RE: [civilwarwest] Hooker and Burnside
- The United States Congress gave the president the authority to appoint
officers of equal rank but later date of commission over those who had
been commissioned earlier.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever military
operations may require the presence of two or more officers of the same
grade in the same field or department, the President may assign the
command of the forces in such field or department without regard to
seniority of rank.
"APPROVED, April 4, 1862" 12 Stat 617. Issued as General Order # 37,
April 8, 1862
Notice the date: I suspect this was done as a slap at McClellan.
So the answer to your question is that Hooker could be commanded by
*any* major general, irrespective of the date of their commissions, if
the president so chose.
So could Burnside, and, indeed, he was eventually placed under Meade's
command, although he initially operated in the Overland Campaign as an
independent corps, directly under Grant. The chain of command did not
work out, so Grant assigned the Ninth Corps to the Army of the Potomac.
When Meade was appointed commanding general of the Army of the Potomac
on the eve of Gettysburg he was outranked as a major general by three or
four of the other corps commanders.
Note: this act did not give the president authority to appoint a
brigadier general over a major general. However, if the BG held a brevet
as MG, then the president could order him on duty as a MG, then appoint
him over someone who held the substantive rank of MG. I do not know if
this happened, but it might have.
The Confederate Congress never gave Jefferson Davis equivalent authority
so he was stuck with the original five full generals (Sidney Johnston
was replaced by Braxton Bragg).
Judy and Bob Huddleston
10643 Sperry Street
Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
From: kamills [mailto:kamills@...]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 8:11 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: [civilwarwest] Hooker and Burnside
I have a question regarding Hooker and Burnside. After being
relieved of command of the AOP, Burnside maintained an almost
independent command of his 9th Corps because of his rank and his
previous command of an army. By placing him directly under any
commander, be it east or west, he would virtually outrank them,
thus his independent status.
Why didn't this happen with Hooker while he was at Chattanooga?
Hooker held the same rank (as far as I know) when he commanded the
AOP, but when he came back, he only had command of a division
while Burnside held the same rank and still maintained an
What was the differnce between the two? I hope you understand my
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