Civil War Infantry Organization
During the American Civil War, the infantry was organized into corps,
divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies of men. Battalions, not reflected in the chart below, were generally
comprised of 4 to 7 companies and were commanded by a lieutenant colonel or major. The sizes of these groups are summarized
|Civil War Infantry Organization
|Civil War Infantry Organization
Try our internal search engine, type, for examples: Infantry, Infantry
Engagement, Infantry Killed, Infantry Line of Battle, Infantry Formation, Infantry Experience, Infantry Tactics, Infantry
Battle, Gettysburg Infantry, Infantry Prisoners, Infantry Order of Battle, etc.
(See also related reading below)
Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life. Description: Most histories of the Civil War focus on
battles and top brass. Hardtack and Coffee is one of the few to give a vivid, detailed picture of what ordinary soldiers endured
every day—in camp, on the march, at the edge of a booming, smoking hell. John D. Billings of Massachusetts
enlisted in the Army of the Potomac and survived the hellish conditions as a “common
foot soldier” of the American Civil War. "Billings
describes an insightful account of the conflict – the experiences of every day life as a common foot-soldier –
and a view of the war that is sure to score with every buff." Continued below...
authenticity of his book is heightened by the many drawings that a comrade, Charles W. Reed, made while in the field. This
is the story of how the Civil War soldier was recruited, provisioned, and disciplined. Described here are the types of men
found in any outfit; their not very uniform uniforms; crowded tents and makeshift shelters; difficulties in keeping clean,
warm, and dry; their pleasure in a cup of coffee; food rations, dominated by salt pork and the versatile cracker or hardtack;
their brave pastimes in the face of death; punishments for various offenses; treatment in sick bay; firearms and signals and
modes of transportation. Comprehensive and anecdotal, Hardtack and Coffee is striking for the pulse of life that runs through
1863 U.S. Infantry Tactics: Infantry of the Line, Light Infantry, and Riflemen (Hardcover: 608 pages). Description: Written in 1861 at the direction of the War Department and copiously illustrated, this
was the book used to train, lead, and maneuver U.S. Infantry units on Civil War battlefields. It contains the
school of the soldier, the company, and battalion or fielded regiment, along with all-important instructions for skirmishers.
More than 15
pages of field music, the articles of war in use at the time, and a dictionary of Civil War military terminology complete
this extensive work. The work was authorized and adopted by the Secretary of War on May 1, 1861. This is the second edition
issued in 1863.
Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command (912 pages). Description: Hailed as
one of the greatest Civil War books, this exhaustive study is an abridgement of the original three-volume version. It
is a history of the Army of Northern Virginia from the first shot fired to the surrender at Appomattox - but what makes this
book unique is that it incorporates a series of biographies of more than 150 Confederate officers. The book discusses in depth
all the tradeoffs that were being made politically and militarily by the South. Continued below...
The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then at a critical decision point in the battle,
the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that person, and then goes back to the battle and
tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made. At the end of the battle, the officers decisions
are critiqued based on what he "could have known and what he should have known" given his experience, and that is compared
with 20/20 hindsight. "It is an incredibly well written book!" View the Civil War buff's COLLECTOR'S SET at the
bottom of this page.
Recommended Reading: Brigades of Gettysburg:
The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg (Hardcover) (704 Pages). Description: While the battle of Gettysburg
is certainly the most-studied battle in American history, a comprehensive treatment of the part played by each unit has been
ignored. Brigades of Gettysburg fills this void by presenting a complete account of every brigade
unit at Gettysburg and providing a fresh perspective of the
battle. Using the words of enlisted men and officers, the author-well-known Civil War historian Bradley Gottfried-weaves a
fascinating narrative of the role played by every brigade at the famous three-day battle, as well as a detailed description
of each brigade unit. Continued below...
Organized by order of battle, each brigade is covered in complete and exhaustive detail: where it fought,
who commanded, what constituted the unit, and how it performed in battle. Innovative in its approach and comprehensive in
its coverage, Brigades of Gettysburg is certain to be a classic and indispensable reference for the battle of Gettysburg
for years to come.
Reading: Shock Troops of the Confederacy (Hardcover: 432
pages). Description: Fred Ray's Shock Troops of the Confederacy
is primarily focused on the "sharpshooter battalions" of the Army of Northern Virginia. In a Civil War context, "sharpshooter"
was usually more akin to "skirmisher" than "sniper," although these specialized battalions also used innovative open order
assault techniques, especially late in the war. Continued below...
however, a detailed study of Union sharpshooter battalions and Confederate sharpshooters in the West. Remarkably, little
has been published about such organizations in the past, so Fred Ray's book offers a unique study of the evolution of Civil
War infantry tactics, revealing a more complex, sophisticated approach to the battlefield than is usually understood.
Recommended Reading: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common
Soldier of the Confederacy (444 pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition: November 2007) Description: The Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes
fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang,
the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper
accounts, and official records to construct this frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb.
In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell
Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate
private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind
we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature
Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union (488 pages) (Louisiana State University Press). Description:
This fascinating social history reveals that while the Yanks and the Rebs fought for very different causes, the men on both
sides were very much the same. "This wonderfully interesting book is the finest memorial the Union soldier is ever likely
to have. . . . [Wiley] has written about the Northern troops with an admirable objectivity, with sympathy and understanding
and profound respect for their fighting abilities. He has also written about them with fabulous learning and considerable
pace and humor.
COLLECTOR'S SET! Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command.
3 volume LEATHER BOUND set accented in 22kt gold! The perfect gift
for the Civil War buff!
Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: American Civil War Infantry Organization of Union
and Confederate Armies History, Army Forces Infantry Strategy Tactics Battle Formations, Life as a Civil War Infantry Soldier,
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