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In regular army units and units of the Army of the Confederate States of America, the officers were either appointed by a high ranking commanding officer or were promoted from within the ranks. A lot of times, officers were appointed based on being from a prominent, wealthy, or influential family.

In volunteer units, officers were often elected by the men in the unit. Sometimes officers were chosen based on the fact that they could raise a unit of men from where they lived. Volunteer officers were also appointed or promoted.

Battlefield promotions were also not unusual where soldiers displayed the ability to lead the others in obtaining an objective.

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Q: Why were certain people in the Civil war chosen to be officers?
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