The Daily Picayune (1840-1865): July 18, 1862
This article in The Daily Picayune in July of 1862 provides the general public with insight on the status and background of some of the generals in both the Union and Confederate armies. It begins by describing the mortality of many generals on both sides and those captured as prisoners of war. Officers had a much higher mortality rate than lower-ranking soldiers. The article continues by describing examples of generals being removed from their positions, not due to mortality or capture, but rather due to poor performance in battle, misfortune or fault in leading their troops.
Additionally, the article goes on to discuss George McClellan and “Stonewall” Jackson. Although they were in the same class at West Point, they became two of the most distinguished leaders for different sides of the war. They are examples of promotion due to “high merit, without regard to rank or station.” It continues to describe the two officers’ achievements and abilities in battle.
For further information, select the Officer Characteristics link on the front page. This primary source article is a great example that ties together many of the different topics that I chose to collect research on.