Often, when researching civil war militaria, you’ll run across acronyms that are extremely cryptic. One of our viewers has compiled this list of common civil war acronyms for your use.
ACW -American Civil War
Adj. or Adjt. -Adjutant
AIG – Adjutant and Inspector General
AMM – Acting Master’s Mate
AoC -Army of the Cumberland (US)
AoP -Army of the Potomac(US)
AoT -Army of Tennessee
AotT -Army of THE Tennessee (US) (seldom used)
AoO -Army of the Ohio
AoV -Army of Virginia (US-short lived)
AAG -Assistant Adjutant General
ADC -Aide de camp
ANV -Army of Northern Virginia
AWOL -Absent Without Leave, a serious offense.
B&G -Blue & Gray (magazine)
B&O -Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
BCoF -“Battle Cry of Freedom” (Book)
BDE.or BRIG. -Brigade
BGen. or Br.Gen. –Brigadier General
BRT -Big Round Top (Gettysburg)
B&L -Battles & Leaders, compilation of battle reports by participants
BRVT.- Brevet – as in rank.
(c) -captured. Seen on casualty reports
CC -Christian Commission, private organization to benefit soldiers. Union.
CCG -Camp Chase Gazette
CDV -Carte de visite, a small photograph of a person or family
CitA -Confederates in the Attic (popular book by Tony Horwitz)
Cmdr. -Commander, a naval rank
Co. – Company
CoS -Chief of Staff (fairly rare)
CS -Captain of Subsistence, a supply officer. Rare but documented
CSA -Confederate States of America or Confederate States Army
CSN -Confederate States Navy
CSS -Confederate States Ship
CWH -Confederate White House
DUV -Daughters of Union Veterans
Dyer’s – short for Dyer’s Compendium, a 3 volume listing of civil war regiments
ECF -East Cavalry Field (Gettysburg)
EP -Emancipation Proclamation
FFV -First Families of Virginia.
FNP – Friends of the National Parks. Usually followed by park abbreviations ( such as FNPG = Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg)
Fox’s – Short for Fox’s regimental losses
Fr. -Father, title for a Catholic or Episcopal priest
GAR. -Grand Army of the Republic
GO -General Order (large numbers issued by commanders of both sides)
GSW – Gunshot Wound
HQ or H’d-Qrts – Headquarters
HUG -Hiram Ulysses Grant (his name at birth)
JEB -James Ewell Brown (Stuart), initials of Confederate cavalry commander, commonly used as his first name.
Jno. -an abbreviation for the name John, as for example “Jno. Buford”.
JO – Joseph Orville (Shelby)
(k) -killed. Seen on casualty reports and monuments.
KGC -Knights of the Golden Circle, semi-secret organization of pro-slavery/anti-war Northerners
LoC – Library of Congress
LRT -Little Round Top (Gettysburg)
Lt. – Lieutenant
Lt. Col. -Lieutenant Colonel
LtGen -Lieutenant General
M. Meridian, or noon. Means the time the sun is directly overhead, useful in days before accurate wristwatches.
Mac -Nickname for US Gen. George McClellan. Also seen as “Little Mac”
Maj. -Major, army rank between captain and colonel
Maj.Gen or M.Gen -Major General
MM – Master’s Mate
M.O. -Mustered Out, or date soldier was discharged from the service.
MoC -Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond
MOLLUS – Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
MOSB -Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Confederate descendants & heritage group
M.R. -Mounted Rifles
MS (or m.s.) -Medical Staff
MSG -Missouri State Guard
MVI – Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
N&S -North & South (magazine)
NARA – National Archives and Records Administration
NBF – Nathan Bedford Forrest
NPS – National Park Service
NYSM -New York State Militia
NYSM -New York State Volunteers
Obdt. Srvt. – Obedient Servant. Polite way to sign a letter, see “YOS”
OD -Officer of the Day
OG -Officer of the Guard
OS -Officer of the Sword
OR -the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
OVI -Ohio Volunteer Infantry (US Federal troops)
OVM -Ohio Volunteer Militia (Ohio state militia troops)
OVVI -Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, regiments made up of re-enlistees, frequently those disabled from earlier service.
P.A.C.S. -Provisional Army of the Confederate States. Very early war term.
Pdr. – Pound or Pounder, a classification of size of artillery (indicating the weight of the projectile thrown, as in “12-pdr Napoleon”)
P.R.MD.H. B. – Potomac River Maryland Home Brigrade
Pte. -Private (variation of the usual Pvt.)
PVI -Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
Pvt. -Private. Lowest Army rank.
QM -quartermaster officer or department
RC -Roman Catholic
REL -Robert E. Lee
RF&P – Richmond,Fredricksburg and Potomac
RRC -Red River Campaign (see RRE)
RRE -Red River Expedition. Same as RRC
RT – Round Table (same as CWRT)
R.V.C -Reserve Veteran Corps
Rt. Rev. -Right Reverend, an ecclesiastical title
SC -Sanitary Commission, private group providing medical and other supplies to Union troops
Sch. -Schooner. A type of naval vessel.
Sgt. -Sergeant, Army rank between corporal and lieutenant
S.O. – Special Orders
SoL -Sons of Liberty, a later name for Knights of the Golden Circle
SSgt. – Staff sergeant
Str. -Steamer. A steam-powered propeller-driven ship.
SUV -Sons of Union Veterans
SCV -Sons of Confederate Veterans
SC -Signal Corps (both sides had one)
Sc. -Screw, the propeller of a ship, or referring to a steam rather than sail-powered vessel
SW -Side wheeler, a paddle-driven ship. Think of the movie “Show Boat”.
TMT – Trans-Mississippi Theater
UDC -United Daughters of the Confederacy, Confederate veterans descendants group
USA -United States of America OR United States Army
U.S.C.H.A. – United States Colored Troops Heavy Artillery
USCC -United States Colored Cavalry
USCT – United States Colored Troops
USG -Ulysses S. Grant
USN -United States Navy
USS -United States Ship
USSS -United States Sharpshooters
VI -Volunteer Infantry – usually preceded by state initial (ex. PVI, NYVI)
VMI -Virginia Military Institute
(w) -wounded. Seen on casualty reports
WIB -Wounded in battle.
WBTS -War Between the States
WFSI -War for Southern Independence
WP -West Point, US military academy
WTS – William Tecumseh Sherman
YOS -Your Obedient Servant (closing of a letter or post)
ZU-ZU -a soldier in a Zouave regiment, noted for flashy red-trousered uniforms.