Armies of the Civil War

In the same vein as how the Union and confederacy named battles, the respective armies were named from states or geographic regions in states or terrain features such as rivers.  The Confederate armies were named from states or geographic regions similar to naming of battles for cities.  The Union used the names of geographic features such as rivers or mountains to name their armies employing a similar nomenclature to that used for battles.

Confederate Armies

Confederate Armies Comment
Army of Central Kentucky Formed from troops from Eastern Tennessee
Army of the Kanawha Kanawha River valley of western Virginia
Army of Kentucky State of Kentucky
Army of Mississippi State of Mississippi
Army of Missouri Formed from the Missouri State Guard
Army of New Mexico Operated in Confederate Arizona and New Mexico Territory
Army of Northern Virginia Primary military force of Confederate Army
Army of the Peninsula Magruder's Army
Army of the Northwest Troops in northwestern Virginia
Army of the Potomac Merged with Army of the Shenandoah and renamed the Army of Northern Virginia
Army of the Shenandoah Virginia Militia organized at Harpers Ferry
Army of Tennessee  
Army of the Trans-Mississippi Trans-Mississippi primarily consisted of the four Confederate states west of the Mississippi (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri), as well as the two Confederate Territories roughly corresponding to the present day states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Army of the Valley Army of Lt. Gen. Jubal Early's independent command during the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns in the summer and autumn of 1864
Army of the West Composed primarily of members of the old Missouri State Guard
Army of Western Louisiana Fought against Banks

Union Armies

While Union armies mainly took their names from rivers there are a few exceptions indicated by an asterisk in the following table.

Union Armies Comment
Army of Arkansas*  
Army of the Border* Formed from Department of Kansas
Army of the Cumberland Originally known as the Army of the Ohio
Army of the Frontier* Composed of forces from the Dist. of Southwest Missouri
Army of Georgia* Constituted the Left Wing of Major General William T. Sherman's Army Group during the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign.
Army of the Gulf Served in the general area of the Gulf states especially Louisiana and Alabama
Army of the James Composed of units from the Department of Virginia and North Carolina and served along the James River
Army of Kentucky*  
Army of the Mississippi Served along the Mississippi River including Island No. 10, Iuka and Corinth.
Army of the Ohio  
Army of the Potomac Major Union Army in the Eastern Theater
Army of the Shenandoah  
Army of the Southwest* composed of troops from the Department of Missouri
Army of the Tennessee Major Union army in the West
Army of Virginia* Constituted from four existing departments operating around Virginia
Army of West Mississippi* Virtually the same force as the Army of the Gulf,
Army of West Virginia*  

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Revised 07/20/2013