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Additional info for Buff facings and gilt buttons: staff and headquarters operations in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865

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1 Simply accepting state and volunteer units for national service did not provide an efficient mechanism for mustering, equipping, or managing the fledgling army. The Confederate Congress soon expanded and refined procedures for administering the rebellious nation's military forces. On March 6, 1861, President Davis signed two laws to flesh out the Confederate military establishment. The first authorized accepting for twelve months up to one hundred thousand volunteers, who would furnish their own uniforms and horses and be armed by their states to the extent possible.

I wanted to study field staff work broadly but in a digestible manner. I decided to look at all the elements of the staff but to limit myself by concentrating on a single army. Having served on several staffs from battalions to the Department of the Army, I am convinced they have individual stylesalmost organizational personalities. What is true of the Army of Northern Virginia may not be true of the Army of Tennessee and almost certainly is not true of the Army of the Potomac or the Army of the Cumberland.

Alexander said that fifteen officers, including Lee, were paroled from the army staff at Appomattox, but he ignored a significant group of individuals who also served with Lee's headquarters. Besides the fifteen officers Alexander mentioned, fifty-seven other staff officers, seven ordnance officers listed separately, and a topographical engineer who turned himself in after the army dispersed (for a total of eighty) received paroles from the Army of Northern Virginia Headquarters. Even the tabular summary of paroles in the Official Records shows sixty-nine officers in the general headquarters.

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