Rebel Watchdog: The Confederate States Army Provost Guard by Kenneth Radley

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By Kenneth Radley

Information the workings of the accomplice States military Provost safeguard, which used to be tested to self-discipline the colossal numbers of untrained infantrymen within the insurgent forces and which grew to become some of the most hugely praised and debatable parts of the accomplice military.

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5 The onerous roles and tasks that were given to the Confederate provost were, as we shall see, much the same as those assigned to the Union provost. 6 Rudyard Kipling's comment regarding the unsaintly behavior of single men in barracks is also appropriate for the Confederate army. There was a pressing need to ensure the discipline and efficiency of thousands of untrained men. It was obvious that Richmond, the new national capital, must have provost to control the many volunteers hastening to the defense of the young Confederacy.

5 Numerous instances may be found of men using provost duty to avoid the rigors of active service. This evasion reached such serious proportions that in January, 1864, a loyal supporter of the administration, Congressman Robert (footnote continued from previous page) 133 ("Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, [General R. E. Lee Commanding], August 28 to September 1, 1862," SHSP, X [rpr. 1977], 55560). Assuming that each regiment furnished the requisite number of men, total provost strength would have been 1,330 men, 133 noncommissioned officers, and 133 officers.

Owsley, State Rights, 15152; OR, IX, 46, 56. OR, XV, 805806. Page 16 provost marshal "Mr. "10 Civilian provost marshals were probably never really satisfactory to military commanders, who would have considered civilians ignorant of military requirements and ill-equipped to meet them. In mid-1863 the problem was resolved by Congress, quite possibly at the behest of the army, which was no longer so concerned with civilian dislikes or apprehensions. 11 Department commanders were also directed to recommend suitable officers to replace civilians, giving preference to competent officers who were unfit for active field duty because of wounds or ill health.

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