Siege of Petersburg Project Update

by Brett Schulte on January 4, 2006 · 4 comments

I’ve now updated the Confederate OOB of my Petersburg Campaign Project through the month of October 1864 (the Sixth Offensive), and I’ve completed all units found in Sifakis’ Compendium of the Confederate Armies. The OOBs I’m starting with are from F. Ray Sibley, Jr.’s reference work The Confederate Order of Battle: The Army of Northern Virginia, Volume 1. This has been getting easier as I get used to Sibley’s way of doing things, and I’m making progress at a far greater clip than I ever thought possible. I hope to start on the November 1864 OOB soon. When I finish with the Confederate side, I plan to move on to the Union OOB, and that process gets tougher. The Confederate OOB was relatively stable as far as the organization of regiments into brigades, brigades into divisions, and divisions into corps. That is not the case on the Union side. Regiments were mustered out after their time was up, many others combined, brigades were shuffled and consolidated, as were divisions, and in the case of the Army of the James, this even reached Corps level! I hope to use the OOBs from the Official Records and then sort out the details and the contradictory information after the base OOB has been created. Anyone who is interested in this subject and who would like to lend me a hand as far as research goes, feel free to shoot me an email.

NOTE: If anyone reading this has unit strength information for either side during the campaign, feel free to contact me. I’m always looking for information.

Check out Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online for the latest on the Siege of Petersburg!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Fred Ray January 5, 2006 at 4:42 pm

Before leaving the Confederate OB you should consider the ANV’s sharpshooter battalions, which played a prominent part in the Petersburg campaign. By 1864 all infantry brigades had these composite light infantry battalions, which were often as strong as the line regiments. Some outfits even had division sharpshooter units, a “demi-brigade” made up of the sharpshooter battalions.

IMO you can’t really do an OB or a campaign study without at least mentioning them. Check my web site for further details, or drop me an email.

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Brett Schulte January 5, 2006 at 5:25 pm

Fred,

I’ll never really leave them. I’m just using Sibley as the “base” and going from there. To be honest, I was waiting for your book to come out before starting on the SS Battalions. Don’t worry though. They’ll be present and accounted for when it’s all said and done.

Brett

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Fred Ray January 5, 2006 at 6:29 pm

Should be out by the end of the month (only been saying that for 6 mo. now, but really, it IS at the printer’s now. Will make sure yours is in the first batch to be shipped.

I also found some similar Union sharpshooter units that don’t show up on most OBs.

As the war progressed, the burden of combat fell more and more on the Sharpshooters, since they represented the ANVs best remaining strike force.

Fred

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Brett Schulte January 5, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Fred,

Who said blogging doesn’t have any perks? 😉 Seriously, thanks for that. I appreciate it and I look forward to checking it out. In looking at the Petersburg Campaign, one is immediately hit with the large number of Union captured at places like Jerusalem Plank Road, Globe Tavern, Ream’s Station, etc. I think the Confederate Sharpshooter units, and to a lesser extent massive Union casualties along with the Union policy of creating brand new regiments rather than adding to existing ones at least partially explains these lopsided results. Mahone’s intimate knowledge of the Petersburg area didn’t hurt either, I’m sure.

Brett S.

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