To the extent
practical, the 46th Mississippi was organized in accordance with
the acceptable regulations of the era as were all units both
Union and Confederate. The basic unit of military organization
was (and still is) the company.
A Company ideally consisted of
approximately 100 men. These individuals were organized into 2
platoons, each platoon consisting of 4 Squads (8 Squads to the
entire Company.) Companies were also subdivided into Sections
when required, each of the 2 platoons was subdivided into 2
Sections of 2 Squads each. The lowest unit of the company
organization was the squad which consisted of 8 to 12 individual
company organizational technique was to be employed in
organizing a deployment, depended on the requirements of the
specific mission and the terrain. The various subdivisions of
the unit's strength were designed to accommodate the various
The company was commanded by a Captain (CPT). Each company
level unit was authorized the following officers. In addition to
1 Captain there were at least two additional officers -- 1 First
Lieutenant (1LT) and 1 Second Lieutenant (2LT). Additional
Lieutenants may be assigned depending on the strength and
deployment requirements of the unit and specific mission of the
was authorized several noncommissioned officers: 1 First
Sergeant (1SG), 1 Sergeant (SGT) and 8 Corporals (CPL). When the
Company presented as platoons, the 1LT commanded the first
platoon and the 2LT commanded the second. When the Company
presented as Sections, the 1LT, 2LT, 1SG and SGT commanded each
of the four Sections. When the Company's Squad were deployed
individually, a CPL was in charge of the Squad's activities.
In addition to these direct mission
functions, indirect functions like administrative, ordinance,
supply and other company level duties were performed by various
members of the company. It should also be noted, at this
point, that while "authorizations" appear in the military
regulations, Confederate units were seldom staffed at the
authorized levels. Most units routinely performed its
mission duties a 20 to 40 percent of its authorized personnel
Companies of the 46th Mississippi Infantry Regiment were:
Company A - The Gaines Invincibles
of Wayne County.
Company B - The Covington Rebels of Covington County.
Company C - The Yazoo Pickets of Yazoo County.
Company D - The Rankin Farmers from Rankin County.
Company E - The Jeff Davis Rebels of Yazoo and Warren Counties.
Company F - The Lauderdale Rifles of Lauderdale County.
Company G - The Singleton Guards of Smith County.
Company H - The Raleigh Farmers of Smith County.
Company J - The Southern Rights of Newton County.
Company K - The Kemper Guards (also know as the Mississippi
Rangers) of Kemper County.
Generally, the mission of the infantry company has always been
to kill or capture enemy soldiers, destroy enemy equipment and
facilities and deny the enemy use of the terrain.
Companies were organized into
Regiments. A volunteer regiment consisted of a minimum of 10
companies and a Headquarters or Field and Staff (F&S)
organization. In the regular army model of the U. S. Forces,
regiments were built up to have 12 companies. Units of less than
10 companies, provided that there were between 4 and 8 companies
available, were often organized into Battalions.
This is how the 46th Mississippi
Volunteer Infantry Regiment was initially organized. On 23 April
1862 enough unassigned companies had arrived in Meridian,
Mississippi to form the companies into a battalion. This
battalion was designated at the 6th Mississippi Battalion
(Volunteers). At that time the battalion consisted of:
Company A - The Gaines Invincibles
of Wayne County, CPT Angus Taylor, Commanding.
Company B - The Covington Rebels of Covington County, CPT T. D.
Company C - The Yazoo Pickets of Yazoo County, CPT J. B. Hart,
Company D - The Rankin Farmers from Rankin County, CPT W. K.
Company E - The Jeff Davis Rebels of Yazoo and Warren Counties,
CPT J. B. Hart, Commanding.
For more information on the 6th
Mississippi Battalion (Volunteers) please see
The 46th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, Part I: The 6th
The regimental headquarters or Field
and Staff was made up of 1 Colonel, the regiment commander, 1
Lieutenant Colonel, 1 Major, 1 Adjutant, 1 Quartermaster, 1
Surgeon, 2 Assistant Surgeons, at least 2 Musicians (some
regiments maintained their own bands), 1 or more Chaplains, 1
Wagoner, and 1 Sergeant Major.
At full strength, as noted, the
regiment consisted of at least 10 Companies: 845 to 1,010
officers and men and the headquarters or Field and Staff: 15
officers and noncommissioned officers.
Companies, battalions and regiments
were upwardly organized into the following organizations:
The Brigade was composed of 4 to 6
regiments, and was the primary organization used by commanders
in the field. The Brigade is commanded by a Brigadier General.
It is also interesting to note that the Confederate War
Department made every effort organize brigades from regiments of
the same state.
Division was commanded composed of 2 to 4 infantry brigades and
commanded by a Major or a Brigadier General.
The Corps was made up of 3 Infantry
divisions and (in the U. S. model) an Artillery brigade (Union)
or an Artillery Battalion (Confederate model). In the
Confederate model, a corps was much larger than the U. S. corps.
Lastly, the Army was composed of
several corps, always commanded by a full general. To avoid
confusion, realize that a county may field several Armies, each
with a specific mission or a specific area of operations (or