Authored by Combat Studies Institute
A staff ride to a major battle?eld is an excellent tool for the historical education of members of the Armed Forces. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has been conducting staff rides since the 1900s. Captain Arthur L. Wagner was an instructor at Fort Leavenworth in the 1890s, and he believed an of?cer’s education had become too far removed from the reality of war. He pondered how to get the experience of combat to of?cers who had only experienced peace. His answer was the staff ride, a program in which stu-dents studied a major battle and then went to the actual ?eld to complete the study. Wagner did not live to see staff rides added to the curriculum at Fort Leavenworth, but in 1906, the ?rst staff ride was added to the Fort Leavenworth “experience.” Major Eben Swift led 12 students on a study of the Atlanta Campaign of 1864. On and off, staff rides have been a part of the curriculum ever since.
Staff rides are not just limited to schoolhouse education. For years, unit commanders have conducted numerous staff rides to varied battle-?elds as part of their of?cers’ and soldiers’ professional development. In support of these ?eld commanders, the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth published staff ride guides to assist personnel planning and conducting staff rides worldwide.
In 2002, General John Abrams, US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) commanding general, recognized the impact and importance of staff rides and revamped the Staff Ride Team. TRADOC assigned personnel full time to Fort Leavenworth to lead staff rides for the Army. As part of this initiative, the Staff Ride Team is also dedicated to publishing staff ride handbooks in support of the Army.
The Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Shiloh, 6-7 April 1862 pro-vides a systematic approach to the analysis of this early battle in the west-ern theater of the American Civil War. Part I describes the organization of both armies, detailing their weapons, tactics, logistics, engineering, com-munications, and medical support. Part II consists of a campaign overview that allows students to understand how the armies met on the battle?eld. Part III is a suggested route for conducting a staff ride at Shiloh. For each stop, or “stand,” there is a set of travel directions, a description of the ac-tion that occurred there, vignettes by battle participants, a list of discussion or teaching points that a staff ride leader can explore at the stand, and a map of the battle actions.
Jan 14 2015
1505856647 / 9781505856644
US Trade Paper
6″ x 9″
Black and White
History / United States / Civil War