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[103] of the three corps (composed of three divisions of infantry each) had with it five battalions of artillery, averaging eighteen guns each.1 In the Second and Third Corps a Chief of Artillery was appointed at once to the exclusive command of the whole force, but in the First Corps no regular appointment of a Chief was made until the spring of 1864, the ranking battalion-commander present, meanwhile, bearing the title and assuming the office responsibilities of the entire command.

This organization was maintained until the close of the war, and fuller experience with it only developed its merits and suggested no practical improvements. A theoretical drawback, perhaps, existed in the fact that the Chief of Artillery of each corps really had two independent commanders, namely, his corps commander and the Army Chief of Artillery, between whom their might arise conflict of orders. The objection would be very material if the Chief of Artillery should be considered like the Chief of Cavalry as the actual commander of that arm; but it vanishes when he is regarded simply as a staff-officer of the Commanding General's, charged with the supervision of that rather peculiar branch of the service, and only giving orders through the corps commander, except in matters of mere routine and report. The original orders directing the organization were not explicit upon this point, but common-sense and circumstances soon gave the proper turn to the matter, and not the slightest discord ever occurred.

When first organized, the battalion suffered for lack of field and staff-officers, owing to the fact that they were not organizations authorized by law, and consequently no appointments could be made for them. Field-officers of artillery were indeed authorized by Congress at the rate of a Brigadier-General to every eighty guns, a Colonel to every forty, a Lieutenant-Colonel to every twenty-five, and a Major to every twelve, which should have amply supplied officers of these grades. The promotions, however, were either never made in full, or else the officers appointed were sent to other duties, for during the whole of 1863 the majority of the battalions had but one field-officer, which was often insufficient. The staff-officers for the battalions, and for the Chiefs of Artillery, were provided generally by details from the batteries, which, though somewhat detrimental to the latter, operated well enough, except for quarter-master and commissary duties, for which bonded officers of these departments are absolutely required.

1 In Longstreet's corps one battalion carried twenty-six guns, three carried eighteen each, and one carried but twelve; total, ninety-two.

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J. Longstreet (2)
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1864 AD (2)
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