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Blog Post

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Department 1

Civil War Institute


For most people, the American Civil War calls to mind images of artillery, bayonet charges, waves of blue and gray uniforms, and daring acts of bravery and heroism. What we forget, however, is that behind every shift in an army’s position or deployment of troops was a long line of administration. Effective communication, as well as accurate record keeping of supply and personnel movements, recording the order of events of each engagement, and documenting the number of men engaged and lost, was crucial to the safety of soldiers and the success or failure of the war effort. During the Civil War, with communication and transportation methods so limited, disorganization and mismanagement of troops and supplies could (and as many scholars believe, in the Confederate case, did) lead to the loss of the war. [excerpt]


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.