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Thread: Rank Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Rank Question

    I have done some research and used the search feature but I just gotta know. Is a Hospital Steward Equivalant in rank to a Sgt. Maj.? from what I have read the answer is yes.
    David Meister

    Surgeon C.S.A.

    1st Assistant Surgeon 108th Regt. Ills. Vols.

  2. #2
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    From what I've read, there is no exact equivalent. Some books say ordinance sgt, some say sgt maj, other books say more like today's warrant officer, higher than enlisted but not a commissioned officer. I've also read that he on only under the command of the colonel, not even answering to the surgeons.

  3. #3
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    From Kautz's Customs of Service of the NCO, #252:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=jHg...page&q&f=false
    Matt Lovejoy

  4. #4
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    Woodward’s Hospital Steward’s Manual agrees with Kautz regarding the rank equivalence: ordnance sergeant, just superior to company first sergeant. He is further subject to orders by all lawful superiors, which would include the sergeant major, who is the senior enlisted man in a regiment. This makes sense, because as the war goes on you have acting hospital stewards and additional regimental ones, and three grades of stewards. They can't all be equal to the senior enlisted man in the regiment.

    One privilege stewards have is to not be subject to regimental court martial and to have any sentence requiring reduction to the ranks cleared by the Secretary of War prior to execution.

    Their pay is interesting. In the Federal service they receive initially $22 a month (same as the ordnance sergeant, who gets a $5 bonus atop a sergeant's salary of $17), or $20 if serving at a post of four companies or less. Stewards’ pay is raised to $30 a month by G.O. 43 of April 19, 1862, but apparently this is interpreted not to apply to acting stewards, who remain at $22 and $20 respectively.

    Under the act of June 20, 1864, all enlisted pay increases, and first class stewards now receive $33 a month, second class get $25 a month, and third class get $23 a month. This explains the strange anomaly in Kautz in para. 253 of Customs, where he has the lower level stewards getting $25 a month, and those with more than four companies only $22. It’s nice to know that even he could get confused from time to time.

    But all this only applies to the Federal service. Under Confederate regulations the pay of stewards stand at $21 and $20 a month until the general increase of $7 a month for all enlisted ranks in 1864. Under the regulations they have the same equivalence to ordnance sergeants and court martial protections as in the Federal service.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  5. #5

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    What Mr. Lovejoy and Mr. Schnapps says are correct with one exception, The Hospital Steward reqardless of which grade he serves as is senior to all enlisted men assigned to the hospital including a SGT MJR. The Hospital Stewards Manual spells out all that is needed to be known about the position
    http://books.google.com/books?id=FBM...;q&f=false

  6. #6
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    That makes sense, Chris, and reminds me of something. I thought you medical folks might appreciate the factoid that Hospital Steward C. E. Tehon, U.S. Army, was commended in general orders of the Middle Department for leading a detachment of convalescents in the defense of Baltimore during Early's raid in July, 1864 (ORs, Series I, Vol. 37, part I, p. 201).

    Early never actually got to Baltimore, but the folks there were understandably nervous after the fight on the Monocacy.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

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