A.A.D.C. (or Add. A.D.C.). Abbreviations for additional aide-de-camp. The number of aides de camp in the Union Army swelled after August 5, 1861, when Congress authorized an unlimited number of the additional aide positions. See also A.D.C.
A.A.G. Abbreviation for assistant adjutant general, the most respected and personal member of a general’s staff. Besides issuing and explaining his superior’s orders to subordinates, the A.A.G. also did many thankless tasks. Confederate Brigadier General “STONEWALL” Jackson sent his A.A.G., Captain Henry Kyd Douglas, to deliver a message to a detachment “on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, somewhere near Culpepper.” When Douglas returned, worn and weary after a four-day journey of more than 200 miles, Jackson gave him a nod and dismissal: “Very good. You did get there in time. Good night.”
ab. An abbreviation of “abolitionist” used by southerners as a nickname for a Union soldier.
abatis A defensive barricade of large branches placed close together with the ends sharpened and facing toward the enemy. The bottom ends were anchored into the ground. An emergency abatis could be quickly constructed by locking together limbs and vines.
“Abolition!” The slogan used by slavery abolitionists. It had previously been a colonial slogan for demanding the repeal of the British Stamp Act in 1765.
abolitionized A word that began to be used in the North in 1863 to describe the Lincoln administration’s increased emphasis on abolition, as demonstrated by the Emancipation Proclamation. Some northerners believed that loyalty to the Union and the war effort was now being equated with one’s support of abolition.
abolition soldiers A southern name for Union troops.
about played out About ready to quit. A tired, demoralized soldier might describe himself as “about played out”; the phrase was also sometimes used for whole units. See also “All played out!”; play-out.
above one’s bend A slang expression meaning “above one’s reach” or “beyond one’s abilities”; e.g., “I could try to describe Susan’s beauty, but it is above my bend.”