. (4) and Corporals (8). Plus 2 musicians.

    When the company was divided into platoons, sometimes the captain commanded one and the 1st Lt. the other, more often, the 1st Lt. commanded one and the 2nd Lt. the other. There was a sergeant for each section, and a corporal for each squad. The 1st Sgt. "ran" the whole company.

    BATTALION and REGIMENT.

    Battalions and regiments were formed by organizing companies together. In the volunteers (Union and Confederate), 10 companies would be organized together into a regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel. A regiment has the following staff (one of each):

    Col.; Lt. Col.; Major; Adjutant (1st Lt); Surgeon (maj.); Asst Surgeon (capt.); Quartermaster (lieut); Commissary (lieut); Sgt-Major; Quartermaster Sgt.

    There were also volunteer organizations containing less than 10 companies: if they contained from 4-8 companies, they were called battalions, and usually were commanded by a major or lieutenant colonel.
    It is also important to note that the Union Volunteer Regiments were not as regulated compared to the Union Regular Regiments. For example, within the Chandler's Drill Manual used by Wisconsin Volunteer units, the average Company size was stated to be 72 including all the prescribed above. However, I believe it was the 72nd Penns Volunteer's went into battle with 1,500 at one point.

    I think it is important to distinguish the different number and organizational structures between the Regular and Volunteer units on the Union side; they often get meshed together. I am not sure if this is the same for the Confederate units though.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. P. Hill View Post
    You're going to critique me based on a single battle's figures? Frankly, my 40 percent covers your 37.5 percent ... where's the problem?

    Don't get me wrong here, but I really think we're on the same page.
    That the 37,5% is the lowest number for AoP... Sherman is even lower at 30,5% but they where nowhere near 20%...
    "According to Fiebeger the average company strength at Gettysburg was 32 officers and men per company. Livermore gives these average regimental strengths in the Union army at various periods: Shiloh, 560; Fair Oaks, 650; Chancellorsville, 530; Gettysburg, 375; Chickamauga and the Wilderness, 440; and in Sherman's battles of May '64, 305. According to Bigelow the average strength of Federal regiments at Chancellorsville was 433 and of Confederate regiments 409."
    http://www.civilwarhome.com/armyorganization.html

    Writing 40-50% would be more correct and give the reader a much better idea about the actual size of the regiments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavian360 View Post
    For example, within the Chandler's Drill Manual used by Wisconsin Volunteer units, the average Company size was stated to be 72 including all the prescribed above.

    And another who knows about Chandler :-)
    pretty rare considering that his book is not easily found online...
    But he actually tell us that the companies should average 72 rank and file... so only counting privates and corporals.

    So we need to add 3 officers and 5 sergeants and we get a total of 80 men pr. company.
    Add the Colonel , Lt colonel and Major + adjutant and sergeant major and we are at 805men in the battalion.

    He also mention the quartermaster the surgeon and his assistant... but nothing about the rest of the staff... or musicians.
    Last edited by thomas aagaard; 12-07-2015 at 10:56 AM.
    Thomas Bernstorff Aagaard

  4. #24

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    And another who knows about Chandler :-)
    pretty rare considering that his book is not easily found online...
    But he actually tell us that the companies should average 72 rank and file... so only counting privates and corporals.

    So we need to add 3 officers and 5 sergeants and we get a total of 80 men pr. company.
    Add the Colonel , Lt colonel and Major + adjutant and sergeant major and we are at 805men in the battalion.

    He also mention the quartermaster the surgeon and his assistant... but nothing about the rest of the staff... or musicians.
    We currently use the Chandler's Drill Manual for our Volunteer and NCO Training; we had to contact one of the few places which had an original copy of it to scan us the document. You are correct, I meant to say 72 rank and file, my brain was going too fast. In regards to company quartermaster along with musicians we did some digging in the muster rolls of our unit.

    It is worth mentioning as well that the Ordnance Sergeant rank was mainly used by the Regular Army, it was very rarely used or adopted by the Volunteer Regiments.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravescot View Post
    Bit of a harsh reply there. He can critique you if he wishes, how he wishes.
    he aswell just critiqued him as he wished how he wished xD






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  6. #26

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    I wanna make a Cavalary regiment, but I'm confused to which rank should I use.

    Is it Colonel>LtColonel>Major>1stLt>Sergeant Major>First Sergeant>Company Quartermaster Sergeant>Sergeant>Corporal>Private>Volunteer

    Or is it Captain>1stLt>2ndLt>Sergent Major>First Sergeant>Company Quartermaster Sergeant>Sergeant>Corporal>Private>Volunteer

    Thx

  7. #27

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    For a cavalry company it is as follows

    Captain>1stLt>2ndLt>First Sergeant>Company Quartermaster Sergeant>Sergeant>(Optional: Farrier)>Corporal>(Optional: Blacksmith)>Private
    Last edited by Bravescot; 12-08-2015 at 06:23 AM.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    he aswell just critiqued him as he wished how he wished xD
    Difference is, I was correct, he was not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow765 View Post
    I wanna make a Cavalary regiment, but I'm confused to which rank should I use.

    Is it Colonel>LtColonel>Major>1stLt>Sergeant Major>First Sergeant>Company Quartermaster Sergeant>Sergeant>Corporal>Private>Volunteer

    Or is it Captain>1stLt>2ndLt>Sergent Major>First Sergeant>Company Quartermaster Sergeant>Sergeant>Corporal>Private>Volunteer

    Thx
    I suggest your reread this topic.
    Some of the ranks are battalion level ranks and some or company level.
    Two different things. And you simply can't make a chain like that.
    The Adjutant, the officer of the day (usually a captain), officer of the guards and the sergeant major would all give orders to the company commanders during the daily routines of army life...
    Colonel, LtColonel, Major, "Adjutant"(who is usually a LT), Quartermaster sergeant, Sergeant Major, Veterinary Sergeant. Commissary Sergeant. Hospital Stewards. Chief Trumpeter and Saddler Sergeant are all ranks/positions used in a cavalry battalion staff.

    At the company level you got captains, 1st Lts, 2nd LTs, First sergeants, Company Quartermaster sergeants, Commissary Sergeants, Sergeants, and corporals... and privates...

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavian360 View Post
    We currently use the Chandler's Drill Manual for our Volunteer and NCO Training; we had to contact one of the few places which had an original copy of it to scan us the document. (...)
    It is worth mentioning as well that the Ordnance Sergeant rank was mainly used by the Regular Army, it was very rarely used or adopted by the Volunteer Regiments.
    I would guess the one that belonged to a LT strong in the 5th Wisconsin? Held at University of Wisconsin?

    Ordnance Sergeant was, I believe part of The Ordnance Department... and they where not posted to regiments but forts, armories and similar postings.
    Thomas Bernstorff Aagaard

  9. #29

    USA Brigadier General

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    Thanks for all the answers , I'm in between cavalary and infantry

  10. #30

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    it happened. for example at Fredericksberg with the 24th Georgia, Thomas R. R. Cobb was a Brigadier General at the time of Fredericksberg, but was leading a regiment, not a brigade.

    generally speaking though, you are correct, a Major was responsible for discipline in the entire regiment, while a CSM was responsible for discipline in the specific companies and generally still is to this day.

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