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Corps badges in the American Civil War were originally worn by soldiers of the Union Army on the top of their army forage cap (kepi), left side of the hat, or over their left breast. The idea is attributed to Maj. Gen. Philip Kearny, who ordered the men in his division to sew a two-inch square of red cloth on their hats to avoid confusion on the battlefield. This idea was adopted by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker after he assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, so any soldier could be identified at a distance.

Co C 110th Pennsylvania Infantry after the Battle of Fredericksburg Va. An excellent photograph showing the Union Army white Diamond shaped III Corps Badges on the kepis

Maj. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, Hooker's chief of staff, was assigned the task of designing a distinctive shape for each corps badge. Butterfield also designated that each division in the corps should have a variation of the corps badge in a different color. Division badges were colored as follows:

  1. Red — First division of corps
  2. White — Second division of corps
  3. Blue — Third division of corps

These were used in the United States' Army of the Potomac. For the most part, these rules were adopted by other Union Armies, however it was not universal. For example, the XIII Corps never adopted a badge, and the XIX Corps had the first division wear a red badge, the second division wear a blue badge, and the third division wear white.

For Army corps that had more than three divisions, the standardization was lost:

  1. Green — Fourth division of VI, IX, and XX Corps
  2. Yellow — Fourth division of XV Corps (reportedly Orange was also used for a 5th Division Badge)
  3. Multicolor — Headquarters or artillery elements (certain corps)

The badges for enlisted men were cut from colored cloth, while officer's badges were privately made and of a higher quality. Metallic badges were often made by jewelers and were personalized for the user. The badges eventually became part of the Army regulations and a great source of regimental pride.[1]

Corps badgesEdit

Corps flagsEdit

I Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, I Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, I Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, I Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

II Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division
 
Union Army Corps Hqr's, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
 
Union Army Artillery Brigade, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
 
Union Army Quartermaster Badge, II Corps, Army of the Potomac
Corps Hqr's Artillery Brigade Quartermaster

III Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, III Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, III Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, III Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

IV Corps, Army of the CumberlandEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, IV Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, IV Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, IV Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

V Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, V Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, V Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, V Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

VI Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Flag, VI Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Flag, VI Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Flag, VI Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

VII Corps, Dept of ArkansasEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, VII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, VII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, VII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

VIII Corps, Middle DepartmentEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, VIII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, VIII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, VIII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

IX Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, IX Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, IX Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, IX Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division
 
Union Army 4th Division Badge, IX Corps
4th Division

X Corps, Department of SouthEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, X Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, X Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, X Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XI Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XI Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XI Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XI Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XII Corps, Army of the PotomacEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XIII Corps, Army of the TennesseeEdit

No badge was designated for the XIII Corps.

XIV Corps, Army of the CumberlandEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XIV Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XIV Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XIV Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XV Corps, Army of the TennesseeEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XV Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XV Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XV Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division
 
Union Army 4th Division Badge, XV Corps
 
Union Army Headquarters Badge, XV Corps
4th Division Headquarters

XVI Corps, Military Division of West MississippiEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XVI Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XVI Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XVI Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XVII Corps, Army of the TennesseeEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XVII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XVII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XVII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XVIII Corps, Army of the JamesEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XVIII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XVIII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XVIII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XIX Corps, Middle Military DivisionEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XIX Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XIX Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XIX Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XX Corps, Army of the CumberlandEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XX Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XX Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XX Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

{Note:XX Corps Badges same as the old XII Corps; the XX Corps was consolidated from the XI and XII Corps}

XXI CorpsEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XXI Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XXI Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XXI Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division
 
Union Army Headquarters Badge, XXI Corps
Headquarters

XXII Corps, Dept of WashingtonEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XXII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XXII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XXII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XXIII Corps, Dept of Ohio & Dept of North CarolinaEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XXIII Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XXIII Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XXIII Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XXIV Corps, Dept of VirginiaEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XXIV Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XXIV Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XXIV Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

XXV Corps, Army of the James, Dept of TexasEdit

 
Union Army 1st Division Badge, XXV Corps
 
Union Army 2nd Division Badge, XXV Corps
 
Union Army 3rd Division Badge, XXV Corps
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

Cavalry corpsEdit

Brigade badgesEdit

I Corps, Army of the Potomac

 
Union Army I Corps, 1st Division Badge, 1st Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 2nd Division Badge, 1st Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 3rd Division Badge, 1st Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 1st Division Badge, 2nd Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 2nd Division Badge, 2nd Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 3rd Division Badge, 2nd Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 1st Division Badge, 3rd Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 2nd Division Badge, 3rd Brigade
 
Union Army I Corps, 3rd Division Badge, 3rd Brigade

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee

External linksEdit