Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861

Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861

by War Department


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Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861 by War Department

This authentic handbook provides a wealth of revealing information on life in the Union Army during the Civil War. A must for serious Civil War historians, buffs, and battle scene reenactors, the guide includes many official forms used in the 1860s as well as an appendix containing articles of war, extracts from Acts of Congress, and an Army pay table.
Contents include regulations related to military discipline and rank and command, care of fortifications, treatment of deceased soldiers and deserters, leaves of absence and furloughs, arrests and confinements, inspections of the troops, musters, and forms of parade. Additional subjects include troops in campaign, courts-martial, recruiting, medical and ordnance departments, flags and standards, uniform and horse equipment, and many other practical considerations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486497143
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 07/17/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 560
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Revised Regulations for the Army of The United States, 1861

By Dover Publications

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-31669-7






1. ALL inferiors are required to obey strictly, and to execute with alacrity and good faith, the lawful orders of the superiors appointed over them.

2. Military authority is to he exercised with firmness, hut with kindness and justice to inferiors. Punishments shall be strictly conformable to military law.

3. Superiors of every grade are forbidden to injure those under them by tyrannical or capricious conduct, or by abusive language.



4. Rank of officers and non-commissioned officers:

1st. Lieutenant-General.

2d. Major-General.

3d. Brigadier-General.

4th. Colonel.

5th. Lieutenant-Colonel.

6th. Major.

7th. Captain.

8th. First Lieutenant.

9th. Second Lieutenant.

10th. Cadet.

11th. Sergeant-Major.

12th. Quartermaster-Sergeant of a Regiment.

13th. Ordnance Sergeant and Hospital Steward,

14th. First Sergeant.

15th. Sergeant.

16th. Corporal.

And in each grade by date of commission or appointment.

5. When commissions are of the same date, the rank is to be decided, between officers of the same regiment or corps by the order of appointment; between officers of different regiments or corps: 1st. by rank in actual service when appointed; 2d. by former rank and service in the army or marine corps; 3d. by lottery among such, as have not been in the military service of the United States. In case of equality of rank by virtue of a brevet commission, reference is had to commissions not brevet.

6. Officers having brevets, or commissions of a prior date to those of the regiment in which they serve, may take place in courts-martial and on detachments, when composed of different corps, according to the ranks given them in their brevets or dates of their former commissions; but in the regiment, troop, or company to which such officers belong, they shall do duty and take rank both in courts-martial and on detachments which shall be composed only of their own corps, according to the commissions by which they are mustered in the said corps.—(61st Art. of War.)

7. If, upon marches, guards, or in quarters, different corps of the army shall happen to join, or do duty together, the officer highest in rank of the line of the army, marine corps, or militia, by commission, there on duty or in quarters, shall command the whole, and give orders for what is needful to the service, unless otherwise specially directed by the President of the United States, according to the nature of the case.—(62d Art of War.)

8. An officer not having orders from competent authority cannot put himself on duty by virtue of his commission alone.

9. Officers serving by commission from any state of the Union take rank next after officers of the like grade by commission from the United States.

10. Brevet rank takes effect only in the following cases: 1st. by special assignment of the President in commands composed of different corps; 2d. on courts-martial or detachments composed of different corps. Troops are on detachment, only when sent out temporarily to perform a special service.

11. In regularly constituted commands, as garrisons, posts, departments; companies, battalions, regiments; corps, brigades, divisions, army corps, or the army itself, brevet rank cannot be exercised except by special assignment.

12. The officers of Engineers are not to assume nor to be ordered on any duty beyond the line of their immediate profession, except by the special order of the President.

13. An officer of the Pay or Medical Department cannot exercise command except in his own department; but, by virtue of their commissions, officers of these departments may command all enlisted men, like other commissioned officers.

14. Officers of the corps of Engineers or Ordnance, or of the Adjutant-General's, Inspector-General's, Quartermaster-General's, or Subsistence Department, though eligible to command according to the rank they hold in the army of the United States, shall not assume the command of troops unless put on duty under orders which specially so direct by authority of the President.



15. The functions assigned to any officer in these regulations by title of office, devolve on the officer acting in his place, except as specially excepted.

16. During the absence of the Adjutant-General, or of the chief of any military bureau of the War Department, his duties in the bureau, prescribed by law or regulations, devolve on the officer of his department empowered by the President to perform them in his absence.

17. An officer who succeeds to any command or duty, stands in regard to his duties in the same situation as his predecessor. The officer relieved shall turn over to his successor all orders in force at the time, and all the public property and funds pertaining to his command or duty, and shall receive therefore duplicate receipts, showing the condition of each article.

18. An officer in a temporary command shall not, except in urgent cases, alter or annul the standing orders of the regular or permanent commander without authority from the next higher commander.



19. All vacancies in established regiments and corps, to the rank of Colonel, shall be filled by promotion according to seniority, except in case of disability or other incompetency.

20. Promotions to the rank of Captain shall be made regimentally; to Major and Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel, according to the arm, as infantry, artillery, &c., and in the Staff Departments and in the Engineers, Topographical Engineers, and Ordnance, according to corps.

21. Appointments to the rank of Brigadier-General and Major-General will be made by selection from the army.

22. The graduates of the Military Academy are appointed to vacancies of the lowest grade, or attached by brevet to regiments or corps, not to exceed one brevet to each company; and meritorious non-commissioned officers, examined by an Army Board, and found qualified for the duties of commissioned officers, will, in like manner, be attached to regiments as Brevet Second Lieutenants.

23. Whenever the public service may require the appointment of any citizen to the army, a Board of Officers will be instituted, before which the applicant will appear for an examination into his physical ability, moral character, attainments, and general fitness for the service. If the Board report in favor of the applicant, he will be deemed eligible for a commission in the army.



24. No officer will be considered out of service on the tender of his resignation, until it shall have been duly accepted by the proper authority. Any officer who, having tendered his resignation, shall, prior to due notice of the acceptance of the same by the proper authority, and, without leave, quit his post or proper duties with the intent to remain permanently absent therefrom, shall be registered as a deserter, and punished as such.

25. Resignations will be forwarded by the commanding officer to the Adjutant-General of the army for decision of the War Department; and with them, where leave is given, the officer's address.

26. Resignations tendered under charges, when forwarded by any commander, will always be accompanied by a copy of the charges; or, in the absence of written charges, by a report of the case, for the information of the Secretary of War.

27. Before presenting the resignation of any officer, the Adjutant-General will ascertain and report to the War Department the state of such officer's accounts of money, as well as of public property, for which he may have been responsible.

28. In time of war, or with an army in the field, resignations shall take effect within thirty days from the date of the order of acceptance.

29. Leaves of absence will not be granted by commanding officers to officers on tendering their resignation, unless the resignation be unconditional and immediate.



30. The transfer of officers from one regiment or corps to another will be made only by the War Department, on the mutual application of the parties desiring the exchange.

31. An officer shall not be transferred from one regiment or corps to another with prejudice to the rank of any officer of the regiment or corps to which he is transferred.

32. Transfers will be seldom granted—never except for cogent reasons.



33. As far as practicable, all appointments and details on the staff will be equalized among the several regiments.

34. General Officers appoint their own Aides-de-camp.

35. Brevet Brigadier and Major Generals on duty as such, may, with the special sanction of the War Department, be allowed the aides-de-camp of their brevet grades.

36. An officer shall not fill any staff appointment, or other situation, the duties of which will detach him from his company, regiment, or corps, until he has served at least three years with his regiment or corps; nor shall any officer (aides-de-camp excepted) so remain detached longer than four years.

37. An officer of a mounted corps shall not be separated from his regiment, except for duty connected with his particular arm.

38. The senior Lieutenant present, holding the appointment of Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, is entitled to perform the duties.



39. The military geographical departments will be established by the War Department. In time of peace, brigades or divisions will not be formed, nor the stations of the troops changed, without authority from the War Department.



40. No person shall be permitted to walk upon any of the slopes of a fortification, excepting the ramps and glacis. If, in any case, it be necessary to provide for crossing them, it should be done by placing wooden steps or stairs against the slopes. The occasional walking of persons on a parapet will do no harm, provided it be not allowed to cut the surface into paths.

41. No cattle, horses, sheep, goat, or other animal, shall ever be permitted to go upon the slopes, the ramparts, or the parapets, nor upon the glacis, except within fenced limits, which should not approach the crest nearer than 30 feet.

42. All grassed surfaces, excepting the glacis, will be carefully and frequently mowed (except in dry weather), and the oftener the better, while growing rapidly—the grass never being allowed to be more than a few inches high. In order to cut the grass even and close, upon small blopes a light one-handed scythe should be used; and in mowing the steep slopes, the mower should stand on a light ladder resting against the slope, and not upon the grass. Crops of hay may be cut on the glacis; or, if fenced, it may be used as pasture; otherwise it should be treated as other slopes of the fortification. On all the slopes, spots of dead grass will be cut out and replaced by fresh sods. All weeds will be eradicated. A very little labor, applied steadily and judiciously, will maintain the grassed surfaces, even of the largest of our forts, in good condition.

43. The burning of grass upon any portion of a fortification is strictly forbidden.

44. Particular attention is required to prevent the formation of gullies in the parade, terreplein, and ramps, and especially in slopes where grass is not well established. If neglected, they soon involve heavy expense.

45. Earth, sand, or ashes must not be placed against wood-work; a free ventilation must be preserved around it; and all wooden floors, platforms, bridges, &c., will be kept clean swept.

46. The machinery of draw-bridges, gates, and posterns must be kept in good working order by proper cleaning and oiling of the parts; the bridges will be raised, and the gates and posterns opened as often as once a week.

47. The terrepleins of forts, the floors of casemates, caponniers, storerooms, barracks, galleries, posterns, magazines, &c., and the sidewalks in front of quarters and barracks, as well as other walks, are sometimes paved with bricks or stones, or formed of concrete. These surfaces must be preserved from injury with great care. In transporting guns and carriages, and in mounting them, strong way-planks will be used, and neither the wheels nor any other part of the carriages, nor any machinery, such as shears, gins, &c., nor any handspike or other implements, will be allowed to touch those surfaces. Unless protected in a similar manner, no wheelbarrow or other vehicle, no barrels, hogsheads, &c., will be rolled upon these surfaces. No violent work will be suffered to be done upon them, such as cutting wood, breaking coal, &c., and no heavy weight be thrown or permitted to fall thereon. In using machines, as gins, &c., in casemates, care must be taken not to injure the arch or ceiling, as well as the floor. Neglect of these precautious may cause injuries slight in appearance but serious in effect from the leaking of water into masonry and casemates, and expensive to repair.

48. The doors and windows of all store-rooms and unoccupied casemates, quarters, barracks, &c., will be opened several times a week for thorough ventilation.

49. The masonry shot-furnaces will be heated only on the approach of an enemy. For ordinary practice with hot shot, iron furnaces are provided.

50. The foregoing matters involve but little expense; the labor is within the means of every garrison, and no technical knowledge is called for beyond what will be found among soldiers. Other repairs requiring small disbursements, such as repainting exposed wood or iron work, can be also executed by the garrison; but reports, estimates, and requisitions may be necessary to obtain the materials.

51. No alteration will be made in any fortification, or in its casemates, quarters, barracks, magazines, store-houses, or any other building belonging to it; nor will any building of any kind, or work of earth, masonry, or timber be erected within the fortification, or on its exterior within half a mile, except under the superintendence of the Engineer Department, and by the authority of the Secretary of War.


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Table of Contents

I. Military Discipline
II. Rank and Command
III. Succession in Command or Duty
IV. Appointment and Promotion of Commissioned Officers
V. Resignations of Officers
VI. Exchange or Transfer of Officers
VII. Appointments on the Staff
VIII. Distribution of the Troops
IX. Care of Fortifications
X. Care of Armament of Fortifications
XI. Artillery Practice
XII. Regiments
XIII. Companies
XIV. Ordnance Sergeants
XV. Transfer of Soldiers
XVI. Deceased Officers
XVII. Deceased Soldiers
XVIII. Deserters
XIX. Discharges
XX. Traveling on Duty
XXI. Leaves of Absence to Officers
XXII. Furloughs to Enlisted Men
XXIII. Councils of Administration
XXIV. Chaplains
XXV. Sutlers
XXVI. Military Discussions and Publications
XXVII. Arrests and Confinements
XXVIII. Hours of Service and Roll-Calls
XXIX. Honors to be Paid by the Troops
XXX. Inspections of the Troops
XXXI. Musters
XXXII. Forms of Parade
XXXIII. Guards
XXXIV. Orders and Correspondence
XXXV. Returns and Reports
XXXVI. Troops in Campaign
XXXVII. Troops on Board of Transports
XXXVIII. Courts-Martial
XXXIX. Working-Parties
XL. Recruiting Service
XLI. Public Property, Money, and Accounts
XLII. Quartermaster's Department
XLIII. Subsistence Department
XLIV. Medical Department
XLV. Pay Department
XLVI. Corps of Engineers and Topographical Engineers
XLVII. Ordnance Department
XLVIII. Proceedings in Civil Courts
XLIX. Arms of the United States
L. Flags, Colors, Standards, Guidons
LI. Uniform, Dress, and Horse Equipments
LII. Volunteers and Militia in the Service of the United States
Articles of War
Extracts from Acts of Congress
Army Pay Table

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