The performance of an army is often evaluated by its achievements as a whole, or by that of its commanders or perhaps even its divisions. Often lost in the equation is the small unit. After the great plans are complete and the logistics preparations are accomplished, it is the collective performance of the small unit that ultimately decides the battle.
This thesis analyses the campaigns, soldiers, organization, equipment, and performance of just one regiment: the 48th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. Material concerning the 48th includes numerous primary sources: the Official Records, Confederate Veteran, The Southern Historical Papers, Southern Bivouac, local histories, and the CARL microfiche library of unit histories (Note: the 48th is not included in these unit histories). Other primary references include war diaries of two officers, three enlisted men, and copies of the 48th's Quartermaster records.
This thesis concludes that, while training and equipment of the 48th was sometimes poor, it was effective in numerous engagements, despite its relative small size. The ultimate demise of the unit was due to personnel losses.