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 Post subject: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:22 am 
So what is the difference exactly?

At Gettysburg the 14th Louisiana served with Hays Brigade.

At Chickamauga the 14th Louisiana Battalion Sharpshooters served with Adams's Brigade.

The 2nd Georgia and 2nd Georgia Battalion both served at Gettysburg.

Were battalions and regiments raised separately? If so, why?


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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:10 am 
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I believe in the Civil War armies there was little consistency in naming. A battalion and a regiment were virtually the same thing. In the British army, at least in Napoleonic times, the regiment was an organizational structure containing three battalions. One was a reserve or depot battalion that handled new recruits and logistics back in England while the other two were deployed but not necessarially together or in the same army but I would have to get some old Napoleonic books out to confirm this. The battalion was the basic tactical unit in Napoleonic armies. The regiment was the basic tactical unit in CW armies. At the start there were few standards so you had some oddly named formations like Hampton's Legion. Eventually all I believe were changed into regiments.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:31 am 
According to Civil War reference . com there are 6 different 1st Louisiana units.

1st LA (Strawbridge's)
1st LA (Nelligan's)
1st LA Vol. Inf.
1st LA Btln
1st LA Special Btln
1st LA Zouaves

No wonder McClellan always thought that South had hundreds more regiments than they actually did!


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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:22 am 
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Gentlemen.

Please don't look for my sources . . . I can only state that the following is accurate because wherever and whenever I read it - due to the specific detail - it stuck in my mind.

In the Nap/ACW era of army orginisation - A 'Legion' was a Unit (size unknown), which comprised of defined sections of Arty, Infantry and light Cavalry . . . . just a nugget of useless info I thought I'd throw in! :lol:

Pat.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Corcoran's Legion was actually a brigade made up of five regiments.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:04 pm 
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In the Civil War a regiment contained ten companies, give or take. Union cavalry regiments had twelve. A battalion contained fewer, almost always between three and seven though. The smaller battalion rated a major in command, while a larger might be commanded by a lt col. A legion was a unit that contained all three combat arms in a single unit.

Here is the wikipedia entry on Hampton's Legion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampton's_Legion

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:45 pm 
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From a little speed-reading:

A battalion is generally the smallest military unit capable of independent operations (i.e., not attached to a higher command), although many armies have smaller units that are self-sustaining. The battalion is usually part of a Regiment.

At the start of the ACW, Cobb's and Hampton's Legions were formed, following the model of a combined Arty, Infantry and Cavalry model. Virtually all 'Legions', other than these two - on both the Union and Confederate sides - were Legions in name only, usually consisting solely of infantry or rarely solely of cavalry. Arty Batteries often fell into the category of 'Battalions'.

By 1862-3, the Legion in particular, was found to be an ineffective and difficult military organisation to form and particularly - to maintain - and they were split up and re-assigned elsewhere in their respective Armies . . .

However - as in the case of the Infantry section of Hampton's Legion, the name stuck.

Altho' it was years since the dispersal of the Legion, the Infantry section of Hampton's Legion (still known as Hampton's Legion) surrendered at Appomattox.

The Legion's Arty., converted to Horse Arty. and re-named as Hart's Battery and then Halsey's Battery, surrendered alongside the Cavalry sectiom at Bennett's Place N.C. on April 26, '65.

Pat.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:17 am 
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To throw in my knowledge of this subject:

Battalion:-

Has it's origins in the late 16th Century from the French "Bataillon" which was derived from the Italian "Battaglione" (meaning Battle Squadron).
These were from the Latin "Battalia" (Battle) ...in turn from Latin "Bauttere" (to Beat).
(First usage of Battalion as a specific part of a Regiment is noted in 1708).

Regiment:-

Has it's origins perhaps a hundred years earlier appearing at the end of the 15th Century from the French meaning Government or Rule. Previously from the Latin "Regimentum" (Rule or Direction) ...from the Latin "Regimen" (Government, Rule, Organisation).
First use in meaning an army unit is from the late 16th Century.

Read all this years ago (and probably didn't absorb all the details at the time!) when learning about the Ancient Military world. The organised forces and military terms from the Greek and Roman worlds disappear with the advent of the Dark Ages and subsequent Middle Ages where manpower shortages and lack of money made organised military forces and professional standing armies extremely rare ...if not non-existent.

I'll be damned if I can figure out how and why exactly a Battalion is or must be a distinct organisation to a Regiment or vice-versa. Common usage and convention I guess gives us the modern structure of platoon - company - battalion - regiment - brigade - division - corps.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:34 am 
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And just foud this while I was rooting round trying to uncover the difference between a Battalion and a Regiment:


BATTALION and REGIMENT.

Battalions and regiments were formed by organizing companies together. In the volunteers (Union and Confederate), 10 companies would be organized together into a regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel. A regiment has the following staff (one of each):

Col.; Lt. Col.; Major; Adjutant (1st Lt); Surgeon (maj.);

Asst Surgeon (capt.); Quartermaster (lieut); Commissary (lieut);

Sgt-Major; Quartermaster Sgt.

There were also volunteer organizations containing less than 10 companies: if they contained from 4-8 companies, they were called battalions, and usually were commanded by a major or lieutenant colonel. The (Union) Regular regiments organized before the war (1st-10th) were 10 company regiments like the volunteers. When the NEW Regular regiments. were authorized, a different organization was used. The new Regular regiments were organized 8 companies to a battalion and 2 battalions to the regiment. Thus new Regular regiments contained 16 companies. These regiments frequently fought as battalions rather than as single regiments. However, often the 2nd battalion could not be recruited up to strength, in which case they fought as a single regiment.

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 Post subject: Re: Difference between a Battalion and a Regiment?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:10 pm 
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I think the observation that there was little consistency in naming is right on.

A regiment was (as noted above) supposedly comprised of 2-3 battalions of (ideally) 500 men apiece. Generally, for example, the 15th whatever Regiment of Volunteer Infantry would muster 10-15 companies (100-150 men apiece) at full strength. Units rarely stayed at full strength for long; illness, discharges for various reasons, casualites, detachments, etc would all drain the unit strengths down to what we see in the games.

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