Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
View attachment 392899
Image of Union Teamster (likely with the 2nd Vermont) - source Library of Congress
In various research I've done I've come across service cards for teamsters. They seem, to me, to exist somewhere in an in-between state - not soldiers and yet not civilians. I'd love to get some clarification on these men. For instance:
I really need a "Civil War Teamsters for Idiots" level instruction here! Thanks in advance to all who answer.
- Were they enlisted men?
- What role did they play?
- Did they qualify for pensions?
- Were there differences between the CSA and Union teamsters?
This subject has already been pretty fully covered, but I'd like to stress that, at least at regimental and probably also brigade level, many men were detailed to the duty because of age, illness, or infirmary. Somewhere I remember a father who was a teamster for the regiment in which his son served. One of the war's most famous wagon masters was former stagecoach line owner and operator John Harmon who with the title of Chief Quartermaster was legendary as Stonewall Jackson's during his Valley Campaign and later in Jackson's Second Corps.The two terms, wagoner and teamster, were used interchangeably. Also called a "driver," but for some reason the latter was more often associated with an ambulance. There also existed a managerial position known as the "wagon master," who was paid more and was mounted on a horse.