|Brandeis Life Sciences|
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History 150b: Gettysburg
Instructor: Jeffrey C. Hall
Compositions of the Union and Confederate Armies
|Army of the Potomac||Army of Northern Virginia|
All the units of infantry and cavalry as well as all the artillery batteries that made up the opposing armies in the Gettysburg campaign are listed. A few of the small units that were part of these armies but not present at the battle itself are included within various parts of the list (and indicated as not present: see footnotes).
This hierarchical order goes down to Regiments as the smallest units listed (or, for the artillery: batteries). On overview of each army's organizational scheme is provided--just below for the Union force (Chart D-1), and roughly in the middle of this Order for the Confederates (Chart D-2).
Infantry Regiments in both armies, and the Confederate cavalry ones, typically were comprised of 10 Companies: A through K, omitting J. Union Cavalry Regiments normally had 12 Companies: A through M, omitting J. Almost all Regiments were way under-manned in terms of numbers of infantrymen or troopers (thus, many fewer than their common mustering-in strength of approximately 1,000). And several Regiments were under-strength in terms of numbers of Companies (so indicated: small upper-case letters) present at Gettysburg (thus, fewer than 10 or 12).
Commanders of the large units--Corps and Divisions--and of the medium-sized ones--Brigades--are entered in this size of print. The names of the small-unit, that is, Regimental or artillery-battery commanders are given in smaller print size.
It is frequently the case that a string of two or more commanders is indicated along with a given Corps, Division, Brigade, or Regimental designation. This means that the officer noted after the first one took over the unit--often because the first one was wounded, killed, or captured (also see below). These cases are specified within the listings, whose abbreviations are explained in a footnote (near the beginning of the Army of the Potomoac's Order of Battle). The absence of an italicized letter next to the person's name means he survived the battle, probably unscathed. The source of this information for the Southerners is The Confederate Order of Battle, Vol. I, The Army of Northern Virginia (F.R. Sibley Jr., 1996). For the Northerners, much of this information is contained within software files entitled The American Civil War Resource Data Base (www.civilwardata.com), in which the post-Gettysburg status and fate of many officers within the Army of the Potomac can be found; thus it is known that the soldier survived the war because he was mustered out, or otherwise left that Army, in late 1863 or 1864-1865; or, in several other cases, the officer survived Gettysburg but was killed in a later campaign. Scrutiny of the listings within this appendix will reveal that information about casualties during the three days of Gettysburg is more complete for the Army of Northern Virginia, which is why the names of many officers in the Army of the Potomac are followed by italicized question marks (instead of w = wounded, etc.; or blank = survived).
Certain cases in which more than one officer is named along with a given unit did not involve battlefield casualties but situations in which original commander (the first one listed) was given a different assignment. For example: A large-unit commander might have temporally taken over a Corps, moving up from Division command; it was a common occurrence for such an officer to drop back down to his original lower-level command at a later stage of the battle (as is indicated by, for example, the officer's name appearing as the first and the third one in the string of Division commanders in this example).
The figures attached to each kind of unit represent the numbers of men actually engaged during the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg--although several of these figures are dubious estimates (see, for example, Thomas's Brigade in Pender's Division of the Army of Northern Virginia's 3rd Corps). Also, no attempt was made to adjust the numerical strength of any unit according to losses that occurred during the battle.
A few words about miscellaneous details, which will be encountered in this size of fine print near the beginning of some section of the intra-Order listing; or which will be found in fine print once one has proceeded into the innards of a given sub-section: The staffs of the Armies as a whole, and immediately attached to the Corps commanders, include a variety of different kinds of individuals or units of men, with titles unlike the usual ranks of officers that commanded an infantry or cavalry unit or an artillery battery (hence: "Chief" of something or other--part of the army commander's staff; or an "Adjutant" of some kind; or an "Escort" or "Provost Guard" of men attached to a Corps-commander's staff). Fine print is rampant in the parts of this Order that list artillery batteries; here, the types of cannon are specified, usually "Napoleons" (smooth bores), and two principal types of pieces whose bores were rifled ("rifles," that is, Ordnance Rifles; or "Parrotts"); the "poundage" by which a given piece is often labeled refers to the nominal weight of the projectile it was designed to fire; although many of the pieces could fire a variety of different kinds of shot & shell in general, and did so in this battle.