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  1. Ozzy

    General Support

    Staff Officers A General could not be everywhere at once; and he could not personally accomplish every task required of him, in managing his army, in time of Peace or War. Every General during the Civil War relied on men specifically assigned to his use to accomplish those tasks that required completion (and which the General did not have enough hours in the day to complete, on his own.) The men thus assigned, as a rule, were known as Staff Officers; and their directions and orders had the same force of Law as if issued, directly, by the General, himself. As an example, the following lists the Staff Officers of U.S. Grant at Shiloh: AAG Capt. John Rawlins Chief of Staff Col. J.D. Webster Chief of Engineers LtCol J.B. McPherson Asst Engineer Lt W. Jenney Asst Engineer Lt William Kossak Chief of Commissary Capt J.P. Hawkins AQM Capt A.S. Baxter Chief of Artillery (acting) Col. J.D. Webster Chief of Ordnance (acting) Capt W.F. Brinck Medical Director Surgeon Henry Hewitt Asst Medical Director Surgeon John Brinton (away at time of battle) Aide-de-Camp Capt W.S. Hillyer Aide-de-Camp Capt W.R. Rowley Aide-de-Camp Lt Clark Lagow VADC Col. G.G. Pride Signal Officer (acting) Lt J.B. Ludwick (arrived 6 April 1862) To be considered: because a Staff Officer acted directly as Agent for his General, his orders were “synonymous” with those issued by the General. A General would often, in after-battle reports, use the “Royal WE” (in this case – “ I “ -- ) when speaking of his actions taken during the battle, for example, “I ordered the ammunition to the front” (when a Staff Officer actually accomplished that task); or “I directed the Division to move forward” (when another Staff Officer rode to the commander of the division, and acted on the General’s behalf.) Also, when attempting to track down communications sent by the General, the identity of his Assistant Adjutant General (AAG) must be known in order to acquire the bulk of that material. Of course, Staff Officers were not the only persons – working directly for the General – who accomplished tasks on the General’s behalf (but the following “support staff” did not have “signature authority” to issue orders on the General’s behalf): Scout/ intelligence Irving Carson (also reporter for Chicago Tribune) Telegraph operator(s) George A. Purdy (operated Savannah Office of Military Telegraph) Wayne H. Parsons (arrived early April 6th from Tipton, Missouri to assist George Purdy) Leander H. Parker (arrived early April 6th from Paducah Office to assist George Purdy) Bodyguard/ orderly (unknown) Clerk Theodore S. Bowers Ordnance boat Rocket Captain John Wolfe Ordnance boat Iatan Captain William Edds Volunteer nurse Mother Mary Bickerdyke Volunteer nurse Mary Safford
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