Friday, February 16, 2007

Cavalry Vets Revisited

I actually located the specific entry in the Official Records for my initial post on cavalry veterinary surgeons yesterday vs the National Archives entry (OR, Series III, Volume 3, pgs 605-6). Curiously, General Orders, No. 259 dated August 1, 1863 states that "Veterinary surgeons of cavalry, under the act of March 3, 1863, will be selected by the chief of the Cavalry Bureau upon the nomination of the regimental commanders." Since the Cavalry Bureau wasn't created until July 28th, how were they selected between March 3rd and August 1st?

The orders further state that the nominations were to be recommended to the regimental commander from a board of officers, wh would then nominate them to the chief of the Cavalry Bureau, who would submit them to the Secretary of War for appointment. Rather a cumbersome process, and I would assume it was primarily a rubber stamp. I can't imagine how Major General Stoneman would determine the competence of the town vet in Maine who just volunteered to assist the 1st Maine Cavalry when the previous vet died of disease.

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