By J. Boone Bartholomees
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Extra info for Buff facings and gilt buttons: staff and headquarters operations in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865
Jeffry Wert thinks Lee had an unprofessional general staff that was too small and included many men of limited ability. Wert concluded an article about the Page xiv Army of Northern Virginia staff with the observation that they did little to help Lee; however, the general never thought to demand more. 3 American Civil War staffs did not equal their European counterparts in either training or efficiency, but they were not all as abominable as either contemporary or modern critics imply. In 1866 and 1870 the German general staff mobilized, armed, equipped, moved, deployed, and fought large armies with an ease and efficiency that must have amazed ex-Confederates.
Another soldier estimated that twenty staff officers and couriers actually accompanied Stuart on the battlefield. 20 Division and brigade headquarters varied radically in how large a staff they reported. On the same November 1862 return cited above, Lafayette McLaws's division showed thirty-five staff officers present for duty, while John B. Hood reported sixteen. Major General Charles W. Field's staff and couriers on one battlefield in 1864 totaled nine men. Brigade headquarters strengths are even more difficult to pin down.
Chamberlayne, an artillery battalion assistant adjutant general, wrote home, "that is he tells me to do this or that, anything that comes to hand, I have no specific duty as a member of his staff, and am not really on it; but being aid or adjutant of Col. Walker who is on Gen. Hill's staff, why, as long as our quarters are with the General he uses my services, specially in the absence of his regular staff. "23 Lee might have preferred to move about alone, and using available officers as Hill did was efficient, but being forced to borrow officers to perform essential duties meant that staffs were too small.
Buff facings and gilt buttons: staff and headquarters operations in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 by J. Boone Bartholomees