Who are Comrades in Battle?

In the American Civil War, battalions were generally divided into companies, each company was then divided into two platoons (of approximately 20 – 50 men, commanded by a sergeant) which, in turn, were subdivided into sections of about 10 – 25 men, commanded by a corporal. Sections were further subdivided into squads of about 4 – 12 men and these squads could be split into two-man or six-man skirmish groups, whose members were called “comrades in battle.” Even if there was no such higher or standardized organization as a company or squadron (or similar), all soldiers in both armies formed Comrades-in-Battle groups….


Comrades-in-Battle shared the camp tent, the camp fire, the food, the cold, the heat, the rain, and even shared enemy bullets, bayonets and swords. They felt the wounds of their comrades, the deaths – and, because of all that, formed a very close relationship that allowed them to feel and act as one man, and react with no hesitation to their leaders’ orders and follow them with no thought of surrender……