GENERAL ORDERS NO. 15
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE
Washington, May 4, 1861
The President of the United states having called for a volunteer force
to aid in the enforcement of the laws and the suppression of insurrection,
and to consist of thirty-nine regiments of infantry and one regiment of
cavalry,making a minimum aggregate of 24,506 officers and enlisted men,
and a maximum aggregate of 42,034 officers and enlisted men, the following
plan of organization has been adopted, and is dirrected to be printed for
Plan of organization of the volnuteer forces called into the service
of the United States by the President.
The volunteers called into service under the proclamation of the President
of the United States dated the 3d day of May, 1861, will be subject to
the laws and regulations governing the Army of the United State, and the
proportion and organziation of each arm will be as follows:
Thirty-nine regiments of volunteer infantry will be raised. Each regiment
will consist of ten companies, and each company will be organized as follows:
Minimum - 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 first sergeant,
4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 2 musicians, 1 wagoner, 64 privates; aggregate
83. Maximum - 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 first
sergeant, 4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 2 musicians, 1 wagoner, 82 privates;
The commissioned officers of the company will be appointed by the Governor
of the State furnishing it, and the non-commissioned officers, until the
compnay shall be embodidied in a regiment, will be appointed by the captain;
afterward by the colonel, on recommendation of the captain.
Each regiment will be organized as follows: Mimimum - 830 company officers
and enlisted men, 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 1 adjudant
(a lieutenant), 1 regimental quartermaster (a lieutentant), 1 assistant
surgeant, 1 sergeant-major, 1 regimental quartermaster-sergeant, 1 regimental
commissary-sergeant, 1 hospital steward, 2 principal musicians, 24 musicians
for band; aggregate, 866. Maximum - 1010 company officers and enlisted
men, 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 1 adjudant (a lieutenant),
1 regimental quartermaster (a lieutentant), 1 assistant surgeant, 1 sergeant-major,
1 regimental quartermaster-sergeant, 1 regimental commissary-sergeant,
1 hospital steward, 2 principal musicians, 24 musicians for band; aggregate,
The field officers of the regiment will be appointed by the Governor
of the State which furnishes the regiment.
The adjutant and regimental quartermaster will be selected from the
company officers of the regiment by the colonel, and may be reassigned
to companies at his pleasure.
The non-commissioned staff will be selected by the colonel from the
non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment, and the vacancies
so created will be filled by appointment, as is prescribed above.
One regiment of volunteer cavalry will be raised, and will consist of
four, five, or six squadrons. Each squadron will consist of two companies,
and each company will be organized as follows: Minimum - 1 captain, 1 first
lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 first sergeant, 1 company quartermaster-sergeant,
4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 2 buglers, 2 farriers and blacksmiths, 1 saddler,
1 wagoner, 56 privates; aggregate, 79. Maximum - 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant,
1 second lieutenant, 1 first sergeant, 1 company quartermaster-sergeant,
4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 2 buglers, 2 farriers and blacksmiths, 1 saddler,
1 wagoner, 72 privates; aggregate, 95.
Volunteer cavalry may be mustered into the service by companies or squadrons.
When two squadrons shall have been received, a lieutenant-colonel will
be appointed to their command; and when two more squadrons shall have been
recieved, a colonel and major will be appointed, and the four squadrons
will be organized into a regiment. Two additional squadrons may be mustered
into the regiment without affecting the organization of its regimental
field and staff.
For the regiment there will be - 1 colonel, 1 lieutentant-colonel, 1
major, 1 adjutant (a lieutenant), 1 regimental quartermaster, 1 assistant
surgeon, 1 sergeant-major, 1 regimental quartermaster-sergeant, 1 regimental
commissary-sergeant,1 hospital steward, 2 principal musicians, 16 musicians
for band. And the minimum aggregate will be - if the regiment consists
of four squadrons, 660; if the regiment consists of five squadrons, 818;
if the regiment consists of six squadrons, 976. And the maximum aggregate
will be - if the regiment consists of four squadrons, 788; if the regiment
consists of five squadrons, 978; if the regiment consists of six squadrons,
All officers of volunteer cvalry will be appointed and selected in the
same manner as infantry officers of like rank.
3. GENERAL ORGANIZATION
This force will be organized into three divisions of from three to four
Each brigade will consist of four regiments and 1 brigadier-general,
1 aide-de-camp (a lieutenant), 1 assistant adjutant-general (a captain),
1 surgeon, 1 assistant quartermaster (a captain), 1 commissary of subsistence
All of the above officers will be appointed by the President,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, except the aide-de-camp,
who will be selected by the brigadier-general from the company officers,
and who may be reassigned to his company at the pleasure of the brigadier-general.
Each division will consist of three or more brigades, and of one major-general,
2 aides-de-camp (captains or lieutenants), 1 assistant adjutant-general
The above officers will be appointed and selected as prescribed
above for the additional officers of a brigade.
The officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates organized as above
set forth will, in all respects, be placed on the footing, as to pay and
allowances, of similar corps of the Regular Army: Provided, That their
allowances for clothing shall be $2.50 per month for infantry and $3 per
month for cavalry, and that each non-commissioned officer, private, musician,
and artificer of cavalry shall furnish his own horse and horse equipments,
and shall receive 50 cents per day for their use and risk, except that
in case the horse shall become disabled, or shall die, the allowance shall
cease until the disability be removed, or another horse be supplied. Every
cavalry volunteer who shall not keep himself provided with a serviceable
horse shall serve on foot.
Every volunteer non-commissioned officer, private, musician, and artificer
who enters the service of the United States under this plan shall be paid
at the rate of 50 cents, and if a cavalry volunteer 25 cents additional
in lieu of forage, for every twenty miles of travel from his home to the
place of muster--the distance to be measured by the shortest usually traveled
route--and when honorably discharged an allowance, at the same rate, from
the place of his discharge to his home, and in addition thereto the sum
Any volunteer who may be received into the service of the United States
under this plan, and who may be wounded or otherwise disabled in the service,
shall be entitled to the benefits which have been or may be conferred on
persons disabled in the regular service, and the legal heirs of such as
die or may be killed in service, in addition to all arrears of pay and
allowances, shall receive the sum of $100.
The bands of the regiments of infantry and of the regiment of cavalry
will be paid as follows: One-fourth of each will receive the pay and allowances
of sergeants of engineer soldiers; one-fourth, those of corporals of engineer
soldiers; and the remaining half, those of privates of engineer soldiers
of the first class.
The wagoners and saddlers will receive the pay and allowances of corporals
The regimental commissary-sergeant will receive the pay and allowances
of a regimental sergeant-major. The company quartermaster-sergeant, the
pay and allowances of a sergeant of cavalry.
There will be allowed to each regiment one chaplain, who will be appointed
by the regimental commander on the vote of the field officers and company
commanders on duty with the regiment at the time the appointment is to
be made. The chaplain so appointed must be a regularly ordained minister
of some Christian denomination, and will receive the pay and allowances
of captain of cavalry.
5. PROMOTION FROM THE RANKS
Two-thirds of the company officers of the regiments to be raised under
this plan will be appointed at the commencement of the organization of
each regiment, and the remaining one-third, when the regiment shall have
its full complement of men, will be appointed from the ranks, to be taken
from among the sergeants on the recommendation of the colonel of the regiment,
approved by the general commanding the brigade.
After the completion of the organization of a regiment of cavalry or
infantry, one-half of all the vacancies which may occur in the lowest grade
of commissioned officers, by promotion or otherwise, will be appointed
as above from the ranks.
Corporals will be taken from the privates; sergeants from corporals.
The first sergeant will be taken from the other sergeants of the company
by the captain.
The regimental non-commissioned staff will be appointed from the sergeants
of the regiment by the colonel.
|39 regiments of infantry
|1 regiment of cavalry
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