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Marsena Patrick exhibited supreme organizational skill in his role as provost marshal and in maintaining his perfectly coiffed beard.

In October 1862, General McClellan assigned Patrick to the post of provost marshal general in the Army of the Potomac. He was tasked with a wide array of responsibilities including rounding up stragglers, deterring looters, and enforcing general discipline on the troops. Amid battle, he organized to corral fleeing soldiers and handle Confederate prisoners coming off the lines. By the war’s end, Marsena had served directly under Generals McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, Meade, and Grant proving an invaluable subordinate to each. .