Union corps commands - chaos at the top 2/4

The data we saw yesterday (added, divided, arranged in tables) was the quartermaster general's own. It appeared in a book called Commanders of Army Corps, Divisions, and Brigades in 1887. That book was "blended" in modern times with another 1887 title, Flags of the United States in order to produce Civil War Battle Flags of the Union Army and Order of Battle.

There are completeness issues (and other issues) with the data, which is why I did't bother to refine my figurings. The net outcome of shortfalls in the quartermaster's data is that turnover at the corps commander level is much, much worse than summarized yesterday.

Let me present the quartermaster data for I Corps as an example. It starts with a unit history. I have deleted the ordering authorities for brevity:

Ordered March 3, 1862; Announced March 13, 1862 GO 101; Merged into the Dept, of the Rapahannock April 4, 1862; Recreated September 12, 1862 GO 129; Announced GO AoP, September 28, 1862; Transferred to Vth Army Corps March 24, 1864; Recreated GO 287 November 28, 1864; Corps discontinued July 11, 1866.
Notice the lifespan of the corps is shorter than presented in yesterday's table. The right way to do the calculation would be to count corps lifetimes in days, not months.

The reason for draft calculations will begin to appear now as we move into personnel and dates. This is how it displays in Flags and how it was calculated yesterday:

Note that Flags is counting Hancock's invalids, the First Veteran Corps, as if it were the legal successor to I Corps, AoP.

Now look at the list in Dyer's Compendium:

First Army Corps
Created March 3, 1862. Announced March 13, 1862. Discontinued April 4, 1862, and merged into the Department of the Rappahannock.

Commander: Irvin McDowell Major General March 13, 1862, to April 4, 1862

First Army Corps
Re-Created Sept 12, 1862, From 3d Army Corps, Army of Virginia, Discontinued March 24, 1864, and merged into the 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.

Joseph Hooker, Major General, Sept. 12, 1862, to Sept 17, 1862.
George G. Meade, Brigadier General, Sept. 17, 1862, to Sept 29 1862.
J. F. Reynolds, Brigadier General, Sept. 29. 1862, to Jan. 2, 1863.
J. S Wadsworth, Brigadier General, Jan. 2, 1863, to Jan. 4, 1863.
J. F. Reynolds, Major General, Jan. 4, 1863, to March 19, 1863.
J. S. Wadsworth, Brigadier General, March 1, 1863, to March 9, 1863.
J. F. Reynolds, Major General, March 9, 1863. to July 1, 1863. Killed.
A. Doubleday, Major General, July 1, 1863, to July 2, 1863.
John Newton, Major General, July 2, 1863, to March 24, 1864.

The invalids have gone away, the Reynolds and Wadsworth interludes are shown interleaved, which makes them clearer, and Hooker and Doubleday now appear on the list. We have grown the list. There is also much more instability than we originally calculated over a shorter lifespan.

Let's move on to Eicher and Eicher's monumental Civil War High Commands. There we find Dyer's list with additional names. I summarize:

McDowell: 13 Mar 62 - 4 Apr 62
Hooker: 12 Sep 62 - 17 Sep 62
Meade: 17 Sep 62 - 29 Sep 62
Reynolds: 29 Sep 62 - 2 Jan 63
Wadsworth: 2 Jan 63 - 4 Jan 63
Reynolds: 4 Jan 63 - 1 Mar 63
Wadsworth: 1 Mar 63 - 9 Mar 63
Reynolds: 9 Mar 63 - 1 Jul 63
Doubleday: 1 Jul 63 - 2 July 63
Newton: 2 July 63 - 12 Mar 64
Wadsworth: 12 Mar 64 - 14 Mar 64
Newton: 14 Mar 64 - 24 Mar 64

Eicher and Eicher break out Hancock's invalids on a separate list. Here, they capture additional turns by Wadsworth and Newton, too. If we regard Eicher and Eicher as an improvement over Dyer's and match the Eichers' changes of command against the quartermaster's, here's what we get:

* Recognizes only Keyes as AOP IV Corps commander

Changes at this rate engender massive dysfunction. Given enlisted and NCO attrition rates on top of this manic command turbulence, an organization could emerge from a war less experienced, less professional, and less capable than when it set off on its first campaign. Some testimony about regression in the AoP next.