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Company command in USCT

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Suzanne A, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Suzanne A

    Suzanne A Corporal

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    I'm wondering if I'm understanding this correctly.
    Marion Pat. 22nd 5&6 64 S rec 22nd.png M Patt Ser rec 22nd Nov & Dc.png M Patt  22nd Sv Rc summ.png
    In late 1863 at the formation of the USCT, Marion Patterson was chosen as a commissioned officer and assigned to be a 1st Lieutnant in the 22nd USC Inf. Except for time when he wasn't present with his regiment on duty with Court Martial panels, he appears to have been commanding the Company he was with, or at least that's how I'm reading the service records attached. In Dec. 1864, he is promoted to Captain to serve another USCT Regiment, 19th USC Inf. "to fill an original vacancy" where he commands a company as Captain until the regiment's term expires in Jan 1867.

    I've attached copies of his service records which refer to his receiving pay as a 1st Lt. for commanding two different companies in the 22nd USCI. Was there no Captain for these Companies which were being led by a 1st Lt? The service records are not perfectly clear, but it appears he receives the pay increase for commanding a company at all times when he is with the company and not on detached duty.

    I've read that Congress controlled the number of commissioned officers of all ranks and the Army could not promote someone to higher rank if the Congressional quota for that rank was filled. Is that what was going on here? With the creation of all of the federal USCTroops in that time period, end of 1863, beg of 1864, was authorization for more officers delayed in Congress? Or am I misreading the records? Or is there another explanation? Is there any way I could find out if at the very outset a Captain had been assigned to these companies?

    As always I will be appreciate any comments and guidance.
     

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  3. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year Honored Fallen Comrade

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    Maybe my eyes are failing me (and they very well could be :help:), but I only see him being in command of the company in June and October. If that's correct, maybe it could have been due to illness or injury or reassignment of the company's captain?
     
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  4. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    The first card above says, "pay due from Jan 6, 1864 to Jan 28, 1864 both inclusive on account of error in original muster in corrected by re-muster by order of Secy of War." It looks like he was in fact acting company commander of Co. H from October 1864 until his promotion to Captain and transfer to the 19th U.S. Colored Infantry in January 1865.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  5. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year Honored Fallen Comrade

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    The 22nd USCT fought in the Battle of New Market Heights on September 29, 1864. It was heavy fighting and they took significant casualties. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the captain of this company was injured in that battle, with Lt. Patterson taking over command.

    The 22nd was in Ben Butler's Department. Butler had a policy of promoting officers into other companies and regiments (for whatever reason). This could explain why Patterson was transferred to the 19th when he was promoted.
     
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  6. Suzanne A

    Suzanne A Corporal

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    Part of my question is, I'm wondering if there was a Captain, any Captain, of Marion's company of the 22nd USC Inf. in that 1st year? I think the 1st Lts were in command of these companies because Congress had blocked any promotions to Captain at the time the USCT regiments began as federal Army units. "Blocked" meaning they had not increased the number of Captains authorized to the number needed because of the new regiments.

    I wish I could see a roster of Marion's company in the 22nd USC Inf. at its inception in Jan 1864. As far as I know, to find that, I would have to look through a box of regimental records in the National Archives in hopes of finding one that would only be there by chance. I haven't seen an initial muster in roll on line and I don't know another way to access that record. Suggestions would be welcome!

    When Marion was promoted to Captain in Dec. 1864 and transferred to the 19th USC Inf., it was to "fill an original vacancy" which to me means there was no Captain in that company of the 19th USC Inf before him, although that regiment also was organized and operating beginning Jan 1 1864, a year before Marion assumed his position as Captain.

    I know this is minutiae but I'm trying to understand Marion's career and not mis-state it in any research notes for a bio. I'm also interested in the USCT in general. Was their some kind of Congressional opposition, or wait-and-see attitude? Just taking shots in the dark here.

    Thank you @brass napoleon for pointing out that Butler had a policy of placing promoted officers in new regiments. I had been wondering about that transfer too. There were problems in the 22nd because on Oct 27, 1864 Col. Kiddoo misdirected his troops in what I believe was his first engagement in combat resulting in needless slaughter and injury to his own men. There is suspicion he was drunk. He was wounded himself in this effort, and I believe he never came back to command of troops, although he was not drummed out of the Army or court martialed. A group of officers in his command petitioned the senior officers above Kiddoo saying he must be removed which would normally be a treasonous action by the signers of the petition. However, these officers did not include Marion Patterson, it is unknown why he refrained. It's easy to speculate, did Marion's failure/refusal to sign that petition somehow cause friction in the his company of the 22nd, causing him to move to the 19th? I think in light of your comments, that question is now moot and we can take that off the table.

    Thank you @AndyHall for your insights as well which are much appreciated.
     
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  7. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    @Suzanne A , unless there is a published account of the 22nd that details the officers' tenure, you might have to use a combination of (1) the NPS Soldiers & Sailors database to determine who the company officers were, and (2) the individual offcers' records on Fold3 to sort out their actual dates of appointment -- that would be a loooong slog, I'm afraid.
     
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  8. BrianB

    BrianB Private

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    Here is how I read the records:

    (a) January 1864 commissioned as 1st Lt in Company F. There was a small discrepancy in his pay. Normally, there was a captain in a company, so normally, the 1st Lt. would be second in command of a company. Whether there was actually a captain or not might be difficult to establish.

    (b) He almost immediately is given a temporary assignment as an officer on court martial duty, and is absent for a couple of months.

    (c) April to September 1864, present as 1st Lt with Company F.

    (d) October 1864. on temporary duty with Company H, which he commanded. The footnote at the bottom of the 12/64 muster roll suggests he may have actually commanded Company A (the "A" or "H" might be a scrivener's error) and that the dates of his command were 10/27/64 to 12/5/64.

    (e) January 1865 promoted to captain and transferred.

    Answers to what was actually going on may be found here, IN MARION PATTERSON"S DIARY which is online:

    http://www.fortpocahontas.org/images/marionpatterson.pdf

    You might also be able to find some info here --

    https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm?submitted=1&battleUnitCode=UUS0022RI00C

    There are about 1400 names, but in a couple of hours, if you are interested, you can click through and locate the other officers in Company F, then check their service records on Fold3.com

    Another possibility would be to look for monthly company returns for the 22nd USCT. These are probably only available at the National Archives. The third card that you posted above, labeled "returns" is an abstract of the returns for the 22nd USCT. The monthly return of the USCT would theoretically list EVERY officer assigned to the regiment, and state his status as of the end of the month, so you should be able to ascertain if there were other company officers in Company F, and figure out what was going on in Company A or Company H that caused a temporary assignment for Patterson to command that company.

    Good luck!

    (e) December 1864. on court martial duty again.
     
  9. TomP

    TomP Corporal

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    Marion Patterson was appointed to command Company H of the 22nd USCT due to the loss of that company's captain.

    Jacob F. Force was appointed 1st Lt. of Company H on Christmas Eve, 1863, and was promoted to captain on May 4, 1864. On September 30, 1864 Force was wounded in the left shoulder at Chaffin's Farm, Virginia. He was absent from the regiment until his discharge for disability on April 7, 1865.

    This from his CSR found on Fold3.
     
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  10. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year Honored Fallen Comrade

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    I had never heard of this blocking before, but I'm guessing it wouldn't have applied to USCT regiments. Those regiments were being formed rapidly at this stage of time, and there was a great need for officers to lead them (who could only be white, by War Department criteria). The War Department was taking great care to make sure that the USCT troops were well led, and were promoting white non-commissioned officers to commissioned officer grade, so it seems incomprehensible to me that they'd have a restriction against any new captains. (It was, however, the War Department, so I guess anything is possible. :confused:)

    Actually, October 27th wasn't Colonel Kiddoo's first experience in combat leadership. Coincidentally, I was just reading last night how he had been in command on the battlefield when the 22nd USCT participated in capturing part of the Confederate Dimmock Line outside of Petersburg on June 15, 1864. That was the 22nd's first combat experience, so that was probably also Colonel Kiddoo's first experience leading a regiment in battle. He seems to have done a competent job in that action. He might also have participated in the Battle of New Market Heights (or Chaffin's Farm, as it is sometimes called as noted above) on September 29th. (And I'll never be able to say or write Colonel Kiddoo's name without thinking of Captain Kangaroo! :playfull:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  11. Frederick14Va

    Frederick14Va First Sergeant

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    Marion Patterson

    - Enlisted May 1863 as Sgt in the 11th New York Heavy Artillery, Received commission as 1st Lieut in the 22nd USCT.

    - 1st Lieut in the 22nd USCT, Captain of Co.F was Author Morey, and interestingly he is listed as present throughout their service, with no absences thus noted, for Patterson to have been commanding that company for any length of time. Ponder if the notations thereof may be crossed with the latter service period.

    - If a junior officer was commanding a given unit they received an extra $10 per month, So noting those respective dates one may have been so was important to get the credit for it.

    - Co.H... Captain Jacob Force was commanding Co.H, he was wounded in action, gunshot wound to the left shoulder on Sept 30th 1864 at the Battle of Chaffins Farm.. He survived the wound but was absent on medical leave. He was technically still the "Captain" of the company on the books, so no actual vacancy to be immediately filled... Patterson was detailed to command that company, Oct 27th to Nov 30th 1864

    - Co. A... detailed commanding Co. A of the 22nd Dec 1st till 31st 1864..

    - 19th USCT Co.E... Jan 1865; promoted to Captain commanding Co.E, served till discharged in Jan 1867.
     
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  12. TomP

    TomP Corporal

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    I have been conducting some rather in depth research on the USCT troops who were enlisted here in Corinth, MS. This has led me to look at nearly every service record, officer and enlisted, in two regiments of infantry and two of heavy artillery. Most of the officer commissions came from Special Orders signed by Brig. Gen. Lorenzo Thomas, the army's adjutant general. Though it is an intriguing thought, I can find no evidence of any "blocking" in these regiments. On the contrary, the field and company officers were appointed when the company and regiment made their minimum required numbers and any vacancies were rapidly filled by promotions from within the regiment or new additions from without. An interesting feature of the regiments raised in the Mississippi River Valley was the use of white NCO's in the senior positions; Sgt. Major, Comm. Sgt, QM Sgt, and company 1st Sgt's. Many of these men obtained commissions in this fashion and by the end of the war most of the non-comms were from the black enlisted ranks.

    Tom
     
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  13. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    I am not being funny my eyesight is not that good either are you saying he was an African-American thank you.
     
  14. Phiip McBride

    Phiip McBride Private

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    There is an book available online which I used in my research of the 22nd USCT for my novel writing. The book is the History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-1865. It was commissioned by the state of PA after the Civil War. It includes a short history and a complete roster of every PA soldier by company by regiment. It includes date of enlistment or commissioning--as in the case of Marion Patterson, and what happened to each soldier, by date and location. It's a wealth of information, but likely won't answer your question.

    Oddly, the 22nd USCT and several other USCT regiments are included in the Pennsylvania book of soldiers because they were organized and first trained at Fort Penn outside of Philadelphia. In actuality, the 22nd enlisted men were from New Jersey, while the officers came from all over.
     
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  15. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    well I thank you for your reply and good luck with your book.
     
  16. Suzanne A

    Suzanne A Corporal

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    If civ ilken's post is addressed to me, no Marion Patterson was not African American. All commissioned officers chosen for the USCT were white, as far as is known, that was the intention at the creation of the regiments. With no blacks in the military before (except possibly the Navy), no African Americans would have the training or experience for posts as commissioned officers at that time, 1863. In most USCT regiments non-commissioned officers, Corporals and Sergeants were usually African American, but in TomP's post, he notes that "the regiments raised in the Mississippi River valley" included white men initially.
     
  17. Suzanne A

    Suzanne A Corporal

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    Thank you thank you Phiip McBride, that book, if I can find it, will be helpful on a number of points.

    The tip is much appeciated!
     
  18. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    yes it was me and I thank you for the response.
     

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