A Beautiful Glittering Lie
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

What does 'brigade' mean?

Find out what brigade means. Brigade is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

brigade

A large group of soldiers that was usually led by a brigadier general. A brigade was made up of 4-6 regiments. The breakdown is as follows:

1 company = 50-100 men
10 companies = 1 regiment
4+ regiments = 1 brigade
2-5 brigades = 1 division
2+ divisions = 1 corps
1+ corps = 1 army

In my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the term "brigade" is used as such:

(Page 30)
The regiment joined with General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah, and was attached to Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee’s Third Brigade. For the remainder of the week, the recruits enjoyed their leisurely life, faithfully attended Sunday services, read their prayer books, and learned how to fend for themselves by performing duties traditionally left for the womenfolk, such as cooking and darning. The soldiers received sewing kits called housewives, and variations of religious literature from the Army Christian Association, pamphlets that were referred to as tracts, and entitled, “Prepare for Battle,” “A Mother’s Parting Words to Her Soldier Boy,” and “Sufferings of the Lost.” The Alabamians filled their time with scripture, or sang hymns, such as “Nearer My God to Thee” and “How Sweet the Sound.”

(Page 32)
The Fourth of July was observed with a speech by President Lincoln, whose plea to Congress led to the authorized call for five hundred thousand Federal volunteers. By making such a request, Lincoln apparently had made a total declaration of war, and the Confederates took it as such. Two days later, Private Humphreys was discharged. He returned to Alabama to raise a brigade, electing himself as colonel.

(Page 34)
The general appeared calm but perturbed. “This is all of my brigade I can find,” he stated to the soldiers. “Will you follow me back to where the firin’ is goin’ on?”

(Page 34)
Bee immediately set the men into action, leading them forward into the fray. On the other side of the ravine awaited a brigade of Virginians commanded by General Thomas Jackson, who sat stoically upon his steed.

(Page 66)
Their relatively comfortable existence was soon disrupted, however, because they were ordered to march up the peninsula to Richmond. Before they reached Williamsburg, which was only twelve miles from Yorktown, the 4th Alabama was moved ahead of Johnston’s entire army, along with the Third Brigade, the 18th Georgia, Hampton’s Legion, and General John Bell Hood’s Texans. The troops proceeded to West Point on the York River, but the going was slow because of ankle-deep mud and heavy rain. Exhausted and without rations, the men marched until late into the night. When they could go no farther, they fell upon the ground to sleep. Hearing artillery fire coming from the direction of Williamsburg, they knew McClellan was hot on their heels, but they had left a surprise for him there—land mines.

(Page 66-67)
The following morning, they learned that a regiment of Union soldiers had gotten ahead of them in an attempt to cut them off. General Whiting, the brigade commander, galloped past them on his steed, his hands clasped and his face raised to the sky in prayer while he rode to the front. Later on in the day, General Hood managed to push the Yankees back, prompting some of the men to comment on how General Whiting’s prayers had been answered. One of the North Alabamians, Orderly Sergeant Hartley, and a private from Company A, were sent out as scouts later that evening, but when morning came, only the private returned. Sergeant Hartley had been shot, and the private brought back his bullet-pierced roll book to prove it. Hiram and the rest of Company I once again felt sorrow, for although Hartley had been from Connecticut, he was well liked, and a true Confederate patriot.

(Page 68)
While the hours ticked by, the soldiers grew restless, but knew there was nothing they could do. Early in the afternoon, General Lee arrived. The men soon learned that he had been given control of the Confederate army, and that General Smith was relieved of command. Lee promptly renamed his soldiers. What had previously been known as the “Army of the Potomac” became the “Army of Northern Virginia.” For his first act of authority, he commanded his troops to “strike the tent,” and returned them to Richmond. The 4th Alabama had lost eight of their own, and nineteen were wounded. General Whiting was placed in command of the division, while Colonel Law was designated as brigade commander. The men had “seen the elephant” once more, and speculated about when the beast would reappear to rear its ugly head.

(Page 75)
They advanced across. The stench of smoke and sulfur rose up to meet them as they fell victim to the waiting Union artillery and small guns. The roar was nearly deafening, and several men fell screaming to their deaths while the regiment progressed. Smoke was so thick and suffocating that the Rebels choked and coughed. They could barely see ten feet in front of them, but they knew they had to persevere. The Alabamians advanced to find a brigade of A. P. Hill’s Virginians lying in front of the enemy’s lines. Hill, in his distinctive red shirt, rode up and down the line, immune to the shelling. Out of ammunition, and too exhausted to move, the Virginians were forced to endure the shower of bullets and shrapnel that hailed down upon them.

(Page 80)
Late that evening, the corps’ two brigades were positioned to advance through the narrow gap, which was only wide enough to allow for railroad tracks and a road. The steep, craggy sides prevented the Confederates from seeing in any direction but straight ahead. They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they pursued, the clatter of their guns echoing through the gap. The 4th was directed to climb the slope in an attempt to flank their retreating enemy, and after much difficulty, they succeeded at nightfall. The men bivouacked, where they sustained themselves on hardtack and tobacco.

(Page 80)
The effusion of blood raged on. Jackson’s right brigade pressed the Yankees, and managed to capture one of their three-inch rifles. At six o’clock, a large portion of the enemy’s artillery, as well as their infantry, started up the turnpike toward the Alabamians, who were ordered to charge. The Federals reacted by firing their artillery into the advancing Rebels. Members of Colonel Law’s brigade were blown to pieces, their appendages torn from their torsos, and their broken bodies hurled through the air. Blood splattered down like a rapid downpour, mixed with dirt and shrapnel. Several others were hit by flying metal, and screamed in agony as they writhed to the ground.

(Page 84)
After struggling through a fourteen-mile march, the Alabamians arrived between three and four o’clock that afternoon, exhausted from their strenuous excursion over the mountain. The 4th was immediately put into action, commanded to attack the enemy to the left of the road with fixed bayonets. They were then ordered to their right. The men charged through an apple orchard overladen with fruit. Starving, yet unable to pick any because time wouldn’t allow for it, they forged ahead with the Texans and the rest of Colonel Law’s Third Brigade. Night fell before they could reach their opponents, so they positioned themselves in a sunken road for protection. The enemy continued firing into laurel trees which stood several yards away, but to no avail, for the pelting of their bullets whacked into the trunks. At one point, Colonel McLemore climbed up on a nearby wooden rail fence to reconnoiter, but he was hit in the shoulder.

(Page 85)
At 3:00 a.m., the men were awakened to the sound of McClellan’s army attacking the Georgians, who had come to their relief the previous night. For an hour and a half, the battle raged, until General Hood was called upon for assistance. He brought his two brigades to the front, one of which included the 4th Alabama. As they were ordered to line up, Orange Hugh approached his messmates in a panic.

(Page 86)
The Confederates advanced into the trees, skirmishing with their enemies as they drove them out. Captain Scruggs, who fell wounded, was quickly replaced by Captain Robbins. Realizing that they were at an advantage, the Rebels shot down scores of Yankees while concealing themselves in the cover of trees, fighting savagely despite their extreme hunger and fatigue. Other regiments of their brigade, the Texans, South Carolinians, and Georgians, were out in the open on their left, and suffered because of it. As dawn began to lighten the sky, Hiram noticed a Union general riding around the field on a large white horse.

(Page 98)
The Irish Brigade advanced, hollering “Ireland forever” in Gaelic. “Erin go bragh!” they bellowed in unison while advancing, but they were forced to retreat under the murderous fire of the Confederate guns.

(Page 99)
When at last the order was given to march, it was late afternoon. The men moved down the road at a double quick until they reached the front, where they formed a line of battle. Subjected to heavy shelling, the veteran Alabamians crested a hill to observe a newly formed brigade of Rebels retreat as fast as their legs could carry them, while the gunners, covered in powder from head to foot, frantically loaded and fired their pieces. All around, bullets whizzed, shells burst, and men yelled and cursed.

(Page 101)
The men awoke to find it was raining, as it usually did after a battle. They discovered that Burnside’s Federals had crossed the river overnight, demoralized into retreating to Washington. A wave of cheers rushed over the Rebel ranks. While the rain dissipated to drizzle, Bud, who was still in a daze, followed some of his comrades out onto the battlefield, which was covered with dead Yankee soldiers. It was obvious from what they saw that the Union army had suffered almost complete annihilation. Some of the Federals died trying to use their comrades’ bodies as shields. What it must have been like to lie in wait while bullets thudded into the bodies of their friends, Bud could only speculate. Besides corpses dressed in blue, some wore Zouave uniforms, while others adorned their trappings with Kelly green. Blue Hugh said they were with the Irish Brigade, because he had heard that they wore green boxwood sprigs in their caps to display their heritage. The barefoot Confederates immediately set to work, relieving the rigid bodies of their footwear and clothing, as well as their haversacks’ contents. Bud replaced his worn-out brogans, which had developed holes in their soles long ago.

Search result for 'brigade' in A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...brigadeiment joined with General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah, and was attached to Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee’s Third brigade. For the remainder of the week, the recruits enjoyed their leisurely life, faithfully attended Sunday services, read their prayer books, and learned how to fend for themselves by ..."
"...plea to Congress led to the authorized call for five hundred thousand Federal volunteers. By making such a request, Lincoln apparently had made a total declaration of war, and the Confederates took it as such. Two days later, Private Humphreys was discharged. He returned to Alabama to raise a brigade, electing himself as colonel. ..."
126.
"... of the Fourth Alabama!” Enoch Campbell exclaimed. The general appeared calm but perturbed. “This is all of my brigade I can find,” he stated to the soldiers. “Will you follow me back to where the firin’ is goin’ on?” “Aye, sir!” hollered one of the men. “We will, ..."
130.
"... the death!” added George Anderson. Bee immediately set the men into action, leading them forward into the fray. On the other side of the ravine awaited a brigade of Virginians commanded by General Thomas Jackson, who sat stoically upon his steed. General Bee brought him to the men’s ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...brigadeelatively comfortable existence was soon disrupted, however, because they were ordered to march up the peninsula to Richmond. Before they reached Williamsburg, which was only twelve miles from Yorktown, the 4th Alabama was moved ahead of Johnston’s entire army, along with the Third brigade, the 18th Georgia, Hampton’s Legion, and ..."
"...The following morning, they learned that a regiment of Union soldiers had gotten ahead of them in an attempt to cut them off. General Whiting, the brigade commander, galloped past them on his steed, his hands clasped and his face raised to the sky in prayer while he rode to the front. Later on in the day, General Hood managed to push the Yankees back, prompting some of the men to comment on how General Whiting’s ..."
"...Northern Virginia.” For his first act of authority, he commanded his troops to “strike the tent,” and returned them to Richmond. The 4th Alabama had lost eight of their own, and nineteen were wounded. General Whiting was placed in command of the division, while Colonel Law was designated as brigade commander. The men had “seen the elephant” once more, and speculated about when the beast would reappear to rear its ugly head. ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"...nearly deafening, and several men fell screaming to their deaths while the regiment progressed. Smoke was so thick and suffocating that the Rebels choked and coughed. They could barely see ten feet in front of them, but they knew they had to persevere. The Alabamians advanced to find a brigade of A. P. Hill’s Virginians lying in front of the enemy’s lines. Hill, in his distinctive red shirt, rode up and down the line, immune to the shelling. Out of ammunition, and too exhausted to move, the Virginians were forced to endure the shower of bullets and shrapnel that ..."
"...Late that evening, the corps’ two brigades were positioned to advance through the narrow gap, which was only wide enough to allow for railroad tracks and a road. The steep, craggy sides prevented the Confederates from seeing in any direction but straight ahead. They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they ..."
"...The effusion of blood raged on. Jackson’s right brigade pressed the Yankees, and managed to capture one of their three-inch rifles. At six o’clock, a large portion of the enemy’s artillery, as well as their infantry, started up the turnpike toward the Alabamians, who were ordered to charge. The Federals reacted by firing their artillery into the advancing ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...brigadetruggling through a fourteen-mile march, the Alabamians arrived between three and four o’clock that afternoon, exhausted from their strenuous excursion over the mountain. The 4th was immediately put into action, commanded to attack the enemy to the left of the road with fixed bayonets. They were then ordered to their ..."
"...At 3:00 a.m., the men were awakened to the sound of McClellan’s army attacking the Georgians, who had come to their relief the previous night. For an hour and a half, the battle raged, until General Hood was called upon for assistance. He brought his two brigades to the front, one of which included the 4th Alabama. As they were ordered to line up, Orange Hugh approached his messmates in a panic. ..."
"...they drove them out. Captain Scruggs, who fell wounded, was quickly replaced by Captain Robbins. Realizing that they were at an advantage, the Rebels shot down scores of Yankees while concealing themselves in the cover of trees, fighting savagely despite their extreme hunger and fatigue. Other regiments of their brigade, the Texans, South Carolinians, and Georgians, were out in the open on their left, and suffered because of it. As dawn began to lighten the sky, Hiram noticed a Union general riding around the field on a large white horse. ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
"...women and children wrenched his heart. After some time, the Confederates’ efforts to repel the Yankees proved futile. The Federals started over the river in boats and soon began filing across their pontoon bridges. By nightfall, they had taken the town. General Lee arranged his troops, comprised of the brigades of Jackson, Longstreet, A. P. Hill, and McLaws, as well as the divisions led by Taliaferro, D. H. Hill, and Early. Supported by General J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry and John Pelham’s artillery, the men became entrenched at Marye’s Hill. Their lines stretched seven miles, with eleven thousand men ..."
125.
"... either. They fell back in confusion. The Irish brigade advanced, hollering “Ireland forever” in Gaelic. “Erin go bragh!” they bellowed in unison while advancing, but they were forced to retreat under the murderous fire of the Confederate guns. With his own comrades entrenched on ..."
"...at last the order was given to march, it was late afternoon. The men moved down the road at a double quick until they reached the front, where they formed a line of battle. Subjected to heavy shelling, the veteran Alabamians crested a hill to observe a newly formed brigade of Rebels retreat as fast as their legs could carry them, while the gunners, covered in powder from head to foot, frantically loaded and fired their pieces. All around, bullets whizzed, shells burst, and men yelled and cursed. ..."
"...brigade awoke to find it was raining, as it usually did after a battle. They discovered that Burnside’s Federals had crossed the river overnight, demoralized into retreating to Washington. A wave of cheers rushed over the Rebel ranks. While the rain dissipated to drizzle, Bud, who was still in a ..."

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"The history is intertwined ingeniously into the plot. It is well plotted and the narrative moves along at nice clip...."

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