These red patches took immensely with the “boys.”
was a rough soldier in speech, but a perfect daredevil in action, and his men idolized him. Hence they were only too proud to wear a mark which should distinguish them as members of his
It was said to have greatly reduced the straggling in this body, and also to have secured for the wounded or dead that fell into the Rebels
' hands a more favorable and considerate attention.
There was a special reason, I think, why Kearny
should select a red
patch for his men, although I have never seen it referred to. On the 24th of March, 1862, General McClellan
issued a general order
prescribing the kinds of flags that should designate corps, division, and brigade headquarters.
In this he directed that the First Division flag should be a red one, six feet by five; the Second Division blue, and the Third Division a red
one;--both of the same dimensions as the first.
commanded the First Division, he would naturally select the same color of patch as his flag.
Hence the red
The contagion to wear a distinguishing badge extended widely from this simple beginning.
It was the most natural thing that could.
happen for other divisions to be jealous of any innovation which, by comparison, should throw them into the background, for by that time the esprit de corps
, the pride of organization, had begun to make itself felt.
Realizing this fact, and regarding it as a manifestation that might be turned to good account, Major-General Joseph Hooker
promulgated a scheme of army corps badges on the 21st of March, 1863, which was the first systematic plan submitted in this direction in the armies.
took command of the Army of the Potomac Jan. 26, 1863. General Daniel Butterfield
was made his chief-of-staff, and he, it is said, had much to do with designing and perfecting the first scheme of badges for the army, which appears in the following circular ;--