View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 11:02 pm
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


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For Roger, Susan, Jharold  et al:


General Order #3
3 November 1862 HQ 14th Corps Army of the Cumberland

Equipment for 20 men-estimate for Regiment

6 felling axes
6 hatchets
2 Cross cut saws
2 hand saws
4 hand saw files
6 spades
2 shovels
3 picks
6 hammers
2 half inch augers
2 inch augers
2 two inch augers
20 lbs nails, assorted
40 lbs spikes assorted
one coil rope
one wagon w/ 4 horses or mules

It broke down to 2 men per company or 20 per Regiment at it's height the AoC Pioneer Brigade had about 3800 men.

"The duties assigned to them were the repair and construction of roads and bridges, the manoeuvring of the pontoon bridge equipage, the erection of fortifications, and, generally, the duties of sappers and miners.  The distinction between their duties and those of the Michigan Regiment of Mechanics and Engineers of the same army is that the Pioneers move with the advance of the army, all the work that is required devolving upon them, while the latter is cheifly employed on the lines of communication."

"...at present in the ranks of tyhe Pioneers sufficient proportions of the following named trades and specialties, -viz.: military engineers, civil engineers, railroad engineers, surveyors, architects, sailors, draftsmen, printers, bridge builders, carpenters, machinists, millwrights, wheelwrights, coopers, blacksmiths, saddlers, sawyers, woodmen; and there is no description of work that an army in the field can require, in all the multiplied occasions which arise in an enemy's country, that cannot be executed with dispatch by the brigade, which is fully equipped with the proper tools for the purposes."

Fitch, John., Annals of the Army of the Cumberland, Stackpole Books, 2003.
pg 186-191 

Brig. Gen James Morton was the commanding officer of the Pioneer Brigade who was a former professor at West Point

A wee bit more than just grunt work but real minds and common sense present from men who did such work in their civilian lives.  THe Pioneers Brigade accomplished some pretty substantial feats atthe battle of Stones River to include building three bridges.  They were also heavily engaged in support of the Chicago Trade Battery.  However the Brigade was palagued w/ some very severe ammunition issues as the men came to the Brigade w/ their arms as issued which ranged from monstrous .75 cal muskets to .54's.  At the time of Stones River their were present in its ranks:  .54, .577, .58, 69, .70, 71, and even big ole .75's!  A nightmare for any ordnance Sgt.

All things considered the Pioneer Brigade was a smashing sucess.  While Sherman ordered the unit disbanded and the Pioneers distibuted back to their units he did it because he felt it more practical to gice Regimental and Brigade commanders more ready access to pioneers thus more tactical options.

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