Overland The Strength of the Federal Army in the Overland Campaign

(Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor)

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
There are additional forces south of the James, primarily Bushrod Johnson's Division. For example, Pickett's Division fought at Petersburg/ Bermuda Hundred in May, and only headed north once the Howlett Line was complete.

Historically, at the height of the fighting in May, 14 infantry brigades, a cavalry brigade (Dearing's) and the appropriate no. of field arty btys fought in the Richmond/ Petersburg area. Of these 9 infantry bdes and the cavalry went to Lee and are counted by Young.

The five brigades which fought south of the James but not north were:

Evans' SC Brigade (Elliott's Bde from 24th May)
Bushrod Johnson's Tn Brigade (from East Tennessee, brought to Richmond at the start of the campaign)
Gracie's Alabama Brigade (ditto)
Wise's Va Brigade (the long time garrison of the area)
Ransom's NC Brigade (had been on the NC coast, but brought north)
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
What disappoints me about all of this is that there are no good detailed numbers below the Corps levels. I am looking into Barlow's 2nd Corps division, which led the attack at Spotsylvania. Doing basic approximating (dividing the total strength of 2nd Corps by 4 for each division) gave me about 6K, but I get the feeling that the numbers between the division may have been more lopsided.
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
I'm doing some research into unit numbers from the division level downward. It has been tough and I only found a few numbers of varying detail. Glancing from the page Tigers cited for the Pennsylvania Reserve Division, they started the campaign with 3460 men. A discussion on another thread brought me numbers for the Irish Brigade being between 1700 and 1900 men, give or take. According to the same user, the regulars in Ayres' brigade numbered between 1300 and 1400 men. Meanwhile, Gordon C. Rhea, in his book on the Battle of the Wilderness, notes that the 140th and 146th New York Zouaves numbered 529 and 556 men respectively.
In Rhea's To the North Anna River pg. 78, Upton's Brigade started the campaign at around 1600 men, and after the end of the Mule Shoe Battles numbered around 900 men (it would later be reinforced by the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery, which numbered 1900 men).
On that note, I seem to have more solid numbers for the Heavy Artillery which joined soon after the Mule Shoe Battles. The 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery joined the Old Vermont Brigade with 1750 men (note, this includes 2 companies of conscripts which I presume joined the other regiments of the brigade) (Pg. 97). The 2nd New York Dismounted Rifles, joining Marshall's Provisional Brigade as Infantry, numbered 1000 men (Ibid). Murphey's Brigade of New Yorkers (The Irish Legion) numbered 2000 men. This was from a total of 6,700 men from Robert Tyler's Division. The 1st Maine, 1st Massachusetts, 2nd, 7th and 8th New York Heavy Artillery totaled 8,800 men (pg. 134). Companies D, H and K of 2nd Battalion, 4th New York numbered 440 men (pg. 165).
I hope more people can find more detailed numbers throughout the many available sources. I myself know of an essay on the actions of the Old Vermont Brigade at the Wilderness which I believe will have their numbers.
 

Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
I myself know of an essay on the actions of the Old Vermont Brigade at the Wilderness which I believe will have their numbers.
I have found what I was looking for. The Other Grant by Carol Reardon, from Gary Gallagher's essay collection on The Wilderness.
The author on pages 202 and 203 gives numbers for each regiment.
2nd Vermont had a total of 800 men at the start of the campaign, with 700 going into combat at the Wilderness (they mention later the descrepancy being due to sickness or detachment duty).
3rd Vermont had 600 total, 570 in combat.
4th Vermont had 600 total.
5th Vermont had "about" 500 total.
And 6th Vermont had 550 total, 450 in combat.
"Morning reports on May 1 showed 3,308 officers and men present for duty" (Reardon 204). Doing the math from the regimental numbers given leads to a 258 discrepancy. I presume the numbers she gives for the regiments are rounded (rarely do you get numbers these clean for a brigade). They may be from seperate roll calls, reports or recollections. Anyways, the author also notes that the "final roll call [before battle, excluding detached and sick] counted 2,880 men in line" Reardon 205.
She also mentions later that Getty's division numbered 6,000 men, but I doubt this claim, and assume it is an estimate, as she is focusing on Grant's brigade, not the division as a whole, and would obviously spend less time here looking through the numbers.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
...
Companies D, H and K of 2nd Battalion, 4th New York numbered 440 men (pg. 165). ...
I suppose this is the 4th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment, but maybe not.

If this is a "standard" Civil War infantry regiment and that number really is 440, something very strange and unusual has happened here.

A full-war-strength infantry company in a standard single-battalion infantry regiment, according to US Army Regulations from 1860, would be 1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants and 100 rank-and-file enlisted men. The regiment itself would have been a theoretical 1036 officers and men (10 companies totaling 1,000 enlisted men with 1 Colonel, 1 Lieutenant Colonel, 2 Majors, 10 Captains, 20 Lieutenants, an armory sergeant and his assistant, IIRR) If the regiment had been unofficially divided up into ad hoc battalions, either the Lieutenant Colonel or one of the two regimental Majors might be in command of this 2nd Battalion. That would make this 3-company battalion a theoretical 1 Lt. Colonel or Major, 3 Captains, 6 Lieutenants and 300 enlisted men according to the regulations.

Of course, we would rarely expect the regimental companies to be at this full-war-strength size (like at their initial mustering-in, when they were stationed in a permanent camp for a long period and had just been filled with replacements, etc.) At various times before the Civil War the Congress actually funded the Regular Army at levels that led to full-peace-strength companies of 40, 64, or 80 men in real-life practical terms.

Which is just to say that number is an extremely high example for a 3 company "battalion" in a Civil War infantry regiment. The 3 companies in this 2nd Battalion are averaging out at about 145 men/company (about 40% over their regulation full-war-strength). If it is accurate, I would wonder where all the extra men came from (consolidation that eliminated the other companies?)

If this is the 4th New York Heavy Artillery, that unit had a slightly tangled organizational history. A heavy artillery regiment might run to 1200 men if it had not seen field service yet.

Only eight companies were originally formed, A & B were originally supposed to be trained as lancers in November 1861; C in December; D, G & H in January 1862; E & F in February. That original G was dissolved with the men recruited transferred to H on February 8, 1862. A new company G was then formed and joined the regiment in October 1862. After Gettysburg, companies A, B, C & D of the 11th Artillery were transferred into the 4th to become companies I, K, L & M, completed in October 1863. (I have no idea why I can't find a company J :smile: )

When the 4th NY Heavy Artillery was transferred into the AoP in March 1864, they split it up into three "battalions" like this:
  • 1st battalion was attached to VI Corps
  • 2nd battalion was attached to V Corps
  • 3rd battalion was attached to II Corps
At the end of May 1864, all three battalions of the regiment were re-concentrated in the Artillery Brigade of II Corps. On June 25th the 1st and 2nd battalions were assigned to the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 3rd Division of II Corps. On July 13, the entire regiment was transferred to the Artillery Reserve of the AoP. Some of the men from the first seven companies were released from the Army when their terms expired in late 1864 or early 1865).
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
As I've noted, the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery had 1,900 men when it joined Upton's brigade, according to Rhea at least.

That's about correct. There were 12 coys, each sized as a battery (i.e. 150+) rather than an infantry coy. A HA coy had a captain and 4 Lts. HA Regts were established for 3 battalions, each under a major, of 4 coys (i.e. 600+), and typically a battalion would man a fort. The battalion organisation at Spottsylvania was unchanged from that at Washington.

When the 19th Ct was converted to HA it received an additional ca. 1,100 men in Jan-Feb '64, including 2 new majors, 2 new captains and 28 new Lts, and continued to gain some recruits thereafter.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
The organization of a Civil War Heavy Artillery Regiment (Union) was based on that of the newly-formed 5th US Artillery (on May 3,1861, which was different than the four already existing regiments). The numbers given for ranks above private are for a 4-gun battery; changes for a 6-gun battery are in the footnotes. The wide range in the number of privates probably includes a 6-gun battery.

The Confederate organization below is from the March 6, 1861 structure authorized by the Confederate Congress as modified up to the Spring of 1862.
atC7hCE1f7otjaRoyw&ci=70%2C219%2C832%2C1064&edge=0.png

That is from The Organizational History of Field Artillery 1775-2003 by Janice E. McKenney in the Army Lineage Series of the CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY UNITED STATES ARMY WASHINGTON DC 2007. Absolute full-war-strength for a Union Heavy Artillery regiment (consisting of twelve 6-gun batteries with no one missing) was given as 1909 officers and men.

The Confederates did have some heavy artillery companies (in fixed defenses, usually coastal defenses, which usually had 6-9 guns).
 
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67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
The organization of a Civil War Heavy Artillery Regiment (Union) was based on that of the newly-formed 5th US Artillery (on May 3,1861, which was different than the four already existing regiments). The numbers given for ranks above private are for a 4-gun battery; changes for a 6-gun battery are in the footnotes. The wide range in the number of privates probably includes a 6-gun battery.

Once the war got going the 1st-4th and 5th US Artillery had near identical organisations.

In peacetime, of the 12 companies, 10 were organised as infantry and were organised as an infantry regiment. One was organised as a battery (generally 4 guns, except C/3rd US which was the only battery on full war establishment at the start of the war) and another as the recruit depot.

At war establishment a battery was established for 5 officers and 150 men*, excluding extra-duty men etc. These latter were usually attached. For comparison, a British 6-gun included their logistics etc., and was 277 officers and men.

Hence an artillery regiment was established for 1,897 officers and men with the 37 at HQ.

* Establishment for a 6 gun 6-pounder battery was:
1 captain (BC)
4 Lts (1 per section and 1 commanding caissons)
2 staff sgts (1st Sgt and QM Sgt)
6 sgts (each chief of a piece)
12 cpls (6 serving as the gunners and 6 as chief of caissons)
6 artificers
2 buglers
52 drivers
70 cannoneers

and wasn't varied for any other ordnance, such as 12 pdrs etc.. The only extra was in horse batteries, which had 12 horse-holders.

PS: The numbers in the table above are for 4 gun batteries.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
The organization of a Civil War Heavy Artillery Regiment (Union) was based on that of the newly-formed 5th US Artillery (on May 3,1861, which was different than the four already existing regiments). The numbers given for ranks above private are for a 4-gun battery; changes for a 6-gun battery are in the footnotes. The wide range in the number of privates probably includes a 6-gun battery.

The Confederate organization below is from the March 6, 1861 structure authorized by the Confederate Congress as modified up to the Spring of 1862.
View attachment 343767
That is from The Organizational History of Field Artillery 1775-2003 by Janice E. McKenney in the Army Lineage Series of the CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY UNITED STATES ARMY WASHINGTON DC 2007. Absolute full-war-strength for a Union Heavy Artillery regiment (consisting of twelve 6-gun batteries with no one missing) was given as 1909 officers and men.

The Confederates did have some heavy artillery companies (in fixed defenses, usually coastal defenses, which usually had 6-9 guns).
Once the war got going the 1st-4th and 5th US Artillery had near identical organisations.

In peacetime, of the 12 companies, 10 were organised as infantry and were organised as an infantry regiment. One was organised as a battery (generally 4 guns, except C/3rd US which was the only battery on full war establishment at the start of the war) and another as the recruit depot.

At war establishment a battery was established for 5 officers and 150 men*, excluding extra-duty men etc. These latter were usually attached. For comparison, a British 6-gun included their logistics etc., and was 277 officers and men.

Hence an artillery regiment was established for 1,897 officers and men with the 37 at HQ.

* Establishment for a 6 gun 6-pounder battery was:
1 captain (BC)
4 Lts (1 per section and 1 commanding caissons)
2 staff sgts (1st Sgt and QM Sgt)
6 sgts (each chief of a piece)
12 cpls (6 serving as the gunners and 6 as chief of caissons)
6 artificers
2 buglers
52 drivers
70 cannoneers

and wasn't varied for any other ordnance, such as 12 pdrs etc.. The only extra was in horse batteries, which had 12 horse-holders.

PS: The numbers in the table above are for 4 gun batteries.

Yes, those are the numbers in the table I posted, adjusted as the footnotes say. The 52 drivers and 70 cannoneers equal out to 122 -- the maximum number of privates in the table. As mentioned, the extra lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and artificers are in footnote b as additions for 6-gun batteries.

The 37 at the regimental staff level are primarily the 24 musicians. However, the Adjutant and Quartermaster are described as "To be taken from the line" opening the possibility that they are really men doing double duty and that the true staff number includes two men who are also counted somewhere in the line companies/batteries.

In practice, the 5 US Regular artillery regiments were never used together as regiments during the Civil War, normally acting as independent batteries whatever they were sent. The first four US Artillery regiments officially retained their old organization throughout the war. The Union Heavy Artillery regiments were made from state troops or USCT troops and were organized according to the 5th US structure.

The Fifth US Artillery was the first regiment organized as a 12 battery unit (first official use of "battery" instead of "company") and that organization was officially adopted by the first four artillery regiments by an act of Congress on July 28, 1866. Prior to the Civil War, the number of privates in an artillery company was fixed at 64 (although the President could authorize a particular company to be bumped to 74 by subtracting them from the other companies).
 
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