John Ferry's Organizational Suggestion

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John Ferry's Organizational Suggestion

Postby Joe Meyer » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:40 pm

This is a copy of the message that John Ferry wanted to make within the Wooden Injun Forum regarding the history and suggested re-organization of the AotC, but for which he had technical difficulties in doing.


I thought I would post some information and suggestions to the Wooden Injun Tavern, which site I have been neglecting, concerning the Army of the Cumberland.
Did you know that the Army of the Cumberland was all contained in the 14th Army Corps in the fall of 1862? It was subdivided into Wings, left, right and center, all parts of the 14th Corps, when it fought Stone's River.

For Chickamauga, two new corps had been created, the 20th and 21st, but that battle so crippled the army that the 20th and 21st were disbanded, and their commanders, McCook and Crittenden, were fired. Granger's Reserve Corps was redesignated the 4th Corps, and Chattanooga was fought with the 4th and 14th corps under General Thomas's command.

For the Atlanta Campaign, the 20th Corps was resurrected, and all those troops brought west from Virginia, in the 11th and 12th Corps, were assigned to it. The Army of the Cumberland fought the Atlanta Campaign with the 4th, 14th and 20th Corps under command. These are the three corps most commonly thought of as making up the Army of the Cumberland.

The army was organized in a very concentric manner for Atlanta, with three divisions assigned to each corps, and three brigades to each division. The cavalry was organized as a corps in its own right. No cavalry was assigned to the infantry corps.

After Atlanta was taken, Hood led Sherman on a wild-goose chase back into northern Georgia. The Confederate army was small, and as elusive as a greased pig. Finally Sherman got fed up. "Damn him," Sherman said of Hood, "If he will go to the Ohio River I will give him rations!"

With that, he turned his back on Hood and took most of his army back to Atlanta and in November '64 started on his March to the Sea. The 14th and 20th Corps went with Sherman, while the 4th Corps was to deal with Hood; reinforced by Schofield's 23rd Corps, and all Under Thomas, they defeated Hood at Franklin and Nashville.
I gave that little recitation all as a prelude to a suggestion that may seem counter-intuitive, given the push for consolidation.

I propose that the Army of the Cumberland be organized now as it was during its heyday, 1864:

I propose that the 4th Corps be activated alongside the 14th and 20th. The 4th was a proud unit, with an exemplary record. It deserves to be recognized. Three divisions, nine brigades. Each corps. No division with more than three bdes.

I propose that the cavalry be consolidated into a corps on its own right: Two divisions, four brigades.

The authorized slots to be filled would be: One army commander, four corps commanders, eleven division commanders, and 22-31 brigades.

The command of the third division, and its brigades, could be given to someone as an honorarium--perhaps to an individual on leave or retired, to be activated when the 1st and 2nd divisions of the corps are full, with its honorary commander being given first choice at active command.

Each month, one of the corps officers (active corps and div cdrs) to be designated Officer of the Day for each corps and for that month it is his responsibility to take care of the strength report and other administrative duties and in the case of division commanders reporting such to their corps commander. This would be good prep for the day when a div commander is promoted to corps command, and gives the corps commander a little slack.

As tests go, this is a beaut for Wooden Injun Tavern. I hope it sticks.


I have re-posted John's intended message (received as an e-mail) as a courtesy to him, neither endorsing or offering critique to his suggestions. However, all officers are reminded that proposed organizational changes to any ACWGC Union field army are subject to the ACWGC Rules and the Union Army Standing Orders (specifically as outlined in the Forward and in General Order No. 7, which are found at
General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA GinC)

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Re: John Ferry's Organizational Suggestion

Postby C. Hecht » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:28 am

Would this OOB be the reference?
There is also an OOB for a second phase that doesn't seem to differ much regarding the basic layout.

The numbers would be 1 army commander, 4 corps commanders, 12 division commanders and 36 brigades(ignoring the Reserve Brigade).
Problem I see is that usually from division CO on you need members that are up the administration tasks like monthly musters, and the new layout would mean twice as many division and corps CO positions.
Already one corps CO position is empty, but at least all the current division CO positions are filled, so the new layout would give some brigade commanders room to rise to division CO.
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