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Organization of the Company Unit.

46th Mississippi Infantry Regiment


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 soldiers.

Which particular 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 deployment configurations.

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 deployment.

Each Company 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 and equipment.

The 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. Magee, Commanding.
Company C - The Yazoo Pickets of Yazoo County, CPT J. B. Hart, Commanding
Company D - The Rankin Farmers from Rankin County, CPT W. K. Easterling, Commanding.
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 Mississippi Battalion

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.

The 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 theater.)



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