Glossary

Introduction to terms and definitions found throughout the encyclopedia.

C

Caisson

A two-wheeled vehicle with large chests used for carrying artillery ammunition.

Canister

A can-shaped casement containing grapeshot. When fired from cannon, canisters exploded, scattering grape-sized iron balls like a shotgun blast.

Carpetbaggers

Northerners who moved to Southern states during Reconstruction to take advantage of political chaos and secure local and state government positions.

Casualties of War

Statistics measuring the human toll of battles, usually reported as the number of dead, wounded and captured/missing.

Cavalry

An army unit consisting of soldiers mounted on horseback. Although many cavalrymen fought from the saddle, most cavalry corps in the Civil War were mobile infantrymen who traveled by horse.

Color

The banner for a military unit.

Company

A military unit larger than a platoon and smaller than a battalion. In the Civil War a company equaled 100 officers and men in the Union and Confederate armies. Companies were commanded by a captain and 2 - 3 lieutenants, each of whom commanded a platoon.

Congressional Medal of Honor

The highest U.S. military decoration, awarded in the name of the United States Congress to members of the armed forces for gallantry and bravery beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy. The Medal of Honor was created by an Act of Congress and approved by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21, 1861.

Conscription

Compulsory enrollment and induction into the military service. The Union and the Confederacy each used conscription during the Civil War.

Corps

The largest single organization of an army. During the Civil War, a corps equaled 3 infantry divisions (36,000 - 45,000 men) and an artillery brigade in the Union Army and 3 infantry divisions (48,000 - 60,000 men) and an artillery battalion in the Confederate Army. Union corps were usually commanded by a major general, while Confederate corps were usually commanded by a lieutenant general.

Help support the ongoing development of Ohio Civil War Central by clicking the banner and then purchasing products from Amazon.com.

Ohio Civil War Central: An Encyclopedia of the American Civil War