The Union and Confederate armies were distinguishable by the blue and grey coats they wore respectively. This diagram shows how each army distinguished the various ranks of their officers in the Civil War.
Category: Officer Characteristics
The ability of an officer to do his duty and effectively lead troops was crucial to both Union and Confederate armies.
Battle experience prior to the start of the Civil War was rare amongst the officers. No one had experienced a war of this magnitude before.
The best and most able officers were not always those that were selected to lead.
Officer promotion was not always based on merit and ability to lead troops but many of other factors also played into the decision to promote an officer.
Discipline and training of soldiers during the Civil War was a tough task for both sides as the majority of soldiers were not professionals and were not accustomed the life as a soldier.