Staff Attached to Generals

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#21
The what if novel Stonewall Goes West spends a lot of time on Jackson's military family, like Sandie Pendleton and John Harman. A real nod is made to the importance of staff work in that book.

I'm most familliar with Jackson, and the size and functioning of his staff reflected his own austere and reticent personality. For example, he chose Rev. R. L. Dabney as his Chief-of-Staff with the rank of colonel BECAUSE he was a Methodist minister, and had absolutely NO experience or qualification for the most important post on a staff! The reason was that Jackson with his secretive ways acted as his own chief-of-staff and only wanted someone to pass on orders and NOT to help formulate strategy as a "typical" European ( think Prussian ) chief-of-staff might have. Dabney was mainly a moral and religious "companion" whose civillian position was expected to translate into respect as Jackson's chief.

The real staff duties ( mainly paperwork ) fell on Jackson's younger staff members, particularly Alexander "Sandy" Pendleton, son of Lee's incompetent chief-of-artillery, Brig. Gen. Wm. Nelson Pendleton, another civillian minister, this time an Episcopalian like Lee, Jeff Davis, and Bishop Leonidas Polk in the western army. Sandie was a brilliant Washington ( later Washington and Lee ) College student who served Jackson and his successors Ewell and Early faithfully until he was killed as a lieutenant colonel and Chief-of-Staff at Fisher's Hill in the Shenandoah in Sept., 1864. His transcriptions of orders were considered especially clear and consise.

For Jackson, probably the "perfect" subordinates were mapmaker Jeddiah Hotchkiss, Dr. Hunter McGuire, and stagecoach line operator John Harmon , once again all 3 civillians with NO military background but ranking as majors. Hotchkiss occupied the position of topographical engineer: he made excellent up-to-date maps without asking exactly what they were for ( anathema to Stonewall ); McGuire was Jackson's Medical Director and personal physician who attended him in his last days; and Harmon was a profane ( much to Jackson's displeasure ) mule driver who was able to keep the various trains of wagons moving under often averse conditions.

Trouble naturally occurred when Jackson expected these non-military men to perform duties they hadn't been trained for or were tempermentally unsuited to. A case in point was Dabney's mishandling of what should've been simple communication of orders for movement on the Peninsula: as a minister Dabney failed to understand or observe the proper military chain-of-command, creating a snafu resulting in the delay of combat units moving into position. Harmon was often irate, threatening to resign because he hadn't been given enough information or time to prepare for Jackson's notoriously quick marches.

Dabney and Pendleton were also assisted by a number of young students like James Power Smith and Henry Kyd Douglas who as aides-de-camp with the ranks of lieutenant or captain performed various duties acting as couriers, secretaries, scouts, etc. ( It was said of Napoleon's Aides-de-Camp - who were generals - that they should know everything from how to lead a charge to how to cook a chicken! ) Douglas was an intelligent and especially observant witness who left an outstanding memoir that goes into great detail about Jackson's staff; fortunatly at the time he usually knew to keep his mouth shut around his tight-lipped superior!
 

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#22
"What roles", yes (though again this is better specified in Kautz than in the actual regulations), but in my (admittedly rapid) scan of the Revised Regulations of 1861 and my (less rapid) scan of Legislative History of the General Staff, I couldn't find anything specifying "how many".
An example of what I am thinking of is Section 10 of the act of July 17, 1862 (sometimes called the Militia Act of 1862), which says:

"Sec.10.And be it further enacted, That each army corps shall have the following officers and no more attached thereto, who shall constitute the staff of the commander thereof:
one assistant adjutant general, one quartermaster, one commissary of subsistence, and one assistant inspector general, who shall bear, respectively, the rank of lieutenant colonel, and who shall be assigned from the army or volunteer force by the President.
Also three aides-de-camp, one to bear the rank of major, and two to bear the rank of captain, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, upon the recommendation of the commander of the army corps.
The senior officer of artillery in each army corps shall, in addition to his other duties, act as chief of artillery and ordnance at the headquarters of the corps."
 
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#23
There is also the July 1861 act which authorized the creation of the Volunteer army. Section 4 says that the army should be divided into divisions of three or more brigades and brigades of four or more regiments; that divisions should be commanded by a Major-General and brigades by a Brigadier-General; division staff to be 3 aides-de-camp and 1 assistant adjutant general while brigade staff to be 2 aide-de-camp, 1 assistant adjutant general, 1 surgeon, 1 assitant quartermaster, and 1 commissary of subsistence
 

IcarusPhoenix

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#24
There is also the July 1861 act which authorized the creation of the Volunteer army. Section 4 says that the army should be divided into divisions of three or more brigades and brigades of four or more regiments; that divisions should be commanded by a Major-General and brigades by a Brigadier-General; division staff to be 3 aides-de-camp and 1 assistant adjutant general while brigade staff to be 2 aide-de-camp, 1 assistant adjutant general, 1 surgeon, 1 assitant quartermaster, and 1 commissary of subsistence
Those were the regulations I was skimming (like I said, it was a rapid skim; I was looking at the section on staff duties and not at the section of unit formation, which would be how I missed it), but I didn't look at the 1862 Act until you mentioned it.

That being said, an examination of various staffs - particularly those of some of the more prominent political generals - seems to indicate that the regulations were treated by many of them as merely a casual suggestion. For that matter, there were a lot of staff officers - at least at the army and corps levels - whose staff duties were their only billet, rather than being seconded from their regiment as the regulations actually required in most cases (though under the circumstances, this may have been a preferable situation).
 
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#25
Those were the regulations I was skimming (like I said, it was a rapid skim; I was looking at the section on staff duties and not at the section of unit formation, which would be how I missed it), but I didn't look at the 1862 Act until you mentioned it.

That being said, an examination of various staffs - particularly those of some of the more prominent political generals - seems to indicate that the regulations were treated by many of them as merely a casual suggestion. For that matter, there were a lot of staff officers - at least at the army and corps levels - whose staff duties were their only billet, rather than being seconded from their regiment as the regulations actually required in most cases (though under the circumstances, this may have been a preferable situation).
I am finding it difficult to piece together all the related regulations. For example I quoted above the staff for Corps, Division and Brigade command but I haven't found the similar requirement for Army/Department command.

In addition, the staff listed in what I quoted are the General's personal staff but under the regulations for different staff functions i found other requirements. For example, in a section about the Signal Department, I found a statement that a signal officer shall be attached to the staff of each army. Found something similar for Judge Advocate.
 
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IcarusPhoenix

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#26
I am finding it difficult to piece together all the related regulations. For example I quoted above the staff for Corps, Division and Brigade command but I haven't found the similar requirement for Army/Department command.

In addition, the staff listed in what I quoted are the General's personal staff but under the regulations for different staff functions i found other requirements. For example, in a section about the Signal Department, I found a statement that a signal officer shall be attached to the staff of each army. Found something similar for Judge Advocate.
I've found much the same, including in provost and inspector generals; a lot of the staff department regulations seem to be copied from the Kautz work I cited above, which in turn fails to include such duties as paymaster and topographical engineers which are addressed in other places. There's also a bevy of specific works actually adopted by the army or its various departments that complicate matters further; Hardee's has some mention of staff duties, and there's more specific works like Instructions for Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, The Company Clerk, and Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, not to mention a whole slew of department- and branch-specific works, some of which actively contradict each other, and not just with regards to staff duties.

This is to say nothing of the fact that the Confederate Army is even more problematic, having variously adopted some of the same works, made some of their own regulations, or generally not gotten around to making relevant regulations, depending on the specific duty, grade, etc.

This may actually be turning into something of a longer-term research project for some of us, not just regarding what staffs were required and/or authorized, but what staff various generals actually fielded.
 
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#27
There's also Robert Krick's Staff Officers in Gray, a biographical register in the vein of Warner's old Generals books.

As for the original question, I don't think either army had particularly specific regulations for staff; aside from generally recommending an aide-de-camp, engineer, surgeon, quartermaster, and commissary officer for staff of brigades, divisions, corps, and armies, and specifying pay grades, I don't recall that they talked about staff officers too terribly much. I need to scan through the regs again.
That was an old post! I had a passing interest in the thread while doing some research on Jedediah Hotchkiss. Freeman gives some good information on Confederate staffing you may be interested in. Be sure and check his sources for further leads.


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/People/Robert_E_Lee/FREREL/1/Appendices/4*.html

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer...e/FREREL/2/32*.html#flexibility.general_staff
 

IcarusPhoenix

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#28
That was an old post! I had a passing interest in the thread while doing some research on Jedediah Hotchkiss. Freeman gives some good information on Confederate staffing you may be interested in. Be sure and check his sources for further leads.


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/People/Robert_E_Lee/FREREL/1/Appendices/4*.html

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer...e/FREREL/2/32*.html#flexibility.general_staff
Yeah, someone revived the thread the other day, and I happened to notice it in passing; I only recently got the Krick work and found it a good addition to the set; I'll have to skim the bibliography on my Freeman set. Honestly, Hotchkiss is one of a pair of staffers who I feel are the huge contributing factors to Jackson's success, the other being John Harman. Incidentally, on that front, James N.:
stagecoach line operator John Harmon
Michael Harman was actually the stagecoach operator; John was a newspaperman.

Honestly, the Harmans, Harmons, and Harpers are all a massive genealogical pain; there are actually two separate and distinct Harman families and two distinct Harper families from exactly the same counties of western Virginia. In both cases, there was one fairly well-to-do family and one, er, less so. To make things more irksome, the upper-class Harmans heavily intermarried with the upper-class Harpers, and at the same time the working-class Harmans and Harpers intermarries, while the Harmons intermarried with all of them. Even more irritating, all five families moved into that region from the same general area of Pennsylvania withing a period of only a few decades. And yes, they are distinct and different families. The Harmans and Harpers of Jackson's staff (as well as several senior line officers in the regiments of the Stonewall Brigade) were all from the gentry families; the others (my ancestors) mostly fought on both sides of the guerrilla war in western Virginia for the war, none rising above corporal.
 
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#29
Yeah, someone revived the thread the other day, and I happened to notice it in passing; I only recently got the Krick work and found it a good addition to the set; I'll have to skim the bibliography on my Freeman set. Honestly, Hotchkiss is one of a pair of staffers who I feel are the huge contributing factors to Jackson's success, the other being John Harman. Incidentally, on that front, James N.:

Michael Harman was actually the stagecoach operator; John was a newspaperman.

Honestly, the Harmans, Harmons, and Harpers are all a massive genealogical pain; there are actually two separate and distinct Harman families and two distinct Harper families from exactly the same counties of western Virginia. In both cases, there was one fairly well-to-do family and one, er, less so. To make things more irksome, the upper-class Harmans heavily intermarried with the upper-class Harpers, and at the same time the working-class Harmans and Harpers intermarries, while the Harmons intermarried with all of them. Even more irritating, all five families moved into that region from the same general area of Pennsylvania withing a period of only a few decades. And yes, they are distinct and different families. The Harmans and Harpers of Jackson's staff (as well as several senior line officers in the regiments of the Stonewall Brigade) were all from the gentry families; the others (my ancestors) mostly fought on both sides of the guerrilla war in western Virginia for the war, none rising above corporal.
I have a thread or two on Hotchkiss that I created while I was reading his journal. I found quite a few gold nuggets in there. Yes, I agree, Hotchkiss was vital to Jackson and his successes, just as he was to Early in his Valley Campaign. Hotchkiss had once asked Jackson to tell him what he thought was his(Hotchkiss') greatest fault, Jackson said, "You talk too much" or something to that effect.

I had a heck of a time with my father's side. I found out my great grandfather was a bastard child! My supposed g-g-grandfather was in the 60th GA, Lawton/Gordon/Evans Georgia Brigade of Jackson's Corp. He was killed at Bristoe Station during Ewell's rear guard action against Hooker's advance on August 27th, 1862, during the Campaign to Suppress the Miscreant Pope. Anyway, my g-grandfather was born in 1866, however, my g-grandmother never remarried. My theory is that the deceased soldier's brother did the deed. My g-grandfather's birth is about nine months after the surviving brother made it home from the War, and both families lived in the same house just before and after the War. The 1870 census shows them living separately. I wonder if someone got found out?
 
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#30
Lt. Col. James T. Cearnal
I just found out one of my 3rd great-aunts married this gentleman, Lt. Col. James Thaddeus Cearnal in 1853. Here's some info I found on him:

“A GALLANT SOLDIER – A writer in the Mobile Tribune pays the patriotism and gallantry of Col. James T. Cearnal, of Missouri, a high and handsome compliment. The Colonel is a native of Person county, N.C., but removed to Missouri when quite young. He was one of the regular officers in the old army, but when the war broke out took sides with the South. He raised a company of men in St. Louis, and was on the eve of marching to the South when a strong Yankee guard confined him and his men within the limits of the city. The company was of necessity disbanded, and a vigilant search made for him; but judge of the surprise of the enemy when they heard Captain Cearnal spoken of by Gen. Price in his official report of the battle of Oak Hill, for his gallantry and daring, he being at the time a member of the General’s staff, with the rank of Lt. Colonel. At the battle of Lexington he so distinguished himself that a newly organized regiment unanimously chose him for its Colonel. He was with Gen. Price subsequently in the south west campaign, and was considered the best cavalry officer in the service. — At the battle of Elk Horn, while leading his regiment to a charge, he received a terrible wound in his left shoulder, but did not leave his command until some time after, although the wound was thought by the surgeons to be a mortal one. He is still a sufferer of the effects of his wound, which has almost deprived him of the use of his arm; not withstanding which he has reported himself for duty. Col. Cearnal was here, we understand, a month or two ago, on a visit to his native State and county, but we had not the pleasure of forming his acquaintance. — Milton Chronicle.”

I've visited many of these places and its fascinating to know there's some family history there.
 



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