On-the-Job Training: The Army of the Potomac at the Start of the Gettysburg Campaign

War can be very unforgiving. It doesn’t stop just because you’re new, and the more experience one has, generally speaking, the better one performs. Yet, war also leads to attrition. Officers are killed and wounded and have to be replaced. Some officers lack the competence to be successful at a particular level and have to be replaced. This happened several times at several levels throughout the war, and replacing one officer leads to the need to replace that officer’s replacement, leading to a ripple effect throughout the ranks.

Let’s take a look at this using the example of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg Campaign. How many of us have thought about the experience level of key commanders during that campaign? Men new to their positions had to learn how to do their jobs on the fly.

Let’s look at these new men. Below, those who are new to their positions are bolded in red. Take a look at how many men have less than three months of experience in their positions and ponder how that would affect performance. Also, pay attention to which units were moved to other brigades between Chancellorsville and Gettysburg and think about what effect that would have on brigade cohesion in a battle. I didn’t highlight men who made lateral moves, as they may be new to units but were not new to the position of responsibility. I also highlighted those whose first battle was Gettysburg.

The commander on the eve of the campaign was Major General Joseph Hooker, who had taken command on January 26, 1863. He had commanded the army in the Battle of Chancellorsville in May of that year. In the wake of that defeat, Hooker had blamed three of his senior commanders for losing the battle: Oliver O. Howard, commander of the Eleventh Corps, John Sedgwick, commander of the Sixth Corps, and George Stoneman, commander of the Cavalry Corps. This attack on his senior commanders became known to the army’s senior leadership.

Commanding the First Corps was Major General John F. Reynolds, who had commanded the corps from September 29, 1862.

Here’s their order of battle:

First Division: Brig. General James Wadsworth (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Solomon Meredith (unchanged from Chancellorsville; previously Fourth Brigade)

19th Indiana, Colonel Samuel J. Williams (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
24th Michigan, Colonel Henry A. Morrow (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
2nd Wisconsin, Colonel Lucius Fairchild (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
6th Wisconsin, Lt. Colonel Rufus R. Dawes (replaced Colonel Edward S. Bragg after Chancellorsville)
7th Wisconsin, Colonel William W. Robinson (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Lysander Cutler (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

7th Indiana, Colonel Ira G. Grover (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
76th New York, Major Andrew J. Grover (replaced Colonel William Wainwright after Chancellorsville)
84th New York (14th Brooklyn), Colonel Edward B. Fowler (unchanged from Chancellorsville; moved from another brigade)
95th New York, Colonel George Biddle (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
147th New York, Lt. Colonel Francis C. Miller (replaced Colonel John Butler after Chancellorsville)
56th Pennsylvania, Colonel J. William Hofmann (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General John C. Robinson (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Gabriel R. Paul (moved from First Division, Third Brigade to replace Colonel Adrian Root)

16th Maine, Colonel Charles W. Tilton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
13th Massachusetts, Colonel Samuel H. Leonard (moved from another brigade, replaced Colonel N. Walter Batchelder)
94th New York, Colonel Adrian Root (reverted back to regimental command after Chancellorsville)
104th New York, Colonel Gilbert C. Prey (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
107th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel James MacThomson (replaced Colonel Thomas McCoy after Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Henry Baxter (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

12th Massachusetts, Colonel James L. Bates (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
83rd New York, Lt. Colonel Joseph A. Moesch (unchanged from Chancellorsville; moved from another brigade)
97th New York, Colonel Charles Wheelock (unchanged from Chancellorsville; moved from another brigade)
11th Pennsylvania, Colonel Richard Coulter (unchanged from Chancellorsville; moved from another brigade)
88th Pennsylvania, Major Benezet Foust (replaced Lt. Colonel Louis Wagner after Chancellorsville; moved from another brigade)
90th Pennsylvania, Colonel Peter Lyle (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Division: Major General Abner Doubleday (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Thomas Rowley (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

80th New York, Colonel Theodore B. Gates (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Provost Guard.
121st Pennsylvania, Major Alexander Biddle (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
142nd Pennsylvania, Colonel Robert P. Cummins (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
151st Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Goerge F. McFarland (replaced Colonel Harrison Allen after Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Roy Stone (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

143rd Pennsylvania, Colonel Edmund Dana (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
149th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Walton Dwight (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
150th Pennsylvania, Col. Langhorne Wister (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General George J. Stannard (Gettysburg is first battle)

12th Vermont, Colonel Asa Blunt (Gettysburg is first battle)
13th Vermont, Colonel Francis V. Randall (Gettysburg is first battle)
14th Vermont, Colonel William T. Nichols (Gettysburg is first battle)
15th Vermont, Colonel Redfield Proctor (Gettysburg is first battle)
16th Vermont, Colonel Wheelock G. Veasey (Gettysburg is first battle)

Darius Couch had resigned as commander of the Second Corps after Chancellorsville, saying he would never again serve under Hooker. His replacement, Winfield Scott Hancock, took command on May 22, 1863, a mere 39 days before the Battle of Gettysburg began. Hancock was the junior infantry corps commander of the Army of the Potomac for this campaign. Hancock had commanded the First Division of the Second Corps. He was replaced by Brigadier General John C. Caldwell, who also took command on May 22, 1863.

Here is the Second Corps’ order of battle:

First Division: Brig. General John C. Caldwell (took command May 22, 1863 replaced Maj. General Winfield Scott Hancock, promoted to corps command)

First Brigade: Colonel Edward E. Cross Brought from Fifth Brigade, replaced Brig. General John C. Caldwell, promoted to division command

5th New Hampshire, Lt. Col Charles E. Hapgood (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Brought in from Fifth Brigade
61st New York, Lt. Colonel K. Oscar Broady (replaced Colonel Nelson Miles, wounded at Chancellorsville)
81st Pennsylvania, Col. H. Boyd McKeen (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Brought from Fifth Brigade
148th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Robert McFarlane (replaced Colonel James A. Beaver, wounded at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Patrick Kelly (replaced Brig. General Thomas Meagher after Chancellorsville)

28th Massachusetts, Colonel R. Byrnes (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
63rd New York, Lt. Colonel Richard C. Bentley (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
69th New York, Captain Richard Moroney (replaced Captain James E. McGee after Chancellorsville)
88th New York, Captain Denis F. Burke (replaced Colonel Patrick Kelly who moved to brigade command) Brought in from Fifth Brigade
116th Pennsylvania, Major St. Clair A. Mulholland (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General Samuel K. Zook (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

52nd New York, Lt. Colonel C. G. Freudenberg (Replaced Colonel Paul Frank after Chancellorsville)
57th New York, Lt. Colonel Alford B. Chapman (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
66th New York, Colonel Orlando H. Morris (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from First Brigade
140th Pennsylvania, Colonel Richard P. Roberts (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Fourth Brigade: Colonel John R. Brooke (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

27th Connecticut, Lt. Colonel Henry C. Merwin (replaced Colonel Richard S. Bostwick who was captured at Chancellorsville)
2nd Delaware, Colonel William P. Bailey (replaced Lt. Colonel David L. Stricker after Chancellorsville)
64th New York, Colonel Daniel G. Bingham (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
53rd Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Richards McMichael (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
145th Pennsylvania, Colonel Hiram L. Brown (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General John Gibbon (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. Gen. William Harrow (replaced Brig. General Alfred Sully after Chancellorsville)

19th Maine, Colonel Francis E. Heath (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
15th Massachusetts, Colonel George H. Ward (replaced Major George C. Joslin after Chancellorsville–resumed command, had been recuperating from loss of leg since October 21, 1861)
1st Minnesota, Colonel William Colville, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
82nd New York, Lt. Colonel James Huston (replaced Colonel Henry W. Hudson after Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Alexander S. Webb (replaced Brig. General Joshua T. Owen June 28, 1863)

69th Pennsylvania, Colonel Dennis O’Kane (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
71st Pennsylvania, Colonel Richard P. Smith (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
72nd Pennsylvania, Colonel DeWitt C. Baxter (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
106th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel William L. Curry (replaced Colonel Turner G. Morehead after Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Colonel Norman J. Hall (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

19th Massachusetts, Colonel Arthur F. Devereux (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
20th Massachusetts, Colonel Paul J. Revere (resumed command after Chancellorsville, had originally taken command April 14, 1863)
7th Michigan, Lt. Colonel Amos E. Steele, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
42nd New York, Colonel James E. Mallon (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
59th New York, Lt. Colonel Max A. Thoman (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Division: Brig. General Alexander Hays (replaced Maj. General William French June 28, 1863)

First Brigade: Colonel Samuel S. Carroll (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

14th Indiana, Colonel John Coons (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
4th Ohio, Lt. Colonel Leonard W. Carpenter (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
8th Ohio, Lt. Colonel Franklin Sawyer (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
7th West Virginia, Lt. Colonel Jonathan H. Lockwood (replaced Colonel Joseph Snider at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Thomas A. Smyth (replaced Brig. General William Hays after Chancellorsville)

14th Connecticut, Major Theodore G. Ellis (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
1st Delaware, Lt. Colonel Edward P. Harris (replaced Colonel Thomas Smyth who moved to brigade command) Moved from Third Brigade
12th New Jersey, Major John T. Hill (replaced Colonel J. Howard Willets who was wounded at Chancellorsville)
108th New York, Lt. Colonel Francis E. Pierce (replaced Colonel Charles J. Powers after Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Colonel George L. Willard (captured at Harpers Ferry, exchanged, joined Army of the Potomac June 28, 1863)

39th New York, Major Hugo Hildebrandt (captured at Harpers Ferry, exchanged, joined Army of the Potomac June 28, 1863)
111th New York, Colonel Clinton D. MacDougall (captured at Harpers Ferry, exchanged, joined Army of the Potomac June 28, 1863)
125th New York, Lt. Colonel Levin Crandell (captured at Harpers Ferry, exchanged, joined Army of the Potomac June 28, 1863)
126th New York, Colonel Eliakim Sherrill (captured at Harpers Ferry, exchanged, joined Army of the Potomac June 28, 1863)

The Third Corps commander, Major General Daniel E. Sickles, had been in command since February 5, 1863. He was the only non-West Pointer among the high command of the Army of the Potomac, being a politician who raised and outfitted a brigade at his own expense. He led this corps in the Battle of Chancellorsville.

The Third Corps order of battle was:

First Division: Maj. General David B. Birney (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Charles K. Graham (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

57th Pennsylvania, Colonel Peter Sides (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
63rd Pennsylvania, Major John A. Danks (replaced Lt. Colonel William S. Kirkwood who was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville)
68th Pennsylvania, Colonel Andrew H. Tippin (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
105th Pennsylvania, Colonel Calvin A. Craig (replaced Colonel Amor A. McKnight at Chancellorsville. McKnight killed there)
114th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Frederick F. Cavada (replaced Colonel Charles H. T. Collis after Chancellorsville)
141st Pennsylvania, Colonel Henry J. Madill (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General J. H. Hobart Ward (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

20th Indiana, Colonel John Wheeler (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
3rd Maine, Colonel Moses B. Lakeman (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
4th Maine, Colonel Elijah Walker (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
86th New York, Lt. Colonel Benjamin L. Higgins (replaced Lt. Colonel Barna J. Chapin killed at Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
124th New York, Colonel Augustus Van Horne Ellis (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
99th Pennsylvania, Major John W. Moore (replaced Colonel Asher S. Leidy after Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Colonel Regis de Trobriand (replaced Colonel Samuel Hayman on June 3, 1863)

17th Maine, Lt. Colonel Charles B. Merrill (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
3rd Michigan, Colonel Byron R. Pierce (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
5th Michigan, Lt. Colonel John Pulford (replaced Lt. Colonel Edward T. Sherlock, killed at Chancellorsville)
40th New York, Colonel Thomas W. Egan (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
110th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel David M. Jones (replaced Colonel James Crowther, killed at Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division, Second Brigade

Second Division: Brig. General Andrew A. Humphreys (replaced Major General Hiram Berry, killed at Chancellorsville. Took command May 23, 1863)

First Brigade: Brig. General Joseph B. Carr (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

1st Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Clark B. Baldwin (replaced Colonel Napoleon B. McLaughlen after Chancellorsville)
11th Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Porter D. Tripp (replaced Colonel William Blaisdell after Chancellorsville)
16th Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Waldo Merriam (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
12th New Hampshire, Captain John F. Langley (replaced Colonel Joseph H. Potter, wounded at Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division, Second Brigade
11th New Jersey, Colonel Robert McAllister (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
26th Pennsylvania, Major Robert L. Bodine (replaced Colonel Benjamin C. Tilghman, wounded at Chancellorsville)
84th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Milton Opp (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division, Second Brigade

Second Brigade: Colonel William R. Brewster (replaced Brig General Joseph Revere after Chancellorsville)

70th New York, Colonel J. Egbert Farnum (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
71st New York, Colonel Henry L. Potter (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
72nd New York, Colonel John S. Austin (replaced Colonel William Stevens, killed at Chancellorsville)
73rd New York, Major Michael W. Burns (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
74th New York, Lt. Colonel Thomas Holt (Replaced Lt. Colonel William H. Lounsbury, wounded at Chancellorsville)
120th New York, Lt. Colonel Cornelius D. Westbrook (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Colonel George C. Burling (replaced Brig. General Gershom Mott, wounded at Chancellorsville)

2nd New Hampshire, Colonel Edward L. Bailey (rejoined the Army of the Potomac after Chancellorsville)
5th New Jersey, Colonel William J. Sewell (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
6th New Jersey, Lt. Colonel Stephen B. Gilkyson (replaced Colonel George C. Burling, promoted to brigade command)
7th New Jersey, Colonel Louis R. Francine (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
8th New Jersey, Colonel John Ramsey (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
115th Pennsylvania, Major John P. Dunne (replaced Colonel Francis Lancaster, killed at Chancellorsville)

The Fifth Corps was commanded by Major General George G. Meade, called a “goggle-eyed snapping turtle” by some of his men. Meade first took command of the corps on December 25, 1862 and had held it except for three brief leaves of absence since then. As the campaign commenced, Meade was the near unanimous choice of the senior commanders of the Army of the Potomac to take command of that army instead of keeping Joe Hooker in command.

The Fifth Corps order of battle was:

First Division: Brig. General James Barnes (replaced Brig. General Charles Griffin, who was home on sick leave, after Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Colonel William S. Tilton (replaced Brig. General James Barnes who went to division command)

18th Massachusetts, Colonel Joseph Hayes (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
22nd Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Thomas Sherwin, Jr. (replaced Colonel William S. Tilton, who wen to brigade command)
1st Michigan, Colonel Ira C. Abbott (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
118th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel James Gwyn (replaced Colonel Charles M. Prevost after Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Jacob B. Sweitzer (replaced Colonel James McQuade after Chancellorsville)

9th Massachusetts, Colonel Patrick R. Guiney (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
32nd Massachusetts, Colonel G. L. Prescott (replaced Lt. Colonel Luther Stephenson after Chancellorsville)
4th Michigan, Colonel Harrison H. Jeffords (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
62nd Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel James C. Hull (replaced Colonel Jacob B. Sweitzer, moved to brigade command)

Third Brigade: Colonel Strong Vincent (replaced Colonel Thomas B. W. Stockton after Chancellorsville)

20th Maine, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
16th Michigan, Lt. Colonel Norval E. Welch (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
44th New York, Colonel James C. Rice (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
83rd Pennsylvania, Captain Orpheus S. Woodward (replaced Colonel Strong Vincent, moved to brigade command)

Second Division: Maj. General George Sykes (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade, Brig. General Romeyn B. Ayres (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

3rd United States, Captain Henry W. Freedley (replaced Captain John D. Wilkins after Chancellorsville)
4th United States, Captain Julius W. Adams, Jr. (replaced Captain Hiram Driver after Chancellorsville)
6th United States, Captain Levi C. Bootes (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
12th United States, Captain Thomas S. Dunn (replaced Major Richard S. Smith after Chancellorsville)
14th United States, Major Grotius R. Giddings (replaced Captain Jonathan V. Hager at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Sidney Burbank (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

2nd United States, Major Arthur T. Lee (replaced Captain Salem S. Marsh killed at Chancellorsville)
7th United States, Captain David P. Hancock (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
10th United States, Captain William Clinton (replaced Lieutenant Edward G. Bush after Chancellorsville)
11th United States, Major DeLancy Floyd-Jones (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
17th United States, Lt. Colonel J. Durell Greene (replaced Major George Andrews wounded at Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General Stephen H. Weed (artillerist, promoted from captain to brigadier general and named to brigade command on June 6, 1863)

140th New York, Colonel Patrick O’Rorke (returned to regimental command from brigade command)
146th New York, Colonel Kenner Garrard (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
91st Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Joseph Sinex (replaced Colonel Edgar Gregory, wounded at Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
155th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel John H. Cain (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division Second Brigade

Third Division: Brig. General Samuel W. Crawford (replaced Brig. General Andrew Humphreys after Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Colonel William McCandless (added to Fifth Corps June 26)

1st Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel William C. Talley (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
2nd Pennsylvania Reserves, Lt. Colonel George A. Woodward (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
6th Pennsylvania Reserves, Lt. Colonel Wellington H. Ent (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
13th Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Charles F. Tayler (added to Fifth Corps June 26)

Third Brigade: Colonel Joseph W. Fisher (added to Fifth Corps June 26)

5th Pennsylvania Reserves, Lt. Colonel George Dare (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
9th Pennsylvania Reserves, Lt. Colonel James Snodgrass (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
10th Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Adoniram J. Warner (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
11th Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Samuel M. Jackson (added to Fifth Corps June 26)
12th Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Martin D. Hardin (added to Fifth Corps June 26)

The Sixth Corps commander, Major General John “Uncle John” Sedgwick, had command since February 5, 1863.

The Sixth Corps order of battle was:

First Division: Brig. General Horatio G. Wright (replaced Brig. General William T. H. Brooks May 23, 1863)

First Brigade: Brig. General Alfred T. A. Torbert (regained command June 27, 1863)

1st New Jersey, Lt. Colonel William Henry, Jr. (replaced Colonel Mark W. Collet killed at Chancellorsville)
2nd New Jersey, Lt. Colonel Charles Wiebecke (replaced Colonel Samuel L. Buck after Chancellorsville)
3rd New Jersey, Lt. Colonel Edward L. Campbell (replaced Major J. W. H. Stickney after Chancellorsville)
15th New Jersey, Colonel William H. Penrose (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Joseph J. Bartlett (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

5th Maine, Colonel Clark S. Edwards (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
121st New York, Colonel Emory Upton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
95th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Edward Carroll (replaced Colonel Gustavus W. Town killed at Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Brigade
96th Pennsylvania, Major William H. Lessig (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General David A. Russell (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

6th Maine, Colonel Hiram Burnham (reverted to regimental command from command of Light Division at Chancellorsville)
49th Pennsylvania: Lt. Colonel Thomas M. Hulings (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
119th Pennsylvania, Colonel Peter C. Ellmaker (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
5th Wisconsin, Colonel Thomas S. Allen (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General Albion P. Howe (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Lewis A. Grant (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

2nd Vermont, Colonel James H. Walbridge (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
3rd Vermont, Colonel Thomas O. Seaver (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
4th Vermont, Colonel Charles B. Stoughton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
5th Vermont, Lt. Colonel John R. Lewis (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
6th Vermont, Colonel Elisha L. Barney (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General Thomas H. Neill (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

7th Maine, Lt. Colonel Selden Connor (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
33rd New York, Captain Henry J. Gifford (replaced Colonel Robert F. Taylor after Chancellorsville)
43rd New York, Lt. Colonel John Wilson (replaced Colonel Benjamin F. Baker after Chancellorsville) Moved from Light Division
49th New York, Colonel Daniel D. Bidwell (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
77th New York, Lt. Colonel Winsor B. French (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
61st Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel George F. Smith (replaced Colonel George Spear killed at Chancellorsville)

Third Division: Maj. General John Newton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Alexander Shaler (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

65th New York, Colonel Joseph E. Hamblin (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
67th New York, Colonel Nelson Cross (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
122nd New York, Colonel Silas Titus (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
23rd Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel John F. Glenn (replaced Colonel John Ely after Chancellorsville)
82nd Pennsylvania, Colonel Isaac C. Bassett (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Henry L. Eustis (replaced Colonel William Browne wounded at Chancellorsville)

7th Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Franklin P. Harlow (replaced Colonel Thomas D. Johns wounded at Chancellorsville)
10th Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Joseph B. Parsons (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
37th Massachusetts, Colonel Oliver Edwards (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
2nd Rhode Island, Colonel Horatio Rogers, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General Frank Wheaton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

62nd New York, Colonel David J. Nevin (replaced Lt. Colonel Theodore Hamilton wounded at Chancellorsville)
93rd Pennsylvania, Major John I. Nevin (replaced Captain John S. Long after Chancellorsville)
98th Pennsylvania, Major John B. Kohler (replaced Colonel John F. Ballier wounded at Chancellorsville)
102nd Pennsylvania, Colonel John W. Patterson (replaced Colonel Joseph M. Kinkead after Chancellorsville)
139th Pennsylvania, Colonel Frederick H. Collier (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Major General Oliver Otis Howard commanded the Eleventh Corps. He was comparatively new to this command, having taken over on April 2, 1863. He did, however, lead the corps at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Here’s the Eleventh Corps order of battle:

First Division: Brig. General Francis C. Barlow (replaced Brig. General Charles Devens, Jr. on May 24, 1863)

First Brigade: Colonel Leopold von Gilsa (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

41st New York, Colonel Detleo von Einsiedel (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
54th New York, Major Stephen Kovacs (replaced Lt. Colonel Charles Ashby captured at Chancellorsville)
68th New York, Colonel Gotthilf Bourry (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
153rd Pennsylvania, Major John F. Frueauff (replaced Colonel Charles Glanz captured at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Adelbert Ames (replaced Brig. General Nathaniel McLean May 24, 1863)

17th Connecticut, Lt. Colonel Douglas Fowler (replaced Colonel William H. Noble wounded at Chancellorsville)
25th Ohio, Lt. Colonel Jeremiah Williams (replaced Colonel William P. Richardson wounded at Chancellorsville)
75th Ohio, Colonel Andrew L. Harris (replaced Colonel Robert Reily killed at Chancellorsville)
107th Ohio, Colonel Seraphim Meyer (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General Adolph von Steinwehr (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Colonel Charles R. Coster (replaced Colonel Adolphus Buschbeck after Chancellorsville)

134th New York, Lt. Colonel Allan H. Jackson (replaced Colonel Charles R. Coster moved to brigade command) Moved from Second Brigade
154th New York, Lt. Colonel D. B. Allen (replaced Colonel Patrick H. Jones wounded at Chancellorsville)
27th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Lorenz Cantador (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
73rd Pennsylvania, Capt. D. F. Kelley (replaced Lt. Colonel William Moore wounded at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Orland Smith (replaced Brig. General Francis C. Barlow promoted to division command)

33rd Massachusetts, Colonel Adin B. Underwood (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
136th New York, Colonel James Wood, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
55th Ohio, Colonel Charles B. Gambee (replaced Colonel John Lee after Chancellorsville) Moved from First Division Second Brigade
73rd Ohio, Lt. Colonel Richard Long (replaced Colonel Orland Smith promoted to brigade command) Moved from First Brigade

Third Division: Maj. General Carl Schurz (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Brig. General Alexander Schimmelfennig (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

82nd Illinois, Lt. Colonel Edward S. Salomon (replaced Colonel Frederick Hecker wounded at Chancellorsville)
45th New York, Colonel George von Amsberg (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from First Division First Brigade
157th New York, Colonel Philip B. Brown, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
61st Ohio, Colonel Stephen J. McGroarty (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
74th Pennsylvania, Colonel Adolph von Hartung (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Wladimir Krzyzanowski (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

58th New York, Lt. Colonel August Otto (replaced Captain Frederick Braun mortally wounded at Chancellorsville)
119th New York, Colonel John T. Lockman (replaced Colonel Elias Peissner killed at Chancellorsville)
82nd Ohio, Colonel James S. Robinson (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Unattached at Chancellorsville
75th Pennsylvania, Colonel Francis Mahler (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
26th Wisconsin, Lt. Colonel Hans Boebel (replaced Colonel William H. Jacobs after Chancellorsville)

The Twelfth Corps was commanded by Major General Henry W. Slocum, who had taken charge of the corps on October 20, 1862.

Here’s their order of battle:

First Division: Brig. General Alpheus S. Williams (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Colonel Archibald L. McDougall (replaced Brig. General Joseph Knipe after Chancellorsville)

5th Connecticut, Colonel Warren W. Packer (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
20th Connecticut, Lt. Colonel William B. Wooster (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
3rd Maryland, Colonel Joseph M. Sudsburg (replaced Lt. Colonel Gilbert P. Robinson after Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
123rd New York, Lt. Colonel James C. Rogers (replaced Colonel Archibald L. McDougall after Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
145th New York, Colonel E. L. Price (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
46th Pennsylvania, Colonel James L. Selfridge (replaced Major Cyrus Strous mortally wounded at Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Henry H. Lockwood (replaced Colonel Samuel Ross June 26, 1863)

1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade, Colonel William P. Maulsby (New to the Army of the Potomac)
1st Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry, Colonel James Wallace (New to the Army of the Potomac)
150th New York, Colonel John H. Ketcham (Gettysburg is their first battle)

Third Brigade: Brig. General Thomas H. Ruger (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

27th Indiana, Colonel Silas Colgrove (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
2nd Massachusetts, Lt. Colonel Charles R. Mudge (replaced Colonel Samuel M. Quincy after Chancellorsville)
13th New Jersey, Colonel Ezra A. Carman (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
107th New York, Colonel Nirom M. Crane (replaced Colonel Alexander S. Diven after Chancellorsville)
3rd Wisconsin, Colonel William Hawley (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General John W. Geary (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

First Brigade: Colonel Charles Candy (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

5th Ohio, Colonel John H. Patrick (replaced Lt. Colonel Robert L. Kilpatrick wounded at Chancellorsville)
7th Ohio, Colonel William r. Creighton (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
29th Ohio, Captain Wilbur F. Stevens (replaced Lt. Colonel Thomas Clark after Chancellorsville)
66th Ohio, Lt. Colonel Eugene Powell (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
28th Pennsylvania, Captain John Flynn (replaced Major Lansford F. Chapman killed at Chancellorsville)
147th Pennsylvania, Lt. Colonel Ario Pardee, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Brig. General Thomas L. Kane (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

29th Pennsylvania, Colonel William Rickards, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
109th Pennsylvania, Captain F. L. Gimber (replaced Colonel Henry J. Stainrook killed at Chancellorsville)
111th Pennsylvania, Colonel George A. Cobham, Jr. (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Third Brigade: Brig. General George Sears Greene (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

60th New York, Colonel Abel Godard (replaced Lt. Colonel John C. O. Redington after Chancellorsville)
78th New York, Lt. Colonel Herbert von Hammerstein (replaced Major Henry R. Stagg after Chancellorsville)
102nd New York, Colonel James C. Lane (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
137th New York, Colonel David Ireland (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
149th New York, Colonel Henry A. Barnum (regained command after Chancellorsville)

After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Joseph Hooker was not happy with Brig. General George Stoneman’s handling of the cavalry corps, and he brought in Brig. General Alfred Pleasonton to replace Stoneman. Pleasonton took command on May 22, 1863. On taking command. Pleasonton next made his most important contribution to the ultimate victory of the Army of the Potomac over the Army of Northern Virginia. He promoted three captains to the rank of brigadier general: Wesley Merritt, George Armstrong Custer, and Elon Farnsworth, and gave them brigade commands.

The cavalry’s order of battle, then, became:

First Division: Brig. General John Buford (replaced Brig. General Alfred Pleasonton promoted to command Cavalry Corps May 22, 1863)

First Brigade: Colonel William Gamble (replaced Colonel Benjamin Davis May 27, 1863)

8th Illinois Cav, Major John L. Beveridge (replaced Lt. Colonel David R. Clendenin after Chancellorsville)
12th Illinois/3rd Indiana Cav, Colonel George H. Chapman (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
8th New York Cav, Lt. Colonel William L. Markell (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

Second Brigade: Colonel Thomas C. Devin (unchanged from Chancellorsville)

6th New York Cav, Major William E. Beardsley (replaced Lt. Colonel Duncan McVicar killed at Chancellorsville)
9th New York Cav, Colonel William Sackett (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from First Brigade
17th Pennsylvania Cav, Colonel Josiah H. Kellogg (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
3rd West Virginia Cav, Captain Seymour B. Conger (transferred from the Valley)

Reserve Brigade: Brig. General Wesley Merritt (replaced Brig. General John Buford promoted to division command June 28, 1863)

6th Pennsylvania Cav, Major James H. Haseltine (replaced Major Robert Morris after Chancellorsville)
1st United States Cav, Captain Richard S. C. Lord (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
2nd United States Cav, Captain T. F. Rodenbough (replaced Major Charles Whiting after Chancellorsville)
5th United States Cav, Captain Julius W. Mason (replaced Captain James Harrison after Chancellorsville)
6th United States Cav, Major Samuel H. Starr (replaced Captain George C. Cram after Chancellorsville)

Second Division: Brig. General David McMurtrie Gregg (replaced Brig. General William W. Averell June 28, 1863) Moved from Third Division command

First Brigade: Colonel John B. McIntosh (replaced Colonel Horace Sargent June 11, 1863) Moved from Second Brigade

1st Maryland Cav, Lt. Colonel James M. Deems (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division Second Brigade
1st Massachusetts Cav, Lt. Colonel Greely S. Curtis (unchanged from Chancellorsville)
1st New Jersey Cav, Major M. H. Beaumont (replaced Lt. Colonel Virgil Brodrick after Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division Second Brigade
1st Pennsylvania Cav, Colonel John P. Taylor (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division Second Brigade
3rd Pennsylvania Cav, Lt. Colonel E. S. Jones (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade

Second Brigade: Colonel Pennock Huey (Took command June 25, 1863, replaced Colonel John McIntosh moved to First Brigade)

2nd New York Cav, Lt. Colonel Otto Harhaus (replaced Lt. Colonel Henry Davies after Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
4th New York Cav, Lt. Colonel Augustus Pruyn (replaced Colonel Louis P. Di Cesnola after Chancellorsville) Moved from First Brigade
6th Ohio Cav, Major William Stedman (replaced Major Benjamin C. Stanhope after Chancellorsville) Moved from First Brigade
8th Pennsylvania Cav, Captain William A. Corrie (replaced Major Pennock Huey June 25, 1863) Moved from First Division Second Brigade

Third Brigade: Colonel J. Irvin Gregg (took command June 14, 1863, had taken command of Second Brigade May 13, 1863)

1st Maine Cav, Lt. Colonel Charles H. Smith (replaced Colonel Calvin S. Douty after Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
10th New York Cav, Major M. Henry Avery (replaced Lt. Colonel William Irvine after Chancellorsville) Moved from Third Division First Brigade
4th Pennsylvania Cav, Lt. Colonel William E. Doster (unchanged from Chancellorsville) Moved from Second Brigade
16th Pennsylvania Cav, Lt. Colonel John K. Robison (replaced Lt. Colonel Lorenzo D. Rogers Moved from Second Brigade

Third Division: Brig. General Judson Kilpatrick (took command June 28, 1863 replaced Brig. General David McM. Gregg moved to Second Division command)

First Brigade: Brig. General Elon J. Farnsworth (took command June 28, 1863, replaced Brig. General Judson Kilpatrick promoted to division command)

5th New York Cav, Major John Hammond (transferred from Washington defenses)
18th Pennsylvania Cav, Lt. Colonel William P. Brinton (transferred from Washington defenses)
1st Vermont Cav, Lt. Colonel Addison W. Preston (transferred from Washington defenses)
1st West Virginia Cav, Colonel Nathaniel P. Richmond (transferred from the Valley)

Second Brigade: Brig. General George A. Custer (took command June 28, 1863 replaced Colonel Percy Wyndham)

1st Michigan Cav, Colonel Charles H. Town (transferred from the Valley)
5th Michigan Cav, Colonel Russell A. Alger (transferred from Washington defenses) Gettysburg is their first battle
6th Michigan Cav, Colonel George Gray (transferred from Washington defenses) Gettysburg is their first battle
7th Michigan Cav, Colonel William D. Mann (Gettysburg is their first battle)

So on the eve of the campaign, there were many, many changes that had taken place. One important change would take place as the army was on the march into Pennsylvania. On June 28, 1863 Joseph Hooker was relieved of command and replaced by Major General George G. Meade. Meade was replaced at the head of the Fifth Corps by Major General George Sykes. Brig. General Romeyn B. Ayers replaced Sykes in command of the Second Division, and Colonel Hannibal Day replaced Ayers in command of the First Brigade.

Attrition would claim officers during the battle as well. Very early on July 1, Major General Reynolds was killed in battle, with Major General Abner Doubleday, who did not invent baseball, replacing him. Meade would soon replace Doubleday with John Newton. Other changes would take place as the battle proceeded.

Look at all that red, and that’s only before the battle begins. One can see from this the need for officers to learn the job of the next higher position in order to be prepared to take over due to attrition–or, alternatively, they need to be fast learners when placed in positions of greater responsibility. Some are able to do this, others are not. This is just one example. The Army of Northern Virginia also went through command changes at various levels, along with reorganizations and restructuring. Those officers with the flexibility and the intelligence to handle the changes would thrive. Those without would not. This explains why some officers would make mistakes during a battle–they were learning what to do at a new command level. So when you read about an officer making a mistake, check out how long he’s been in that position, and if he’s new to it. maybe we can cut him a little slack and consider he’s learning his job instead of just calling him an idiot. And if we’re looking for clues as to why a unit didn’t perform up to its normal standards, this might be one possible explanation that makes sense. Maybe this removes some of the mystery surrounding questions arising from battles.

The trick is to determine who are your best men for the next level. They might not be the top performers in their current level. It seems the Federals may have been better at figuring this out–or maybe attrition was just too high for the confederates, higher than they were able to replace with competent officers.

My sources for this include Eicher and Eicher, Civil War High Commands, Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, Stephen Sears, Gettysburg, and various NPS websites for orders of battle and unit battle summaries. I appreciate any corrections you can provide, as after awhile some of these units tended to blend together. 🙂

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8 comments

  1. bob carey · · Reply

    Al,
    I always thought that Meade got a “bad rap” for not having to destroy the ANV after Gettysburg. He was still under general orders to cover D.C. and he made his dispositions after the battle with these orders in mind. Add to this the attrition before and after the battle and you have ample reasoning for his decision making. It is unfortunate that he used the phrase “drove the enemy from our soil” in his congratulatory remarks to the AOP, this seemed to be the catalyst which lead to Lincolns’ disappointment in him, which was conveyed rather bluntly by Halleck.

    1. Lincoln had high expectations, and he could see things from looking on a map in Washington that professionals on the ground would know were not quite possible. His map didn’t show mountains to march over, nor did it show casualties or troop exhaustion or fortifications. Saying, “I’ve only been in command for five days” wasn’t a good excuse for Lincoln.

      1. bob carey · · Reply

        I would also add that Dan “The Man” Sickles was already in Washington spinning his tale and donating his leg. Gotta love the guy!!!

        1. He was colorful, at least, even if he did almost lose the battle for the Federals.

  2. You’re not the first to point to the importance of new commanders in units of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, but never have I seen it reported so thoroughly and with such graphic impact. Great job, Al.

    1. Thanks, Mark. No, I’m definitely not the first to point to that. In fact, my inspiration for the post is from others who pointed out how new Meade and Hancock were to their positions. I figured showing it would drive it home because we can hear and read about something, but seeing it really clicks with us.

  3. R.E. Mulligan · · Reply

    Please check this: I feel that Lt. Col. John Wilson replaced Col. Benj. F. Baker – 43rd NYV – 3.2.6th Corps

    1. Thanks. There was an extraneous “by” in there. I fixed it.

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