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Author Topic: American Civil War  (Read 8735 times)

Offline wissenlander

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2009, 12:43:18 AM »
I think it was commanded by Thomas R.R. Cobb, from Georgia.  I don't know the unit number, though.  Ah, Wikipedia says the 24th Georgia.  I think Cobb was in command of a brigade by the time of Fredericksburg.  I'm sure I'll get the bayonet from UG if I'm wrong. ;)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 12:48:37 AM by wissenlander »
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Offline Big Time

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2009, 01:23:31 AM »
I was almost sure it was a smaller unit than a brigade, the only likely option being a regiment. I could be quite very wrong, of course. As an aside, we don't even have regiments any more, except in name only.
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2009, 01:48:13 AM »
I think it was a regiment.  The 24th was in his brigade, though.  Cobb formed a legion, which was folded into a brigade which was originally commanded by his brother, who was later promoted and given a different command.

TRR Cobb died at Fredericksburg.  I think in Gods and Generals it may have mentioned Cobb's Brigade specifically.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 01:58:52 AM by wissenlander »
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Offline Gustavus Magnus

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2009, 02:44:04 AM »
On the subject of uniforms, it helps to remember that as the Southern States supplied their own militias regionally produced clothing, the "uniforms" weren't all that uniform.  The "Washington Artillery" from New Orleans wore dark blue uniforms as did a number of other units, at the outbreak of the war, which lead to a number of problems in the field.  Even after units had swtiched over to grey, there wasn't a uniform color of grey used univerally throughout the south.  Even Northern state militias had differences in uniforms.  The best thing about this now is that it is nice for wargamers so they don't have to paint a thousand copies of the same uniform.
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Offline Big Time

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2009, 02:47:57 AM »
To keep everyone on the same page, (very simplified) the unit breakdown to follow. I haven't included anything lower than company, as they are too small to be of relevance in major engagements and rarely acted independantly. Numbers vary wildly, and were effected by casualties, many units did not replace casualties and were folded intop other units when they got too small. These reflect Infantry units, Cavalry and Artillery were a little different. That being said, here is the dirt:
1. Company: Commanded by a Captain, made of platoons (led by lieutenants) and having from 60 to 200 men.
2. Battalion: Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel, made of companies and having anywhere from 100 to 800 (or more) men.
3. Regiment: Commanded by a Colonel, made of regiments. Startin here and continuing, numbers get funny (for the Civil War).
4. Brigade: Commanded by Brigadier General, made of regiments.
5. Division: Commanded by Major General, made of brigades.
6. Corps: Commanded by Lieutenant General, made of divisions.

These were the operational units. Armies and Army Groups were too large to be of tactical significance (I am a details man). Like I said, numbers are hugely variabel, as are commanding ranks. You cann have 200 people in a company, but fewer than 200 in a regiment, and so forth. A lieutenant can command a company given need, an major can command a battalion, and so forth. It certainly doesn't help to simplify the study of history.

1.  The Henry was a good gun, better when they started making the shell casings in brass instead of copper. As it ws difficult to get ammo, I wouldn't have wanted to carry one during the war unless I was certain I could get ammo when I needed it.

If I had been a regular infantryman, I think I would have preferred the .58 caliber 3 band Enfield.  I know some reenactors who have them and the rifle is incredibly accurate for a muzzleloader.  They are easy to clean and fired a standard minie ball so getting ammo wouldn't have been a problem.

The scariets muzzleloader of the time was the Whitworth rifle, which was used by some Confederate snipers.  I know someone who has a replica and while it is stunningly accurate, the barrel has to be cleaned every few shots or else the odd shaped hexagonal bullet can get stuck in the barrel while loading.

As an individual soldier, I would take the Henry any day, maybe one of the breach-loading carbines like the Spencer if the Henry wasn't an option. If I had to equip a unit of any size, the 1861 pattern Springfield rifled-musket would be my choice. A relativley standard round size, robust and solidly built, interchangeable parts (more important than one would initially think) and domestic (easier supply).

On the subject of uniforms, it helps to remember that as the Southern States supplied their own militias regionally produced clothing, the "uniforms" weren't all that uniform.  The "Washington Artillery" from New Orleans wore dark blue uniforms as did a number of other units, at the outbreak of the war, which lead to a number of problems in the field.  Even after units had swtiched over to grey, there wasn't a uniform color of grey used univerally throughout the south.  Even Northern state militias had differences in uniforms.  The best thing about this now is that it is nice for wargamers so they don't have to paint a thousand copies of the same uniform.

Totally. Like I mentioned, the variation in uniforms was astounding. No standard led to even friendly-fire situations early on. Like everything else in the war, there was no way to standardize as getting men into the field was more important than standard.
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Offline Gustavus Magnus

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #55 on: October 17, 2009, 02:54:55 AM »
"As an individual soldier, I would take the Henry any day, maybe one of the breach-loading carbines like the Spencer if the Henry wasn't an option."

So you would sign up for the cavalry to increase your chances of getting one?

 :happy:
"You never see a dead cavalryman."  Common jibe made by infantrymen during the war.
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Offline Big Time

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2009, 02:59:54 AM »
"As an individual soldier, I would take the Henry any day, maybe one of the breach-loading carbines like the Spencer if the Henry wasn't an option."

So you would sign up for the cavalry to increase your chances of getting one?

 :happy:
"You never see a dead cavalryman."  Common jibe made by infantrymen during the war.

Sorry, I thought it was "Fantasy Civil War." But yes, I would have joined the cav or a specialist (scout) unit. Standing around while people target practice at me is not my idea of a good time.

 :icon_biggrin:
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Offline Feanor Fire Heart

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2009, 03:31:06 AM »
Yeah I would have wanted to be in cavalry or just in command.  Seems like most "heroes" from the time were generals. :::cheers:::
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Offline neverness

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #58 on: October 17, 2009, 04:27:07 AM »
Of all the battles of the American Civil War, this battle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hampton_Roads
I think was the one that truly got the world's attention, that truly turned us from being a land of principle bickering colonials too "Shit! They just made our navies obsolete!" and set America up to be a major player -militarily- in the next century.

++++

It's bemusing how many Southerners still loathe General Sherman. I recall waking up one morning back around '99, to a local AM radio station (I'd go to sleep listening to Art Bell, and this would be on by the time I woke up) that typically has a Rightwing/Christian slant agenda where the host of this show along with his guests where just railing against this dead General, and demanding that he be declared a war criminal  and terrorist for his excursion of the scorched earth policy against the south. It was as if they personally knew someone who had lost a farm or brother to Sherman's men. Living in East Tennessee, I sometimes get to peek at the underbelly of the deeper south, and it's not changed as much as people want to think, nor have their resentments. Especially in the post-reconstruciton towns of the south. (Why am I hearing Copperhead Road in my head while I type this?)

Offline Feanor Fire Heart

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #59 on: October 17, 2009, 04:31:58 AM »
yeah the deep south is as backwards as you can get in the US.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYcDP9Wl7so
Something we as painters and hobbyists should always remember:
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Offline Von Kurst

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2009, 04:32:50 AM »
Heroes--Depends on what you mean by hero.  As time goes on the generals are the only ones remembered. It was a war in which a general could and did often face enemy fire.  But the heroes of the common people of the time have largely been forgotten by the culture.   I can only name one Medal of Honor winner from the Civil War and I can only think of one name from WWI...
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Offline Gustavus Magnus

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #61 on: October 17, 2009, 08:02:57 AM »
I can think of a number of Medal of Honor winners from the Civil War as there were so many medals given out.  Capturing an enemy flag in combat would almost certainly ensure winning the award.  Some came very late and were mailed to the receipients in a plain envelope.

Offhand, here are some that I can think of:

William Carney - Sgt with 54th Mass who fought at Fort Wagner, first black soldier to earn the Medal of Honor but he didn't receive it until 37 years after the war

Joshua Chamberlain - Colonel of the 20th Maine, won MoH during 2nd day of Gettysburg, shown in the movie.

Mary Walker - Surgeon, first woman to receive MoH (which contradicts part of the plot of the movie "Courage Under Fire"), medal was rescinded in 1917 but restored in 1977.

I can think of a few generals who won the medal.  Dan Butterfield, O.O. Howard, and Dan Sickles.  There are a few more but I can't recall the rest.

Some of the winners you may not know, but you know a relative.

Arthur McArthur Jr - General Douglas McArthur's father.  Received the award 25 years after the war for bravery for service at Missionary Ridge

Tom Custer - won 2 Medals of Honor (within 3 days of each other during the last weeks of the war) while his more famous brother George Armstrong didn't win any. 

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Offline Union General

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2009, 07:03:54 PM »
We did wonder where you'd gotten to ;)

No kidding, this thread didn't seem complete without Union General. Nice to have you back. I was meaning to ask you, as I can't remember, what was the Confederate Irish regiment that fought opposite the 69th at Fredrksburg?

Fremantle was one of my favorite characters from the book.

I'm pretty sure it was a Georgia regiment, but I can't think of which one off the top of my head at the moment.  :unsure:

I can think of a number of Medal of Honor winners from the Civil War as there were so many medals given out.  Capturing an enemy flag in combat would almost certainly ensure winning the award.  Some came very late and were mailed to the receipients in a plain envelope.

You're forgetting about Andrews' Raiders!
For those of you who don't know, they were a bunch of civilians and Union soldiers with an Ohio regiment that hijacked a locomotive (The General) in an attempt to shred the Confederate rail network and split the Confederacy in two. It failed miserably, with the entire team captured and most of them executed by the gallows. The rest either escaped or were traded in prisoner exchanges.



They won America's FIRST Medals of Honor!
 :biggriin:

Of all the battles of the American Civil War, this battle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hampton_Roads
I think was the one that truly got the world's attention, that truly turned us from being a land of principle bickering colonials too "Shit! They just made our navies obsolete!" and set America up to be a major player -militarily- in the next century.

And many of the generals then were decades ahead of their time. Admiral Dahlgren is still known as the 'Father of Modern Naval Artillery.' Longstreet KNEW that Napoleonic-style warfare was a bad idea coupled with rifled weapons that had an effective range of 250 yards... AND repeating weapons...
Also, the Battle of Selma was the first battle to utilize the modern infantry squad on a large scale.

God, I love this thread....  :engel:

-The General


I like your thinking  Mr. General  what a Genius

Offline Union General

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2009, 12:51:31 AM »
I think it was commanded by Thomas R.R. Cobb, from Georgia.  I don't know the unit number, though.  Ah, Wikipedia says the 24th Georgia.  I think Cobb was in command of a brigade by the time of Fredericksburg.  I'm sure I'll get the bayonet from UG if I'm wrong. ;)

To bring this thread back again, no. You won't be getting the bayonet from me, don't worry...  :wink:


To keep everyone on the same page, (very simplified) the unit breakdown to follow. I haven't included anything lower than company, as they are too small to be of relevance in major engagements and rarely acted independantly. Numbers vary wildly, and were effected by casualties, many units did not replace casualties and were folded intop other units when they got too small. These reflect Infantry units, Cavalry and Artillery were a little different. That being said, here is the dirt:
1. Company: Commanded by a Captain, made of platoons (led by lieutenants) and having from 60 to 200 men.
2. Battalion: Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel, made of companies and having anywhere from 100 to 800 (or more) men.
3. Regiment: Commanded by a Colonel, made of regiments. Startin here and continuing, numbers get funny (for the Civil War).
4. Brigade: Commanded by Brigadier General, made of regiments.
5. Division: Commanded by Major General, made of brigades.
6. Corps: Commanded by Lieutenant General, made of divisions.



Ah, now for the numbers!!!  :-D
Big Time nailed company and battalion pretty well, so I'll just pick up from there!

1 Regiment= Anywhere from 300 to 1,000 soldiers
1 Brigade=3 or 4 regiments
1 Division= 3 or 4 brigades
1 Corps= 3 or 4 Divisions
1 Army- The Army of the Potomac consisted of 7 Corps, but that's not usually an official number per se. It varies from army to army.

I'm having too much fun on this thread....  :happy:
-The General
I like your thinking  Mr. General  what a Genius

Offline t12161991

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2009, 12:59:50 AM »
I gotcha on Armies UG!

1 army generally consisted of anywhere between 2 and 4 Army Corps, so somewhere between 12,000 and 120,000 men.

Also some perspective on the smaller units:

 Regiment= 10 companies organized by individual states, they were numbered and the officers were appointed (company officers were elected)

Brigade=2 regiments but when the regiments suffered heavy losses they combined more than two. Known by the name of the commanding officer

Division=2 brigades. Identified by name of commanding officer
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Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
The leaders and best!

10-2

Offline Union General

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #65 on: October 19, 2009, 01:00:59 AM »
I was referencing numbers around the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, so towards the middle of the war.  :wink:

-The General
I like your thinking  Mr. General  what a Genius

Offline t12161991

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2009, 01:05:15 AM »
Yeah, mines a bit more general.
Grutch:  Careful, someone I know on a forum I visit works for Sony.  He says they aren't to be trusted.

Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
The leaders and best!

10-2

Offline Gustavus Magnus

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2009, 05:29:02 AM »
Union General, I hadn't forgotten about the guys who went on the great locomotive chase with the General but I didn't list them because I didn't think anyone would remember them at all. I've seen the train in a museum.  There was a movie about it in the mid 50s with Fess Parker, I think, but most of these youngsters online probably haven't seen it.  It was a good film, by the way.
Gustavus Magnus, of Bögenhafen; Mercenary Captain, Explorer, Spy, Scout, and Outrider.

Offline t12161991

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2009, 12:51:25 PM »
Gustavus- never assume that either UG or me doesn't know about something to do with the Civil War  :icon_mrgreen:.

I shall supply a few pictures of examples of uniforms as soon as the carpet cleaning people go away.
Grutch:  Careful, someone I know on a forum I visit works for Sony.  He says they aren't to be trusted.

Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
The leaders and best!

10-2

Offline steveb

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2009, 01:48:05 PM »
if you want an idea of the size of the units, look at the orders of battle for both sides in some of the big and small battles. a regiment could be as small as 10 or 15 men, or as large as 500 (union artillery regiments around washington, who soon became infantry, lol) the size seemed to depend on how many casualties, how many sick, and how many replacement were in route to the unit.  both sides used different organisation tables, and even in the same side there was a wide variety of differences.  No one here mentioned the numerous legions that existed for quite a while.
Also of note is the difference in the manner that each side handled units that were shot up, the south I believe combined units to maintain strength and the north if I remember correctly reinforced each unit from the civilian population (new recruits).  Then there is the issue of the organisation of the indians who fought on both sides, very variable. As a note the last Confederate General to surrender was Gen. Stand Watie, an Indian leading an Indian and southern mix army.  Anyway look at the order of battles and then remember it was not unusual for these units to take 40-60% casualties in a big battle and even more to disease and illness.  steveb

Offline wissenlander

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #70 on: October 19, 2009, 02:39:48 PM »
Hey now, I mentioned Cobb's legion. :wink:

I had read that the CSA would try to keep the units going for as long as they could whilst the Union would form new regiments often (to get the government funding from unit start up costs, I believe), and then merge remnants of old regiments into new ones.  Wasn't that part of the issue with the 2nd Maine joining the 20th?  That and part of the unit signing longer enlistments than others.
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Offline Gustavus Magnus

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2009, 05:10:01 PM »
t12161991, I would never that you or Union General wouldn't know something about the ACW.   :icon_biggrin:

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Offline Union General

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #72 on: October 19, 2009, 09:54:39 PM »
Union General, I hadn't forgotten about the guys who went on the great locomotive chase with the General but I didn't list them because I didn't think anyone would remember them at all. I've seen the train in a museum.  There was a movie about it in the mid 50s with Fess Parker, I think, but most of these youngsters online probably haven't seen it.  It was a good film, by the way.

The Great Locomotive Chase! An excellent movie!

Also, Buster Keaton did a comedy movie based on the incident. The film was The General, and it was hilarious.  :-D

Hey now, I mentioned Cobb's legion. :wink:

I had read that the CSA would try to keep the units going for as long as they could whilst the Union would form new regiments often (to get the government funding from unit start up costs, I believe), and then merge remnants of old regiments into new ones.  Wasn't that part of the issue with the 2nd Maine joining the 20th?  That and part of the unit signing longer enlistments than others.

They would! And the Army of Northern Virginia remained largely original with its regiments throughout the entire war! The Union would form new regiments very frequently, particularly due to the superiority of available manpower.  And yes, that's what happened with the 2nd Maine and the 20th Maine. And you're right.  :happy:

-The General
I like your thinking  Mr. General  what a Genius

Offline Feanor Fire Heart

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #73 on: October 19, 2009, 10:02:10 PM »
funny how natives dont get much credit for the war... :dry:
Something we as painters and hobbyists should always remember:
“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
― Jake the Dog

Offline Union General

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Re: American Civil War
« Reply #74 on: October 19, 2009, 10:24:53 PM »
funny how natives dont get much credit for the war... :dry:

Quite a few of them had been 'relocated' out West...  :dry:

-The General
I like your thinking  Mr. General  what a Genius