The Proper Concert of Action: Lee’s staff at Gettysburg


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#2
His staff.

Brigadier General Pendleton - Chief of Artillery (with no independant command)
Colonel Chilton - Chief of Staff and Inspector General
Colonel Long - Military Secretary and acting Assistant Chief of Artillery
[(Lt.) Col. William P. Smith - Officially Chief Engineer but perhaps missing by Gettysburg? Alternatively 'just' an Engineering Officer attached to Lee's staff.]
Lt. Colonel Baldwin - Chief of Ordnance
Lt. Colonel Cole - Chief of Commissary
Lt. Colonel Corley - Chief Quartermaster
Lt. Colonel Taylor - ADC and Acting Adjutant General
[Possibly also Major Giles B. Cook - Inspector General - but see Colonel Chilton. Therefore maybe another Assistant Inspector General]
Major Marshall - ADC and Assistant Military Secretary
[Major Talcott - ADC]
Major Venable - ADC and Assistant Inspector General
Major Young - Judge Adjutant General
Captain Johnston - Acting Chief Engineer
[Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton Dandridge, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.]
[Lieutenant George Peterkin - ADC to Pendleton]
Dr. Guild - Medical Director
[No Rank given - Coupland R. Page - ADC to Pendleton]

[Also as per Tom Elmore - "Lee also had access to 60 couriers, according to Captain Justus Scheibert, a Prussian army observer. However, I have only been able to identify three of them by name, and two of the three belonged to Company C, 39th Virginia Battalion Cavalry."] Logically these are (mostly?) part of the c.90 strong Headquarters Guard that the 39th provided.

Have I missed anyone?
Names in [ ] added per posts below.

Longstreet - 16 staff?

Ewell - 17 staff?

Hill - 15 staff?

Stuart - 20 staff?

So, my thoughts on looking at this:

1) If the information above is correct then Lee has less staff than his Corps Commanders. [No longer true in light of extra information received]
2) Many have more than one role. Could this mean they are unable to devote all their attention to just doing one thing?
3) Many of these are relatively junior for their role. By comparison the Union Chief of Staff is a Major General (not that I am suggesting that Dan Butterfield is an improvement over Chilton). This means that Lee's Staff Officers just don't have the seniority to issue commands to other commanders. Yes they can make suggestions but that's it.

As to the personel involved... well... Captain Johnston and Major Marshall aren't going to have a great couple of days and Pendleton... well... he had been a leading artillery theorist many years before. However as the ANV's Chief of Artillery...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#3
For comparison here is some of the AoP's staff that Meade inherits from Hooker (I do not have time to list the whole (bloated?) thing!)

Major General Butterfield - Chief of Staff
Brigadier General Warren - Chief Engineer [Note - This is a seperate role from Chief of the Engineer Corps]
Brigadier General Hunt - Chief of Artillery [with Brigadier General Tyler technically in charge of The Artillery Reserve - at least until he succumbs to heatstroke and Captain Robertson of the Reserve Horse Artillery takes over]
Brigadier General Patrick - Provost Martial General commanding The Provost Corps of c.1000 men.
Brigadier General Williams - Assistant Adjutant General
Brigadier General Ingalls - Chief Quartermaster
Captain Norton - Chief Signals Officer - Commanding c. 50 men


This brings up a question. Who is Lee's Signals officer? Does he have one? Is he on the Staff?
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
4,565
Location
Germany
#4
Eicher also adds Col. William P. Smith as Chief Engineer, Maj. Giles B. Cook as another Inspector General and both Maj. Thomas. M. R. Talcott and Lt. George W. Peterkin as ADCs (though I think Peterkin was on Pendleton`s staff). However he lists for the whole campaign and not just the battle. As said some, like Pendleton, would have their own staff as well.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#5
Eicher also adds Col. William P. Smith as Chief Engineer, Maj. Giles B. Cook as another Inspector Genera and both Maj. Thomas. M. R. Talcott and Lt. George W. Peterkin as ADCs (though I think Peterkin was on Pendleton`s staff). However he lists for the whole campaign and not just the battle. As said some, like Pendleton, would have their own staff as well.
Thank you.

I will edit the above in the light of this.
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,330
#6
Two other minor members of Lee's staff:
Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton Dandridge, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.
Lieutenant Colonel William Proctor Smith, Engineering officer.

Lee also had access to 60 couriers, according to Captain Justus Scheibert, a Prussian army observer. However, I have only been able to identify three of them by name, and two of the three belonged to Company C, 39th Virginia Battalion Cavalry.
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,330
#7
Eicher also adds Col. William P. Smith as Chief Engineer, Maj. Giles B. Cook as another Inspector General and both Maj. Thomas. M. R. Talcott and Lt. George W. Peterkin as ADCs (though I think Peterkin was on Pendleton`s staff). However he lists for the whole campaign and not just the battle. As said some, like Pendleton, would have their own staff as well.
George William Peterkin and Coupland R. Page were two members of Pendleton's staff at Gettysburg.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#8
Again I'll edit the above - might as well have it all in one place. Save time on digging through the following threads though think GELongstreet mentions William P Smith above and I have a query on this. You have him as a Lt Col. GELongstreet has him as a Colonel. Also you have him as Engineering Officer. He has him as Chief Engineer. Minor points both and I'll note the discrepancy but for accuracy do we have any certainty on this point as my sources don't mention him at all!


Oh and a question not related to the thread. How does one put another members name in a link so they end up being 'pinged' for want of a better word.
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,330
#9
Pendleton sent Coupland Page to General Lee with two Union cavalrymen (from Buford) captured during Pendleton's early morning July 2 reconnaissance beyond the Confederate right flank. Page reached Lee's headquarters on Seminary Ridge around 8 a.m., but Lee was away visiting Ewell's line. Page wrote, "I reported the facts of the capture of the prisoners to Col. Walter Taylor; received one of his brightest smiles, saw his beautiful white teeth (God bless him), and being very much engaged. He sent the prisoners in charge to an officer who had thousands of other prisoners under guard not far off from the Cashtown pike. I saw several officers of Gen. Lee’s staff ... "

The 17th Virginia Cavalry, commanded by Colonel William H. French, was put in charge of guarding Federal prisoners on the morning of July 2, who had been captured the previous day. In that capacity, French was performing a role similar to Federal Provost Marshal Brig. Gen. Marsena Patrick.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#10
Just going to add that regarding my question regarding the Confederate Signals Corps at Gettysburg then Tom Elmore (and others have already looked at it in this thread) https://civilwartalk.com/threads/signal-corps-personnel-at-gettysburg.125807/#post-1359798

I am not going to replicate what is said there but it seems to imply that Confederate Signals Corps operates at the Divisional level. What higher level organisation there was (if any) is not mentioned but some of what is there is somewhat relevant to this thread.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
4,565
Location
Germany
#11
... Oh and a question not related to the thread. How does one put another members name in a link so they end up being 'pinged' for want of a better word.
Just type "@" and begin writing the name of the user. Then you´ll be shown autocomplete options for various possible users (continue writing if it doesn´t come up yet) and have to chose the right one. And there is your ping.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#12
Just found an interesting quote that has some relevance to this subject but I am not sure about it. Do people agree or disagree? For my mind I think Gilbert Moxley Sorrel to be a good officer but the statement seems... overblown:

"Even Longstreet's most virulent critics have conceded that he put together the best staff employed by any commander, and that his de facto chief of staff, Lieutenant Colonel Moxley Sorrel, was the best staff officer in the Confederacy."

DiNardo, Richard L. (2002). "Southern by the Grace of God but Prussian by Common Sense: James Longstreet and the Exercise of Command in the U.S. Civil War". The Journal of Military History. 66 (4): 1011–1032.
 

Andy Cardinal

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,686
Location
Ohio
#13
For what it's worth, I read a fairly interesting book recently called Right Hand of Command , in which the author analyzes staff use by McClellan, Lee, Grant & Sherman. One of the author's criticisms of Lee was that "Lee had a personal staff, and they performed well the duties he gave them. But Lee never allowed himself a large staff and he never involved them in operational matters." Colonel Robert Chilson served as Lee's chief of staff, but he was "a chief in name only, performing duties little different from those of an assistant adjutant general. When attrition took members from his staff, Lee refused to replace them, choosing instead to heap excess work on the remaining staff officers. The small character of Lee's staff prompted Lee biographer Douglas Southall Freeman to comment that no other general "ever fought a campaign comparable to [Lee's of 1864] with only three men on his staff, and not one of them a professional soldier."'
 

Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,025
Location
Jupiter, FL
#14
Lee's staff may have been undersized, but what's the deal with all the generals on Meade's staff? Was that normal? I'm no expert on staff arrangements of that era, but it seems excessive.
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,330
#15
For what it's worth, I read a fairly interesting book recently called Right Hand of Command , in which the author analyzes staff use by McClellan, Lee, Grant & Sherman. One of the author's criticisms of Lee was that "Lee had a personal staff, and they performed well the duties he gave them. But Lee never allowed himself a large staff and he never involved them in operational matters." Colonel Robert Chilson served as Lee's chief of staff, but he was "a chief in name only, performing duties little different from those of an assistant adjutant general. When attrition took members from his staff, Lee refused to replace them, choosing instead to heap excess work on the remaining staff officers. The small character of Lee's staff prompted Lee biographer Douglas Southall Freeman to comment that no other general "ever fought a campaign comparable to [Lee's of 1864] with only three men on his staff, and not one of them a professional soldier."'
Excellent observations. "He never involved them in operational matters" - this was certainly true at Gettysburg. Here are educational backgrounds of some of Lee's staff who were present at Gettysburg:

Colonel Robert Hall Chilton, AAG, U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA), graduated 1837 (ranked 48 of 50)

Colonel Armistead Lindsay Long, staff, USMA, graduated 1850 (ranked 17th)

Lt. Colonel Walter Herron Taylor, aide-de-camp, Virginia Military Institute, 1854-1855 (withdrew due to father’s death)

Major Charles Marshall, Major, aide-de-camp, University of Virginia, graduated 1858 with high honors; M.A.

Major Charles Scott Venable, Major, aide-de-camp, Hampden-Sydney College , graduated 1842; University of Virginia 1845-1848; spent 1-2 years at Universities of Berlin and Bonn; Franklin College, 1855-1857, Professor of Chemistry/Physics; South Carolina College, 1857-1861, Professor of Astronomy

Dr. Lafayette Guild, Medical Director of the Army of Northern Virginia, University of Alabama, graduated 1845; Jefferson Medical College, 1848, M.D.

Lt. Colonel Briscoe Gerald Baldwin, Jr., Chief Ordnance Officer, Virginia Military Institute, graduated 1848 (22 of 24)

Brig. General William N. Pendleton, Chief of Artillery, USMA, graduated 1830 (5 of 42)

Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton Dandridge, Asst. Adj. and Ins. Gen., University of Virginia, 1858, attended

Captain Henry Edward Young, Asst. Adj. Gen., College of Charleston, graduated 1851; attended schools in Germany

Lt. Colonel Robert Granderson Cole, Chief Commissary, USMA, graduated 1850 (37 of 44)

Lt. Colonel James L. Corley, Quartermaster, USMA, graduated 1850 (40 of 44)

Lt. Colonel William Proctor Smith, Engineering Officer, USMA, graduated 1857
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#16
Lee's staff may have been undersized, but what's the deal with all the generals on Meade's staff? Was that normal? I'm no expert on staff arrangements of that era, but it seems excessive.
Can't say for sure (and it should be noted that this is the organisation Meade has inherited from Hooker) but there are some really rather qualified gentlemen there with Hunt at the top of that list in my opinion.

The later much maligned Warren can be said at worst to be above average if not necessarily exceptional while Seth Williams and Massena Patrick seem to function more than acceptably in their roles... though that being said Meade's staff appears to be far more political and 'back stabby' than Lee's over stressed unit.

Also thank you to @Tom Elmore for the backgrounds of Lee's staff. Am I correct in thinking that in looking at the performance of Lee's staff attention should be concentrated on Long, Taylor and Chilton as the 3 individuals that in as much as Lee relied on anyone else these would be them? [With Lee effectively acting as his own Chief of Staff]
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#17
Just noticed something @Tom Elmore

You have it as Captain Henry Edward Young, Asst. Adj. Gen., College of Charleston, graduated 1851; attended schools in Germany.

My sources (and what I originally wrote) and also this webpage that I just found http://www.sciway3.net/sc-csa/gettysburg/csa_battle_order.html suggest Major Henry E Young , Judge Adjutant General.

Again a minor discrepancy but as I am going on the works of others and I get the impression much of this is your own primary research I am more than willing to alter what I have written if you believe yours to be right and mine to be wrong.

Thoughts?
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,330
#19
Just noticed something @Tom Elmore

You have it as Captain Henry Edward Young, Asst. Adj. Gen., College of Charleston, graduated 1851; attended schools in Germany.

My sources (and what I originally wrote) and also this webpage that I just found http://www.sciway3.net/sc-csa/gettysburg/csa_battle_order.html suggest Major Henry E Young , Judge Adjutant General.

Again a minor discrepancy but as I am going on the works of others and I get the impression much of this is your own primary research I am more than willing to alter what I have written if you believe yours to be right and mine to be wrong.

Thoughts?
My reference is Robert E. L. Krick's Confederate Staff Officers in Gray. The latter states he was assigned as Captain and AAG to Lee on February 28, 1863. Listed as Major and AAG to Lee as of September 20, 1864, afterwards served as Judge Advocate General.

See also, The College of Charleston, South Carolina, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/acg1336.1-22.005/510
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#20
My reference is Robert E. L. Krick's Confederate Staff Officers in Gray. The latter states he was assigned as Captain and AAG to Lee on February 28, 1863. Listed as Major and AAG to Lee as of September 20, 1864, afterwards served as Judge Advocate General.

See also, The College of Charleston, South Carolina, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/acg1336.1-22.005/510
That seems definitive. Updating initial Lee's staff post now.

Hmm. Don't seem to be able to, so Lee's staff should now read:

Brigadier General Pendleton - Chief of Artillery (with no independant command)
Colonel Chilton - Chief of Staff and Inspector General
Colonel Long - Military Secretary and acting Assistant Chief of Artillery
[(Lt.) Col. William P. Smith - Officially Chief Engineer but perhaps missing by Gettysburg? Alternatively 'just' an Engineering Officer attached to Lee's staff.]
Lt. Colonel Baldwin - Chief of Ordnance
Lt. Colonel Cole - Chief of Commissary
Lt. Colonel Corley - Chief Quartermaster
Lt. Colonel Taylor - ADC and Acting Adjutant General
[Possibly also Major Giles B. Cook - Inspector General - but see Colonel Chilton. Therefore maybe another Assistant Inspector General]
Major Marshall - ADC and Assistant Military Secretary
[Major Talcott - ADC]
Major Venable - ADC and Assistant Inspector General
[Captain] Young - [Assistant] Adjutant General
Captain Johnston - Acting Chief Engineer
[Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton Dandridge, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.]
[Lieutenant George Peterkin - ADC to Pendleton]
Dr. Guild - Medical Director
[No Rank given - Coupland R. Page - ADC to Pendleton]

[Also as per Tom Elmore - "Lee also had access to 60 couriers, according to Captain Justus Scheibert, a Prussian army observer. However, I have only been able to identify three of them by name, and two of the three belonged to Company C, 39th Virginia Battalion Cavalry."] Logically these are (mostly?) part of the c.90 strong Headquarters Guard that the 39th provided.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top