Stuff

"His staff was small and efficient. 1 suppose that at this date there are some hundreds of men in the South who call themselves members of Lee's staff, and so they were if teamsters, sentry men, detailed quartermasters (commissary men), couriers and orderlies, and all the rest of the following of general headquarters of a great army are to be so considered. But by staff we usually confine ourselves to those responsible officers immediately about a general, and Lee had selected carefully. Four majors (afterwards lieutenant-colonels and colonels) did the principal work." These were aides de camps and adjutants, while the army staff also included such individuals as the chief of artillery, chief commissary, chief ordnance officer, and chief surgeon.

Not only were these too few officers to adequately perform the staff work lor such a large force; but the men picked usually had civilian backgrounds - they were often, in fact, relatives of the general, with little knowledge and inadequate training for their jobs. E.Porter Alexander thought that this was one cause of the piecemeal attacks made by the army in the Wilderness: "I think this is but one more illustration of one of the inherent weaknesses of our army in its lack of an abundance of trained & professional soldiers in the staff corps to make constant studies of all matters of detail."

Pickett's divisional staff at Gettysburg included three aides, a chief of the division pioneer corps, a provost marshal, an assistant adjutant & inspector general and an assistant adjutant general, a commissary of subsistence, a chief ordnance officer, a chief surgeon, a quartermaster, and a paymaster. Enlisted men filled the posts of division postmaster, blacksmith, pioneers, headquarters guards, provost guards, clerks, teamsters, ordnance train guards, and commissary and commissary train workers.

Brigade staffs were even smaller, with most generals having simply an aide-de-camp, an assistant adjutant general, a quartermaster, a commissary of subsistence, an ordnance officer, and a couple of couriers, clerks, and wagoners. Some brigade staffs also included postmasters, surgeons, provost marshals, and assistant inspector generals.

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