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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 04:08 pm
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Old North State
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I am seeking information about the duties of an orderly attached to a Brig. Gen of Vols.  Will the BG have more than one orderly?  If so, will each orderly specialize in a particular set of duties, or will the duties of each range over all duties of an orderly?

When the BG goes on leave, will he take staff with him?  An orderly?  Or will he travel alone?

I'd appreciate any help/sources you might be able to provide.

Thank you.
Respectfully,
ONS



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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 12:47 am
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Mark
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I'm curious as to the reason for the question... but according to the 1865 Customs of Service for the US Army a Lieutenant on a general staff might be called on to preform any of the following duties: Adjutant general (in charge of all the administrative paperwork), Inspector general (inspect and report on the readiness of the subordinate units), Aid-de-Camp (transmit orders and preform any other special tasks required by the general), Quartermaster (responsible for all matters regarding money and unit property), Commissary (responsible for all matters regarding food), Engineer (responsible for surveying terrain and advising the General on the effect of terrain on his operations), Judge Advocate (advises the commander on judicial matters), Ordinance (responsible for all matters regarding weapons and ammunition), Mustering officer (generally a temporary duty where the officer was responsible for ensuring that the muster rolls forwarded to the federal government from the state were an accurate representation of the actual soldiers present for duty), Provost marshall (responsible for all prisoners, enemy or otherwise).
I expect that at a brigade level staff officers were pulled from line regiments to fill these posts. If the commander went on leave he would probably usually bring his aid-de-camp with him, but the rest of the staff would be needed to run the brigade. I hope that helps.

Mark



 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 02:50 am
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Old North State
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Mark, thank very much for your response.  I suspect, however, that the term "orderly" is used to denote tasks that differ from those you describe.  The immediate reason for my question was that I came across a private who said he was detailed as an orderly to Brig. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis.  I wondered what he would be doing. Earlier the same question had come to my mind when I was looking at the CMSF for a private who served as an orderly for Col. Tim O'Meara of the 90th Illinois.  Best, ONS



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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 03:43 am
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Mark
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Ah, you are right. I misunderstood. This is from paragraph 114 of the 1865 Customs of Service for NCOs and Soldiers, "Orderlies are soldiers selected on account of their intelligence, experience and soldierly bearing, to attend on generals, commanding officers, officers of the day and staff officers to carry orders, messages, &c. They may be taken from the guard daily or put on permanently while the duty lasts: in the latter case they are excused from all other duty that would interfere with their duties as orderlies." I think that is what you are looking for. To me it sounds like they are the lucky soldier who gets to take care of all the little things the general doesn't want to do himself-polish his boots, take care of his horse, etc. I suspect most generals did have an orderly on permanent duty and indeed would have taken him with while traveling on official business.

Mark



 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 01:47 pm
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Old North State
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Mark, once again, my thanks for your response.  That's a great resource that you are using -- the 1865 Customs of Service.  This information is exactly what I'm looking for.
Best,
ONS



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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 10:59 pm
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If ordely fits as servant then three for a Federal BG, can't say for a Confederate BG.. Bob Zeller's The Civil War Collection is a box set that has reproductions of items from the war years and one of them is a military and fashion almanac from 1863.  The Charles Stokes and Co. Almanac of 1863. Page 6 has the Pay, Subsistence, Forage, Etc., os Army Officers chart and for a Brigadier General it lists the following:
  • Per Month: $124
  • Number of Rations: 12
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $108
  • Number of Horses: 3
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $24
  • Number of Servants: 3
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $67.50
  • Total Monthly Pay: $323.50



 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 11:49 pm
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Old North State
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Hellcat, that's an interesting listing of the BG's "budget."  I'm not certain, however, that an orderly and a servant are one and the same.  I should think that a servant might be a civilian who was paid to look after the officer's clothes, horses, and other belongings.  Whereas, an orderly remained on Uncle Sam's payroll as a soldier.  At least that's my guess.  It's difficult to get a good picture of an officer's "entourage!"  Thanks for the response.  Best, ONS



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 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 07:06 am
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I could do like mark and dig out the 1865 customs of service and see if it says anything. But I think Mark covered it fairly well so I'm not sure I could add anything there. Maybe the 1863 one.

Mark, is that the Officer's handbook you were getting the info from? Doesn't sound like it was the noncommon and enlisted man's handbook.



 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 11:49 am
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My first response was from the Officers's 1865 Customs of Service, and my second is from the NCOs and Soldiers 1865 Customs of Service. I just went through the General Army regulations for 1863 and could only find one reference to orderlies-instructing commanders to put a date and time on written orders delivered by orderlies (as opposed to staff officers) while in the field. I think what the term "servant" is referring to is private, non-army servants paid for by commanders. There is a section of the General Army Regulations that prohibits the wearing of a Federal uniform by a private servant. Not sure if that helps at all, but that was all the info I could dig up at the moment.

Mark



 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 04:23 pm
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Hellcat
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Don't know about Old but it helps me as it tells me not to bother. Can't imagine any of the others I've got would even touch it, just those three manuals seem the likely ones.



 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 05:14 pm
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Old North State
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Mark, thanks for all your help.  You have indeed clarified the matter for me. Best, ONS



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 Posted: Thu Jun 19th, 2014 09:51 pm
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suzy92447
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Thanks for asking and getting the answer to this question My great grandfather, Hugh O'Neil, was Col. O'Meara's orderly and then was commissioned to accompany his body back to New York to his family.



 Posted: Fri Jun 20th, 2014 06:05 am
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A colonel, huh suzy? Ok, this might interest you. Turning back to Bob Zeller's The Civil War Collection, and more specifically page 6 of the Charles Stokes and Co. Almanac of 1863, a Colonel's pay, subsistence, forage, etc. looks like

ENGINEERS, TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS, AND ORDINANCE DEPARTMENT
  • Per Month: $110
  • Number of Rations: 6
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $54
  • Number of Horses: 3
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $24
  • Number of Servants: 2
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $47
  • Total Monthly Pay: $285

MOUNTED DRAGOONS, CAVALRY, RIFLEMEN, AND LIGHT ARTILLERY
  • Per Month: $110
  • Number of Rations: 6
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $54
  • Number of Horses: 3
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $24
  • Number of Servants: 2
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $47
  • Total Monthly Pay: $235

ARTILLERY AN INFANTRY
  • Per Month: $95
  • Number of Rations: 6
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $54
  • Number of Horses: 3
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $24
  • Number of Servants: 2
  • Monthly Commutation Value: $45
  • Total Monthly Pay: $218

No, I didn't make a mistake, I copied straight from the reproduced almanac. And I did question how come a colonel in the engineers and a colonel in the cavalry can be so identical in everything but total monthly pay. I added up the per month pay, commutation value for rations, commutation value for horses, and commutation value for servants and it comes out to $235. Either there was a mistake made when the almanac was reproduced or the mistake was made in 1863, but somewhere there's an unexplained $50.



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