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Buff Facings and Gilt Buttons: Staff and Headquarters Operations in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865

ISBN: 9781570032202
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication Date: 1998-10
Number of pages: 256
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The staff system of the Army of Northern Virginia demonstrates one of the peculiar traits of the Civil War. That war occurred on a cusp of military history - it had elements both ancient and modern, and it reflected the struggle of soldiers trying to reconcile the two. Civil War military institutions had their roots firmly planted in the traditions and doctrine of the past while they confronted modern problems. The story of the disconnection between linear tactics that would have been recognizable to either Alexander or Frederick the Great and deadly rifled muskets is familiar. The story of ill-trained and ill-prepared staffs trying to coordinate all the intricate details of a vast, semimodern army operating in a huge theater of war with doctrine and procedures that would soon be if they were not already outmoded is less familiar. That is the story of staff work in the Army of Northern Virginia.

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