91st PA--promotions

91st PA--promotions

[Sources: list of commissioned officers, company E; list of non-commissioned officers, company E; descriptive roll, company E; Bates.]

Promotions in company E: analysis

In some cases, people were promoted because they had done something unusual. For example, John D Lentz was promoted to major after leading almost all his men safely across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg Virginia, when they were left behind by mistake after the rest of the army had crossed (on 15 December 1862). The promotion may well have been the reward the Corps Commander, Butterfield, suggested Lentz deserved.

That event also led to James Clark's being promoted to corporal. He was discharged on surgeon's certificate on 21 August 1863, because of an illness he contracted while swimming the Rappahannock River to find someone to get the company across. After he re-enlisted on 4 September 1864 as a veteran volunteer, he was promoted to corporal effective December 1863, for bravery at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

In other cases, people were simply moved up one level. For example, when Lentz was promoted, his first lieutenant, Matthew Hall, was promoted to captain (on the same day, 20 December).

For some promotions at the non-commissioned officer level, the descriptive book gives a reason for the promotion. Unfortunately, different lists sometimes give different reasons for the same promotion. For example, the descriptive roll for Louis Brophy gives the reason for his promotion to sergeant as "for soldierly appearance", while the list of corporals gives it as "for soldierly conduct". I suspect that the reasons were simply catch phrases used to justify promotions. They include: soldierly conduct, bravery in battle, and soldierly appearances.

Promotions in company E: list

Commissioned officers to first sergeant (3 listed in list of non-commissioned officers, co E; at least 1 not listed) to sergeant (7 listed in list of non-commissioned officers, co E; at least 2 not listed) to corporal (11 listed in the list of non-commissioned officers, co E)

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revised 23 Jun 02
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