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Thread: Marching order

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
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    25

    Default Marching order

    I am a new to the hobby and have been developing my impression as an assist. surgeon. Currently serving as hospital steward. This past week I had my first engagement as steward, performing sick-call and setting-up first aid station near the battlefield.

    The question came as to where I would be located when marching to the battle site. I ended up marching at the rear with the Lt. It would be good to know the proper protocol and if the steward or asst surgeon would be located in a different place. I imagine falling back to set-up the first aid station once arriving at the battlefield. The musicians will be serving as stretcher bearers

    Also I will be at Shiloh 2012 and look forward to meeting some of you has I have been a "lurker" from sometime and soaking in your knowledge.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mason Lumpkins, Hospital Steward
    Missouri Irish Brigade 7th USV
    http://www.moirishbrigade.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Stroudsburg, Pa.
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Good question. The only thing I found quickly is Duryea's camp plan for the 7th NY, 1861, in which I'm pretty sure the placement of the officer's tents mirrors their positions on the march. His system was that the camp should be exactly as wide as the regiment would be in line of battle. When you get past the captain's line of tents, you get to the regimental staff, which spells out the colonel in the middle of the battalion, lieutenant colonel in the middle of the regiment's right wing, the major in the middle of the left wing. The surgeon is halfway between the major and the colonel. The assistant surgeon is halfway between the major and the left flank of the regiment. That is generally how, at least, a regiment forms up in camp, forms up on parade, and, at least in the 7th NY in 1861, starts out on a march.

    From Silas's drill page

    Others may have a better handle on this. I'm just getting the ball rolling because it's one more thing I don't know about the Civil War, which remains a pretty impressive list of "I don't knows."
    Bill Watson
    I write about history for people who regret not being there when it happened.

    Books
    Brother William's War, Illustrated, about a Southerner's war
    The Ludlam Legacy, Illustrated, about a young Yankee orphan's war.
    Seize the Day! A best-practices guide to wringing more satisfaction from your Civil War weekend
    The Little Book of Civil War Reenacting: An introduction for those who want to try it out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    25

    Default Company vs. Battalion

    Grant thanks for the quick reply. It sounds logical.

    Open question #2

    Often times when I go to events we my only have one company of 20 men. Officers would include a captain and maybe a lt. and NCOs.

    How would the order follow in this case?

    Mason Lumpkins
    Hospital Steward
    Missouri Irish Brigade 7th USV

  4. #4

    Default

    Don't know how official or widespread this was, but here's a war correspondent's description of a Union regiment:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=ROXeCf3ybh4C&pg=PA83

    "A regiment marched in the following manner: first the adjutant; then the pioneers; then the band and drum-corps; then the colonel and lieutenant-colonel; then the regiment, each man with his knapsack, haversack, canteen, and arms; and, bringing up the rear, the major, chaplain, and two surgeons, and, on foot, the hospital-knapsack-carrier."

    It doesn't mention the steward specifically, but at least places the surgeons (apparently mounted) and the knapsack carrier at the rear.

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@gmail.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,430

    Default

    Butterfield's "Camp and Outpost Duty" has the statement, "When men are taken sick on the march, the surgeon who follows at the rear of his regiment, with the ambulances, will give directions as to the disposition to be made of them...." citing AOP GO 147 of August 2, 1862, which sort of backs up the description Hank cited, but leaves room for another medical officer elsewhere in the column. This makes sense as far as picking up stragglers, but DeForest's article on "Forced Marches" implies that that responsibility rested with company officers: http://books.google.com/books?id=hC8...page&q&f=false
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Williamstown, NJ
    Posts
    465

    Default

    It makes good sense that medical would be at the rear of the battalion as they could tend to men that drop out. Running to the rear from the front would prove a tedious affair.

    Andy Siganuk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    962

    Default

    Being at the rear not only allows the surgeons to herd the dropouts, but it allows us to vacuum up all the dust the regiment makes while marching. cough, cough.
    Noah Briggs

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