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February 16, 2013

A Circular from the Adjutant General regarding picket duty details – February 16, 1863

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Hd Qurs 2nd Army Corps
Feb 16 1863.
In order to insure uniformity in the performance of picket duty in the corps the following plan, substantiating that of Gen Butterfield will be adopted. The picket detail of each Division, on being marched to the reserve ground, of that part of the Picket line belonging to it, will be divided into four equal reliefs.
The first Relief marched to the outposts; each of them being composed of nine six or three men, as the ground may indicate[.] Each one of the larger outposts or two of the smaller, to be under the charge of a non commissioned officer, The posts of nine (9) privates will furnish three (3) sentinels, that of six (6) two (2) &c. From these outposts the outer sentinels are shown forward fanlike, the sentinels being relieved every three hours by the non commissioned Officer in charge of the post to which they belong.
The second Relief from the Grand guard thrown out at the same time as the same time as the as the first is subdivided into three parts and form the Picket Guard. At the end of six hours, and on being relieved by the Third Relief from the Grand Guard the subdivision of the second are pushed forward to relieve the outposts who in turn relieve the other sentinels. The sentinels on being relieved fall back to their respective picket grounds. From which they are marched by the senior officer to the Grand Guard. At the end of another six hours the Fourth Relief of the Grand Guard relieve the pickets, who in turn relieve the outposts as described above. By this plan each man has six hours outpost duty (2 of which he is sentinel) Six hours picket duty and twelve hours Grand Guard. In order that there may be no excuse for straggling from the Grand Guard or Picket Guard, twelve supernumeraries will be detailed from each Division to accompany its details, for the purpose of carring wood and water &c. These instructions are to be communicated to every Regiment.
By Order of Maj. Genl. Couch
sd C.V.C. Morgan
Lt. Col. Ast Insp Genl
Chief of Staff
Official Copy
E. Whitney

Citation:  February 16, 1863, Circular; 1st Minnesota Infantry, 1861-1863, p. 102-103. Minnesota: Adjutant General. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. [109.K.14.4F]

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