View Full Version : Outstanding Civil War Units-Nominations

Albany Rifles
11 Apr 12,, 19:08
When people talk about the ACW talk invariably turns to “best” units and famous units. A casual study of the literature finds a plethora of regimental and brigade histories. There is little doubt about fame, most of it justified, of some of the units which fought in the East.


The Irish Brigade
The Jersey Brigade
The Iron Brigade
The Excelsior Brigade
The Vermont Brigade
The Wolverine Brigade
The Pennsylvania Bucktails
Sykes’ Regulars


The Stonewall Brigade
Gregg’s Brigade
Cobb’s Legion
The Texas Brigade

These are the ones just off the top of my head.

But if you turn your eyes westward you can see there were some great brigades on both sides which fought in the West.


Hazen’s Brigade Army of the Cumberland
Regular Brigade Army of the Cumberland
Lawler’s Iowa Brigade Army of the Tennessee
Thayer’s Iowa Brigade Army of the Tennessee


Granbury's Texas Brigade
Cleburne’s Arkansas Brigade
Bowen’s 1st & 2nd Missouri Brigade
Forrest’s Tennessee Cavalry Brigade

What other brigades or regiments do you think have been overlooked or you think are due their day?

I would also add the 9th Massachusetts Battery, 3rd New York Light Battery, DeGolyer’s Battery, Hoopenlicker’s Battery and Dilger’s Battery as well.

Add you choices and explain why.

11 Apr 12,, 20:39
Been a while since I've looked at the Civil War, but if I remember correctly the 5th New Hampshire was a standout unit for a good while in the Army of the Potomac. I'll have to get back with some research. Don't want to forget the 20th Maine, of course, but that's sort of a gimme.

11 Apr 12,, 20:59
i've always been impressed by the history of the Irish Brigade, and the Iron Brigade.

11 Apr 12,, 21:19
Perhaps the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment?

Albany Rifles
11 Apr 12,, 22:29
Yeah, the 5th NH were a testimony to Confederate marksmanship. And I am a little partial to Mrs MacArthur's own....though I think my favorite Wisconsin regiment was the 8th Wisconsin.

12 Apr 12,, 03:44
I've always kind of been interested in the Galvanized Yankee regiments made up of CSA POW and Union POW/deserters who had been captured by the CSA and then enlisted by the CSA only to be captured again. These US volunteer infantry regiments were sent West to guard the frontier.

Of note it seems most of the former Union POW's who enlisted in the CSA were less turncoats, than men who were recent arrivals to North America who enlisted into ethnic units.

12 Apr 12,, 06:10
I don't know much about those brigades, but I've run across the Stonewall Brigade in much of my reading. It was a formidable unit, but not always at its best. Forrest's brigade was a standout also.

12 Apr 12,, 13:19
forrest brigade-- yeah, they made a splash out of proportion to their numbers but their commander seriously gives me the chills. it's too damn bad the US, post-war, didn't throw the guy in prison and hang him higher than haman for war crimes.

12 Apr 12,, 14:44
IIRC,Forrest's misdeeds were blown out of proportion.
Also,what goes as cruelty is in many cases just the call of necessity.

Albany Rifles
12 Apr 12,, 15:41
IIRC,Forrest's misdeeds were blown out of proportion.


Battle of Fort Pillow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Pillow)

I will grant you some of his postwar involvement with the Klan was overblown but Fort Pillow was through and through his fault.

12 Apr 12,, 16:11
The only thing obvious from that link,as well as from what I'd read before is that killing happened.The circumstances are unclear.

Albany Rifles
12 Apr 12,, 16:26
Numerous investigations post war as well as recent scholarship confirm Forrest made no attempts to stop the killing and gave his tacit agreement.

If it had been a later war I have no doubt that Forrest, along with Mahone for how his division behaved at the Crater, would have been tried for war crimes post war. That the Federal forces chose not to pursue trials was a direct result of Lincoln's policies for reuniting the country.

While I respect Forrest for his ability as a combat commander there is no excuse for his refusal to halt the killing at Fort Pillow.

02 Nov 12,, 11:50
In addition to the already mentioned (with which I have very little disagreement):

Rockbridge Virginia Artillery
Pelham's Virginia Horse Battery
Hardaway's Alabama Battery
Norfolk Light Artillery Blues
Mosby's 75th Virginia Partisan Rangers
1st Virginia Cavalry (Blackhorse)
Hampton's Cavalry Brigade
Wheeler's Cavalry Brigade
Orphan Brigade
Louisiana Tigers
Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade
Pender's Light Division

Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Stoneman's Cavalry
54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry
Berdan's Sharpshooters
13th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry (Bucktails)
20th Maine Infantry
1st Minnesota Infantry
Battery B, 4th US Artillery

Albany Rifles
14 Nov 12,, 19:27

While I like you list (especially Wilder's selection) can you expand some on why you chose those?

And here is a little something on Z's Galvanized Yankees.


Albany Rifles
14 Nov 12,, 19:42
The Veteran Reserve Corps

(originally The Invalid Corps)

The Invalid Corps, which was the forerunner of the Veteran Reserve Corps, was organized under authority of General Order No. 105, War Department, dated 28 Apr 1863. A similar corps had existed in Revolutionary times.

The Invalid Corps of the Civil War period was created to make suitable use in a military or semi-military capacity of soldiers who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds or disease contracted in line of duty, but who were still fit for garrison or other light duty, and were, in the opinion of their commanding officers, meritorious and deserving.

Those serving in the Invalid Corps were divided into two classes; Class 1, partially disable soldiers whose periods of service had not yet expired, and who were transferred directly to the Corps there to complete their terms of enlistment; Class 2, soldiers who had been discharged from the service on account of wounds, disease, or other disabilities, but who were yet able to perform light military duty and desired to do so. As the war went on, it proved that the additions to the Corps hardly equalled the losses by discharge or otherwise, so it was finally ordered that the men who had had two years of honorable service in the Army or Marine Corps might enlist in the Invalid Corps without regard to disability.

The soldiers shown in the rosters of the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry where they originally enlisted and who then transferred to the V. R. C. belong to Class 1. The Title Veteran Reserve Corps was substituted for that of Invalid Corps by General Order No. 111, dated 18 Mar 1864.

The men serving in the Veteran Reserve Corps were organized into two battalions, the First Battalion including those whose disabilities were comparatively slight and who were still able to handle a musket and do some marching, also to perform guard or provost duty. The Second Battalion was made up of men whose disabilities were more serious, who had perhaps lost limbs or suffered some other grave injury. These latter were commonly employed as cooks, orderlies, nurses, or guards in public buildings. There were from first to last from two to three times as many men in the First Battalion as in the Second, and the soldiers in the First Battalion performed a wide variety of duties. They furnished guards for the Confederate prison camps at Johnson’s Island, OH, Elmira, NY, Point Lookout, MD, and elsewhere. They furnished details to the provost marshals to arrest bounty jumpers and to enforce the draft. They escorted substitutes, recruits, and prisoners to and from the front. They guarded railroads, did patrol duty in Washington DC, and even manned the defenses of the city during Early’s raid in July, 1864.

There were first and last twenty-four regiments in the Corps. In the beginning each regiment was made up of six companies of the First Battalion and four of the Second Battalion, but in the latter part of the war, this method of organization was not strictly adhered to. The 18th Regiment, for example, which rendered exceptionally good service at Belle Plain, Port Royal, and White House Landing, VA, in the spring and early summer of 1864, and in or near Washington DC in the latter part of the summer and through the fall of that year, was made up of only six Second Battalion companies.

Further information on the Veteran Reserve Corps may be found in Volume V, Series III, of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, pages 543 to 568.

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