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Full text of "The photographic history of the Civil war"

The Photographic History 
of The Civil War 



In Ten Volumes 




"SIR THE GUARD IS FORMED!" 



This picture of guard-mounting is one of the earliest Civil War cavalry 
photographs. It was taken in 1861 at the Cavalry School of Practice and 
Recruiting Depot, at Carlisle barracks, Pennsylvania. The guard wears full-dress 
uniform. The adjutant is presenting it to the new Officer of the Day, on the right. 




"STAND TO HORSE!" AN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER CAVALRYMAN, OCTOBER, 1802 

"He s not a regular but he s smart. " This tribute to the soldierly bearing of the trooper above was 
bestowed, forty-nine years after the taking of the picture, by an officer of the U. S. cavalry, himself a Civil 
War veteran. The recipient of such high praise is seen as he "stood to horse" a month after the battle 
of Antietam. The war was only in its second year, but his drill is quite according to army regulations 
hand to bridle, six inches from the bit. His steady glance as he peers from beneath his hat into the sun 
light tells its own story. Days and nights in the saddle without food or sleep, sometimes riding along the 
60-mile picket-line in front of the Army of the Potomac, sometimes faced by sudden encounters with the 
Southern raiders, have all taught him the needed confidence in himself, his horse, and his equipment. 



-Centennial 




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The Photographic History 
of The Civil War 

In Ten Volumes 

FRANCIS TREVELYAN MILLER - EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 



ROBERT S. LANIER 

Managing Editor 



Thousands of Scenes Photographed 

18G1-65, with Text by many 

Special Authorities 



NEW YORK 
THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS Co. 

1911 




x >*jj 

^> 



The Photographic History 
of The Civil War 

In Ten Volumes 



Volume Four 
The Cavalry 



EDITOR 

THEO. F. RODENBOUGH 

Brigadier-General United States Army (Retired) 



Contributors 

THEO. F. RODENBOUGH HOLMES CONRAD 

Brigadier-General United States Army Major Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern 

(Retired) Virginia 

CHARLES 1). RHODES JOHN A. WYETH, M.D., LL.I). 

Captain, General Staff, United States Captain Quirk s Scouts, Confederate 

Army States Army 



New York 

The Review of Reviews Co. 

1911 



COPYRIGHT, 1011, BY PATRIOT PUBLISHING Co., SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION 
INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN 



Printed in New York, U.S.A. 



TH E SACKETT & WILHELMS CO. 
NEW YORK 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Frontispiece "STAND TO HORSE" AN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER CAVALRYMAN . 

Introduction THE EVOLUTION OF THE AMERICAN CAVALRYMAN .... 13 
Theo. F. RodenboiKjh 

THE FEDERAL CAVALRY ITS ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT 39 

Charles D. Rhodes 

THE CONFEDERATE CAVALRY IN THE EAST 71 

Holmes Conrad 

FEDERAL RAIDS AND EXPEDITIONS IN THE EAST 115 

Charles D. Rhodes 



FEDERAL RAIDS AND EXPEDITIONS IN THE WEST 129 

Charles D. Rhodes 

MORGAN S CHRISTMAS RAID, 1862-63 141 

John Allan Wijeth 

THE DESTRUCTION OF ROSECRANS GREAT WAGON-TRAIN 158 

John Allan Wyeth 

PARTISAN RANGERS OF THE CONFEDERACY 165 

Charles D. Rhodes 

OUTPOSTS, SCOUTS, AND COURIERS 181 

Charles I). Rhodes 

A RIDE THROUGH THE FEDERAL LINES AT XIGHT 204 

John Allan Wyeth 

CAVALRY BATTLES AND CHARGES 215 

Charles D. Rhodes 

CAVALRY LEADERS NORTH AND SOUTH 259 

Theo. F. Rodenboiujh 

FAMOUS CHARGERS . 289 

Theo. F. Rodenbough 

MOUNTING THE CAVALRY OF THE UNION ARMY 319 

Charles D. Rhodes 

PHOTOGRAPH DESCRIPTIONS THROUGHOUT VOLUME IV 
Roy Mason 



228596 



PREFACE 

TO the public at large, the volume prepared by General Rodenbough and his associates 
will be not only instructive but decidedly novel in its view-point. In the popular 
conception the cavalryman figures as the most dashing and care-free among soldiers. 
He is associated primarily with charges at a gallop to the sound of clashing sabers and bugle 
calls, and with thrilling rescues on the field. 

Adventurous, indeed, are the exploits of "Jeb" Stuart, Custer, and others recounted 
in the pages that follow, together with the typical reminiscences from Dr. Wyeth. 

The characteristic that stands dominant, however, throughout this volume shows that 
the soldiers in the cavalry branch were peculiarly responsible. Not only must they main 
tain a highly trained militant organization, ready to fight with equal efficiency either 
mounted or on foot, but to them fell the care of valuable, and frequently scarce, animals, 
the protection of the armies supplies, the transmission of important messages, and dozens 
more special duties which must usually be performed on the cavalryman s own initiative. 
On such detached duty there was lacking the shoulder to shoulder comradeship that large 
masses of troops enjoy. Confronted by darkness, distance, and danger, the trooper must 
carry out his orders with few companions, or alone. 

The discussion of organization and equipment is most important to an understanding 
of the cavalryman as he actually worked. The Federal methods, described at length in this 
volume, naturally involved a larger system and a more elaborate growth than those of the 
South with its waning resources. In other respects, however, the Confederate organization 
differed from that of the Union. The feeling for locality in the South manifested itself 
at the beginning of the war through the formation of companies and regiments on a geo 
graphical basis, and the election of officers by the men of the companies themselves. Thus, 
in spite of the want of military arms and ordnance stores, and the later disastrous scarcity of 
horses, the Confederates "hung together" in a manner that recalls the English yeomen 
archers who fought so sturdily, county by county. 

Altogether it was a gallant and devoted part that the American cavalryman, Federal 
or Confederate, played on his hard-riding raids and his outpost duty, as well as his better- 
known battles and charges, from 1861 to 1865. 

THE PUBLISHERS. 



CHAPTER 
ONE 



THE EVOLUTION 

OF THE 
AMERICAN CAVALRYMAN 








THE FIRST EXPERIMENT 



The men on dress parade here, in 1862, are much smarter, with their band and white gloves, their immaculj .te uniforms and horses all 
of one color, than the troopers in the field a year later. It was not known at that time how important a pa ,1 the cavalry was to play in 
the great war. The organization of this three months regiment was reluctantly authorized by the War Department in Washington. 
These are the Seventh New York Cavalry, the "Black Horse," organized at Troy, mustered in November G, 1801, and mustered out 




SEVENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY, 1862 



March 31, 1802. They were designated by the State authorities Second Regiment Cavalry on November 18, 1861, but the designation 
rt-as changed by the War Department to the Seventh New York Cavalry. The seven companies left for Washington, D. C., 
November 2. ?, 1861, and remained on .duty there till the following March. The regiment was honorably discharged, and many 
jf its members saw real service later. General I. N. Palmer, appears in the foreground with his staff, third from the left. 





CAVALRY OF THE CIVIL WAR 
ITS EVOLUTION AND INFLUENCE 

BY THEO. F. RODENBOUGH 

Brigadier-General, United States Army (Retired) 

IT may surprise non-military readers to learn that the United 
States, unprepared as it is for war, and unmilitary as are its 
people, has yet become a model for the most powerful armies 
of Europe, at least in one respect. The leading generals and 
teachers in the art and science of war now admit that our grand 
struggle of 1861-65 was rich in examples of the varied use of 
mounted troops in the field, which are worthy of imitation. 

Lieutenant-General von Pelet-Narbonne, in a lecture be 
fore the Royal United Service Institution of Great Britain, 
emphatically maintains that " in any case one must remem 
ber that, from the days of Napoleon until the present time, 
in no single campaign has cavalry exercised so vast an influ 
ence over the operations as they did in this war, wherein, of a 
truth, the personality of the leaders has been very striking; 
such men as, in the South, the God-inspired Stuart, and later 
the redoubtable Fitzhugh Lee, and on the Northern side, 
Sheridan and Pleasonton." 

For a long time after our Civil War, except as to its polit 
ical or commercial bearing, that conflict attracted but little 
attention abroad. A great German strategist was reported to 
have said that " the war between the States was largely an 
affair of armed mobs " a report, by the way, unverified, but 
which doubtless had its effect upon military students. In the 
meantime other wars came to pass in succession Austro-Prus- 
sian (1866), Franco-German (1870), Russo-Turkish (1877), 
and later the Boer War and that between Russia and Japan. 

16] 



w 



^ 








THE AMERICAN CAVALRYMAN 1864 

The type of American cavalryman developed by the conditions during the war fought 
equally well on foot and on horseback. In fact, he found during the latter part of the 
war that his horse was chiefly useful in carrying him expeditiously from one part of 
the battlefield to the other. Except when a mounted charge was ordered, the horses 
were far too valuable to be exposed to the enemy s fire, be he Confederate or Federal. 
It was only when cavalry was fighting cavalry that the trooper kept continually 
mounted. The Federal sabers issued at the beginning of the war were of long, straight 
Prussian pattern, but these were afterward replaced by a light cavalry saber with 
curved blade. A carbine and revolver completed the Federal trooper s equipment. 




tmtuitnn of tlj? Ammratt Gfcnmlrg 



* 






In none of these campaigns were the cavalry operations con 
spicuous for originality or importance as auxiliary to the main 
forces engaged. 

Meanwhile, the literature of the American war official 
and personal began to be studied, and its campaigns were 
made subjects for text-books and monographs by British au 
thors, which found ready publishers. Nevertheless, the Amer 
ican cavalry method has not gained ground abroad without a 
struggle. On the one hand, the failure of cavalry in recent 
European wars to achieve success has been made use of by one 
class of critics, who hold that " the cavalry has had its day "; 
that " the improved rifle has made cavalry charges imprac 
ticable " ; that it has degenerated into mere mounted infantry, 
and that its value as an arm of service has been greatly im 
paired. 

On the other hand it is held by the principal cavalry lead 
ers who have seen service in the field Field-Marshal Lord 
Roberts, Generals French, Hamilton, and Baden-Powell (of 
Boer War fame), De Negrier and Langlois of France, and 
Von Bernhardi of Germany, and others, (1) that while the 
method of using modern cavalry has changed, the arm itself 
is more important in war than ever; (2) that its scope is 
broadened; (3) that its duties require a higher order of intel 
ligence and training of its personnel officers and men, and 
(4), above all, that it is quite possible to turn out a modern 
horse-soldier, armed with saber and rifle, who will be equally 
efficient, mounted or dismounted. 

Still the battle of the pens goes merrily on the champions 
of the arme blanche or of the rifle alone, on the one side, and 
the defenders of the combination of those weapons on the other. 
The next great war will demonstrate, beyond peradventure, 
the practical value of " the American idea," as it is sometimes 
called. 

A glance at the conditions affecting the use of mounted 
troops in this country prior to our Civil War may be instructive ; 



IS 




JL 





THE ARME BLANCHE OR THK RIFLE 

The eternal question that has confronted cavalry experts ever since long-range firearms became effective, is whether the modern cavalry 
man should use the saber the arme blanche or the rifle, or both the arms together. The failure of cavalry to achieve success in recent 
European wars has been used by one class of critics to prove that "the cavalry has had its day" and that "the improved rifle had 
made cavalry charges impracticable." On the other hand, many of the experienced cavalry leaders of the present day hold that it is 
quite possible to turn out a modern horse-soldier, armed with saber and rifle, who will be equally efficient, mounted or dismounted. In 
1911 an American board of officers recommended, however, that the United States troopers should give up their revolvers on the 
principle that two arms suffice the carbine for long distance, the saber for hand-to-hand fighting. 
[G] 




U0lutt0tt nf lire Ammran (Eaualry $ 



it will show that eighty-five years of great and small wars, 
Indian fighting, and frontier service, proved to be a training 
school in which the methods followed by Sheridan, Stuart, 
Forrest, and others of their time had been really initiated by 
their famous predecessors Marion, the " Swamp Fox," and 
" Light Horse Harry " Lee of the War for Independence, 
Charlie 31 ay and Phil Kearny of the Mexican War, and those 
old-time dragoons and Indian fighters, Harney and Cooke. 

Before the Revolution of 1776, the colonists were gener 
ally armed with, and proficient in the use of, the rifle of long 
barrel and generous bore and familiarity with the broken and 
wooded surface of the country made them formidable oppo 
nents of the British from the start, who both in tactical meth 
ods and armament were very inferior to the American patriots. 
Fortescue, an English writer, records the fact that " at the 
time of the Lexington fight there was not a rifle in the whole 
of the British army, whereas there were plenty in the hands of 
the Americans, who understood perfectly how to use them." 

In the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee, bodies of 
horsemen, similarly armed, were readily formed, who, if igno 
rant of cavalry maneuvers, yet with little preparation became 
the finest mounted infantry the world has ever seen: distin 
guishing themselves in numerous affairs, notably at King s 
Mountain, South Carolina, September 25, 1780, where two 
thousand sturdy " Mountain Men," hastily assembled under 
Colonels Sevier, Shelby, and Campbell, surrounded and almost 
annihilated a force of tw r elve hundred men (one hundred and 
twenty being regulars) under Major Ferguson, of the British 
army. Marion, the partisan, led a small brigade of mounted 
infantry, who generally fought on foot, although at times 
charging and firing from the saddle. There were also small 
bodies of cavalry proper, using the saber and pistol, with 
effect, against the British cavalry in many dashing combats. 

The War of 1812 was not conspicuous for mounted opera 
tions, but the irregular warfare which preceded and followed 

[20] 







GRADUATES OF "THE ROUGH SCHOOL OF WAR" 



The photograph reproduced above through the courtesy of Captain Noble D. Preston, 
who served with the Tenth New York Cavalry here represented, shows to what stage the 
troopers had progressed in the rough school of war by the winter of 1862-3. The Tenth 
New York was organized at Elmira, N. Y., September 27, 1861, and moved to Gettysburg, 
Penn., December 24th, where it remained till March, 1862. It took part in the battle of 
Fredericksburg in December, 1862, and participated in the famous "mud march," January, 
1863, about the time this photograph was taken. The men had ample time for schooling 
and training in the Middle Department, in Maryland and the vicinity of Washington. They 
proved their efficiency in Stoneman s raid in April, 1863, and at Brandy Station and War- 
renton. Later they accompanied Sheridan on his Richmond raid in May, 1864, in the course 
of which Stuart met his death, and they were still " on duty " with Grant at Appomattox. 




ttoluttnn nf % Ammran (Eatralrjj 



that " difference " with the mother country, further demon 
strated the value of the dual armament of saber and rifle. The 
cavalry particularly distinguished itself in General Wayne s 
campaign of 1794 against the Northwestern Indians, and 
again under Harrison in the historic battle of Tippecanoe, 
November 7, 1811. At the battle of the Thames, October 5, 
1813, a decisive charge made by a regiment of Kentucky cav- 
alrv against a large force of British and Indians was success 
ful, resulting in the defeat of the enemy and death of the 
famous chieftain, Tecumseh. General Jackson s campaigns 
(1813-14) against the Creek Indians were marked by effect 
ive work on the part of the mounted volunteers. 

In 1833, Congress reorganized the regular cavalry by cre 
ating one regiment, followed in 1836 by another, called re 
spectively, the First and Second United States Dragoons. 
The First Dragoons were sent to the Southwest to watch the 
Pawnees and Comanches. On this expedition, it was accom 
panied by Catlin, the artist, who made many of his Indian 
sketches then. These regiments have bejen in continuous serv 
ice ever since. 

The first service of the Second Dragoons was against the 
Seminole Indians, in Florida, and for seven years the regi 
ment illustrated the adaptability of the American soldier to 
service in the field under the most trying circumstances. 
" There was at one time to be seen in the Everglades, the 
dragoon (dismounted) in water from three to four feet deep; 
the sailor and marine wading in the mud in the midst of cypress 
stumps ; and the infantry and artillery alternately on the land, 
in the water, or in boats." Here again, the combined mounted 
and dismounted action of cavalry was tested in many sharp 
encounters with the Indians. 

It was but a step from the close of the Florida war to the 
war with Mexico, 1846-47. The available American cavalry 
comprised the two regiments of dragoons and seven new regi 
ments of volunteers. The regular regiments were in splendid 





COPYRIGHT. 1911, PATRIOT PUB. CO. 



THE FIRST UNITED STATES REGULAR CAVALRY 



The sturdy self-reliance of these sabreurs, standing at ease though without a trace of slouchiness, stamps them as the direct successors 
of Marion, the "Swamp Fox," and of "Light-Horse Harry" Lee of the War for Independence. The regiment has been in continuous 
service from 1833 to the present day. Organized as the First Dragoons and sent to the southwest to watch the Pawnees and Comanches 
at the time it began its existence, the regiment had its name changed to the First United States Regular Cavalry on July 27, 18(51, when 
McClellan assumed command of the Eastern army. This photograph was taken at Brandy Station in February, 18(54. The regiment 
at this time was attached to the Reserve Brigade under General Wesley Merritt. The troopers took part in the first battle of Bull Run, 
were at the siege of Yorktown, fought at Games Mill and Beverly Ford, served under Merritt on the right at Gettysburg, and did their 
duty at Yellow Tavern, Trevilian Station, and in the Shenandoah Valley under Sheridan; and they were present at Appomattox. 




uolutum 0f tlj? Ammnm QIatmlry 



$ * 








condition. The most brilliant exploit was the charge made 
by May s squadron of the Second Dragoons upon a Mexican 
light battery at Resaca de la Palma, May 9, 184o, which re 
sulted in the capture of the battery and of General La Vega, 
of the Mexican artillery. This dashing affair was afterward 
to be repeated many times in the great struggle between the 
North and South. 

The sphere of action, however, which had the most direct 
bearing upon the cavalry operations of the war was that known 
as " the Plains." The experience gained in the twelve years 
from 1848 to 1860, in frequent encounters with the restless 
Indian tribes of the Southwest, the long marches over arid 
wastes, the handling of supply trains, the construction of mili 
tary roads, the exercise of command, the treatment of cavalry 
horses and draught animals, and the numerous other duties 
falling to officers at frontier posts, far distant from railroad 
or telegraph, all tended to temper and sharpen the blades that 
were to point the " path of glory " to thousands destined to 
ride under the war-guidons of Sheridan, Stuart, Buford, Pleas- 
onton, Fitzhugh Lee, Stanley, Wilson, Merritt, Gregg, and 
others all graduates of the service school of " the Plains." 

At the outbreak of the Civil War, the military conditions 
in the two sections were very unequal. The South began the 
struggle under a commander-in-chief who was a graduate of 
West Point, had seen service in the regular army, had been a 
Secretary of War (possessing much inside information as to 
the disposition of the United States forces) and who, in the 
beginning at least, was supreme in the selection of his military 
lieutenants and in all matters relating to the organization and 
equipment of the Confederate troops. 

On the other hand the North lacked similar advantages. 
Its new President was without military training, embarrassed 
rather than aided by a cabinet of lawyers and politicians as 
military advisers, captains of the pen rather than of the sword, 
and " blind leading the blind." Mr. Lincoln found himself 

[24] 








AMERICAN LANCERS THE SIXTH PENNSYLVANIA 

Few people have heard that there was an American regiment of lancers in T.1-6S. Colonel Richard Rush s regiment, the Sixth Penn 
sylvania, attempted to fight in this European fashion during the great conflict in which so much was discovered about the art c 
The Pennsylvania^ carried the lance from December, 1861, until May, 183, when it was discarded for the carbine, as being unsui 
to the wooded country of Virginia through which the command operated. The regiment was organi/ed in Philadelphia by C 
Richard H. Rush, August to October, 18(51, and was composed of the best blood in that aristocratic city. The usual armam< 
Federal volunteer cavalry regiments at the outset of the war consisted of a saber and a revolver. At least two squadrons, consisting 
of four troops of from eighty-two to a hundred men, were armed with rifles and carbines. Later, all cavalry regiments were supplu 
with single-shot carbines, the decreased length and weight of the shorter arm being a derided advantage to a soldier on horseback. 




u01uti0u of tit? Amnrinm (Eatmlrg * * 






surrounded by office-seekers especially those claiming high 
military command as a reward for political seryices. It is true 
that the Federal Government possessed a small, well-trained 
army, with a large proportion of the officers and nearly all of 
the enlisted men loyal to their colors, which, together with a 
few thousand organized militia, would haye formed a valuable 
nucleus for war had it been properly utilized at the start. 
From its ranks some were selected who achieved distinction as 
leaders when not hampered by association with incompetent 
" generals." For at least one year, the inexhaustible resources 
of the North were wasted for want of competent military direc 
tion and training. 

If these field conditions marked the genesis of the Civil 
War in all arms of service, they were especially true of the 
mounted troops. In 1860, the k athletic wave " had not made 
its appearance in the United States, and out-of-door amuse 
ments had not become popular above the Mason and Dixon 
line. In the more thickly settled North, the young men of 
cities and towns took rather to commercial and indoor pursuits ; 
in the South, the sports of a country life appealed to young 
and middle-aged alike, and the rifle and the saddle furnished 
particular attractions to a large majority. So it happened 
that the Confederates (their President an erstwhile dragoon) 
had only to mobilize the cavalry companies of the militia scat 
tered through the seceding States, and muster, arm, and equip 
the thousands of young horsemen, each bringing his own horse 
and eager to serve the Confederacy. 

The trials of many of the newly recruited organizations, 
until the beginning of the third year of the w r ar, are illustrated 
in the following extract from a typical regimental history:* 
Captain Vanderbilt describes in graphic terms his first experi 
ence in escort duty (December 10, 1862) : 

Please remember that, my company had been mustered into the serv 
ice only about six weeks before, and had received horses less than a 

* "History of the Tenth New York Cavalry." (Preston, X. Y.) 

[26] 










VOLUNTEERS AT DRILL A NEW YORK REGIMENT 



It was New York State that furnished the first volunteer cavalry regiment to the Union Autumn, 1861. The 
fleet horsemen of the Confederacy soon taught the North the need of improving that arm of the service. But 
it requires time to train an efficient trooper, and the Union cavalrymen were helpless at first when opposed 
to the natural horsemen of the South. After a purgatory of training they were hurried into the field, often 
to fall victims to some roving body of Confederates who welcomed the opportunity to appropriate superior 
arms and equipment. The regiment in this photograph is the Thirteenth New York Cavalry at Prospect 
Hill, Virginia. They are no longer raw troopers but have become the "eyes " of Washington and its chief pro 
tection against the swift-riding Mosby and his men. The troopers were drilled on foot as well as mounted. 



ittflutum nf ilj? Ammrau Olaualry 



f 



$ 



month prior to this march ; and in the issue we drew everything on the 
list watering-bridles, lariat ropes, and pins in fact, there was nothing 
on the printed list of supplies that we did not get. Many men had extra 
blankets, nice large quilts presented by some fond mother or maiden 
aunt (dear souls), sabers and belts, together with the straps that pass 
over the shoulders, carbines and slings, pockets full of cartridges, nose 
bags and extra little bags for carrying oats, haversacks, canteens, and 
spurs some of them of the Mexican pattern as large as small wind 
mills, and more in the way than the spurs of a young rooster, catching 
in the grass when they walked, carrying up briers, vines, and weeds, and 
catching their pants, and in the way generally curry-combs, brushes, 
ponchos, button tents, overcoats, frying-pans, cups, coffee-pots, etc. 
Now the old companies had become used to these things and had got 
down to light-marching condition gradually, had learned how to wear 
the uniform, saber, carbine, etc. ; but my company had hardly time to 
get into proper shape when " the general " was sounded, " boots and 
saddles " blown. 

Such a rattling, jingling, jerking, scrabbling, cursing, I never 
heard before. Green horses some of them had never been ridden 
turned round and round, backed against each other, jumped up or stood 
up like trained circus-horses. Some of the boys had a pile in front on 
their saddles, and one in the rear, so high and heavy it took two men 
to saddle one horse and two men to help the fellow into his place. The 
horses sheered out, going sidewise, pushing the well-disposed animals 
out of position, etc. Some of the boys had never ridden anything since 
they galloped on a hobby horse, and they clasped their legs close to 
gether, thus unconsciously sticking the spurs into their horses sides. 

Well, this was the crowd I commanded to mount on the morning 
I was ordered by General Smith to follow him. We got in line near 
headquarters, and when we got ready to start we started all over. He 
left no doubt about his starting ! He went like greased lightning ! In 
less than ten minutes Tenth New York cavalrymen might have been 
seen on every hill for two miles rearward. Poor fellows ! I wanted to 
help them, but the general was " On to Richmond " ; and I hardly 
dared look back for fear of losing him. I didn t have the remotest idea 
where he was going, and didn t know but he was going to keep it up all 
day. It was my first Virginia ride as a warrior in the field. My uneasi- 

[28] 







A CAVALRY LEADER AT GETTYSBURG GENERAL DAVID McM. GREGG AND STAFF 

The Federal army at Gettysburg owed much to the cavalry. As Gettysburg was the turning-point in the 
fortunes of the Union army, it also marked an epoch in the development of the cavalry, trained in methods 
which were evolved from no foreign text-books, but from stern experience on the battlefields of America. 
The Second Cavalry Division under Gregg patrolled the right flank of the Federal army, with occasional 
skirmishing, until Stuart s arrival July 3d with the Confederate horse. Gregg s division and Custer s 
brigade were then on the right of the line. The ensuing cavalry battle was one of the fiercest of the war. 
W. II. F. Lee s brigade made the first charge for Stuart, as did the First Michigan Cavalry for Gregg. 
Countercharge followed upon charge. In a dash for a Confederate battleflag, Captain Newhall was received 
by its bearer upon the point of the spear-head and hurled to the ground. Finally the Confederate brigades 
withdrew behind their artillery, and the danger that Stuart would strike the rear of the Union army simul 
taneously with Pickett s charge w r as passed. This photograph shows Gregg with the officers of his staff. 




ion of ilje Ammran (Eaualrg 




ness may be imagined. I was wondering what in the mischief I should 
say to the general when we halted and none of the company there but me. 
He was the first real live general I had seen who was going out to fight. 
Talk about the Flying Dutchman ! Blankets slipped from under sad 
dles and hung from one corner ; saddles slipped back until they were 
on the rumps of horses ; others turned and were on the under side of the 
animals; horses running and kicking; tin pans, mess-kettles, patent 
sheet-iron stoves the boys had seen advertised in the illustrated papers 
and sold by the sutlers of Alexandria about as useful as a piano or 
folding bed flying through the air ; and all I could do was to give a 
hasty glance to the rear and sing out at the top of my voice, " C-1-o-s-e 
u-p ! " But they couldn t " close." Poor boys ! Their eyes stuck out 
like those of maniacs. We went only a few miles, but the boys didn t 
all get up till noon. 

It was not until May, 1861, that the War Department 
at Washington reluctantly authorized the organization of a 
regiment of volunteer cavalry from New York with the pro 
viso that the men furnish the horses, an allowance heing made 
for use and maintenance. This system applied in the South, 
but was soon abandoned in the North. The door once open, 
other regiments were speedily formed, containing at least the 
crude elements of efficient cavalry. As a rule, the men regarded 
the horses with mingled curiosity and respect, and passed 
through a purgatory of training " breaking in," it was some 
times called before they had acquired the requisite confidence 
in themselves, plus horses and arms. All too soon they were 
" pitchforked " into the field, often to fall victims to some rov 
ing body of Confederates who were eager to appropriate the 
superior arms and equipment of the Federals. 

Within a year in the rough school of war, these same help 
less recruits became fairly efficient cavalry, at home in the 
saddle, able to deliver telling blows with the saber, and to ride 
boot-to-boot in battle charges. During the first two years 
of the war the Confederate cavalry exercised a tremendous 
moral effect. Beginning with the cry of " The Black Horse 

[30] 





COPYRIGHT, 1911, PATRIOT PUB. CO. 



THIRTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY RESERVES AT GETTSYBURG 



These were some of the few men who would have stood between Lee and the Northern Capital if the tide 
of battle which hung in the balance three days at Gettsyburg had rolled with the line in gray. The organ 
ization of the Thirteenth New York Cavalry was not completed till June 20, 1863, ten days before Gettys 
burg. Six companies left New York State for Washington on June 23d, and took their part in patrolling 
the rear of the Army of the Potomac during the three fateful days. They were more than raw recruits; the 
regiment had been made up by the consolidation of several incomplete organizations. Had the troopers 
arrived a few days earlier they probably would have been brigaded with Pleasonton s cavalry. A week 
after Gettysburg they were back in New York quelling the draft riots. Thereafter they spent their time 
guarding Washington, when this photograph was taken, and scouting near the armies in the Virginia hills. 



II 

(Otinlutt0tt of tfyp Amrrtran (Eaualry 



<*> 







Cavalry," at the First Bull Run, so terrible to the panic- 
stricken Federal troops in their race to Washington and safety ; 
Mosby s frequent dashes at poorly guarded Union trains and 
careless outposts; and Stuart s picturesque and gallant prom 
enade around McClellan s unguarded encampment on the 
Chickahominy, in 1862, the war record of the Southern horse 
notwithstanding its subsequent decline and the final disasters 
of 1864-65 will always illumine one of the brightest pages of 
cavalry history. 

The Gettysburg campaign, June 1 to July 4, 1863, was 
exceptionally full of examples of the effective use of mounted 
troops. They began with the great combat of Beverly Ford, 
Virginia, June 9th, in which for twelve hours, eighteen thousand 
of the flower of the horsemen of the armies of the Potomac and 
Northern Virginia, in nearly equal proportions, struggled for 
supremacy, with many casualties,* parting by mutual consent 
at the close of the day. This was followed by a series of daily 
skirmishes during the remainder of the month, in efforts to 
penetrate the cavalry screen which protected each army in its 
northward progress, culminating on the first day of July at 
Gettysburg in the masterly handling of two small brigades 
of cavalry. 

It was here that General Buford delayed the advance of 
a division of Confederate infantry for more than two hours, 
winning for himself, in the opinion of a foreign military critic,f 
the honor of having " with the inspiration of a cavalry officer 
and a true soldier selected the battlefield where the two armies 
were about to measure their strength." The important actions 
on the third day comprised that in which Gregg prevented 
Stuart from penetrating the right rear of the Union line 
( largely a mounted combat with saber and pistol ) , and the 
affair on the Emmittsburg Road on the same day where 

*The Second U. S. Cavalry alone losing 57 per cent, killed and 
wounded of its officers engaged. 

fThe Comte de Paris in "The Civil War in America." 

[32] 



1 




COPYRIGHT, 1911, REVIEW OF REVIEWS CO. 



STABLES FOR SIX THOUSAND HORSES 




GIESBORO ONE OF THE BUSIEST SPOTS OF THE WAR 

The cavalry depot at Giesboro, D. C., established in July, 1863, was the place where remounts were furnished to the cavalry and artillery 
of the Army of the Potomac during the last two years of the war. The tents in the lower photograph are those of the officers in charge 
of that immense establishment, where they received and issued thousands of horses. Convalescents who had lost their mounts, with 
men to be remounted, were drawn upon to help take care of the horses, until their departure for the front. This photograph was taken 
in May, 1864, when Grant and Lee were grappling in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania, only seventy miles distant. The inspection 
of horses for remounting was made by experienced cavalry officers, while the purchasing was under the Quartermaster s Department. 




nf % Ammran (Emmlry * 



$ 








Merritt and Farnsworth menaced the Confederate left and, 
according to General Law,* neutralized the action of Hood s 
infantry division of Longstreet s corps by bold use of mounted 
and dismounted men, contributing in no small degree to the 
Federal success. 

In the West, during the same period, the cavalry condi 
tions were not unlike those in the East, except that the field of 
operations extended over five States instead of two and that 
numerous bands of independent cavalry or mounted riflemen 
under enterprising leaders like Forrest, Morgan, Wharton, 
Chalmers, and Wheeler of the Confederate army, for two 
years had their own way. The Union generals, Lyon, Sigel, 
Pope, Rosecrans, and others, loudly called for more cavalry, 
or in lieu thereof, for horses to mount infantry. Otherwise, 
they agreed, " it was difficult to oppose the frequent raids of 
the enemy on communications and supply trains." 

Ultimately, Generals Grant and Rosecrans initiated a 
system of cavalry concentration under Granger and Stanley, 
and greater efficiency became manifest. About the time of the 
battle of Stone s River, or Murfreesboro, the Federal horse 
began to show confidence in itself, and in numerous encounters 
with the Confederates mounted and dismounted acquitted 
itself with credit, fairly dividing the honors of the campaign. 
The names of Grierson, Streight, Wilder, and Minty became 
famous not only as raiders but as important factors in great 
battles, as at Chickamauga, where the " obstinate stand of two 
brigades of [Rosecrans ] cavalry against the Confederate in 
fantry gave time for the formation of the Union lines." 

The most conspicuous cavalry operations of the war were 
those of 1864-65: Sheridan s Richmond raid, in which the 
South lost the brilliant and resourceful Stuart, and the haras 
sing flank attacks on Lee s army in advance of Grant s 
infantry, which, ending in the campaign at Appomattox, 
simultaneously with Wilson s successful Selma raid, marked 

* " Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." 
34 




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EVER-BUSY TROOPERS AT DRILL 



The swiftly moving Confederate troopers, under dashing leaders like Stuart and Wheeler, allowed the heads 
of the Union cavalry not a moment of peace. When infantry went into winter quarters they could live in 
comparative comfort and freedom from actual campaigning until the roads became passable again for their 
heavy wagon-trains in the spring. But Confederate raiders knew neither times nor seasons, and there were 
many points when the damage they might do would be incalculable. So the Federal cavalry s winter task 




UNION CAVALRY IN WINTER QUARTERS 

was to discover, if possible, the Confederates next move, and to forestall it. This photograph shows three 
troops drilling on the plain beside their winter quarters. The stark trees and absence of grass indicate clearly 
the time of the year, and the long shadows show as truly as a watch that the time of day was late afternoon. 
A swift night-march may be in store for the troopers on the plain, or they may return to the shelter of their 
wooden huts. It is probable, however, that they cannot enjoy their comfort for more than a week or two. 



twluttmt nf tit? Ammran QJatmlry 















the collapse of the war. Under most discouraging conditions 
the Confederate cavalry disputed every inch of territory and 
won the sincere admiration of their opponents. 

Major McClelland, of Stuart s staff, thus impartially 
summarizes the situation : * 

" During the last two years no branch of the Army of the 
Potomac contributed so much to the overthrow of Lee s army 
as the cavalry, both that which operated in the Valley of Vir 
ginia and that which remained at Petersburg. But for the 
efficiency of this force it is safe to say that the war would have 
been indefinitely prolonged. From the time that the cavalry 
was concentrated into a corps until the close of the war, a 
steady progress was made in discipline. Xothing was spared 
to render this arm complete. Breech-loading arms of the most 
approved pattern were provided; horses and accouterments 
were never wanting, and during the last year of the war Sheri 
dan commanded as fine a body of troops as ever drew sabers. 

" On the other hand, two causes contributed steadily to 
diminish the numbers and efficiency of the Confederate cavalry. 
The Government committed the fatal error of allowing the 
men to own their horses, paying them a per diem for their use, 
and the muster valuation in cases where they were killed in 
action ; but giving no compensation for horses lost by any other 
casualties of a campaign. . . . Toward the close of the war 
many were unable to remount themselves, and hundreds of 
such dismounted men were collected in a useless crowd, which 
was dubbed Company Q. The second cause was the fail 
ure or inability of the Government to supply good arms and 
accouterments. Our breech-loading arms were nearly all cap 
tured from the enemy and the same may be said of the best 
of our saddles and bridles. From these causes, which were 
beyond the power of any commander to remedy, there was a 
steady decline in the numbers of the Confederate cavalry and, 
as compared with the Federal cavalry, a decline in efficiency." 

* "Life and Campaigns of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart." 

[38] 



////, 




CHAPTER 
TWO 



THE FEDERAL CAVALRY 

ITS ORGANIZATION 

AND EQUIPMENT 




BOOTS AND SADDLES THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY 
CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, 1864. 




A SPREADING SECTION OF THE FEDERAL CAVALRY ORGANIZATION IN 1804 



At Belle Plain Landing on the Potomac lay a chief base of supplies for Grant s armies in the spring of 1864. 
On April 4th Sheridan had been given charge of all the cavalry. He had found the corps much run down 
and the horses in poor condition. In a month he had effected a decided change for the better in the con 
dition and morale of his ten thousand men, and was begging to be allowed to use them as an independent 
corps to fight the Confederate cavalry. Though they had been relieved of much of the arduous picket 
duty that they formerly performed, they were still considered as auxiliaries, to protect the flanks and front 
of the infantry. On May 7th Grant s army advanced with a view to taking Spotsylvania Court House. 




OT PUB. CO. 



CAVALRY IX CLOVER AT THE BELLE PLAIN LANDING 



Thus was precipitated the cavalry battle at Todd s Tavern, and in part at least Sheridan s earnest desire 
became fulfilled. The battle was between Hampton s and Fitzhugh Lee s commands of Stuart s cavalry 
and Gregg s division, assisted by two brigades of Torbert s division under the command of General Merritt. 
After a severe engagement the Confederate cavalry broke and were pursued almost to Spotsylvania Court 
House. This photograph shows some of the Federal horses recuperating at Belle Plain Landing before this 
cavalry engagement on a large scale. The cavalry were in clover here near the tents and ships that meant 
a good supply of forage. There was no such loafing for horses and men a little later in that decisive year. 




THE BELLE PLAIN CAVALRY 



A CLOSER VIEW 



This photograph brings the eye a little nearer to the cavalry at Belle Plain landing than the picture pre 
ceding. One can see the horses grazing by the side of the beautiful river. A group of cavalrymen have 
ridden their mounts into the water. The test of the efficient trooper was his skill in caring for his horse. 
LTnder ordinary circumstances, in a quiet camp like the above, it might be safe to turn horses out to graze 
and let them drink their fill at the river. But when on the march a staggering animal with parched throat 
and fast-glazing eyes whinnied eagerly at the smell of water, it was the trooper who had to judge its proper 
allowance. One swallow too many for a heated horse on a long march, multiplied by the number of troopers 
still ignorant of horsemanship, meant millions of dollars loss to the Union Government in the early stages 
of the war. Comparatively few horses were destroyed by wounds on the battlefield as compared with those 
lost through the ignorance of the troopers as to the proper methods of resting a horse, and as to the science 
of how, when, and what to feed him, and when to allo\v him to drink his fill. The Southern horsemen, as a rule 
more experienced, needed no such training, and their superior knowledge enabled the Confederate cavalry, with 
little "organization" in the strict sense of the word, to prove nevertheless a mighty weapon for their cause. 




COPYRIGHT, 1911, PATRIOT PUB. CO. 



NEARER STILL 



AT THE RIVER S BRINK 



This view brings us to the very edge of the water, where Sheridan s troopers were getting their mounts 
into shape for the arduous duties of the summer and fall. They are sitting at ease on the barebacked horses 
which have walked out into the cool river to slake their thirst. The wagon with the four-mule team bears 
the insignia of the Sixth Army Corps, commanded by Sedgwick. The canvas top is somewhat wrinkled, 
so it is impossible to see the entire device, which was in the shape of a Greek cross. It was during the 
campaign which followed these preparations that Sheridan had his famous interview with Meade, in which 
the former told his senior that he could whip Stuart if allowed to do so. General Grant determined to give 
Sheridan the opportunity that he sought, and on the very day of the interview Meade directed that the 
cavalry be immediately concentrated and that Sheridan proceed against the Confederate cavalry. On 
May 9th the expedition started with a column thirteen miles long. Stuart, however, was nothing loth 
to try conclusions with the Federal cavalry once more. He finally overtook it on May llth at Yellow 
Tavern. The Confederate horse, depleted in numbers and equipment alike, was no longer its former brilliant 
self, and in this engagement the Confederacy lost James B. Gordon and Stuart, the leader without a peer. 






t^ttfiBBfe 





WITH THE FARRIERS 



OF THE 



FEDERAL CAVALRY 




These photographs were made at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in August, 1863, the month 
following the battle of Gettysburg, where the cavalry had fully demonstrated its value as an essential and 
efficient branch of the service. Every company of cavalry had its own farrier, enlisted as such. These 
men not only had to know all about the shoeing of horses, but also had to be skilled veterinary surgeons, 
such as each regiment has at the present day, coming next in pay to a second lieutenant. Plainly 
visible are the small portable anvil on an overturned bucket and the business-like leather aprons of the 
men. An army "marches upon its stomach," but cavalry marches upon its horses feet, which must be 
cared for. In the larger photograph the men have evidently just become aware that their pictures are 
being taken. In the smaller exposure in the corner, the man holding the horse on the right has faced about 
to show off his horse to the best advantage; the horse holder on the left is facing the camera, arms akimbo, 
and a cavalryman in the rear has led up his white-faced mount to insure his inclusion in the picture. 



\] 




THE FEDERAL CAVALRY 
ITS ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT 

BY CHARLES D. RHODES 

Captain, General Staff, United States Army 

AT the outbreak of the great Civil War in America, the 
regular cavalry at the disposal of the Federal Govern 
ment consisted of the First and Second Regiments of Dra 
goons, one regiment of Mounted Rifles, and the First and Sec 
ond Regiments of Cavalry. Early in the year 1861, the Third 
Cavalry was added to the others, and soon after, all six regi 
ments were designated as cavalry and numbered serially from 
one to six. 

The old regiments had been composed of ten troops, sub 
divided into five squadrons of two troops each, but the organ 
ization of the Sixth Cavalry Regiment called for twelve troops. 
In July, 1861, this organization was extended to all regular 
regiments, and in September of the same year the volunteer 
regiments, which had started out with ten troops each, were 
organized in a like manner. As the war progressed, the squad 
ron organization was abandoned. When a regiment was sub 
divided for detached service, it was usually into battalions of 
four troops each. 

The early war organization of cavalry troops called for 
one hundred enlisted men to a troop, officered by a captain, a 
first lieutenant, a second lieutenant, and a supernumerary sec 
ond lieutenant. But in 1863, troops were given an elastic 
strength, varying between eighty-two and one hundred en 
listed men, and the supernumerary lieutenant was dropped. 
Each regiment, commanded by a colonel, had a lieutenant- 
colonel and three majors, with a regimental commissioned and 

[46] 





COPYRIGHT 1911, REVIEW OF REVIEWS CO. 



THE FIRST EXTENSIVE FEDERAL CAVALRY CAMP 1862 



This photograph shows the cavalry camp at Cumberland Landing just before McClellan advanced up the Peninsula. The entire 
strength of the cavalry the previous autumn had aggregated 8,125 men, of which but 4,753 are reported as "present for duty, equipped." 
It was constantly drilled during the fall and winter of 1861, with enough scouting and outpost duty in the Virginia hills to give the 
cavalry regiments a foretaste of actual service. In the lower photograph we get a bird s-eye view of Cumberland Landing where 
McClellan s forces were concentrated after the siege of Yorktown and the affair at Williamsburgh, preparatory to moving on Rich 
mond. The cavalry reserve with the Peninsular army under that veteran horseman Philip St. George Cooke, was organized as two 
brigades under General Emry and Colonel Blake, and consisted of six regiments. Emry s brigade comprised the Fifth United States 
Cavalry, Sixth United States Cavalry, and Rush s Lancers the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry. Blake s brigade consisted of the First 
United States Cavalry, the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and Barker s squadron of Illinois Cavalry. 




AT CUMBERLAND LANDING 





^ 









rgantzatttm nf tlj? Steforal Okualnj $ 



non-commissioned staff, which included two regimental sur 
geons, an adjutant, quartermaster, commissary, and their 
subordinates. 

Owing, however, to losses by reason of casualties in action, 
sickness, and detached service, and through the lack of an ef 
ficient system of recruiting, whereby losses could be promptly 
and automatically made good with trained men, the cavalry 
strength, in common with that of other arms, always showed 
an absurd and oftentimes alarming discrepancy between the 
troopers actually in ranks and the theoretical organization pro 
vided by the existing law. Again, the losses in horse-flesh were 
so tremendous in the first 3 r ears of the war, and the channels 
for replacing those losses were so inadequate and unsystem- 
atized, that regiments oftentimes represented a mixed force 
of mounted and unmounted men. Although the value of the 
dismounted action of cavalry was one of the greatest develop 
ments of the war, its most valuable asset, mobility, was wholly 
lacking when its horses were dead or disabled. 

Cavalry is a most difficult force to organize, arm, equip, 
and instruct at the outbreak of war. Not only must men be 
found who have some knowledge of the use and handling of 
horses, but the horses themselves must be selected, inspected, 
purchased, and assembled. Then, after all the delays usually 
attending the organizing, arming, and equipping of a mounted 
force, many months of patient training, dismounted and 
mounted, are necessary before cavalry is qualified to take the 
field as an efficient arm. It is an invariable rule in militant 
Europe to keep cavalry at all times at war strength, for it is 
the first force needed to invade or to repel invasion, and, except 
perhaps the light artillery, the slowest to " lick into shape " 
after war has begun. In the regular cavalry service, it was a 
common statement that a cavalryman was of little real value 
until he had had two years of service. 

It is, therefore, small wonder that during the first two 
years of the great struggle, the Federal cavalry made only a 

[48] 






m 




BEEF FOR THE CAVALRY AT COMMISSARY HEADQUARTERS 



So seldom did the cavalry get a chance to enjoy the luxuries to be had at commissary headquarters that they took advantage of every 
opportunity. It is February, 1864, and the cavalry officer in the picture can look forward to a month or two more of fresh beef for 
his men. Then he will find his troop pounding by the desolate farmhouses and war-ridden fields, as the army advances on Rich 
mond under Grant. While the infantry lay snug in winter-quarters, the troopers were busy scouring the Virginia hills for signs of 
the Confederates, or raiding their lines of communication and destroying their supplies. It took a large part of the time of the North 
ern and Southern infantry to repair the damage done by the cavalry. The cavalry often had to live by foraging, or go without food. 
Miles of railroad destroyed, bridges burned, telegraph wires cut, a sudden cessation of the source of supplies caused hundreds of miles 
of marching and counter-marching, beside the actual work of repairing by the engineering corps. It was Van Dorn s capture of 
Holly Springs that forced Grant to abandon his overland march against Vicksburg and return to Memphis in December, 




rgautHattmt nf llj^ Steforal (Eaualry 



* 







poor showing. The regular cavalry was but a handful, and 
when President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers, little or 
no cavalry was accepted. Even when need for it w r as forced 
on the Xorth, it took the Federal War Department a long 
time to realize that an efficient cavalry ready for field service 
could not be extemporized in a day. 

Strange as it may now seem, the Federal authorities in 
tended, in the beginning, to limit the cavalry force of the Union 
army to the six regular regiments; and even such a veteran 
soldier as General Scott gave it as his opinion that, owing to 
the broken and wooded character of the field of operations be 
tween the Xorth and South, and the improvements in rifled 
cannon, the duties of cavalry would be unimportant and sec 
ondary. 

Only seven troops of regular cavalry were available for 
the first battle of Bull Run, in 18G1, but the firm front which 
they displayed in covering the confused and precipitate retreat 
of the Federal army, probably saved a large part of the main 
body from capture; but they never received the recognition 
that was deserved. However, the importance of cavalry was 
not altogether unappreciated, for we find, at Gettysburg, the 
Union cavalry of the Army of the Potomac aggregating nearly 
thirteen thousand officers and men. The close of the war saw 
Sheridan at Appomattox with fifteen thousand cavalrymen, 
while Wilson, in the South, was sweeping Mississippi and Ala 
bama with an army of horsemen. But the evolution of this vast 
host from insignificant beginnings was a slow r process, fraught 
with tremendous labor. 

In the South, lack of good highways forced the Southerner 
to ride from boyhood, while contemporaneously the North 
erner, with his improved roads, employed wheeled vehicles as 
a means of transportation. But aside from this positive ad 
vantage to Southern organization, the Confederate leaders 
seemed, from the very beginning of the Civil War, to appraise 
cavalry and its uses at its true valuation; while the Northern 

[50] 





AT THE BUSY OFFICE OF A CAVALRY QUARTERMASTER 

This photograph was taken at Brandy Station in the spring of 1864. The sign on the wooden door of the 
little tent tells where "A. Q. M." held forth. The cavalrymen are evidently at ease. They have not yet met 
Stuart in the Wilderness. The quartermaster of a cavalry corps was the nearest approach to perpetual 
motion discovered during the war. His wagon-train could receive only the most general directions. He 
could never be certain where the men he was to supply with food could be found at any given time. He 
had to go exploring for his own regiments, and watch vigilantly that he did not incidentally feed the Con 
federates. He had to give precedence to ammunition-trains; dark often found his wagons struggling and 
floundering in the wake of their vanished friends. The quartermaster was responsible for their movements 
and arrivals. Besides carrying a map of the country in his head, he assumed immense responsibilities. 



~~ir 
(J ^ rgamzattnn nf tlj? 3F^b0ral Olaualry * 

t^ammrnxM 


f 
* 1 





cavalry, even when finally mounted and equipped, was so mis 
used and mishandled by those in control of military operations, 
that it was almost always at a disadvantage. 

One of the first efforts of the War Department looking to 
the organization of Federal cavalry, is seen in the following 
circular letter, addressed by the Secretary of War to the 
Governors of the States: 

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, 

May 1, 1861. 

To the Governors of the Several States, 
And All Whom it may Concern : 

I have authorized Colonel Carl Schurz to raise and organize a vol 
unteer regiment of cavalry. For the purpose cf rendering it as efficient 
as possible, he is instructed to enlist principally such men as have served 
in the same arm before. The Government will provide the regiment with 
arms, but cannot provide the horses and equipments. For these neces 
saries we rely upon the patriotism of the States and the citizens, and for 
this purpose I take the liberty of requesting you to afford Colonel 
Schurz your aid in the execution of this plan. 

(Signed) SIMON CAMERON, 

Secretary of War. 

Yet, in his report of preliminary operations in the first 
year of the war, General McClellan says: 

Cavalry was absolutely refused, but the governors of the States com 
plied with my request and organized a few companies, which were finally 
mustered into the United States service and proved very useful. 

The armament of the volunteer cavalry regiments, organ 
ized with some show of interest after the battle of Bull Run, 
was along the same general lines as that of the regular regi 
ments. Though suffering from a general deficiency in the 
number which could be purchased from private manufacturers 
there being no reserve stock on hand each trooper was 
armed with a saber and a revolver as soon as circumstances per 
mitted. At least two squadrons (four troops) in each regi- 

[52] 



I 

i 




THE EIGHTEENTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY 

increase their draft. Light enclosures of poles have been thrown up for the horses, and fodder has been 
stacked up on the hill. With stumps and cross-pieces the McClellan saddles are. kept out of the wet and 
mud. The saddles were covered with rawhide instead of leather, and were more uncomfortable when they 
split than an ill-fitting shoe. The troopers themselves look fairly contented, and some of them are not 
so lean and angular as in the days of scouting and hard riding. There is plenty of work ahead of them, 
however, nearer Richmond, which will quickly enable them to rid themselves of any superfluous flesh. 




v~\ 



L 



rganteattmt nf iljr Steforal (Haualry 



$ 



ment were armed with rifles or carbines. Later, all cavalry 
regiments were supplied with single-shot carbines, the de 
creased length and weight of the shorter arm being a decided 
advantage to a soldier on horseback. One volunteer regiment, 
the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (Rush s Lancers), was armed 
with the lance in addition to the pistol, twelve carbines being 
afterwards added to the equipment of each troop for picket 
and scouting duty. But in May, 1863, all the lances were dis 
carded for carbines as being unsuited for the heavily wooded 
battle-grounds of Virginia. 

The carbines issued were of various pattern the Sharp s 
carbine being succeeded by the Spencer, which fired seven 
rounds with more or less rapidity but which was difficult to 
reload quickly. In the later years of the war, certain regiments 
were armed with the Henry rifle, an improved weapon firing 
sixteen shots with great accuracy. A Colt s rifle, firing six 
rounds, and a light, simple carbine called the Howard, were 
also in evidence among cavalry regiments at the close of the 
.war. Previous to, and during the first year of the war, the 
Burnside was favorably thought of by the Federal officers. 
This carbine was the invention of General Ambrose E. Burn- 
side, and was manufactured in Bristol, Rhode Island. Its chief 
value lay in its strength and the waterproof cartridges used. 
But its chief objection also lay in the high cost and the difficulty 
in obtaining this cartridge, which was manufactured of sheet 
brass, an expensive metal at that time. Another arm, similar 
to Burnside s and made with a tapering steel barrel, was the 
Maynard, which was manufactured by the Maynard s Arms 
Company, Washington, District of Columbia. 

At the beginning, the sabers issued were of the long, 
straight, Prussian pattern, but these were afterwards replaced 
by a light cavalry saber with curved blade. Many of these 
were fitted with attachments so as to be fastened to the end of 
the carbines in the form of a bayonet. There also was an or 
dinary saber handle which allowed of their being carried at the 

[56] 





, REVIEW OF REV 



CAVALRY STABLES AT GRANT S HEADQUARTERS, CITY POINT, IN 1864 

City Point was Grant s base of supplies during the operations about Petersburg, in 18(54. Sheridan at last was handling his cavalry 
as a separate command, and was soon to go to the Shenandoah. Brigadier-General David McM. Gregg was in command of the cav 
alry which remained with Grant. The First Massachusetts, First New Jersey, Tenth New York, Sixth Ohio, and Twenty-first Penn 
sylvania formed the First Brigade, and the First Maine, Second Pennsylvania, Fourth Pennsylvania, Eighth Pennsylvania, Thirteenth 
Pennsylvania, and Sixteenth Pennsylvania were the Second Brigade. Some of these men had been on Sheridan s Richmond and 
Trevilian raids. This shows the comparative comfort of City Point. To the left is a grindstone, where sabers might be made keen. 




rjjamzaitmt 0f iljr 



fflaualry $ # 













hip, as a side-arm, for which purpose it was well adapted, hav 
ing a curved edge with a sharp point. 

The standard pistol was the Colt s revolver, army or 
navy pattern, loaded with powder and hall and fired with 
percussion caps. Within its limitations, it was a very efficient 
weapon. 

The saddle was the McClellan, so-called because adopted 
through recommendations made by General McClellan after his 
official European tour, in 1860, although it was in reality a 
modification of the Mexican or Texan tree. It was an excel 
lent saddle, and in an improved pattern is, after fifty years of 
trial, still the standard saddle of the United States regular 
cavalry. In its original form it was covered with rawhide 
instead of leather, and when this covering split, the seat became 
very uncomfortable for the rider. 

Although the original recruiting regulations required cav 
alry troopers to furnish their own horses and equipments, this 
requirement w r as later modified, and the Government furnished 
everything to the recruit, in volunteer as well as in regular 
regiments. Many troopers sold their private horses to the Gov 
ernment and then rode them in ranks. It w r as argued by some 
cavalry officers of that period that this system was eminently 
successful in securing men for the cavalry who could ride and 
who would care for horses. 

As is usual in a country weak in trained cavalry and ut 
terly unprepared for war, vexatious delays occurred in receiv 
ing the equipment of newly organized cavalry regiments. 
Long after the Western regiments were organized, they were 
kept inactive from lack of equipment, for which the Federal 
Government had made no provision in the way of reserve sup 
plies. In some instances months elapsed before saddles were 
received, and in several cases arms were even longer in putting 
in an appearance. The interim was employed by the com 
manders in teaching their men to ride and drill, to use their 
arms, and to care for their horses. In the absence of saddles, 

[58] 






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various makeshifts were used on the horses backs, and the 
troopers were even drilled bareback. 

This probationary period was a wearisome one for the 
cavalry recruit. A trooper must perforce learn much of what 
his comrade of the infantry knows, and in addition must be 
taught all that pertains to horses and horsemanship. Those 
who had been fascinated by the glamour and dash of the cavalry 
life doubtless wished many times, during those laborious days, 
that they had the more frequent hours of recreation granted 
their neighbors of the infantry. The reward of the Federal 
cavalry came in those later days when, after painstaking and 
unremitting instruction covering many months and enlighten 
ing experiences in the field, they gained that confidence in them 
selves and their leaders, which resulted in the ultimate destruc 
tion of the opposing cavalry, and the decisive triumph of the 
Federal arms. 

But good cavalry cannot be made in a month, or even in 
a year. The first year of the war saw the Confederate cavalry 
plainly superior in every way, and there were humiliating in 
stances of the capture by the corps d clitc of the South, of 
whole squadrons of Northern horsemen. The second year of 
the tremendous struggle passed with much improvement in the 
Federal cavalry, but with a still marked lack of confidence in 
itself. It was not until the third year of its organization and 
training that the Union cavalry really found itself, and was 
able to vindicate its reputation in the eyes of those who in the 
preceding period were wont to sneeringly remark that " no 
one ever sees a dead cavalryman! 

The drill regulations of the period, called tactics in those 
days, were the " 41 Tactics " or " Poinsett Tactics," author 
ized for dragoon regiments in the year 1841, by the Honorable 
J. R. Poinsett, Secretary of War. These drill regulations were 
in the main a translation from the French, and although occa 
sional attempts were made to improve them, they continued in 
use by the Kastern cavalry of the Union armies throughout the 

[60] 



.mi r 




WELL-GROOMED OFFICERS OF THE THIRTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY 

Many of the Federal cavalry officers were extremely precise in the matter of dress, paying equal attention 
to their horses equipment, in order to set a good example to their men. Custer was a notable example. 
This photograph shows full dress, fatigue dress, a properly equipped charger, an orderly, sentry, cavalry 
sabres and the short cavalry carbine. Except for the absence of revolvers, it is an epitome of the dress 
and equipment which the Federal Government supplied lavishly to its troopers during the latter half of the 
war. At the outset, the volunteer cavalrymen were required to supply their own horses, a proper allowance 
being made for food and maintenance. In 1861, the Confederate cavalry had no Colt s revolvers, no 
Chicopee sabers, and no carbines that were worth carrying. Their arms were of the homeliest type and of 
infinite variety. This photograph was taken in July, 1865, when Washington no longer needed watching. 




rganteattatt nf 



Gfcmalrg 



* 



. 






war. The Western cavalry used the " 41 Tactics " until late 
in the year 1864, and thereafter a system of drill formulated 
by General Philip St. George Cooke, which was published in 
1862 by the War Department and prescribed a single-rank 
formation for the cavalry. 

After all the months of drill, how different were those 
days of actual service in the field weary marches in mud, rain, 
and even snow; short rations for men and for horses when the 
trains were delayed or when there were no trains; bivouacs on 
the soggy ground with saddles for pillows; gruesome night 
rides when troopers threw reins on the necks of horses and slept 
in their saddles; nerve-racking picket duty in contact with the 
foe s lines, where the whinny of a horse meant the wicked 
" ping " of a hostile bullet. 

Like all soldiers new to the rigors of actual service in 
war, the Union volunteer cavalry, in those early days, loaded 
themselves and their horses with an amount of superfluous bag 
gage which provoked sarcasm from the seasoned soldier and 
which later experience taught them wholly to discard. Some 
articles were absolutely necessary; much was entirely useless 
and oftentimes unauthorized. 

In addition to his arms, which weighed not a little, the 
volunteer cavalryman carried a huge box of cartridges and an 
other of percussion caps; from his shoulder depended a haver 
sack filled with rations, and to which was often attached not 
only a tin cup but a coffee-pot. A canteen of water, a nose-bag 
of corn, a shelter tent, a lariat and picket pin, extra horse 
shoes and nails, a curry-comb and brush, a set of gun-tools and 
cleaning materials, and saddle-bags filled with extra clothing 
brought the weight of the trooper and his kit to a figure which 
was burdensome to an animal in even the best of condition. 
When to these articles of equipment were added an overcoat, 
extra blankets, additional boots, and the odds and ends of luxu 
ries, which the recruit is wont to stow away surreptitiously, the 
result was a lame and broken-down horse, hundreds of troopers 

[62] 



: 




M 




BREAD AND COFFEE FOR THE CAVALRYMAN 



The mess-house for cavalry ordered to Washington. In the field the cavalrymen were glad when they could 
get the regular rations bacon and hard bread. During the winter, in permanent camp, they occasionally 
enjoyed the luxury of soft bread. But they were kept so constantly employed, reconnoitering the enemy s 
position, watching the fords of the Rappahannock, and engaged in almost constant skirmishing, even in 
severe winter weather while the infantry was being made comfortable in winter-quarters, that this mess- 
house was regarded as a sort of Mecca by the troopers sent to Washington to be organized and remounted. 
Soft bread was not the only luxury here, and when they rejoined their commands their comrades would 
listen with bated breath to their thrilling stories of soup and eggs and other Lucullan delicacies. There 
was an army saying that it takes a good trooper to appreciate a good meal. 




rgmtteatinu nf tlj? Jtoteral (Eaualnr * 




afoot, and the whole cavalry service rendered inefficient and 
almost useless. 

As an evidence of the lack of discipline and of the ig 
norance of things military, which marked those early days of 
the cavalry service, it may be mentioned that many credulous 
troopers purchased so-called invulnerable vests, formed of thin 
steel plates and warranted by the makers to ward off a 
saber stroke or stop a leaden bullet. Dents in the armor were 
pointed out as evidence of this remarkable quality. Of course 
the vests were sooner or later discarded, but while retained 
they added about ten pounds to the burden of the already 
overloaded horse. 

It is stated that the first time the Confederate cavalrymen, 
who rode light, met some of these remarkably equipped troop 
ers, they wondered with amazement whether the Union horse 
men were lifted into the saddle after the latter was packed, or 
whether the riders mounted first, and then had the numberless 
odds and ends of their equipment packed around them. 

An anecdote is related of a humane Irish recruit, who, 
when he found his horse was unable to carry the heavy load 
allotted him, decided as an act of mercy to share the load with 
his charger. So, unloading nearly a hundred pounds from the 
horse, he strapped the mass to his own broad shoulders; and 
remounting his steed, rode off, quite jubilant over his act of 
unselfishness. 

13 lit it did not take long for cavalrymen in the field to 
learn with how little equipment the soldier may live and fight 
efficiently, and with how much greater zest the horses can with 
stand the long marches when the loa.d is cut down to the limit 
of actual needs. There was danger then of the opposite ex 
treme, and that absolutely necessary articles would be con 
veniently dropped and reported as " lost in action " or as 
" stolen." The net result, however, was that after one or two 
campaigns, the Federal cavalrymen learned to travel light, and, 
better than anything else, learned that quality of discipline 



64 



\r\ 




THE HAY BUSINESS OF THE GOVERNMENT 

The matter of proper feed for cavalry horses was a constant perplexity to the Federal Government until the men had learned how 
to care for their mounts. During the first two years of the war two hundred and eighty-four thousand horses were furnished to the cavalry, 
although the maximum number of cavalrymen in the field at any time during this period did not exceed sixty thousand. The enormous 
number of casualties among the horses was due to many causes, among which were poor horsemanship on the part of the raw troopers 
mustered in at the beginning of the war, and the ignorance and gross inefficiency on the part of many officers and men as to the con 
dition of the horses backs and feet, care as to food and cleanliness, and the proper treatment of the many diseases to which horses 
on active service are subject. In such a tremendous machine as the quartermaster s department of the Army of the Potomac, con 
taining at the beginning of the war many officers with absolutely no experience as quartermasters, there were necessarily many vexatious 
delays in purchasing and forwarding supplies, and many disappointments in the quality of supplies, furnished too often by scheming 
contractors. By the time the photograph above reproduced was taken, 1864, the business of transporting hay to the army in the 
field had been thoroughly systematized, as the swarming laborers in the picture attest. 




AT THE HAY WHARF. ALEXANDRIA 




GOVERNMENT HAY-WHARF AT ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA 



The army which McClellan took to the Peninsula had to be created from the very foundation. The regular 
army was too small to furnish more than a portion of the general officers and a very small portion of the 
staff, so that the staff departments and staff officers had to be fashioned out of perfectly raw material. 
Artillery, small-arms, and ammunition were to be manufactured, or purchased from abroad; wagons, am 
bulances, bridge-trains, camp equipage, hospital stores, and all the vast impedimenta and material indis 
pensable for an army in the field were to be manufactured. The tardiness with which cavalry remounts 
were forwarded to the regiments was a frequent subject of complaint. General McClellan complained 
that many of the horses furnished were "totally unfitted for the service and should never have been re- 




SENTRY GUARDING FEED FOR FEDERAL HORSES, 1804 



ceivcd." General Pope had in fact reported that "our cavalry numbered on paper about four thousand men, 
but their horses were completely broken down, and there were not five hundred men, all told, capable of 
doing such service as should be expected of cavalry." The demand for horses was so great that in many 
cases they were sent on active service before recovering sufficiently from the fatigue incident to a long 
railway journey. One case was reported of horses left on the cars fifty hours without food or water, and 
then being taken out, issued, and used for immediate service. Aside, too, from the ordinary diseases to 
which horses are subject, the Virginia soil seemed to be particularly productive of diseases of the feet. That 
known as "scratches" disabled thousands of horses during the Peninsula campaign and the march of Pope. 
[a51 




MEN WHO SHOD A -MILLION HORSES 

This photograph presents another aspect of the gigantic system whereby the Union cavalry became organ 
ized and equipped so as to prove irresistible after 1 863. In the fiscal year 1864 the Union Government bought 
and captured nearly 210,000 horses. The army in the field required about 500 new horses every day. 
Sheridan s force alone required 150 new r horses a day during the Shenandoah campaign. At Giesboro, the 
big remount depot near Washington, they handled 170,622 horses in 1864, and in June, 1866, they had 




PART OF THE GIGANTIC ORGANIZATION OF THE FEDERAL CAVALRY 

only 32 left. This was exclusive of 12,000 or 13,000 artillery horses handled at the same depot. All these 
animals had to be shod. This photograph shows some of the men who did it, with the implements of their 
trade. The army in the field kept this army at home busy supplying its manifold needs. The Southerners 
only array of men was at the front. At home, they had only an army of women, knitting, weaving, and 
sewing for the ragged soldiers in the field. The men wholesale had left their businesses and enlisted. 



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Ohumlrg 





which subordinates the comfort and pleasure of the individual 
to the greatest good of the greatest number. 

The trouble was that upon the organization of so many 
regiments of volunteer cavalry, both officers arid men were nat 
urally uninstructed and therefore inefficient. Horses were 
overloaded, marches were prolonged beyond endurance and 
without proper halts for rest, forage was not always regularly 
provided, and troopers were not held down to those many little 
things which, whether in the saddle or in camp, make for the 
endurance of the horse and for the mobility of mounted troops. 

Tactically, both officers and men of the newly made cav 
alry had everything to learn. In spite of the splendid natural 
material which was attracted to the mounted service, and the 
lavish expenditures of the Federal Government in its behalf, 
the first period of the war only emphasized the fact that, given 
unlimited resources in the way of men, horses, and equipment, 
efficient cavalry cannot be developed inside of two years or 
more. 

To be fully prepared at the outbreak of war, regular cav 
alry should be kept during peace at its war strength; while if 
reserves of militia cavalry cannot be conveniently maintained 
during peace, ample reserve supplies of arms and equipment 
should be laid by, and such encouragement given to the breed 
ing and rearing of saddle-horses as will enable the Government 
to place cavalry in the field without all the vexatious and hu 
miliating delays which attended the fitting out of the Federal 
cavalry force in 1861 and 1862. 



\\\W 



jm 



-~ 



CHAPTER 
THREE 





GENERAL JEB STUART 

LEADER OF 
THE VIRGINIA CAVALRY 



BRIGADIER-GENERAL 
BEVERLY H. ROBERTSON 
C.S.A. 




SUCCESSOR TO ASH BY 

AS COMMANDER OF 

THE "VALLEY" CAVALRY 

IN 1862 



MAJOR-GENERAL 
\V. H. F. LEE, 
C.S.A. 




IN 1862 COLONEL OF 

THE NINTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY 

IN "FITZ" LEE S BRIGADE 

UNDER STUART 



CONFEDERATE 
CAVALRY 
LEADERS 



MAJOR-GENERAL 

THOMAS L. ROSSER, 

C.S.A. 




BRIGADIER-GENERAL 

WILLIAM E. JONES, 

C.S.A. 



ACTIVE IN THE 

EARLY VIRGINIA 

CAMPAIGNS 



IN 1862 COLONEL OF THE 

FIFTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY 

IN "FITZ" LEE S BRIGADE 

UNDER STUART 




IN 1862 COLONEL OF 

THE SEVENTH VIRGINIA 

CAVALRY IN THE ARMY 

OF THE VALLEY 



j_ -N <Mk IJ 

*^.- . ,>*>9| _^ 

41*^. V / 




ONE OF THE REGIMENTS THAT STUART ELUDED 



A glance at the gallant and hardy bearing-of Rush s Lancers as they looked in 1862, and at their curious weapons, suggestive more of 
Continental than of American warfare, brings sufficient testimony to the high quality of the men who endeavored to curb the Con 
federate leader, Stuart, and the resources behind them. The usual armament of the Union volunteer cavalry regiments consisted of 
a saber, a revolver, and a single-shot carbine. The Sixth Pennsylvania was provided with lances in addition to the pistol, twelve car 
bines being afterwards added to the equipment of each troop for picket and scouting duty. A clean cut, smart-looking lot they are 
by the streaming pennants the privates, recruited from the fashionable athletic set of the day in Philadelphia, no less than the officer, 
so intent upon the coffee that his orderly is pouring out. But it was vainly that in North or South, in Pennsylvania or in Virginia, in 
Federal territory or along the banks of the Chickahominy, the men of this crack Pennsylvania regiment tried to catch Stuart and his 







LAXC ERS IX THE FEDERAL CAVALRY 



fleet command. At Tunstall s Station, Virginia, they were two hours late; at Emmittsburg, Maryland, an hour early. On the 
occasion of Stuart s famous raid on Chambersburg, in October, 1862. General Pleasonton, irritated by the audacity of the daring South 
erner, had made every disposition to head off the raiders Ijefore they reached the Potomac. General Pleasonton himself, with eight 
hundred men ; Colonel Richard H. Rush, with his unique lancers, and General Stoneman, with his command, were all scouring the country 
in search of Stuart, who was encumbered with many captured horses, but was moving steadily toward the Potomac. A march of thirty- 
two miles from Chambersburg brought the wily Stuart to Emmittsburg about seven o clock on the evening of the llth. One hour 
Ijcfore their arrival six companies of the Lancers, at that time attached to the Third Brigade, had passed through the town on their 
way to Gettysburg. But until the day of his death, Stuart often managed so that the J ninn cavalry came too early or too late. 





THE CAVALRY CORPS OF THE ARMY 
OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA 

BY HOLMES COXRAD 

Major Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia 

THE Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia 
was a growth, not a creation. Its nucleus was formed of 
three cavalry companies, at Harper s Ferry, in April, 1861. 
" Clarke s Cavalry " was stationed at the bridge over the Shen- 
andoah River near Harper s Ferry; Ashby s company was at 
the bridge over the Potomac River at the Point of Rocks, and 
Drake s company was at the bridge at Brunswick. J. E. B. 
Stuart was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel and assigned to 
the command of the cavalry in the district then commanded by 
Colonel T. J. Jackson. When General Joseph E. Johnston 
relieved Colonel Jackson, the forces were withdrawn from 
Harper s Ferry, and the headquarters of that army were at 
Winchester, in the Shenandoah valley. 

On July 1, 1861, General Patterson crossed the Potomac 
at Williamsport with the intention of operating against Gen 
eral Johnston, and preventing him from reenforcing Beaure- 
gard at Manassas. The first engagement of any kind between 
these opposing forces is known as " the affair at Falling 
Waters," in which Jackson, with three hundred and eighty 
infantry and one piece of artillery, detained the advance of 
Patterson s army for some days. Colonel Stuart, with his cav 
alry, was reconnoitering on Patterson s right flank. While 
passing along the edge of a piece of woods, he came suddenly 
upon a company of Pennsylvania infantry, separated from him 
by a high rail fence. Stuart, dressed in a blue-flannel coat and 
corduroy trousers, rode to the fence and in peremptory tones 

[76] 




ONE OF THE EARLIEST CONFEDERATE CAVALRY EXPLOITS 



A month before the first battle of Bull Run, the bridge at Berlin, Md., six miles below Harper s Ferry, was thoroughly destroyed in one 
of the first exploits of the Confederate cavalry. It was not yet organized. A few detached bands here and there the Clarke company at 
the bridge over the Shenandoah River near Harper s Ferry, Ashby s company at the bridge over the Potomac River at the Point of 
Rocks, and Drake s company at the bridge at Brunswick were operating along the first Confederate line of defense. But they had 
already begun to demonstrate their daring and effectiveness. This was the prelude to the bold rides of Stuart and Forrest, to the 
swift raids of Morgan and the terror-inspiring Mosby. It was acts like this that hampered the Union leaders, and detained an army 
between Washington and the Confederates. Not until the Union cavalry had learned to retaliate, and to meet and fight the exhausted 
Confederate horsemen on their own ground and in their own way, did the Union generals get complete possession of their infantry. 




R 






mmlry uf ilj? Army uf Ncriljmt Utrrjtuta 



ordered the Federals to pull down the fence at once, which they 
did. The cavalry rode into their midst, and without the firing 
of a pistol took the entire company of thirty or forty men. 

On the 18th of July, Johnston withdrew his army from 
Winchester, and moved toward Manassas. Stuart s entire 
command consisted of twenty-one officers and three hundred 
and thirteen men. All were well mounted and at home on 
horseback. Yet for arms they could muster but few sabers of 
regulation make and still fewer revolvers, although double- 
barreled shotguns and rifles were prevalent. 

This command reached Manassas on the evening of the 
2()th of July, and went into camp. The next morning, at early 
dawn, it was aroused by the firing of a signal gun by the Fed 
erals. In the afternoon, General T. J. Jackson s brigade, 
while fully occupied in front, was threatened by the advance 
of a heavy attacking column on its left. Stuart was sent to its 
relief, and moving in column on Jackson s left, he soon came 
in view of a formidable line of Zouaves moving upon Jackson. 
The appearance of the head of Stuart s column arrested the 
movement of the opponents, attracted their fire, and finally 
caused their withdrawal, for which Jackson, in his report, made 
grateful acknowledgment. 

During the summer and fall, the cavalry occupied and 
held Mason s and Munson s hills and picketed as far as Falls 
\^\^0 Church and at points along the Potomac. With the exception 
of an affair at Lew r insville, in September, the period was un 
eventful and free from striking incidents. In September, 1861, 
Stuart was commissioned brigadier-general, and in December 
occurred the battle of Dranesville, in which he commanded 
the Confederate forces, but the result of the engagement af 
forded him no ground for congratulation. 

In March, 1862, the Confederates evacuated Manassas, 
and moved below Richmond. The advance of McClellan up 
the Peninsula toward Williamsburg, afforded but little oppor 
tunity for cavalry operations other than protecting the flanks 

[78] 





FALLS CHURCH, OX THE CONFEDERATE PICKET LINE IN 61-NEARLY THREE 

MILES FROM WASHINGTON 



This typical cross-roads Virginia church, less than three miles from Washington, lay on the end of the 
line patroled by the Confederate cavalry pickets in the summer and fall of 61. Strange-looking soldiers 
were those riders in Colonel J. E. B. Stuart s command, without uniforms, armed with rifles and double- 
barreled shot-guns, with hardly a saber or a revolver. While McClellan was drilling his army in Wash 
ington and metamorphosing it from an "armed mob" into an efficient fighting machine, the Confederate 
horsemen occupied and held Mason s and Munson s Hill and picketed at points along the Potomac. With 
the exception of an affair at Lewinsville in September there was little actual fighting. In that month 
Stuart was commissioned brigadier-general, and in December occurred the battle of Dranesville, in which 
he commanded the Confederate forces, but failed to carry the day. Soon, however, he leaped into fame. 




atmlrg nf itj? Armg 0f Nnriljmt Btrgtnta -4^ 



and rear of the army as it withdrew within the lines around 
Richmond. Toward the middle of June was effected that bril 
liant movement which so distinctly illustrates the daring and 
skill of Stuart and the unfailing endurance of his men. He 
passed around the entire Federal army, obtaining the informa 
tion he sought and returning to camp with the substantial 
rewards of his prowess. 

During the Seven Days battles around Richmond, but lit 
tle opportunity was afforded for cavalry operations beyond the 
ordinary work of obtaining information on the front and 
flanks, but in the latter part of June, Stuart reached White 
House, where a Federal gunboat had been seen on the Pa- 
munkey. Seventy-five dismounted cavalrymen, armed with 
carbines and deployed as skirmishers, approached the vessel, 
whereupon a body of sharpshooters was landed from the gun 
boat and advanced to meet them. A single howitzer of the 
Stuart horse artillery opened on the war-ship from a position 
on which her guns could not be brought to bear. The shells 
from the howitzer greatly distressed her, and withdrawing her 
sharpshooters, she disappeared down the river. 

On no occasion was the audacity of Stuart and the temper 
of his men more severely tested than in October, when there 
was carried through the movement to Chambersburg, Penn 
sylvania, which was reached on the 10th. The advance was 
bold and perilous enough, but it was tame in comparison with 
the return. The Union forces had been thoroughly aroused, 
and dispositions had been ordered, intended and calculated to 
head off the invaders before they could recross the Potomac. 
Leaving Chambersburg, a march of nearly thirty-two miles 
brought Stuart and his men to Emmittsburg at about seven 
o clock on the evening of the llth. One hour before their ar 
rival, four companies of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry had 
passed through the town on their way to Gettysburg. General 
Pleasonton with eight hundred men, Colonel Rush with his regi 
ment, and General Stoneman with his command were scouring 

[80] 



I 





COPYRIGHT, 19 tl, PATRIOT PUB. CO. 

A CONFEDERATE HORSE AT AN HISTORIC VIRGINIA SPOT, IN MAY, 1862 

When (!! came, the young men in the North were to be found rather at commercial and indoor pursuits, 
as compared to those in the South. There the sports of country life appealed in preference, and the rifle 
and saddle were more familiar than the counting-house. Thus the Confederate cavalrymen saw nothing 
wrong in the proposition that they should furnish their own mounts throughout the war. The name of 
the beautiful horse in this photograph was "Secesh." Its upraised ears and alert expression of interest in 
the man who is waving his hat in the foreground, to make it look at the camera, proves it a "well-bred" 
animal. "Secesh" was captured by the Federals in 1862 at Yorktown, and the spot where the photograph 
was taken is historic. It is the cave excavated in the marl bluff by Cornwallis in 1781. for secret councils. 




mmlrg 0f thr Army nf Nnriltmt Utrgmia 








the country in search of Stuart, who was encumbered with 
many captured horses in his march toward the Potomac. Pleas- 
onton had so interpreted Stuart s movements as to make it clear 
to his mind that Stuart must cross the river at the mouth of 
the Monocacy, but, as a matter of fact, White s Ferry was the 
point at which the Confederate purposed to get over. Colonel 
W. H. F. Lee commanded the advance, and as he approached 
the ferry, he found it guarded by a force of Federal infantry. 

Lee had arranged his plan of attack upon these troops 
when it occurred to him to try a milder method. He sent a 
flag of truce to the Union commander and demanded the un 
conditional surrender of his men within fifteen minutes. To 
this there was no response, and Colonel Lee then opened with 
one gun, which fire was not returned. In a few moments the 
tTnion infantry quit their impregnable position and withdrew 
down the river. Stuart and his returning legions, with all their 
plunder, then crossed the Potomac in safety. 

Several companies in the Virginia cavalry regiments were 
mounted on thoroughbred racers, sired by horses whose names 
are as household words in racing annals. One experience, in 
the summer of 1861, demonstrated their unfitness for cavalry 
service. After General Patterson had crossed the Potomac at 
Williamsport and occupied Martinsburg, the First Virginia 
Cavalry was in camp in an apple orchard, about two miles 
south of that town. A section of a Federal battery of two 
rifled guns advanced and took position a few hundred yards 
from the orchard, and threw some percussion shells over the 
cavalrymen. The missiles struck soft earth beyond and did not 
explode, but their screams, as they passed over the camp, were 
appalling. One of the companies, mounted on thoroughbreds, 
had no more control over their steeds than they had over the 
shells that frightened them. The commander of the company 
sought to divert attention from the noise by keeping the horses 
in motion, but no sooner were they brought into line than they 
broke and ran. A hundred yards distant was a fence, eight 

[82] 



JJ 




A SOUTHERN ROADSTER IN 1862, AT THE SPOT WHERE STUART ON HIS FAMOUS 

RAID ESCAPED FROM DANGER 

The spring, the rangy endurance of this Virginia riding-horse, halted on the highway near Charles City 
Court House, illustrates one factor in the dismay the Confederate cavalrymen were able to implant in the 
hearts of their Northern opponents during the first two years of the war. This horse, by the way, is tread 
ing the very road where Stuart, two years before, had escaped across the Chickahominy from the vengeful 
army riding in his wake after he had ridden completely around its rear. Such raids, until the North had 
created an efficient cavalry force, destroyed millions of dollars worth of Federal property and exercised a 
tremendous moral effect. The cry of "The Black Horse Cavalry" terrified still further the panic-stricken 
Federal troops at Bull Run; Mosby s brilliant dashes at poorly guarded Union wagon trains and careless 
outposts taught the Northern leaders many a lesson, and Stuart s two raids around McClellan s army, on 
the Peninsula and in Maryland, resulted iu the systematic upbuilding of a Federal cavalry. In the 
latter years of the war, when the South was exhausted of such horses, their cavalry became less efficient, 
but nothing can dim the luster of their performances in those first two hopeful and momentous years. 




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17 s 




rails high. They cleared this like deer, and moved to the north 
west. The rifled guns returned to Martinshurg, and the regi 
ment remained in the orchard, but it was two days before all 
those race-horses found their way back to the regiment. 
Blooded horses proved unfit for the service; they fretted and 
exhausted themselves on a quiet march, and proved to be un 
manageable in field engagements. 

June, 1863, witnessed the most spectacular tournament 
in which the cavalry of the opposing armies in Virginia ever 
engaged. The Army of Northern Virginia was entering upon 
the campaign that was to culminate in the three days battle 
of Gettysburg, and the entire cavalry force had been assembled 
for review, at Brandy Station. General Pleasonton, com 
mander of the Union Cavalry Corps, wished to cross the Rap- 
pahannock to ascertain the disposition of General Lee s army. 
Two fords led across the river in that vicinity, Beverly and 
Kelly s, and these were promptly approached by the inquisi 
tive Northerners. The second and third divisions of cavalry 
and a brigade of infantry were ordered to cross at Kelly s 
Ford; the first cavalry division, with another brigade of 
infantry, was ordered to cross at Beverly Ford. Several bat 
teries of artillery accompanied each column, and never were 
batteries more gallantly served or skilfully commanded. On 
the morning of the 9th of June, the Eighth New York Cavalry 
crossed at Beverly Ford. One company of the Sixth Virginia, 
under Captain Gibson, formed the picket at this point. Stuart s 
headquarters had been on Fleetwood Hill from which, how 
ever, he had, luckily, removed his baggage at an early hour. 

General Buford s force of Federal cavalry which crossed 
at Beverly Ford was, in the opinion of all of us, quite enough 
to satisfy the wishes of reasonable men, and Stuart had not 
reckoned on a further assault on his rear. But General Gregg, 
with another division of Federal cavalry, crossed at Kelly s 
Ford, and thus had Fleetw r ood Hill, which was the key to 
the situation between the two hostile forces. A disabled 

84] 




THE BANKS OF THE CHICKAHOMINY IN 62 WHEN STUART CROSSED IT IN THE 

FIRST GREAT RAID OF THE WAR 



This small but quick-rising little stream came nearer than the entire Union army to stopping Stuart in his 
famous "ride around McClellan" on the Peninsula, June 13-1.5, 186 L 2. This was the first of the great Con 
federate raids that served to startle the Union into a recognition of the maladministration of its cavalry. 
After a brush with a squadron the Fifth United States Cavalry, commanded by Captain W. B. Royall, 
and a short halt at Old Church, he marched with only twelve hundred cavalrymen, by night, down 
through New Kent to Sycamore Ford on the Chickahominy, thence straight back to Richmond along the 
James River road. His entire loss was one man killed and a few wounded; yet he brought prisoners and 
plunder from under McClellan s very nose. Of most importance, he discovered the exact location of the 
Federal right wing, so that Jackson attacked it a few days later successfully. The cavalry gained con 
fidence in itself, and the Confederacy rang with praises of its daring. The one really dangerous moment 
to the adventurous party came when the Chickahominy was reached on the homeward journey and was 
found to be swollen suddenly, and impassable even by swimming. Only Stuart s promptness in tearing 
down a mill and building a bridge with its timbers got his men across before the Federals hove in sight. 




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6-pounder howitzer had been left on Fleetwood Hill, under 
charge of Lieutenant Carter, and with this disabled gun and 
a very limited amount of ammunition, General Gregg was held 
in check until aid from General W. E. Jones brigade could 
be sent. Gregg very naturally supposed that so important a 
position would not have been left unprotected, and that a 
stronger protection than one howitzer would have been af 
forded it. One dash by him with but a single regiment would 
have taken the position, and placed Stuart in a very uncom 
fortable situation. 

From early morn till the stars arose did the battle of 
Brandy Station rage. The full cavalry forces of both armies 
were engaged, and neither could claim the advantage in gal 
lantry or skill. The greater credit is due, perhaps, to the Fed 
erals, because they were the attacking party, and their assault 
had to be made by crossing a swollen river in the face of a cav 
alry corps that had the advantage of being on its own ground, 
and had the means of concentrating at each of the fords, which 
were the only ways the Federals had of getting access to the 
field. In no engagement between these two cavalry corps were 
sabers used so freely, or charges by regiments in line made 
so frequently and furiously. 

General Lee was then advancing toward Pennsylvania; 
Stuart was screening this movement by keeping to the east of 
the Blue Ridge, and marching northward. The country was 
checkered with stone fences, strongly built and in good condi 
tion. Along the turnpike from Washington to Winchester, 
passing through Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville, and Paris 
there \vas continuous and severe fighting in which the cavalry 
alone participated. A Federal force, formed of the second 
cavalry division under General Gregg, with Kilpatrick s 
brigade and a battery of artillery, moved swiftly and with 
determination. Captain Reuben Boston had been placed with 
his Confederate squadron on the right of the road, with instruc 
tions to hold it. It appeared later that this little band had been 

[86] 



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I 



// 





BRIGADIER-GENERAL THOMAS T. MUNFORD, C.S.A. 

From the Peninsula to the last stand of the Confederate cavalry at Sailor s 
Creek, General Munford did his duty both gallantly and well. As colonel 
of the Second Virginia Cavalry he masked the placing of a battery of 
thirty-one field pieces upon the bluff at White Oak swamp, June 30, 1862. 
When the screen of cavalry was removed, the gunners opened up and drove 
a Union battery of artillery and a brigade of McClellan s infantry rear 
guard from a large field just across the White Oak stream. His was the 
regiment which picketed the roads leading in the direction of the Federal 
forces upon the occasion of Jackson s famous raid around Pope s army to 
Manassas Junction. At Antietam he commanded a brigade of dismounted 
cavalry, comprising the Second and Twelfth Virginia regiments and eight 
guns, and he was with Longstreet and Hill at South Mountain. General 
Munford and General Rosser were two brigadiers of Fitzhugh Lee 
when the latter assumed command of all the cavalry of the Army of 
Northern Virginia in March, 1865. Munford s diminished brigade was 
swept before the Federal infantry fighting bravely at Five Forks, but 
with undiminished courage it drove back Crook on the north side of the 
Appomattox River only two days before Lee s surrender to Grant. 



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stationed too far to the front to receive aid from the rest of 
the regiment, and hence, after receiving and repulsing several 
attacks, Boston fell, with a remnant of his squadron, into the 
hands of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. 

Peremptory orders were frequently given without due 
consideration, and they were as frequently obeyed, even when 
the person so ordered knew that they were destructive. In 
this same campaign, Colonel Duffie, of the First Rhode Island 
Cavalry, was ordered to encamp at Middleburg on the night 
of June 17th, and his line of march was prescribed. He fol 
lowed that line and it disclosed to him the presence of the 
Confederates at many points along its course. He reached 
Middleburg, and despatched an officer to General Kilpatrick, 
at Aldie, to advise him of the situation, but Kilpatrick s troops 
were too exhausted to go to Duffie s relief, and the latter s 
regiment w r as attacked in the morning by Robertson s Con 
federate brigade, and two hundred of his men fell into Rob 
ertson s hands. 

Many brilliant incidents of the Gettysburg campaign tes 
tify to the efficiency of the cavalry on both sides. While Stuart 
was off on the left of the Confederate army, Robertson s brig 
ade was on the right. General W. E. Jones was sent, with 
three regiments, to protect the wagon train near Fairfield. 
Near that place, the Sixth United States Cavalry, under Major 
Starr, met the Seventh Virginia, and decidedly worsted that 
gallant regiment; but the Sixth Virginia, under Major Flour- 
noy, took its place, and the tide was turned. The Sixth United 
States was routed, its brave commander was wounded and 
captured, with one hundred and eighty-four of his command. 

As Lee fell back from Gettysburg, the Potomac River 
was much swollen. From the 8th to the llth of July, Stuart 
was engaged in guarding the front of the Confederate army, 
waiting for the waters to fall. Cavalry engagements, of more 
or less severity, with the divisions of Buford and Kilpatrick, 
took place at Boonesboro, Beaver Creek, Funkstown, and in 

[88] 





A RESTFUL SCENE AT GENERAL McDOWELL S HEADQUARTERS TAKEN WHILE 
STUART S CAVALRY WAS EXTREMELY BUSY 



The Federals were camping in peaceful and luxurious fashion, August, 1862, quite unconscious that Jackson 
with Stuart s cavalry, was cutting in between them and Washington. It would have seemed madness to 
the Union generals in command of one hundred thousand men, with potential reinforcements of fifty thousand 
more, that the Confederate leaders should split their army of only fifty-five thousand and separate the parts 
by two days march. It turned out that the Confederate generals w r ere "mad," but that there was brilliant 
method in their madness. Twice they had attempted to turn the Federal right, when Pope lay across the 
Rappahannock waiting for McClellan s return from the Peninsula, and twice the watchful Pope had foiled 
the attempt. It was not until Jackson left Early s brigade in an exposed position across the hastily repaired 
bridge at Rappahannock Station that he managed to delude the Union general into accepting this point 
as his real objective. Leaving Early quite as mystified as his opponent, Jackson dispatched Stuart with 
all the cavalry to Catlett s Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, where Pope s supply trains were 
parked. The night of August 23d was pitchy black, and the rain was descending in torrents, when the 
Confederate horsemen burst into Pope s camp. A few hours later they rode away with the Federal general s 
uniform and horses, his treasure-chest and personal effects, a member of his staff, and some three hundred 
prisoners, leaving the blazing camp behind them. The retreat of the cavalry was the final indication that 
there would be no more efforts to turn his right. Two days later Jackson, with twenty thousand men, 
marched around the Union right and, joined by Stuart s cavalry, captured the immense supply-department 
depot at Manassas Junction. 




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front of Sharpsburg. Thus was the advance of Meade s army 
delayed until the Confederates had recrossed the river. 

In September, 1863, the Cavalry Corps of the Army of 
Xorthern Virginia was reorganized, and Stuart s headquarters 
were at Culpeper Court House. On the 18th, Kilpatrick s 
division crossed the Rappahannock, and pressing its way with 
celerity and vigor toward Culpeper, captured three guns of the 
Confederate horse artillery. On the 22d, Buford encountered 
Stuart at Jack s shop, in Madison County, and a fierce en 
gagement occupied the divisions of both Buford and Kilpat- 
rick, with the result that Stuart withdrew across the Rapidan. 
In October, General Lee entered upon what is known as the 
Bristoe campaign, which aimed at turning the right flank of 
the Federal army in Culpeper County. To cover this move 
ment, Stuart distributed his command over a wide extent of 
country and along the Rapidan. On the 10th, Stuart was or 
dered to make a reconnaissance toward Catlett s Station. He 
sent Lomax forward, who moved to Auburn, and there learned 
that the Federals were in force at Warrenton Junction. He 
further discovered that the entire Federal wagon train was 
parked in a position easy of access. It was most desirable that 
its commissary supplies should be so applied as to appease the 
hunger of his half-starved cavalrymen. Stuart consequently 
moved in that direction, and on reaching a piece of woods there 
was plainly seen, about half a mile beyond, the vast park of 
wagons. Stuart gazed long and ardently at this coveted prize, 
but as he gazed, the hopeful expression on his countenance 
faded away and was succeeded by one of vexation and disap 
pointment. Beyond the park of wagons, his practised eye dis 
cerned a moving cloud of dust, which appeared to be passing 
on the left of the wagons. It was growing dusk; tidings from 
his rear seemed to disconcert him, and he appeared to those 
who were near to be anxiously awaiting something. He 
rearranged his column; some pieces of artillery were put in 
front, and behind these a medical transport wagon, and then 

[92] 



"^ 





THE TRAIN "STONEWALL" JACKSON 
AND STUART STOPPED AT BRISTOE 

By a move of unparalleled boldness, "Stone 
wall" Jackson, with twenty thousand men, 
captured the immense Union supplies at 
Manassas Junction, August 2G, 1862. His was 
a perilous position. Washington lay one day s 
march to the north ; Warrenton, Pope s head 
quarters, but twelve miles distant to the 
southwest; and along the Rappahannock, 
between "Stonewall" Jackson and Lee, stood 
the tents of another host which outnumbered 
the whole Confederate army. "Stonewall" 
Jackson had seized Bristoe Station in order to 
break down the railway bridge over Broad 
Run, and to proceed at his leisure with the 
destruction of the stores. A train returning 
empty from Warrenton Junction to Alexan 
dria darted through the station under heavy 
6re. The line was promptly torn up. Two 
trains which followed in the same direction as 
the first went crashing down a high embank 
ment. The report received at Alexandria 
from the train which escaped ran as fol 



lows: "No. 6 train, engine Secretary, was 
fired into at Bristoe by a party of cavalry 
some five hundred strong. They had piled 
ties on the track, but the engine threw them 
off. Secretary is completely riddled by bul 
lets." It was a full day before the Federals 
realized that " Stonewall " Jackson was really 
there with a large force. Here, in abundance, 
was all that had been absent for some time; 
besides commissary stores of all sorts, there 
were two trains loaded with new clothing, to 
say nothing of sutler s stores, replete with 
"extras" not enumerated in the regulations, 
and also the camp of a cavalry regiment which 
had vacated in favor of Jackson s men. It 
was an interesting sight to see the hungry, 
travel-worn men attacking this profusion and 
rewarding themselves for all their fatigues and 
deprivations of the preceding few days, and 
their enjoyment of it and of the day s rest 
allowed them. There was a great deal of 
difficulty for a time in finding what each man 
needed most, but this was overcome through 
a crude barter of belongings as the day wore on. 


















uf tljr Army nf Nnriltmt Htnjmta 



the cavalry. Thus formed, he moved to the front, leaving 
wagons and moving dust far to our right. 

At some distance ahead, there rose from the plain a wooded 
ridge, extending northeast and southwest. Toward the end 
nearest to us we headed, and began its ascent, in the order in 
which we were formed. The front of the column reached the 
top and moved on to the further end, from which the 
ridge fell with more precipitousness than the end which we 
had ascended. When the last file of the rear regiment was 
well up on the ridge and protected by the trees, no room re 
mained for more. We were dismounted and lay down, holding 
the bridle-reins in our hands. 

In less than an hour a heavy column of infantry ap 
proached the ridge from the direction in which we had come. 
It passed to the left and moved along very close to the ridge and 
toward its further end. Almost at once, another column, like 
unto the first and moving by its side, passed to the right of 
the ridge, and at about the same distance from it, in a parallel 
line toward the same end of the ridge. So near were these 
moving columns, and so still were we, that all night long we 
could hear the conversation carried on among our foemen on 
either side of us. 

The hours seemed interminable, but those marching col 
umns seemed even longer. Daylight came, but still they 
marched. Should sunrise find us still so beleaguered, our 
chances of escape would be small. As the earliest rays of the 
sun routed the mists, the long-hoped-for rear of these columns 
went by, and halted but a few rods beyond the further end of 
our ridge. During the night, Stuart had sent messengers to 
General Lee, telling him of our situation and asking for relief. 
That relief was sent, but it miscarried. As the sun rose higher, 
Stuart opened on the rear of these two columns, which had 
halted for breakfast, had made their fires, and were boiling their 
coffee. The four guns did some execution, and the Federals, 
startled by this " bolt from the blue," ran not, as we hoped, 

[94] 






MANASSAS JUNCTION, WHERE THE FEDERAL WAR DEPARTMENT ENTERTAINED 

UNEXPECTED GUESTS 



" Stonewall " Jackson and twenty thousand men were the unexpected guests of the North 
at Manassas Junction on August 26, 1862. The ragged and famished Confederates, who 
had marched over fifty miles in the last two days, had such a feast as they never knew 
before. The North had been lavish in its expenditures for the army. No effort had 
been spared to feed, clothe, and equip them, and for the comfort of the individual soldier 
the purse-strings of the nation were freely loosed. Streets of warehouses, crammed to the 
doors, a line of freight cars two miles in length, thousands of barrels of flour, pork, and 
biscuit, ambulances, field-wagons, and pyramids of shot and shell, met the wondering 
gaze of the Confederate soldiery. The sutlers stores contained a wealth of plunder. 
"Here," says General George H. Gordon, describing the scene that followed, "a long, 
yellow-haired, barefooted son of the South claimed as prizes a tooth-brush, a box of 
candies, and a barrel of coffee, while another, whose butternut homespun hung round him 
in tatters, crammed himself with lobster salad, sardines, potted game, and sweetmeats, 
and washed them down with Rhenish wine. Nor was the outer man neglected. From 
piles of new clothing, the Southerners arrayed themselves in the blue uniforms of the 
Federals. The naked were clad, the barefooted were shod, and the sick provided with 
luxuries to which they had long been strangers." All importable stores were destroyed. 



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from the danger that presented itself, but ran, and with in 
trepid force, toward us. They charged the steep ascent, struck 
down the commander of a North Carolina regiment, and only 
desisted when the fire from our guns repelled them. Stuart 
withdrew from the ridge. He had extricated himself in safety, 
and what would have been stigmatized as his folly, had we 
been routed, became a proof of his genius and heroic courage. 

The object of the Bristoe campaign was accomplished as 
far as such objects are generally accomplished, but, on the 18th 
of October, Stuart was at Buckland, with Kilpatrick in front 
of him. A device suggested by Fitzhugh Lee proved success 
ful. Stuart withdrew and Kilpatrick followed him hopefully, 
but Fitzhugh Lee had taken a position which threw him in Kil- 
patrick s rear. Upon an agreed signal, Stuart turned on Kil 
patrick in front and Lee struck his rear, and a rout ensued in 
which Davies brigade bore the brunt. It ran, and the race 
extended over five miles. Custer, however, saved his artillery 
and crossed Broad Run in safety. 

On the 28th of February following, Custer made a bril 
liant, and in the main successful, foray from Madison Court 
House into Charlottesville, with about fifteen hundred cavalry. 
Near Charlottesville were four battalions of artillery, resting 
in fond security in winter quarters. The guns were all saved 
but horses were taken, and some of the quarters were burned, 
with the loss of clothing and blankets. 

Kilpatrick was moving on Richmond with about thirty- 
five hundred cavalry. Colonel Ulric Dahlgren and about four 
hundred and fifty men were pushed rapidly toward the Vir 
ginia Central Railroad, which they struck at Frederick s Hall, 
where they captured eight officers who were sitting on a court 
martial, and moved toward the James River. Thence they 
moved dow r n on the north side of the James to Richmond, 
where they attacked the outer entrenchments. Hampton at 
tacked Kilpatrick s camp and drove him from it, compelling 
his return to Fredericksburg. Colonel Dahlgren made a wide 

[96] 



^ 




OUT OF REACH 



OF THE 



CONFEDERATE CAVALRY 



U. S. MILITARY 



ENGINES STORED 



IN ALEXANDRIA, 1863 



By the middle of 1863 the Federal generals had learned the wisdom of storing in a safe place, under a heavy guard, anything they 
wanted to keep. Of especial value was the rolling stock of the military railroads, which when not in use was ordered out of the danger 
zone. General J. E. B. Stuart with his tireless troopers had proved himself so ignorant of the meaning of the words "danger" or 
"distance" that the Federals had lost their confidence of the previous year, when they believed that the mere interposition of an 
army of a hundred thousand men was sufficient to protect a base of supplies. This photograph was taken about the time the battle 
of Gettysburg was raging, and Stuart was causing a diversion by throwing shells near Washington. It was not until the Army of 
the Potomac returned to Virginia, with headquarters established at Brandy Station, that any great numlxr of these iron horses were 
allowed out of their stables. By that time the Union cavalry had received the experience and equipment to meet the Confederate 
troopers in their own way, and threatened the railroads running into Richmond. Organization and numbers had begun to tell. 



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circuit, crossing the Pamunkey and the Mattapony, but at 
length he fell into an ambuscade near King and Queen Court 
House where he lost his life, as did many of his command. 

We have reached now, in the order of time, the Wilderness 
campaign which opened May 4, 1864. General Grant s object 
was to interpose his army between Lee and Richmond. Sheri 
dan, with about ten thousand cavalry and several batteries, had 
moved to Hamilton s Crossing and thence toward Richmond, 
on the Telegraph road. General Wickham, with his brigade, 
followed in pursuit. Near Mitchell s shop he was joined by 
Fitzhugh Lee, with about five thousand cavalry. Stuart, now 
in command, moved toward Yellow Tavern, which he reached 
before the appearance of Sheridan s troopers. They did ap 
pear, however, and attempted to drive Stuart from the Tele 
graph road. A severe fight ensued, in which Stuart lost heav 
ily in officers, but maintained his position. 

About four o clock in the afternoon, a brigade of Federal 
cavalry attacked Stuart s extreme left, and he, after his fashion, 
hurried to the point of danger. One company of the First 
Virginia Cavalry was bearing the entire burden. Stuart 
joined himself to this little band and attacked the flank of the 
Union cavalry. The First Virginia drove the Federals back. 
Many of the latter, having lost their horses in the fight, were 
keeping up on foot. One of these dismounted men turned, 
as he ran, and firing at the general with his pistol, inflicted the 
wound from which he shortly afterward died. 

Now, to turn back, when General Johnston, on the 18th of 
July, 1861, moved from the Shenandoah valley to Manassas, 
he left a body of cavalry, under Colonel McDonald, scattered 
throughout the country between the Shenandoah River and 
the North Mountains. In this body was a company from 
Fauquier County, commanded by Turner Ashby. Later on, 
this company was organized into a huge regiment of which 
McDonald was colonel; Turner Ashby, lieutenant-colonel, and 
Oliver Funsten, major. The duty assigned to this regiment 

[98] 





COVERING LEE S RETREAT FROM PENNSYLVANIA 



This photograph is an excellent illustration of the cavalry s method of destroying the railroads between 
the two capitals. The light rails were placed across piles of ties. The ties were lighted and the rails heated 
until of their own weight they bent out of shape. Mile upon mile of railroad could thus be destroyed in 
a day. New rails had to be brought before it was possible to rebuild the line. Note the tangle of tele 
graph wires. The telegraph lines were also destroyed wherever the Confederate position was known and 
it was therefore impossible to tap them and read the Union leaders messages. The Army of Northern 
Virginia and the Army of the Potomac spent the month of October, 1863, when this photograph was taken, 
maneuvering for position along the Rappahannock. On October 20th the Army of the Potomac was occu 
pying Warrenton and Lee had retired to the north bank of the Rappahannock, having destroyed the Orange 
and Alexandria Railroad from Bristoe Station to the river, and by the 22d, both armies were again in camp. 
[o-7] 




THE PRIZE THAT IMPERILLED STUART ON HIS DARING RAID INTO THE 

FEDERAL LINES 



In this striking photograph of 1863 appears the prize at which General J. E. B. Stuart gazed 
long and ardently during his reconnaissance to Warrenton Station on the 10th of October, 
1863, after Lee s Bristoe campaign. His half-starved cavalrymen urgently needed just such 
a wagon-train as that. But, as they peered from their ambush, the hopeful expressions 
faded away. Beyond the park of wagons Stuart s practiced eye had discerned a moving 
cloud of dust. That night he was confined to a little ridge, with the Union columns moving 
to the right and left of his isolated force. By dawn the rear of the passing columns were 
cooking their breakfasts at the foot of the ridge. By the bold device of firing into them and 




PART OF THE "VAST PARK OF WAGONS" ON WHICH THE CONFEDERATES GAZED 

FROM AMBUSH, OCTOBER 10, 1863 



repelling their first attack, Stuart disconcerted the pursuit and made good his escape. This 
view of the wagons "in park," or gathered in one large body in an open field, represents a 
train of the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac, near Brandy Station, during the autumn 
days of 1863, after the Gettysburg campaign. The wagons in the foreground are am 
bulances, while immediately in their rear stand the large army wagons used for subsistence and 
quartermaster s stores. The horses are harnessed to the vehicles preparatory to the forward 
movement. It took this train across the Rappahannock River toward Culpeper and the Rapidan, 
where history indicates that they formed part of those upon which Stuart gazed so covetously. 



jJ 


mrairy 0f the Army 0f Northern Btrgmta * 


LT 






was the guarding of the Potomac River on a line nearly one 
hundred and twenty-five miles in length. No more striking 
and picturesque figure than Ashby ever won the confidence 
and affections of his followers. Since his boyhood he had been 
famed as a horseman, even in that land of centaurs. Through 
out all those marvelous campaigns in the Valley, which have 
made Jackson immortal, Turner Ashby, as brigadier-general, 
commanded the cavalry that formed an impenetrable screen 
between Jackson and the Federal armies in his front. 

In May and June, 1862, Jackson moved up the Shenan- 
doah valley, Generals Banks and Saxton following with four 
teen thousand troops. General Fremont, with his army, 
was approaching Strasburg from the direction of Moorefield, 
while General Shields, who had crossed the Blue Ridge from 
the east, was moving up Luray Valley on Jackson s left flank, 
with still another division. Jackson waited at Strasburg nearly 
twenty-four hours for one of his regiments, which he had left 
below him, to rejoin his command. Mean while Fremont ap 
proached within ten miles, was met by General Richard Tay 
lor, and held in check until Jackson, starting his wagon trains 
off before him, had followed in a leisurely manner, while Ashby, 
with his cavalry, kept back Fremont, who was pressing Jack 
son s rear. Shields was moving rapidly in the hope of inter 
cepting Jackson before he could cross the Blue Ridge, which 
Shields supposed he was striving to do. A few miles south 
of Harrisonburg, Jackson turned toward Port Republic, en 
countered Fremont s cavalry, under Colonel Percy Wyndham, 
which Ashby quickly routed, capturing Colonel Wyndham and 
a large part of his command. Fremont sent forward General 
Bayard and his command, which met the Fifty-eighth Virginia, 
near Cross Keys. General Ashby dismounted, and placing 
himself at the head of this infantry regiment, received the bullet 
which ended his career. 

His former regiment, with certain additions, was organ-" 
ized into a brigade consisting of the Second, Sixth, Seventh. 

[102] 












A SAD SIGHT FOR THE CAVALRYMAN 

This pitiful scene after the battle of Gettysburg illustrates the losses of mounts after each engagement, 
which told heaviest on the Southern cavalry. Up to the next winter, 1863-4, it was well organized and 
had proved its efficiency on many fields. But from that period its weakness increased rapidly. The 
sources of supplies of both men and horses had been exhausted simultaneously; many of the best and bravest 
of men and officers had fallen in battle. From then onward it was a struggle for bare existence, until at 
Appomattox the large-hearted Lee pointed out to Grant that the only mounts left to the Confederacy were 
those that his men were actually riding. Be it recorded to the Northern general s credit that he gave im 
mediate instructions that every Confederate who owned his horse should be allowed to take it home for 
plowing and putting in his crop. This photograph shows staff officers horses killed at Gettysburg. 




aimlnj of tlj? Army nf Nnrt^nt Btrgtma 




: 






and Twelfth Virginia regiments, and the Seventeenth Bat 
talion which soon afterward became the Eleventh Virginia 
Cavalry. After Ashby s death, this brigade was, for a time, 
commanded by Colonel Munford. General Shields reached 
the village of Port Republic, where Jackson encountered him 
and drove him back down Luray Valley, and thus ended the 
Valley campaign of that year. 

General Beverly Robertson was now assigned to the com 
mand of the old Ashby brigade. On the 2d of August, a sharp 
hand-to-hand encounter took place in the streets of Orange 
Court House, between the Seventh Virginia, and the Fifth 
Xew York and First Vermont, both commanded by General 
Crawford, in w-hich Colonel Jones and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Marshall, of the Seventh Virginia, were wounded. The Sixth 
Virginia coming up, the Federals reluctantly gave way, and 
were pursued as far as Rapidan Station. 

On December 29th, 1862, General W. E. Jones was as 
signed to the command of the Valley District, and in March, 
1863, he moved to Moorefield Valley, with the view of gather 
ing much-needed supplies of food, and also with the intention 
of destroying the Cheat River viaduct, on the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad. The south branch, at Petersburg in Hardy 
County, West Virginia, was high, and the fords were almost 
impassable. The artillery and the loaded wagon trains were 
sent back to Harrisonburg, and Jones, with his cavalry alone, 
undertook the invasion of West Virginia. At Greenland Gap, 
on the summit of the Alleghany Mountains, a body of Federal 
infantry held a blockhouse, strongly built and gallantly de 
fended. This was taken only after the loss of several men, 
and the wounding of Colonel Dulany of the Seventh Virginia. 
It was repeatedly charged by the dismounted cavalry, and was 
finally taken by stratagem rather than assault. 

The Cheat River viaduct was reached on the 26th of April, 
and found to be guarded by three hundred infantry entrenched 
in a blockhouse, too strong to be taken in a moment, and time 

[104] 



.. 




HORSES KILLED IN BATTLE A SERIOUS LOSS 

The number of horses killed in battle was, after all, but !i small fraction of those destroyed by exhaustion, starvation, and disease 
during the Civil War. When Lee s army marched into Pennsylvania he had issued stringent orders against plundering. The orders 
were almost implicitly obeyed except when it came to the question of horses. The quartermasters, especially of artillery battalions, 
could seldom report their commands completely equipped. The Confederacy had no great cavalry depots like Giesboro, or those at 
St. Louis or Greenville in Louisiana. When a mount was exhausted he had to be replaced. Some of the farmers actually concealed 
their horses in their own houses, but a horseless trooper was a veritable sleuth in running down a horse, whether concealed in the 
parlor or in the attic. The Confederates offered to pay for the horses, but in Confederate currency. The owners occasionally accepted 
it on the principle that it was " better.than nothing." The animals thus impressed in Pennsylvania were for the most part great, clumsy, 
flabby Percherons and Conestogas, which required more than twice the feed of the compact, hard-muscled little Virginia horses. It 
was pitiable to see these great brutes suffer when they were compelled to dash off at full gallop with a field-piece after pasturing on 
dry broom-sedge and eating a quarter of a feed of weevil-infested corn. 




A CAVALRY HORSE PICKETED 
AT THE EVENING BIVOUAC 




atralrg 0f tit? Armg rtf Jfartlrmt Hirgmta 



did not allow of tarrying. On April 28th, the command 
reached Morgantown, where it crossed on a suspension bridge 
to the west side of the Monongahela, and after dark moved on 
Fairmont. Here the Federals were found in considerable 
force, which, after some fighting, was dispersed, and the ob 
ject of the visit to that point being the destruction of the 
fine iron bridge, of three spans of three hundred feet each, 
that work was entered upon and continued until the bridge 
was destroyed. 

Oiltown, near Elizabeth Court House, on the Little Ka- 
nawha River, was owned mainly by Southern men who had 
first engaged in the oil industry. There were found thousands 
of gallons of oil, in barrels, tanks, and in deep flatboats then 
on the water. All was burned, and Dante might have gained 
some new impressions of the regions described by him, from the 
scenes that presented themselves to the destroyers. The dense, 
black smoke rose to the heights of hundreds of feet ; the intense 
heat caused by the burning oil excited a breeze, and the flat- 
boats filled with burning oil, floated down the river toward 
Elizabeth. After thirty days incessant marching, without sup 
plies of food, save what was taken from the people, without 
artillery or wagons of any kind, the expedition returned with 
seven hundred prisoners, one thousand cattle and twelve hun 
dred horses, and w r ith a loss of ten killed and forty-two wounded. 

Jones was back in the Valley the last week of May, and, 
by crossing the mountains, joined Stuart near Culpeper Court 
House. A little later he took conspicuous part in the battle 
of Brandy Station and -the ensuing campaign. The events 
and incidents of that and the following campaigns to the death 
of General Stuart, have been already related. 

General Thomas L. Rosser had been assigned to the com 
mand of the old Ashby brigade, and soon proved himself a 
most efficient cavalry commander. In January, 1864, then 
under General Early in the Valley District, he was in com 
mand of the cavalry. On January 29th, Rosser crossed the 

[106] 



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mialrg of % Army of Nortlr^nt Utrgiuia 



mountains to Moorefield, in Hardy County, West Virginia, 
and there learning that a large wagon train of supplies was 
moving from New Creek to Petersburg, moved forward to 
take it. He found parked at Medley a train of ninety-five 
wagons, guarded by three hundred infantry and a small body 
of cavalry. He moved one regiment toward the rear of this 
body, placed others on the flank, and then opened with one 
gun on its front. The effect was to stampede the teamsters, 
and the infantry were unable to withstand the attack by dis 
mounted cavalry, so that in a short time the wagons, with 
some prisoners, fell into Rosser s hands. On the 1st of Feb 
ruary, moving upon the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, at Pat 
terson s Creek, he captured the guard there, and brought out 
about twelve hundred cattle and some sheep. 

On the 7th of June, Sheridan was sent with two divisions 
to communicate with Hunter, and to break up the Virginia 
Central Railroad and the James River Canal. He started 
on this mission with eighty-nine hundred cavalry. On the 
morning of the 8th, Hampton, who had succeeded Stuart in 
the command of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, moved with two divisions and some batteries of horse 
artillery to look after this movement. His first step was to 
intercept Sheridan before he reached the railroad. On the 
night of the 10th, he had reached Green Spring Valley, three 
miles from Trevilian Station, and there encamped. At this 
time General Fitzhugh Lee was at Louisa Court House, and 
Custer, with his characteristic boldness, took an unguarded 
road around Hampton s right and essayed to reach Trevilian. 
He captured ambulances, caissons, and many led horses. Near 
at hand was Thompson s battery, \vholly unmindful of danger, 
and this Custer essayed to take. But Colonel Chew, com 
mander of the battalion of artillery to which this belonged, 
deployed a South Carolina regiment to hold Custer in check 
until he could get another battery into position. This he soon 
did, and Rosser, coming up with his brigade at the moment, 

[108] 




A WAR-TIME VIEW OF STUART S GRAVE 

"Cien l Stuartwounded May 11, 1864 died May 12, 1864." This simple head-slab on 
its wooded hill near Richmond toward the close of the war spelt a heavy blow to the Con 
federate cause. In that struggle against heavier and heavier odds, every man counted. And 
when destroying Fate chose for its victim the leader whose spirit had never fallen, whose 
courage had never failed, no matter how dangerous the raid, how fierce the charge and counter 
charge well might the Confederacy mourn. To the memory of this American chevalier, 
tributes came not only from comrades but from opponents. One of these, Theophilus F. 
Rodenbough a Federal captain at the time of Stuart s death, later a cavalry historian and 
a contributor to other pages of this volume wrote, twenty years after the tragedy, this 
fitting epitaph: "Deep in the hearts of all true cavalrymen, North and South, will ever burn 
a sentiment of admiration mingled with regret for this knightly soldier and generous man." 



1 

(O aualrg 

J 



Army 



Utrgtnta 






,,-,., - \\v 



compelled Custer to relinquish his well-earned gains and betake 
himself to flight, while all his plunder fell into Rosser s hands. 

Custer, however, remained that night near Trevilian, from 
which Rosser strove to drive him, but his reward was a severe 
wound which disabled him from further action that day. Des 
perately did Sheridan endeavor to drive Hampton from his 
path, and the fight continued through three days, but the result 
was the withdrawal of Sheridan s forces, and his rejoining 
Grant. General Grant, in his " Memoirs," states of this with 
drawal that " Sheridan went back because the enemy had taken 
possession of a crossing by which he proposed to go west, and 
because he heard that Hunter was not at Charlottesville." 

In September, Lee s army was sorely in need of beef. 
Scouts reported at Coggin s Point a large but well-guarded 
herd of cattle, and on the morning of the llth, Hampton, 
with his cavalry, started to capture it. Xotice of this move 
ment had got abroad, and near Sycamore Church a regiment 
of Federal cavalry was awaiting the assault. The cattle 
were protected by a strong abatis, through which cavalry 
could not pass, and a deliberate attack was required. Ac 
cordingly the Seventh Virginia was dismounted and moved 
forward, while other regiments were sent around the obstruc 
tion. The herders then broke down the fence of the corral, 
and tried by firing pistols to stampede the cattle, and thus get 
them beyond Hampton s reach. But Hampton s cavalry were 
born cowboys, and, heading off the frightened cattle, soon 
rounded them up, so that the expedition returned with twenty- 
five hundred cattle to Lee s starving soldiers. On the 17th, 
General B. F. Butler informed General Grant that " three 
brigades of Hampton s cavalry turned our left and captured 
about two thousand cattle, and our telegraph construction 
party." 

Rosser returned to the Valley with his brigade, and on 
November 27th started on the " New Creek raid," so called 
from a village on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, about 

[110] 





BRIGADIER-GEN 
ERAL JAMES B. 
GORDON, C.S.A. 




KILLED DURING 

SHERIDAN S RAID ON 

RICHMOND, 

MAY 11, 1864 



MAJOR-GENERAL 
LENSFORD L. 
LOMAX, C.S.A. 




WITH THE 
CONFEDERATE CAVALRY 

IN THE 
SHENANDOAH 






audrg nf ilje Army nf Nnrtljmt Utrgmta $ 



twenty-two miles west from Cumberland. A Federal scouting 
party had been sent out from New Creek on the 26th, and 
Rosser, marching all night, arrived within six miles of Xew 
Creek at daylight on the morning of the 27th. The village 
was strongly fortified, with one heavy gun enfilading the road 
on which Rosser was moving toward it. General W. H. 
Payne s brigade was put in front, with about twenty men in 
blue overcoats. The column moved slowly toward its object, 
and citizens along the road, and travelers at that early hour 
thought it was the returning party that had gone out the night 
before on a scout. Less than a mile from the two, the first 
picket was reached. These men jocularly mocked the empty- 
handed returning party, but they were silently surrounded and 
taken along with the column. Xew Creek was reached and 
entered. On the left was a high hill, not steep, on which an 
infantry force of twelve hundred men was encamped. The 
Federal troops were engaged in drying their blankets and 
preparing their breakfast, when the mounted column of Con 
federates, suddenly breaking into line, charged the hill, and, 
without the loss of a single life, took eight hundred of these 
infantry. The Confederates then proceeded to destroy the 
railroad bridge, and gather as much as they could carry away 
of the large supplies they found stored at that point. Rosser, 
encumbered with many hundred cattle and sheep, and a long- 
train of captured stores, turned his column homeward. 

At Beverly, a village seventy-five miles west from Staun- 
ton, there were stored large supplies, guarded by a Federal gar 
rison that did not exceed one thousand men. Rosser. learning 
of this fact, took three hundred men from the several brigades 
and started before daylight from Swoope s Depot, on Janu 
ary 10th. He spent that night, or a part of it, on a mountain 
side, without fires. The snow was deep, and the weather bitterly 
cold. Before daylight on the morning of the llth, he was on 
a hill west of Beverly, overlooking the garrison of Federal 
infantry in their wooden huts on the plain below. The moon 




11* 






BRIGADIER-GENERAL M. CALVIN BUTLER, C. S. A. 

General Butler was a leader under Wade Hampton, who 
played an important part in the defeat of Sheridan with 
eight thousand men at Trevilian Station, June 12, 1864, just 
one month after the death of Stuart. Between 2 P.M. and 
dark, Butler, in command of Hampton s division of cavalry, 
repulsed seven determined assaults of Sheridan s men. Dur 
ing the day Butler was unable to keep his batteries in exposed 
positions entirely manned, but between sunset and dark, 
when the Federal cavalrymen made their last desperate 
effort, the howitzers were remanned and double-shotted 
with canister. The Federals emerged from the woods a 
stone s throw from the Confederate lines, and the canister 
tore great holes in their lines. It was at this engagement 
that General Butler lost his leg. 



(O atralrjj nf % Army 0f Nortlt^rn Utrgtnta 



i 






was full and shining brilliantly on snow over a foot in depth. 
Dismounting a part of his command, and moving them in line 
in front, with the mounted men behind, Rosser moved upon the 
sleeping host. Had they remained in their strong huts and 
used their rifles, the disaster might have been averted, but as 
the result, five hundred and eighty prisoners, and ten thousand 
rations fell into the hands of the invaders. 

On the morning of February 21, 1865, a portion of 
McNeill s command, under Lieutenant Jesse McNeill, entered 
the city of Cumberland, Maryland, an hour before daylight. 
Major-General Crook, the commander of the Department of 
West Virginia, and Brigadier-General Kelley, his able lieu 
tenant, were quietly sleeping, the one at the St. Nicholas Hotel, 
and the other at the Revere House. Six thousand troops, of 
all arms, occupied the city. Sergeant Vandiver called on 
General Crook, while some other member of the command 
performed the like civility to General Kelley. These two 
officers were persuaded to accompany their ill-timed callers 
on their return to Dixie, and were entertained in Richmond at 
an official hostelry there. Rosser and his command were pres 
ent at Appomattox, but did not participate in the surrender, 
but while that ceremony was in progress, this command passed 
on to Lynchburg, and dissolved into their individual elements. 

Up to the winter of 1863-64, the Confederate cavalry 
was well organized and had proven its efficiency on many fields, 
but its weakness from that period grew rapidly. The sources 
of supplies of both men and horses had been exhausted, and the 
best and the bravest of men and officers had fallen in battle. 

On the other hand, when General Sheridan took command 
of the Federal cavalry, a new and far more vigorous life was 
imparted to it. Armed with repeating carbines and fighting 
on foot, as well as mounted, it became the most formidable 
arm of the Federal service. When the war ended, it was but 
reasonable to aver that the cavalry of the Army of the Poto 
mac was the most efficient body of soldiers on earth. 

[114] 




CHAPTER 
FOUR 



RAIDS OF THE 
FEDERAL CAVALRY 




WELL-CONDITIONED MOUNTS, EQUIPPED FOR A LONG RAID 

1862 




FEDERAL CAVALRY LEAVING CAMP 

The well-filled bags before and behind each trooper indicate a long and hard trip in store. Both the Con 
federate and Federal cavalry distinguished themselves by their endurance on their arduous and brilliant raids. 
The amount of destruction accomplished by this arm of the service was well-nigh incalculable. Stuart, 
Mosby, Forrest on one side Sheridan, Grierson, Kilpatrick on the other each in turn upset the opponents 
calculations and forced them to change their plans. It was Van Dorn s capture at Holly Springs that caused 
(rant s first failure against Vicksburg. It was not until after the surrender at Appomattox that Lee learned 













THE ARM THAT DEALT A FINAL BLOW TO THE CONFEDERACY 

the final crushing blow that the rations destined for his men had been captured by Sheridan. Up and down 
the Rappahannock the cavalry rode and scouted and fought by day and by night, sometimes saddled for 
sixty hours, often sleeping by regiments on the slowly moving columns of horses. It was Grierson who re 
ported, after his ride from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge, that the Confederacy was bill a hollow shell all of 
its men were on the battle-line. It was Stuart who twice circled McClellan s army, on the Peninsula and 
in Maryland, and who caused Lincoln to recall the schoolboy game : " Three times round and out." 




REPAIRING CONFEDERATE DAMAGE 

The busy Federal engineers are rebuilding the railroad bridge across Cedar Run, near Catlett s Station, destroyed by the Confederates 
on the previous day, October 13th, when they fell baek before the Army of the Potomac under General Meade. The fall of 18G3 was 
a period of small cavalry battles. On September 16th the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock and took position near 
Culpeper Court House. During the next few weeks the cavalry was actively engaged in reconnoitering duty. On October 10th General 
John Huford was sent across the Rappahannock with the First Cavalry Division (consisting of the Eighth Illinois. Twelfth Illinois, 
four companies Third Indiana, six companies Eighth New York, Sixth New York, Ninth New York, Seventeenth Pennsylvania, and 




FEDERAL ENGINEERS AT WORK OCTOBER 14, 1863 

Third West Virginia, two companies) to uncover, if possible, the upper fords of the river. Buford forced a passage over the Germanna 
Ford, and bivouacked that night at Morton s Ford, where he recrossed the Rapidan and engaged a body of the enemy. At daylight 
on October 14th, the Confederates attacked Gregg s Second Cavalry Division, but he held his position tenaciously while General 
Warren got the Second Corps across Cedar Run. It seldom took over a few hours to rebuild one of these bridges. Sometimes the 
troops tore down the nearest wooden houses to get boards and timber. This wrecking of houses was very arduous work. The trees in 
the foreground have been sacrificed for construction purposes. 



/ x \ 



FEDERAL RAIDS AND EXPEDITIONS 
IN THE EAST 

BY CHAKLES D. RHODES 

Captain, General Staff -, United States Army 

CAVALRY operations known as raids, were a distinct 
product of the Civil War, and although many other tacti 
cal and strategical lessons have since been deduced by Euro 
pean experts from this great war, it w r as the raid which first 
excited comment abroad and created interest, as something 
new in the handling of mounted men. 

As early as June, 1862, General " Jeb " Stuart had dem 
onstrated to both armies the possibilities of independent opera 
tions by well-mounted cavalry boldly handled by a resourceful 
leader, when, with twelve hundred Confederate troopers, he 
rode entirely around the Federal army on the Peninsula of 
Virginia. And again, in October of the same year, his raid 
into Pennsylvania proved that good cavalry can move with 
impunity through a well-supplied hostile country. This raid 
had the effect of causing consternation in the National capital, 
and of drawing off many Federal troops for the protection 
of Washington. 

Stuart s successful raids caused some modification of the 
previous short-sighted policy of always attaching Union cav 
alry to infantry commands, and although until Sheridan s 
time, the raids made by the Federal cavalry in the East were 
not remarkably successful and the time for their initiation not 
well chosen, the Federal cavalry constantly increased in powers 
of mobility and independence of action. 

Early in 1863, General Hooker detached Stoneman with 
the Cavalry Corps from the main operations of the Army of 

120] 




COLONEL t LRK DAHL- 

(iREN. WHO MKT HIS 

DEATH IN THE HAH) 

ITON RICHMOND 

As Stuart threatened Wash 
ington, so Kilpatrick in turn 
threatened the Capital of the 
South. He was accompanied 
by Colonel Ulrie Dahlgren 
who was t > leave him near 
Spotsylvania with five hun 
dred pieked men, to eross the 
James, enter Richmond on 
the south side, after liberating 
the prisoners at Helle Isle, 
and unite with Kilpatrick s 
main force March 1, 1864. 
The latter left Stevensburg 
with four thousand cavalry 
and a battery of horse artillery 
on the night of Sunday, the 




28th of February, crossed the 
Rapidan at Ely s Ford, sur- 
prised and captured the 
picket there, and marched 
rapidly toward Richmond. 
On March 1st the column was 
within five miles of tin- 
city. Failing to connect with 
Dahlgren, Kilpatriek finally 
withdrew, but not until he 
had driven in the force 
sent to oppose him to the 
inner lines of the Richmond 
defenses. This was the near 
est that any body of Union 
troops got to Richmond be 
fore its fall. Colonel Dahl 
gren met his death upon this 
raid, and part of his com 
mand was captured, the rest 
escaping to Kilpatrick, March 
2d, at Tunstall s Station, 
near White House. 




UNION CAVALRYMEN IN RICHMOND NOT UNTIL 1803 







. 



ife* 



the Potomac, with orders to cross the Rappahannock for a 
raid on the communications with Richmond turning Lee s 
left flank and inflicting on him every possible injury. 

During Stoneman s absence the sanguinary battle of Chan- 
cellorsville was fought by the Army of the Potomac, and as 
the success of the raid depended in great measure upon a 
Federal victory at Chancellorsville, it was not, strategically 
at least, a success. The detachment of the Union troopers 
deprived General Hooker of cavalry at a time when he par 
ticularly needed a screening force to conceal his movements 
by the right flank; and it is probable that if Stoneman s cav 
alry had been present with the Army of the Potomac, it would 
have given ample warning of " Stonewall " Jackson s secret 
concentration opposite the Union right, which well nigh caused 
a decisive defeat for the Union army. 

But Stoneman s raid destroyed millions of dollars worth 
of Confederate property, and although it cut Lee s communi 
cations for a short time only, its moral effect was considerable, 
as shown by the Confederate correspondence since published. 

The Stoneman raid was followed in February, 1864, by 
the famous raid of General Judson Kilpatrick, having as 
its objective the taking of the city of Richmond and the lib 
eration of the Union prisoners confined therein. General 
Meade assisted the raid by demonstrations against Lee s left 
and by sending Custer on a minor raid into Albemarle County. 
It was supposed, at the time, that Richmond was compara 
tively defenseless, and that Kilpatrick s force might take the 
city before reenforcements from either Petersburg or Lee s 
army on the Rapidan could reach it. 

Kilpatrick s force consisted of nearly four thousand men. 
Near Spotsylvania, about five hundred men under Colonel Eric 
Dahlgren were detached for the purpose of crossing the James 
River, and, after liberating the Union prisoners at Belle Isle, 
attacking Richmond from the south. 

Dahlgren s little command destroyed considerable 

[122] 



1 



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TROOPERS OF THE EIRST MASSACHUSETTS JUST AFTER THEIR ATTEMPT TO RAID RICHMOND IN 1864 




A GROUP OF OFFICERS, FIRST MASSACHUSETTS CAVALRY 

The officers and men of the First Massachusetts Cavalry formed part of General Judson Kilpatrick s force in his Richmond raid. The 
men look gaunt and hungry because they are down to "fighting weight." Starvation, fatigue, exposure, and nights in the saddle soon 
disposed of any superfluous flesh a trooper might carry. These men heard the laugh of the Confederate sentries inside the forti 
fications of the Southern Capital, and turned back only when success seemed impossible. Kilpatrick s object had been to move past 
the Confederate right flank, enter Richmond, and release the Union captives in its military prisons. This bold project had grown out 
of President Lincoln s desire to have his proclamation of amnesty circulated within the Confederate lines. The plan included also a raid 
upon communications and supplies. A joint expedition, under Dahlgren, met defeat, and Kilpatrick, not hearing from it, turned back. 




in th? lEast 



$ * 



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Confederate property, but through the alleged treachery of a 
guide, the raiders were led out of their course. A portion of 
the command became separated ; Dahlgren, with about one hun 
dred and fifty troopers, was ambushed near Walkerton, and the 
leader killed and most of his force captured. The remainder 
of Dahlgren s command, under Captain Mitchell, managed to 
rejoin Kilpatrick, who had meanwhile threatened Richmond 
from the north, and who, finding the city prepared for his 
attack, finally withdrew across the Chickahominy and joined 
General Butler on the Peninsula, March 3, 1864. 

The Kilpatrick raid failed in its main object, but that it 
might easily have succeeded seems evident from Confederate 
correspondence, which shows that the interception of a despatch 
from Dahlgren to Kilpatrick, asking what hour the latter had 
fixed for a simultaneous attack upon Richmond, alone made 
it possible for the Confederates successfully to defend the city. 

When, early in 1804, General Grant gave Sheridan the 
long hoped for opportunity to " whip Stuart," and until the 
final end at Appomattox, this peerless cavalry leader never 
missed an opportunity to cut loose from the main army, draw 
ing off from Grant s flanks and rear the enterprising and 
oftentimes dangerous Confederate cavalry, cutting Lee s com 
munications with the South and Southwest time and again, 
and destroying immense quantities of the precious and care 
fully husbanded supplies of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

Sheridan s Richmond raid, probably the most daring and 
sensational of these more or less independent operations, had 
for its object, not so much the destruction of Confederate 
property, as to draw Stuart and his cavalry away from the 
Union army s long lines of supply-trains, and then to defeat 
the great Confederate trooper. 

In May, 1864, Sheridan s splendid body of horsemen, ten 
thousand in number and forming a column thirteen miles in 
length, moved out from the vicinity of Spotsylvania, through 
Chilesburg and Glen Allen Station. At Yellow Tavern the 

[124] 





A STILL SMOKING WRECK ON THE PATH OF THE FEDERAL RAIDERS 

This photograph shows the ruins of the bridge over the North Anna, which were still smoking when the 
1 )hotographer arrived with the Union troops at the end of Sheridan s raid. He had ridden nearer to Rich- 
niond than any other Union leader before its fall. On the night of May 11, 1864, his column of cavalry 
(j-ould see the lights of the city and hear the dogs barking, and the following day an enterprising newsboy 
slipped through the lines and sold copies of the Richmond Inquirer. Sheridan declared that he could have 
tiuken Richmond, but that he couldn t hold it. The prisoners told him that every house was loopholed 
ami the streets barricaded, and he did not think it worth the sacrifice in men. But in the death of Stuart 
at Yellow Tavern, Sheridan had dealt a blow severer than a raid into the Capital would have been. 







Satba in tip 



$ 



decisive conflict which Sheridan had sought with the Confed 
erate cavalry took place. The latter were driven back upon 
Richmond ; the gallant and knightly Stuart received his mortal 
M r ound, and the Union cavalry gained complete control of the 
highway leading to the Confederate capital. The casualties 
on both sides were severe. 

Pushing on rapidly by way of the Meadow Bridge, Sheri 
dan actually found himself and his force within the outer 
fortifications of the city of Richmond, and in imminent peril 
of annihilation. In fact, a portion of the command was in such 
close proximity to the city proper, that officers could plainly 
discern its lights and hear the dogs barking a warning to the 
city s defenders of the presence of an army of invaders. 

But with his usual genius for overcoming difficulties, Sher 
idan quickly extricated his command from its hazardous and 
uncomfortable position, and pressing on over Bottom s Bridge 
and past Malvern Hill successfully reached Haxall s Landing 
on the James River, where the command was furnished much 
needed supplies. On May 17th, the raiding force began its 
retrograde movement to rejoin Grant, which was successfully 
accomplished on the 24th near Chesterfield Station, Virginia. 
Sheridan s casualties suffered on the raid were six hundred 
and twenty-five men killed, wounded, and captured, and three 
hundred horses. 

General Grant describes the results attained in this famous 
raid as follows: 

Sheridan, in this memorable raid, passed entirely around Lee s army, 
encountered his cavalry in four engagements, and defeated them in all ; 
recaptured four hundred Union prisoners, and killed and captured many 
of the enemy ; destroyed miles of railroad and telegraph, and freed us 
from annoyance by the cavalry for more than two weeks. 

This brilliant success by the Cavalry Corps of the Army 
of the Potomac, was followed in June by one scarcely less im 
portant in its moral and material effect upon the Confederacy 



IA 




THE RETURN OF SHERIDAN S TROOPERS MAY 25, 1864 

After their ride of sixteen days to the very gates of Richmond, Sheridan and his men rejoined Grant near 
Chesterfield Station. The photographer caught the returning column just as they were riding over the 
Chesterfield bridge. On the 21st they had crossed the Pamunkey near White House on the ruins of the 
railroad bridge, which they took only six hours to repair. Two regiments at a time, working as pioneers, 
wrecked a neighboring house, and with its timbers soon had the bridge ready to bear the weight of horses 
and artillery. The only mishap was the fall of a pack-mule from the bridge into the water thirty feet below. 
It takes much, however, to disturb the equanimity of an army mule. It turned a somersault in the air, 
struck an abutment, disappeared under water, came up, and swam tranquilly ashore without disturbing 
its pack. This speaks well for the ability as saddle-packers of Sheridan s men. The total results of this 
important raid were the destruction of an immense quantity of supplies, damage to Confederate communi 
cations, the death of Stuart, and the saving to the Union Government of the subsistence of ten thousand 
horses and men for three weeks. It perfected the morale of the cavalry corps, with incalculable benefit to 
the Union cause. The casualties on the raid were six hundred and twenty-five men killed and wounded. 



Sheridan s Trevilian raid, in which, at Trevilian Station, the 
Confederate cavalry was again seriously defeated. 

The purpose of the raid was to injure Lee s lines of sup 
ply, and to draw off the Southern cavalry during Grant s move 
ment forward hy the left flank, following his unsuccessful at 
tempt to take the strong Confederate position at Cold Harbor 
by direct assault. 

Sheridan started on June 7, 18f>4, with about eight thou 
sand cavalrymen, the trains and supplies being cut down to the 
absolute minimum. Wilson s division remained with the Army 
of the Potomac. By June llth, the command was in the 
vicinity of Trevilian Station, where the enemy was encoun 
tered. Here, Torbert s division, pressing back the Confed 
erate s pickets, found the foe in force about three miles from 
Trevilian, posted behind heavy timber. At about the sume 
time, Custer was sent by a wood road to destroy Trevilian 
Station, where he captured the Confederate wagons, caissons, 
and led horses. 

Assured of Custer s position, Sheridan dismounted Tor 
bert s two remaining brigades, and aided by one of Gregg s, 
carried the Confederate works, driving Hampton s division 
back on Custer, and even through his lines. Gregg s other 
brigade had meanwhile attacked Fitzhugh Lee, causing the 
entire opposing cavalry to retire on Gordonsville. 

Following this victory, Sheridan continued his raid and 
finally reached White House on the Pamunkey, on June 
20th, where he found orders directing him to break up the sup 
ply depot there and conduct the nine hundred wagons to 
Petersburg. This was successfully accomplished. 

It is interesting to note that in this period of great activ 
ity for the Cavalry Corps (May 5th to August 1, 1864) the 
casualties in the corps were nearly forty-nine hundred men, 
and the loss in horses from all causes about fifteen hundred. 
The captures by the cavalry exceeded two thousand men and 
five hundred horses, besides many guns and colors. 



CHAPTER 
FIVE 



FEDERAL RAIDS 
IN THE WEST 




A BLOCKHOUSE ON THE TENNESSEE 



5. - 4WS*8 : 




SIX HUNDRED MILES IN SIXTEEN DAYS 



Seventeen hundred men who marched 600 miles in sixteen days, from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge. On April 
17, 1863, Grant despatched Grierson on a raid from LaGrange, Tennessee, southward as a means of diverting 
attention from his own movements against Vicksburg, and to disturb the Confederate line of supplies from 
the East. Grierson destroyed sixty miles of tracks and telegraph, numberless stores and munitions of war, 
and brought his command safely through to Baton Rouge. These two pictures by Lytle, the Confederate 
Secret Service agent at Baton Rouge, form one of the most remarkable feats of wet-plate photography. The 
action continued as he moved his camera a trifle to the right, and the result is a veritable "moving picture." 
In the photograph on the left-hand page, only the first troop is dismounted and unsaddled. In the photo- 




HOW GRIERSON S RAIDERS LOOKED TO THE CONFEDERATE SECRET SERVICE CAMERA 



graph on the right-hand page two troops arc already on foot. Note the officers in front of their troops. The 
photograph was evidently a long time exposure, as is shown by the progress of the covered wagon which has 
driven into the picture on the left-hand page. It was at the conclusion of this remarkable raid that Grierson 
reported that "the Confederacy was a hollow shell." All of its population able to carry arms was on the line 
of defense. Captain John A. Wyeth, the veteran Confederate cavalryman who contributes to other pages 
of this volume, wrote when he saw these photographs: "I knew General Grierson personally, and have always 
had the highest regard for his skill and courage as shown more particularly in this raid than in anything 
else that he did, although he was always doing well." 
[G-9] 








FEDERAL RAIDS AND EXPEDITIONS 
IN THE WEST 

BY CHARLES D. RHODES 

Captain, General Staff, United States Army 

THE military operations of the Union armies in the South 
and West were not lacking in famous raids, having for 
their main objects the destruction of the supply centers of the 
Confederacy, the cutting of railroads and lines of communica 
tion between these centers and the Southern troops, and the 
drawing away from important strategic operations of large 
bodies of the foe. One of the most famous of these raids was 
that made by Colonel B. H. Grierson in the spring of 1863. 

Starting from La Grange, Tennessee, on April 17th, with 
three cavalry regiments of about seventeen hundred men, Gri 
erson made a wonderful march through the State of Missis 
sippi, and finally reached the Union lines at Baton Rouge, 
Louisiana, on May 2d. 

On April 21st, Grierson had detached a regiment under 
Colonel Hatch, Second Iowa Cavalry, to destroy the railroad 
bridge between Columbus and Macon, and then return to La 
Grange. At Palo Alto, Hatch had a sharp fight with Confed 
erate troops under General Gholson, defeating them without 
the loss of a man. Much of Hatch s success during his entire 
raid was due to the fact that his regiment was armed with Colt s 
revolving rifles. Hatch then retreated along the railroad, de 
stroying it at Okolona and Tupelo, and arriving at La Grange 
on April 26th, with the loss of but ten troopers. The prin 
cipal object of his movement to decoy the Confederate troops 
to the east, and thus give Grierson ample opportunity to get 
well under wav, was fully attained. 



K 



T.T. 




GRIERSOX THE RAIDER WHO PUZZLED PEMBERTOX 

To the enterprise of Lytle, the Confederate Secret Service photographer, we owe this portrait of Colonel 
B. H. Grierson, at rest after his famous raid. He sits chin in hand among his officers, justly proud of having 
executed one of the most thoroughly successful feats in the entire war. It was highly important, if Grant was 
to carry out his maneuver of crossing the Mississippi at Grand Gulf and advance upon Vicksburg from the 
south, that Pemberton s attention should be distracted in other directions. The morning after Admiral 
Porter ran the batteries, Grierson left La Grange, Tennessee, to penetrate the heart of the Confederacy, 
sweeping entirely through Mississippi from north to south, and reaching Baton Rouge on May L 2d. Ex 
aggerated reports flowed in on Pemberton as to Grierson s numbers and whereabouts. The Confederate 
defender of Vicksburg was obliged to send out expeditions in all directions to try to intercept him. This was 
one of the numerous instances where a small body of cavalry interfered with the movements of a much larger 
force. It was Van Dorn, the Confederate cavalryman, who had upset Grant s calculations four months before. 




Statin tn 





Meanwhile Grierson had continued his raid with less than 
one thousand horsemen, breaking the Southern Mississippi, 
and the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern railroads. 
Near Newton the raiders burned several bridges, and destroyed 
engines and cars loaded with commissary stores, guns, and 
ammunition; at Hazelhurst, cars and ammunition; and at 
Brookhaven, the railroad depot and cars. 

Having no cavalry available to watch Grierson s move 
ments, the Confederates were kept in a state of excitement 
arid alarm. Rumors exaggerated his numbers, and he was re 
ported in many different places at the same time. Several 
brigades of Confederate infantry were detached to intercept 
him, but lie evaded them all. 

In sixteen days, Grierson marched six hundred miles 
nearly thirty-eight miles a day destroying miles of railroad, 
telegraph, and other property; but most of all, he distracted 
the Confederates attention from Grant s operations against 
Yicksburg at the critical time when the latter was preparing 
to cross the Mississippi River near Grand Gulf. In its en 
tirety, the Grierson raid was probably the most successful 
operation of its kind during the Civil War. 

The appearance of Morgan s men on the north bank of 
the Ohio River (July, 1863) created great consternation in 
Indiana and Ohio. The Governor of Indiana called out the 
" Home Guards " to the number of fifty thousand, and as 
Morgan s advance turned toward Ohio, the Governor of the 
" Buckeye State " called out fifty thousand " Home Guards " 
from his State. At Corydon, Indiana, the " Home Guards " 
gave the invaders a brisk little battle, and delayed their ad 
vance for a brief time. 

On July 1, 1864, General A. J. Smith assembled a large 
force at La Grange, Tennessee, for a raid on Tupelo, Mis 
sissippi, in which a cavalry division under General Grierson 
took a prominent part in defeating the formidable General For 
rest as he had probably never been defeated before. The raid 

[134] 




FEDERAL CAVALRY CAMP AT BATON ROtGE 



This photograph of an Illinois regiment s camp at Baton Rouge was taken in 1863, just before the Port Hudson campaign upon which 
Grierson and his men accompanied General Banks. The troopers have found fairly comfortable quarters. The smoke rising from their 
camp-fires lends a peaceful touch to the scene. A cavalry camp ccupied more space than an infantry camp. The horses are tethered 
in long lines between the tents, about the width of a street-way. They are plainly visible in this photograph, tethered in this fashion, 
a few of them grazing about the plain. In the foreground by the officers quarters, a charger stands saddled, ready for his master. This 
is an excellent illustration of a camp laid out according to Federal army regulations. 




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resulted in the burning of all bridges and trestles north and 
south of Tupelo, and the destruction of the railroad. 

During the raid, a portion of the cavalry division was 
newly armed with seven-shot Spencer carbines, capable of fir 
ing fourteen shots per minute. The Confederates were aston 
ished and dismayed by the tremendous amount of lead poured 
into their ranks, and after the Tupelo fight one of the Confed 
erate prisoners wonderingly asked a cavalryman, " Say, do 
you all load those guns you all fight with on Sunday, and then 
fire em all the week? " 

In the spring of the following year, 1865, General James 
IT. Wilson, who had commanded a division in Sheridan s Army 
of the Shenandoah, began, under the direction of General 
Thomas, an important demonstration against Selma and Tus- 
caloosa, Alabama, in favor of General Canby s operations 
against Mobile and central Alabama. This great raid, which 
severed the main arteries supplying life-blood to the Confeder 
acy, was destined to be the culminating blow by the Federal 
cavalry inflicted on the already tottering military structure of 
the Southern Confederacy. 

Starting on March 22, 1865, and marching in three sep 
arate columns on a wide front, because of the devastated con 
dition of the country, Wilson began his movement by keeping 
the Confederate leaders completely in ignorance as to whether 
Columbus, Selma, or Tuscaloosa, was his real objective. At 
Selma, April 2d, a division of Wilson s dismounted cavalry, 
facing odds in position, gallantly carried the Confederate 
semipermanent works surrounding the city, in an assault 
which swept all before it. 

General Wilson s report says : 

The fortifications assaulted and carried consisted of a bastioned 
line, on a radius of nearly three miles, extending from the Alabama 
River below to the same above the city. The part west of the city is 
covered by a miry, deep, and almost impassable creek ; that on the east 
side by a swamp, extending from the river almost to the Summerfield 






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A DESTRUCTIVE RAID IN MISSISSIPPI 

The burning of all bridges and trestles north and south of Tupelo and the destruction of the rail 
road was the result of General A. J. Smith s raid on that point in 1864. General Smith started 
from Lagrange, Tenn., on July 1st, accompanied by a cavalry division under General Grierson, 
who took a prominent part in defeating the formidable General Forrest as he had probably never 
been defeated before. The Union cavalry raids in the West were more uniformly successful than 
the raids of the cavalry with the Army of the Potomac. The greater part of the Confederate cav 
alry was busy attacking the supply-trains of the armies in the North or striking at the long lines of 
communication. The story of the campaigns in the West, where there were fewer photographers 
and communication was slower is not so well-known as that of the more immediate East, but 
the deeds performed there were of quite equal dash and daring and importance to the result. 




GENERAL A. J. SMITH 




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road, and entirely impracticable for mounted men at all times. General 
Upton ascertained by a personal reconnaissance that dismounted men 
might with great difficulty work through it on the left of the Range 
Line road. The profile of that part of the line assaulted is as follows : 
Height of parapet, six to eight feet ; thickness, eight feet ; depth of 
ditch, five feet ; width, from ten to fifteen feet ; height of stockade on 
the glacis, five feet ; sunk into the earth, four feet. . . . The distance 
which the troops charged, exposed to the fh*e of artillery and musketry, 
was six hundred yards. . . . General Long s report states . . . that 
the number actually engaged in the charge was 1550 officers and men. 
The portion of the line assaulted was manned by Armstrong s brigade, 
regarded as the best in Forrest s corps, and reported by him at more 
than 1500 men. The loss from Long s division was 40 killed, 260 
wounded, and 7 missing. . . . The immediate fruits of our victory were 
31 field-guns, and one 30-pounder Parrott, which had been used against 
us; 2700 prisoners, including 150 officers; a number of colors and 
immense quantities of stores of every kind. ... I estimate the entire 
garrison, including the militia of the city and surrounding country, at 
7000 men. The entire force under my command, engaged and in sup 
porting distance, was 9000 men and eight guns. 

On April 8th and 9th, Wilson s entire cavalry corps, ex 
cepting Croxton s brigade, crossed the Alabama River, and 
having rendered Selma practically valueless to the Confeder 
acy by his thorough destruction of its railroads and supplies, 
Wilson marched into Georgia by way of Montgomery. On 
April 12th, the mayor of Montgomery surrendered that city 
to the cavalry advance guard, and after destroying great quan 
tities of military stores, small arms, and cotton, the cavalry 
corps moved, on April 14th, with General Upton in advance, 
and on the 16th captured the cities of Columbus and West 
Point. 

The capture of Columbus lost to the South 1200 prisoners, 
fifty-two field-guns, the ram Jackson (six 7-inch guns) , nearly 
ready for sea, together with such tremendously valuable aids 
in prolonging the w r ar as fifteen locomotives and two hundred 
and fifty cars, one hundred and fifteen thousand bales of cot- 

[138] 




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ton, four cotton factories, a navy yard, arms and ammunition 
factories, three paper-mills, over one hundred thousand rounds 
of artillery ammunition, besides immense stores of which no 
account was taken. 

This great and decisive blow to the material resources of 
the Confederacy, was followed by the surrender of the cities 
of Macon and Tuscaloosa, and other successes, until, on April 
21st, Wilson s victorious progress was ordered suspended by 
General Sherman, pending the result of peace negotiations 
between the Federal and Confederate Governments, 

This great movement was made in a hostile country which 
had been stripped of supplies except at railroad centers, and 
in which no aid or assistance could be expected from the inhab 
itants of the country. As an evidence of some of the hardships 
attending the operations of separate columns composing Wil 
son s corps, General Croxton states in an official report that 
from Elyton (March 30th) through Trion and Tuscaloosa, 
Alabama, to Carrollton, Georgia (April 25th), his command 
marched six hundred and fifty-three miles through a moun 
tainous country so destitute of supplies that the troops could 
only be subsisted and foraged with the greatest effort. The 
brigade swam four rivers and destroyed five large iron works 
(the last remaining in the cotton States), three factories, nu 
merous mills, and quantities of supplies. The losses of the 
brigade during this important movement, were but four offi 
cers and one hundred and sixty-eight men, half of whom were 
made prisoners by the Confederates while straggling from 
the command. 



[140] 



rH N 

71 




CHAPTER 

SIX 



CONFEDERATE RAIDS 
IN THE WEST 




THE PRIZE OF THE CONFEDERATE RAIDER 
A FEDERAL, COMMISSARY CAMP 
ON THE TENNESSEE 




CAMP IN THE TENNESSEE MOUNTAINS, 1863 

The soldiers leaning on their sabers by the mountain path would have smiled in grim amusement at the suggestion that a life like 
theirs in "the merry greenwood" must be as care-free, picturesque, and delightful as the career of Robin Hood, according to old 
English ballads. These raiders of 1863 could have drawn sharp contrasts between the beauty of the scene in this photograph the 
bright sunshine dappling the trees, the mountain wind murmuring through the leaves, the horse with his box of fodder, the troopers 
at ease in the shade and the hardships that became every-day matters with the cavalry commands whose paths led them up and 
down the arduous western frontier. On such a pleasant summer day the Civil War photographer was able to make an exposure. 




* jp^vi-** 



\ 



A PLEASANT INTERLUDE FOR THE WESTERN CAVALRYMAN 

But the cavalryman s duty called at all hours and at all seasons; and the photographer could not portray the dreary night rides over 
rocks made slippery with rain, through forests hanging like a damp pall over the troopers rocking with sleep in their saddles, every 
moment likely to be awakened by the bark of the enemy s carbines. It is undoubtedly true that there is something more dashing 
about the lot of a cavalryman, but on account of his greater mobility he was ordered over more territory and ran more frequent if 
not greater risks than the infantryman. But this was the sort of day the cavalryman laughed and sang. Though the storm-clouds and 
war-clouds, the cloud of death itself, lay waiting, the trooper s popular song ran: "If you want to have a good time, jine the cavalry." 



^ 



MORGANS CHRISTMAS RAID, 1862-63 

BY JOHN ALLAX WYETH, M.D., LL.D. 
Late of Qnh-Jc s Scouts, Confederate States Army 

T I iHERE were approximately twelve thousand mounted 
JL troops with Bragg s army at Murfreesboro in December, 
1862. General Joseph Wheeler, Chief of Cavalry, with one 
division, operated directly with Bragg during the battle. On 
$A December 17th Forrest, with three thousand men, w r as sent 
into western Tennessee to destroy the railroads in the rear of 
Grant s army in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. 
Morgan with two brigades, Duke s and Breckinridge s, thirty- 
nine hundred in all, with two light batteries of seven pieces, 
left Alexandria, Tennessee, December 22, 1862, his object 
being to destroy the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and 
interrupt Rosecrans communications with the North. 

Four hundred unarmed men did duty as horse-holders 
until arms were captured. There were no sabers. The vet 
erans of a year or more had provided themselves with one or 
two Colt s army pistols; a few had cavalry carbines, while a 
larger number were armed with double-barreled shotguns. 
The greater portion carried long-barreled rifles of the Enfieldj 
Austrian, or Belgian make. 

Morgan s troopers were mostly young men from eighteen 
to thirty-five years old, well mounted, at home on horseback, 
and there were no better fighters in the world. 

They started with three days cooked rations. Every man 
carried his own ammunition, two extra horseshoes, twelve 
nails, one blanket in addition to the saddle-blanket, and an oil 
cloth or overcoat. With the exception of the artillery which 
was double-teamed, there was nothing on wheels. 

[144] 




COPYRIGHT, 19n. REVEH OF REVIEWS CO. 



A GROUP OF 

CONFEDERATE CAVALRY 

IN THE WEST 



Old cavalrymen find this photograph absorbing; it 
brings to life again the varied equipment of the Con- . 
federate cavalrymen in the West. The only uni 
formity is found with respect to carbines, winch are 
carried by all except the officers. Three of the men 
in the center have pistols thrust in their belts, ready 
for a fight at close quarters. Some have belts 
crossed over their chests, some a single belt, still 
others none at all. One of the single belts acts as a 
carbine sling, the other as a canteen strap. Horse 
holders have fallen out with the chargers visible 
behind the line of men. The Western photographers, 
Armstead & Carter, were the artists enterprising 
enough to secure this photograph. The territory 
their travels covered in Mississippi and Tennessee 
changed hands so frequently that fortunately for 
posterity an opportunity at last did come to photo 
graph a troop of the swift-traveling and little 
interviewed warriors that composed the Confederate 
cavalry. They did important service in the West. 




AN OFFICER 



Under Forrest and Wheeler they helped Bragg to 
defeat Rosecrans at Chickamauga, and their swift 
raids were a constant menace to the Union 
supplies. This photograph was probably taken late 
in the war, as up to the third year the Confederate 
troopers could not boast equipments even so com 
plete as shown in this photograph. In 1861 the 
Confederate cavalry had no Colt revolvers, no 
Chicopee sabers, and no carbines that were worth 
carrying. Their arms were of the homeliest type and 
of infinite variety. At the battle of Brandy Station, 
in 18(53, every man was armed with at least one, and 
sometimes several, Army and Navy revolvers and ex 
cellent sabers. The civilian saddles had given place 
to McClellans, and that man was conspicuous who 
could not boast a complete outfit of saddle, bridle, 
blankets woolen and rubber and arms, all taken 
from the generous foe. The Confederate cavalry in 
the West failed to secure equally complete outfits, 
although they looked to the same source of supply. 



Haft * * 






In three short winter days, over little-used highways 
through a rough and hilly country, they rode a distance of 
ninety miles to Glasgow, Kentucky, arriving at dark, Decem- 
ber 24th. The order was to start at daylight, stop from eleven 
to twelve to feed, unsaddle, curry, and rest, then on until night. 
As the advance guard reached one corner of the public square, 
several companies of the Second Michigan Cavalry with no 
idea that Morgan s men were near, rode into sight a few yards 
away. In the melee which ensued, one Federal was killed and 
two wounded, and a Confederate captain and one soldier were 
mortally and one lieutenant slightly wounded. Twenty pris 
oners were captured, among them the adjutant of the regiment, 
whose equipment the writer appropriated. A number of 
Christmas turkeys which these excellent foragers had strapped 
to their, saddles were also taken by us. 

Ten miles north of Glasgow, on December 25th, with our 
company of fifty men a mile in advance of the main column, 
the vedette reported the Federals in line of battle in our front. 
We were ordered to load and cap our guns, and then rode 
briskly forward. When about two hundred yards from the 
Federal lines, Captain Quirk halted us, called off horse-holders, 
and we advanced on foot. Reaching the top of a rise in the 
lane with a high worm-fence on either side, the Federals gave 
us a lively volley, which we returned from the fence corners. 
The fight had scarcely opened, when a second detachment of 
Federals (Company C, Fifth Indiana), which had been in 
ambush to our right, charged to within a few yards of the road 
abreast of and in the rear of our position, and fired into us at 
practically muzzle range. Several of our men were wounded, 
our captain being twice hit. The fusillade stampeded the 
horses and horse-holders who fled in panic to the rear, leaving 
us on foot in the presence of a superior force. Five members 
of our company were captured. The rest of us scrambled over 
the opposite fence and ran for a scrub-oak thicket, one or two 
hundred yards across a field. 



W/t 





FEDERAL CAVALRY GUARDING THE CHATTANOOGA STATION 

General Rosecrans looked narrowly to his line of communications when he set out from Nashville to attack 
General Braxton Bragg in the latter part of December, 1862. The Confederate cavalry leader, General 
Wheeler, was abroad. At daylight on December 30th he swooped down at Jefferson on Starkweather s 
brigade of Rousseau s division, in an attempt to destroy his wagon-train. From Jefferson, Wheeler pro 
ceeded to La Vergne, where he succeeded in capturing the immense supply trains of McCook s Corps. 
Seven hundred prisoners and nearly a million dollars worth of property was the Union Government s 
penalty for not heeding the requests of the commanding general for more cavalry. A train at Rock Spring 
and another at Nolens ville shared the same fate at Wheeler s hands, and at two o clock on the morning of 
the 31st Wheeler completed the entire circuit of Rosecrans army, having ridden in forty-eight hours. 




IG 10J 



By this time the leading regiment of the main column 
came in sight, caught our horses, and rescued us. We re 
mounted at once, and joined in the charge which drove the 
Federals from the field. In the pursuit Captain Quirk, despite 
two scalp w r ounds, killed one of the Northerners with his pis 
tol. Two others surrendered. 

On the further march to Green River and Hammondsville 
that day, we captured a sutler s huge outfit, the contents of 
which were appropriated. That night we camped in the woods 
between Hammondsville and Upton Station on the Louisville 
and Nashville Railroad. We had had a merry Christmas. 

Early December 26th, we struck the road at Upton, cap 
turing a number of Union soldiers guarding the track. Here 
General Morgan overtook the scouts. Attached to his staff 
was a telegraph operator, a quick-witted young man named 
Ellsworth, better known by the nickname of Lightning." 
After the wire was tapped, I sat within a few feet of General 
Morgan and heard him dictate messages to General Boyle, 
in Louisville, and other Federal commanders, making inquiries 
as to the disposition of the Federal forces, and telling some 
tall stories in regard to the large size of his own command and 
its movements. While thus engaged, a train with artillery 
and other material came in sight from the north, but the wary 
engineer saw us in time to reverse his engine and escape. 
Heavy cannonading was now heard at Bacon Creek Bridge 
stockade, which after a stout resistance surrendered, and the 
bridge was destroyed. That same afternoon before dark, 
the stockade at Nolin was taken by Duke and another bridge 
burned. 

We camped that night, December 26th, a few miles from 
Elizabethtown, which place, guarded by eight companies of an 
Illinois regiment, six hundred and fifty-two men and officers, 
we captured on the 27th. A number of brick warehouses near 
the railroad station had been loopholed and otherwise strength 
ened for defense. The town was surrounded, the artillery 

[148] 




LIEUTENANT-GENERAL 

JOSEPH WHEELER, 

C. S. A. 

After his exploits in Tennessee, and the days of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, where his cavalry 
were a constant menace to the Union lines of communication, so much so that the railroads were guarded 
by blockhouses at vulnerable points, Wheeler joined Johnston with the remnant of his men. Their swift 
movements went far to make it possible for Johnston to pursue his Fabian policy of constantly striking and 
retreating before Sherman s superior force, harassing it to the point of desperation. Wheeler operated on 
Sherman s flank later in the Carolinas, but the power of the Confederate cavalry was on the wane, and the 
end was soon to come. 




ONE OF THE BLOCKHOUSES ON THE NASHVILLE AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD IN 




nrgan0 





V, 








brought up, and after the raiders fired a number of shells 
and solid shot, which knocked great holes in the houses, the 
garrison surrendered. 

On the 28th, the two great trestles on the Louisville and 
Nashville Railroad at Muldraugh s Hill were destroyed. 
They were each from sixty to seventy-five feet high, and nine 
hundred feet long, constructed entirely of wood. They w r ere 
guarded by two strong stockade forts, garrisoned by an In 
diana regiment of infantry. Both strongholds \vere assailed 
at the same time, the artillery doing effective w r ork, and in less 
than two hours, the two garrisons of seven hundred men were 
prisoners. They were armed with new Enfield rifles, one of 
the most effective weapons of that day. 

After burning the trestles, the command moved to Roll 
ing Fork River. The greater portion crossed that night and 
proceeded toward Bardstown. Five hundred men under Colo 
nel Cluke, with one piece of artillery, attacked the stockade at 
the bridge over Rolling Fork River, but before it could be bat 
tered down, a column three thousand strong under Colonel 
Harlan (later a Justice of the Supreme Court), compelled his 
withdrawal. A sharp engagement between our rear guard and 
Harlan s command took place at Rolling Fork. Colonel Basil 
W. Duke recrossed to take command and led Cluke s five hun 
dred men and Quirk s scouts in such a vigorous attack that 
the Federal commander hesitated to press his advantage. 

At this moment, Duke was wounded by a fragment of a 
well-aimed shrapnel which struck him on the head and stunned 
him. The same shell killed several horses. Captain Quirk and 
two of the scouts placed Duke astride the pommel of the saddle 
on w r hich our captain was seated, who, with one arm around the 
limp body, guided his faithful horse into the swollen stream. 
Quirk and Duke were both small in stature, and the powerful 
big bay carried his double load safely across. A carriage w r as 
impressed, filled with soft bedding, and in this our wounded 
colonel was placed, and carried safely along with the command. 

150] 




J 







#>-,;. 




BLOCKHOUSES GARRISONED 



AGAINST 



WHEELER S CAVALRY 



In 1863 an attempt to supplement his lack of cavalry for the guarding of his line of communications was made 
by Roseerans, through the building of blockhouses along the railroad, garrisoned by small forees of infantry. 
The attempt was not uniformly successful. The Confederate horsemen under Wheeler sometimes advanced 
on foot and succeeded in carrying the blockhouses and enforcing the surrender of its garrison. The cavalry 
were the real trouble-makers for the generals in the field who were attempting to victual their armies. The 
problem became less complex in the last two years of the war, when the Federal cavalry was trained to higher 
efficiency and the power of the Confederates had dwindled following the exhaustion of their supply of horses. 




0rgan QUtrteimas 






Colonel Harlan reported his loss as three killed and one 
wounded. We did not lose a man, and with the exception of 
Duke, our wounded rode out on their horses. 

We reached Bardstown at dusk on the 29th. Between 
daylight and sunrise, December 30th, I witnessed one of the 
frequent incidents in all warfare the pillaging of the largest 
general store in this town. The men who had crowded in 
through the doors they had battered down, found difficulty in 
getting out with their plunder through the surging crowd, 
which was pressing to get in before everything was gone. One 
trooper induced the others to let him out by holding an ax in 
front of him, cutting edge forward. His arm clasped a bundle 
of a dozen pairs of shoes and oilier plunder, Avhile on his head 
was a pyramid of eight or ten soft hats, telescoped one into the 
other just as they had come out of the packing-box. 

About midday a chilling rain set in, which soon turned into 
sleet. Reaching Springfield in the gloom of December 30th, 
we were ordered on to Lebanon, nine miles further, to drive in 
the pickets there and build fires in order to give the foe the 
impression that we were up in force and were only awaiting 
daylight to attack. We piled rails and made fires until late at 
night, while Morgan was making a detour along a narrow and 
little-used country road around Lebanon. Later we overtook 
the command, and acted as rear guard throughout that awful 
night. Between the bitter, penetrating cold, the fatigue, the 
overwhelming desire to sleep, so difficult to overcome and under 
the conditions we were experiencing so fatal if yielded to, the 
numerous halts to get the artillery out of bad places, the im 
penetrable darkness, and the inevitable confusion which attends 
the moving of troops and artillery along a narrow country 
road, we endured a night of misery never to be forgotten. 

As morning rieared, it became our chief duty to keep each 
other awake. All through the night the sleet pelted us unmer 
cifully, and covered our coats and oilcloths with a sheet of ice. 
Time and time again we dismounted, and holding on to the 

[152] 



.JkS^MSSSfist 



> 





General Chalmers was the right- 
hand man of General Forrest. 
His first service was at Sliiloh. 
During Bragg" s invasion of Ken 
tucky lie attacked Mimfordville, 
September 14, 1862, but was re 
pulsed. He took part in a Con 
federate charge at Murfreesboro, 
December 3 1st of the same year, 
and was so severely wounded us to 
disqualify him for further duty on 
that field. He commanded two 
brigades on Forrest s expedition of 
April 12, 1864, when the latter 
captured Fort Pillow and was un 
able to restrain the massacre. 
He served with Forrest at Nash 
ville and led Hood s cavalry at the 
battle of Franklin, delaying the 
Federal cavalry long enough to 
enable the Confederate army to 
make good its escape. He was 
with Forrest when the latter was 
defeated by Wilson on the famous 




Wilson raid through Alabama and 
Georgia in the spring of 1805, and 
remained with the cavalry until 
it crumbled with the Confederacy 
to nothing. The lower photograph 
of the rails laid across the piles of 
ties shows how the Confederate 
cavalry, east and west, destroyed 
millions of dollars worth of prop 
erty. While Generals Lee and 
Bragg and Hood were wrestling 
with the Union armies, the Con 
federate cavalry were dealing blow 
after blow to the material resources 
of the North. But in vain; the 
magnificently equipped Union 
pioneer corps was able to lay rails 
nearly as fast as they were de 
stroyed by the Confederates, and 
when the Army of Northern Vir 
ginia shot its weight in men from 
the ranks of Grant s army in the 
fearful campaign of 1864, the ranks 
were as constantly replenished. 



BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES R. CHALMERS 




IN THE WAKE OF THE RAIDERS 







stirrup leather, trudged on through the slush and ice to keep 
from freezing. 

Daylight found us several miles south of Lebanon and 
the strong Federal command concentrated there to catch us, 
but we kept on without halting, for another heavy column was 
reported moving out from Mumfordville and Glasgow to inter 
cept us at Columbia or Burkesville, before we could recross the 
Cumberland River. 

About ten o clock on the morning of December 31st, as 
the rear guard was crossing Rolling Fork some five or six miles 
south of Lebanon, there occurred an incident of more than 
ordinary interest. Captain Alexander Tribble, Lieutenant 
George B. Eastin, and a private soldier were sent on a detour 
to New Market, four or five miles from the line of march, to 
secure a supply of shoes which were reported stored at that 
point. As they were returning to overtake the command, they 
were pursued by a squad of Federal cavalry. Being well 
mounted, the three kept a safe distance ahead of their pursuers. 
Glancing backward over a long, straight stretch of road, they 
observed, as the chase proceeded, that all but three of their pur 
suers had checked up, and they determined at the first favor 
able place to ride to one side and await the approach of their 
pursuers and attack them. The place selected was the ford at 
the river. At this point Eastin checked his horse and turned 
sharply to the right, concealing himself under the bank. Trib 
ble continued into the middle of the stream, which here was 
about fifty yards wide, and stopped his horse where the water 
was about two feet deep. For reasons satisfactory to himself, 
the private soldier kept on, leaving the two officers to confront 
the three Federals, who now were in sight, coming at full speed 
toward the river and from fifty to one hundred yards apart. 
The leading Federal was Colonel Dennis J. Halisy of the 
Sixth Kentucky Cavalry. As he came near Eastin, the latter 
fired at him with his six-shooter, which fire Halisy returned. 
Both missed, and as Eastin now had the drop on his adversary, 

[154] 



I 



/// 



w, 



/ 



THE RAILROAD BRIDGE 
ACROSS THE ( UMBER- 
LAND, 




GATES READY TO RE SHUT 
AGAINST THE CONFED 
ERATES 



"By all means," telegraphed Grant to Thomas, avoid a foot-race to see which, you or Hood, can beat to the Ohio." This was 
the voicing of the Union general s fear in December, 1864, that Hood would cross the Cumberland River in the vicinity of Nash 
ville and repeat Bragg s march to the Ohio. A cavalry corps was stationed near the Louisville and Nashville Railroad fortified bridge, 
and a regiment of pickets kept guard along the banks of the stream, while on the water, gunboats, ironclads, and "tinclads" 
kept up a constant patrol. The year before the Confederate raider, John II. Morgan, had evaded the Union guards of the 
Cumberland and reached the border of Pennsylvania, before he was forced to surrender. On December 8th a widespread report 
had the Confederates across the Cumberland, but it proved that only a small detachment had been sent out to reconnoiter 
sufficient, however, to occasion Grant s telegram. Note the huge gates at the end of the bridge ready to be rushed shut in a moment. 




THE VALLEY OF THE CUMBERLAND, FROM THE TOP OF THE NASHVILLE MILITARY ACADKMY 







0rgan0 



4* 



* 



$ 




Halisy threw up his hands in token of surrender. As Eastin 
approached him, having lowered his weapon, Halisy fired, 
again missing, whereupon Eastin shot Halisy through the 
head, killing him instantly, his body falling into the river. 

While this combat was taking place, the next in order of 
the Federals had closed with Captain Tribble. These two 
opened fire without effect when Tribble spurred his horse 
toward his adversary, threw his arm around him, and dragged 
him with himself from the saddle into the river. Tribble fell 
on top, and strangled his foe into surrendering. At this mo 
ment, the third Union trooper came on the scene, only to throw 
up his hands and deliver himself to the two Confederates. 

Midday, December 31st, we rested an hour, and then on 
to Campbellsville where we arrived at dark, having been thirty- 
six hours in the saddle. That night we slept eight hours, and 
New Year s Day, 1863, left for Columbia, and thence on 
throughout the whole bitter cold night without stopping, pass 
ing through Burkesville on the morning of January 2d, where 
we recrossed the Cumberland. 

This was Morgan s most successful expedition. The 
Louisville and Nashville Railroad was a wreck from Bacon 
Creek to Shepherdsville, a distance of sixty miles. We had 
captured about nineteen hundred prisoners, destroyed a vast 
amount of Government property, with a loss of only two men 
killed, twenty-four wounded, and sixty-four missing. The 
command returned well armed and better mounted than when 
it set out. The country had been stripped of horses. Every 
man in my company led out an extra mount. 

During our absence the battle of Murfreesboro had been 
fought. The Confederates had captured twenty-eight pieces 
of artillery, and lost four and although Bragg retreated, he 
had hammered his opponent so hard, that it was nearly six 
months before he was ready to advance. Morgan s destruc 
tion of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was an important 
factor in this enforced delay. 

" [156] 





RUINS OF SALTPETRE WORKS 
IN TENNESSEE 

1863 



Saltpetre being one of the necessary ingredients of powder, it was inevitable that when cotton-mills, iron 
works, and every useful industry were suffering destruction by the Union cavalry in Tennessee, the salt 
petre factory should share the same fate. The works were foredoomed, whether by the Union cavalry or 
by the Confederate cavalry, in order to prevent them from falling into Union hands. The enterprising 
photographer seized a moment when the cavalry was at hand. A dejected charger is hanging his head by 
the side of the ruined mill. Two men are standing at the left of the house, of which nothing remains but 
the framework and chimney. The importance of destroying these works could hardly have been over 
estimated. It was the case half a century later, as stated by Hudson Maxim and other military authori 
ties, that collision between America and a foreign country with a powerful navy would bring, as that coun 
try s first move, the cutting off of our saltpetre supply from South America and thus the crippling of our 
ability to manufacture powder. 








THE DESTRUCTION OF ROSECRANS 
GREAT WAGON TRAIN 

BY JOHN ALLAN WYETH, M.D., LL.D. 

(Late of Quires Scouts, Confederate States Artnij ) 

THE Confederate cavalry was an important factor in 
Bragg s defeat of Rosecrans army at Chickamauga. 
Forrest was in full command on the right, while Wheeler, six 
miles away, covered the Confederate left wing. 

Bragg had placed them thus wide apart for the reason 
that Forrest had flatly refused to serve under his chief of 
cavalry. After Wheeler s disastrous assault on Fort Donel- 
son, February 3, 1863, where Forrest had two horses shot un 
der him, and his command lost heavily, he bluntly told his su 
perior in rank he would never serve under him again, and he 
never did. 

The records of these two days of slaughter at Chicka 
mauga for twenty-six per cent, of all engaged were either 
killed or wounded show how these great soldiers acquitted 
themselves. Forrest s guns fired the first and last shots on 
this bloody field. It was Wheeler s vigilance and courage 
which checked every move and defeated every advance on the 
Federal right, and finally in his last great charge on Sunday, 
pursued the scattered legions of McCook and Crittenden 
through the cedar brakes and blackjack thickets in their wild 
flight toward Chattanooga. And it was this alert soldier who 
on Monday, September 21st, in the Chattanooga valley, five 
miles from the field of battle, made an additional capture of 
a train of ninety wagons and some four hundred prisoners. 
The success of his operations at Chickamauga may be judged 
from his official report: 

[158] 






<1 





THE PRECARIOUS MILITARY RAIL 
ROAD IN 1864 

A close look down the line will convince 
the beholder that this is no modern rail 
road with rock-ballasted road-bed and 
heavy rails, but a precarious construction 
of the Civil War, with light, easily bent 
iron which hundreds of lives were sacri 
ficed to keep approximately straight. In 
order to supply an army it is absolutely 
necessary to keep open the lines of com 
munication. An extract from General 
Rosecrans letter to General Halleck, writ 
ten October 16, 1863, brings out this neces 
sity most vividly: "Evidence increases that 
the enemy intend a desperate effort to 
destroy this army. They are bringing up 
troops to our front. They have prepared 
pontoons, and will probably operate on our 
left flank, either to cross the river and 
force us to quit this place and fight them, 
or lose our communication. They will 
thus separate us from Burnside. We can 
not feed Hooker s troops on our left, nor 
can we spare them from our right depots 
and communications, nor has he trans 
portation. . . . Had we the railroad from 
here to Bridgeport, the whole of Sherman s 
and Hooker s troops brought up, we should 
not probably outnumber the enemy. This 
army, with its back to the barren moun 
tains, roads narrow and difficult, while the 
enemy has the railroad and the corn in his 
rear, is at much disadvantage." The rail 
way repairs of Sherman s army in the At 
lanta campaign were under the manage 
ment of Colonel Wright, a civil engineer, 
with a corps of two thousand men. They 
often had to work under a galling fire until 
the Confederates had been driven away, 
but their efficiency and skill was beyond 
praise. The ordinary wooden railway 
bridges were reconstructed with a standard 
pattern of truss, of which the parts were 
interchangeable, safely in the rear. 




afttttg a 



olraitt 










" During the battle, Avith the aA T ailable force (which neA T er exceeded 
2000 men) not on other duty (such as guarding the flanks), we fought 
the enemy A igorously and successfully, capturing 2000 prisoners, 100 
wagons and teams, a large amount of other property, and 18 stands of 
colors, all of which were turned over to the proper authorities." 

After Rosecrans army had sheltered itself behind the for 
tifications of Chattanooga, Forrest was ordered in the direction 
of London and Knoxville to watch Burnside, whose corps oc 
cupied the latter place, while Wheeler remained in command 
of the cavalry with Bragg in front of Chattanooga. 

When Bragg consulted Wheeler in regard to an expedi 
tion north of the Tennessee to break Rosecrans lines of com 
munications, Wheeler informed him that few of the horses 
were able to stand the strain of such an expedition. He was, 
however, ordered to do the best he could, and a few days after 
the battle all the best mounts were assembled for the raid. 

We reached the Tennessee River on September 30th, at 
or near Cottonport, about forty miles east of Chattanooga, and 
although our crossing was opposed by some squadrons of the 
Fourth Ohio Cavalry, posted in the timber which lined the 
north bank, under cover of two 6-pounder Parrott guns, we 
succeeded in fording the river, which here was not more than 
two or three feet deep at this dry season of the year. From 
this point, without meeting with any material opposition, we 
made our way rapidly across Walden s Ridge and descending 
into the Sequatchie valley at Anderson s Cross Roads, early 
on the morning of October 2d, encountered the advance guard 
of an infantry escort to an enormous wagon train loaded with 
supplies for the army in Chattanooga. Parts of two regi 
ments under Colonel John T. Morgan were ordered to charge 
the escort of the train, w r hich they did, but w r ere repulsed, and 
came back in disorder. I was standing near Colonel A. A. 
Russell who commanded the Fourth Alabama Cavalry, when 
General Wheeler rode up and ordered him to lead his regiment 
in. As soon as our line could be formed, we rode forward at 

160] 




r 




THE INADEQUATE REDOUBT 



AT 



JOHNSONVILLE 



When, most unexpectedly, the Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest appeared on the bank opposite 
Johnsonville, Tennessee, November 4, 1864, and began firing across the Tennessee River, a distance of 
about four hundred yards, the fortifications of the post were quite inadequate. They consisted only of a re 
doubt for six guns on the spur of the hill overlooking the town and depot (seen clearly in the distance above) 
and two advanced batteries and rifle-pits. Three gunboats were in the river. Their commander, afraid of 
falling into the hands of the enemy, ordered his gunboats set afire and abandoned. The ranking officer 
of the troops ashore followed his example and ordered all transports and barges destroyed in the same way. 
A terrible conflagration which consumed between one and two million dollars worth of Federal property 
ensued. On the 30th of November the few remaining stores not burned or captured by Forrest having 
been removed by railroad to Nashville, the post was evacuated. 



aiding a Jfaforal Uagmt Strain 



$ * 



WlUltHWIHIK 







full speed, and receiving a volley at close quarters, were suc 
cessful in riding over and capturing the entire escort within 
a few minutes. We found ourselves in possession of ah enor 
mous wagon train, and such a scene of panic and confusion 
I had never witnessed. Our appearance directly in the rear 
of Rosecrans army, which was not more than twenty miles 
away, was wholly unexpected. As a matter of precaution, the 
Federal general had directed Colonel E. M. McCook with a 
division of cavalry, then near Bridgeport, to move up the 
Sequatchie valley, and be within supporting distance of this 
train, but he failed to be in position at the critical moment. 

When the fighting with the escort began, the teamsters 
had turned about in the hope of escape in the direction of 
Bridgeport. As we came nearer, they became panic-stricken 
and took to their heels for safety, leaving their uncontrolled 
teams to run wild. Some of the wagons were overturned, 
blocking the road in places with anywhere from ten to fifty 
teams, some of the mules still standing, some fallen and tangled 
in the harness, and all in inextricable confusion. For six or 
eight miles we followed this line of wagons, with every half- 
mile or so a repetition of this scene. As we proceeded, men 
were detailed to set fire to the wagons and to kill the mules, 
since it was impossible to escape with the livestock. After a 
run of six or seven miles, I ventured to stop for a few minutes 
to help myself to a tempting piece of cheese and some crackers 
which I saw r in one of the wagons. Filling my haversack, I was 
on the point of remounting, when General Wheeler rode up 
and ordered me to " get out of that wagon and go on after the 
enemy," which order I obeyed, and had the honor of riding 
side by side with my commander for some distance further 
among the captured wagons. As he turned back, he ordered 
the small squadron that was in advance, to go on until the last 
wagon had been destroyed, which order was fully executed. 

By this time the smoke of the burning train was visible for 
many miles, and soon the explosions of fixed ammunition, with 

[162] 











THE EVACUATION OF JOHXSONVILLE AFTER FORREST S SUCCESSFUL RAID 

When General Forrest swooped down on Johnsonville the landings and banks, several acres in extent, were 
piled high with freight for Sherman s army. There were several boats and barges yet unloaded for want of 
room. Forrest captured U. S. Gunboat 55 and three transports and barges. Owing to a misunderstanding 
of Forrest s orders to a prize-crew, two Union gunboats recaptured the transport Venus, loaded with stores 
which Forrest had transferred from the steamer Mazeppa, captured at Fort Heiman, and also some of For 
rest s 20-pounder Parrott guns, which his exhausted horses could no longer draw. Colonel R. D. Mussey 
U. S. A., reports that the Thirteenth U. S. Colored Infantry and a section of Meig s battery stood their 
ground well. This was one of Forrest s swift raids which imperiled the stores of the Union armies. 




PVRIGHT 1911 REV 



[G-11] 




atfctng a 3fctoral Wagmt ram 



<*> 






which a number of wagons were loaded, sounded along the 
valley road, not unlike the firing of artillery in action. Gen 
eral Rosecrans expressed the opinion that the Confederates 
were bombarding his depot of supplies at Bridgeport. 

General Rosecrans, in his official report, admitted the loss 
of five hundred wagons, so that there must have been from 
one to two thousand mules destroyed. While the wagons 
were still burning, and before those of us who had gone to the 
extreme limit of the train could return to the main column, 
Colonel McCook, in command of the Federal cavalry, arrived 
on the scene and formed his line of battle between us and our 
main column. 

The capture and destruction of this immense train was 
one of the greatest achievements of General Wheeler s cavalry, 
and I was proud of the fact that the Fourth Alabama, unaided, 
did the fighting which took it. Its loss was keenly felt by the 
Federals, for it added to the precarious situation of the army 
in Chattanooga, and reduced rations to a cracker a day per 
man for several days in succession. General Wheeler reported : 

The number of wagons was variously estimated from 
eight hundred to fifteen hundred. . . . The quartermaster in 
charge of the train stated that there were eight hundred six- 
mule wagons, besides a great number of sutler s wagons. The 
train w r as guarded by a brigade of cavalry in front and a brig 
ade of cavalry in rear, and on the flank, where we attacked, 
were stationed two regiments of infantry." General Rosecrans 
in a despatch to General Burnside dated October 5, 1863, 
said, " Your failure to close your troops down to our left has 
cost five hundred wagons loaded with essentials, the post of 
McMinnville, and heaven only knows where the mischief will 
end." From my own observation, I believe that five hundred 
would not be very far from correct. We missed about thirty 
wagons which had turned off in a narrow and little-used road 
way, and were already partly toward Walden s Ridge. 



CHAPTER 
SEVEN 





AFTER A VISIT BY THE CONFEDERATE RAIDERS ON THE FEDERAL 
LINE OF COMMUNICATION IN VIRGINIA, 1862 




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HH ^H ^i J3 O "O 







CONFEDERATE PARTISAN RANGERS 

BY CHARLES D. RHODES 

Captain General Staff \ United States Army 

THROUGHOUT the Civil War, there existed many 
bodies of irregular cavalrymen, who, by sudden dashes 
on the rear and flanks of the Union armies, or in a night attack 
on the Federal trains, kept the outposts and train guard con 
tinually on the alert. As much of the rationing of the Confed 
erate armies was through captured stores, these irregular bands 
often brought substantial aid to their starving comrades in the 
shape of Federal provision wagons, captured intact. 

These independent partisan bands were far from being 
guerrillas, bushwhackers, or " jayhawkers," as were those of 
the type of Quantrill, who, during his brief career, left a trail 
of fire and blood through the disputed territory of Kansas and 
Missouri. The leaders of the best of these partisans were men 
whose personalities had much to do with their success, and as 
their fame increased with their annoying operations against 
the Union armies, the latter had strict orders to kill or capture 
them at any cost. 

Three of these brilliant, fearless, and daring Southern 
raiders became especially noted and feared, and in the history 
of the Confederate irregular cavalry, the names of Turner 
Ashby, John H. Morgan, and John S. Mosby stand in a class 
by themselves. The first two were killed during the war, but 
Mosby, whose death or capture was probably more desired by 
the North than that of either of the others, survived every 
engagement, fighting stubbornly for the Confederacy, even 
after Lee had surrendered at Appomattox. 

Ashby was a handsome man, a daring soldier, and a 

[168] 




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superb horseman. At the outbreak of the war, he received a 
commission as captain of a band of picked rangers, working 
in conjunction with the main operations of the Confederate 
armies, but unhampered by specific instructions from a supe 
rior. He was rapidly promoted. As colonel of a partisan 
band he was a continual menace to the Federal trains, and 
moved with such rapidity as oftentimes to create the impres 
sion that several bodies of mounted troops were in the field 
instead of but one. Falling upon an isolated column of army 
wagons at dawn, he would strike a Federal camp thirty miles 
away by twilight of the same day. His men were picked by 
their leader with great care, and although there is reason to 
believe that Southern writers surrounded these troopers with a 
halo of romance, there is no disputing that they were brave, 
daring, and self-sacrificing. 

Ashby himself was looked upon by many officers and men 
in the Union armies as a purely mythical character. It was 
said that no such man existed, and that the feats accredited 
to Ashby s rangers were in reality the work of several separate 
forces. Much of the mystery surrounding this officer was due 
to his beautiful white horse, strong, swift, and a splendid 
jumper. He and his horse, standing alone on a hill or ridge, 
would draw the Union troops on. When the latter had reached 
a point where capture seemed assured, Ashby would slowly 
mount and canter leisurely out of sight. When his pursuers 
reached the spot where he had last been seen, Ashby and his 
white charger would again be observed on the crest of a still 
more distant hill. 

Only once during his spectacular career in the Confederate 
army was Ashby outwitted and captured, but even then he 
made his escape before being taken a mile by his captors a 
detachment of the First Michigan Cavalry. 

The Confederate leader was surrounded before he was 
aware of the presence of the Union troops, and the latter were 
within fifty rods of him when he saw several of them pushing 

[170] 







COLONEL JOHN SINGLETON MOSBY 

It is hard to reconcile Mosby s peaceful profession of a lawyer at Bristol, 
Washington County, Louisiana, before the war with the series of exploits that 
subsequently made him one of the most famous of the partisan leaders in the 
war. After serving under General Joseph E. Johnston in the Shenandoah in 
186 1-62, he was appointed by General E. B. Stuart as an independent scout. 
His independent operations were chiefly in Virginia and Maryland. His 
most brilliant exploit was the capture in March, 1863, of Brigadier-General 
Stoughton at Fairfax Courthouse, far inside the Federal lines. He followed 
Lee s army into Pennsylvania in June, 1863, and worried the flanks of the 
Federal army as it moved southward after Gettysburg. In January, 1864, 
he was repulsed in a night attack on Harper s Ferry ; in May he harassed the 
rear of Grant s army as it advanced on Fredericksburg; a little later he made 
a long raid into Maryland, and in August he surprised and captured Sheri 
dan s entire supply-train near Berryville. In September he was w r ounded at 
Falls Church, but the following month he captured two Federal paymasters 
with $168,000, tore up the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks, destroyed 
rolling-stock, and made a prisoner of Brigadier-General Alfred Duffle. In 
December, 1864, he was promoted to be a colonel, and at the close of the 
war was paroled by the intercession of no less a person than Grant himself. 




nufrtoraie ^arttaan Hangars 






:, | 



along a cross-road which afforded the only avenue of escape. 
Nevertheless, Ashby made a dash for freedom. Vaulting into 
the saddle, the daring rider raced to beat the foremost Union 
trooper to the open road. Sergeant Pierson, who was in com 
mand of the little body of flankers, rode the only horse which 
could equal the speed of Ashby s fleet charger, and he and the 
Southerner reached the road crossing together Pierson far 
in advance of his comrades. As Pierson neared Ashby, the 
latter fired at him with his revolver, but the Union trooper did 
not attempt to return the fire and Ashby himself replaced his 
weapon in the holster. 

As the two men, magnificently mounted, came together, 
Ashby drew a large knife and raised it to strike. Pierson was 
a bigger and stronger man than Ashby, and reaching over, he 
seized Ashby s wrist with one hand while with the other he 
grasped the partisan leader s long black beard. Then, throw 
ing himself from his horse, Pierson dragged the Confederate 
officer to the ground, and held him until the remaining Union 
troopers reached the scene of the struggle and disarmed Ashby. 

The white horse had instantly stopped when Ashby was 
pulled from his back, and the captive was allowed to ride him 
back to the Union lines, slightly in advance of his captors, 
Sergeant Pierson at his side. The detachment had gone but 
a short distance when the mysterious white horse wheeled sud 
denly to one side, bounded over the high plantation fence which 
lined the roadside, and dashed away across the fields. Before 
the Union troops could recover from their surprise, Ashby was 
again free, and it w r as not long before he was once more 
reported by the Federal scouts as standing on a distant hill, 
engaged in caressing his faithful horse. 

Only a few w r eeks later, this famous horse, which had 
become so familiar to the Union troops, was shot and killed by 
a sharpshooter belonging to the Fifth Michigan, who w r as 
attempting to bring down Ashby. Xot long after, while lead 
ing his men in a cavalry skirmish, at Harrisonburg, during 

[ 172 ] 



mm 




MEN WHO TRIED TO CATCH MOSBY 




GUARDING THE CAPITAL CAMP OF THE THIRTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY 

The Thirteenth New York horsemen were constantly held in the vicinity of Washington endeavoring to cross swords with the elusive 
Mosby, when he came too near, and scouting in the Virginia hills. This shows their camp at Prospect Hill at the close of the war. 
During most of their service they were attached to the Twenty-second Army Corps. The Administration policy of always keeping a 
large army between the Confederates and Washington resulted in the turning of the National Capital into a vast military camp. Pros 
pect Hill became the chief center of cavalry camps during the latter part of the war. 




Partisan dangers 



V 



" Stonewall " Jackson s famous Valley campaign, Ashby met 
his own death, on June 6, 1862. As he fell, his last words to 
his troopers w r ere: " Charge men! For God s sake, charge!" 

Next to the gallant Ashby there was no partisan leader 
whose death created a greater loss to the South than John 
Hunt Morgan. He was a slightly older man than Ashby and 
had seen service in the Mexican War. When the call to arms 
sounded, he was one of the first to organize a company of cav 
alry and pledge his support to the Southern cause. He was 
fearless and tireless, a hard rider, and a man of no mean ability 
as a tactician and strategist. Morgan s men were picked for 
their daring and their horsemanship, and until the day of his 
death, he was a thorn in the flesh of the Union commanders. 

Starting before daybreak, Morgan and his troopers would 
rush along through the day, scarcely halting to rest their weary 
and jaded horses. When, worn to the very limit of endurance, 
the exhausted animals refused to go farther, the cavalrymen 
would quickly tear off saddle and bridle, and leaving the horse 
to live or die, would hurry along to the nearest farm or plan 
tation and secure a fresh mount. 

At night, far from their starting-point, the dust-covered 
troopers threw themselves, yelling and cheering, on the Union 
outposts, riding them down and creating consternation in the 
camp or bivouac. Then, with prisoners or perhaps captured 
wagon trains, the rangers rode, ghostlike, back through the 
night, while calls for reenf orcements were being passed through 
the Federal lines. By dawn, Morgan and his weary horsemen 
would have safely regained their own lines, while oftentimes the 
Union troops were still waiting an attack at the spot where the 
unexpected night raid had been made. Morgan s famous raid 
through the State of Ohio exerted a moral and political influ 
ence which was felt throughout the entire North. 

On their raids, Morgan s men were usually accompanied 
by an expert telegraph operator. They would charge an iso 
lated telegraph office on the railroad communications of the 

[174] 




GENERAL JOHN H. MORGAN, C.S.A. 



Morgan was a partisan leader who differed in method from Mosby. His com 
mand remained on a permanent basis. In the summer of 18G3 Bragg decided, on 
account of his exposed condition and the condition of his army, weakened by de 
tachments sent to the defense of Vicksburg, to fall back from Tullahoma to 
Chattanooga. To cover the retreat he ordered Morgan to ride into Kentucky 
with a picked force, breaking up the railroad, attacking Rosecrans detachments, 
and threatening Louisville. Morgan left Burkesville July 2d, with 2,640 men and 
four guns. Ten thousand soldiers were watching the Cumberland but Morgan, 
exceeding his instructions, effected a crossing and rode northward. After a 
disastrous encounter with the Twenty-fifth Michigan at a bridge over the Green 
River, he drew off and marched to Brandenburg, capturing Lebanon on the way. 
By this time Indiana and Ohio were alive with the aroused militia, and Morgan 
fled eastward, burned bridges and impressed horses, marched by night unmolested 
through the suburbs of Cincinnati, and was finally forced to surrender near New 
Lisbon, Ohio, on July 26th. He escaped from the State Penitentiary at 
Columbus, Ohio, by tunneling on November 27, 1863, and took the field again. 




partisan Hangars 



* 












Union army, and, capturing the operator, would place their 
own man at the telegraph key. In this way they gained much 
valuable and entirely authentic information, which, as soon as 
known, was rushed away to the headquarters of the army. 

At other times, Morgan s operator would " cut in " on 
the Federal telegraph lines at some distant point, and seated 
on the ground by his instrument, would read the Union mes 
sages for many hours at a time. This service to the Confed 
erate leaders was of inestimable value, and created a feeling 
among the Union signal-men that even cipher messages were 
not entirely safe from Morgan s men. 

As Morgan was promoted from grade to grade, and the 
size of his command increased accordingly, he became more 
and more of an annoyance and even a terror to the North. His 
troopers were no longer mere rangers, but developed into more 
or less trained cavalry. Yet even then, his command showed 
a partiality for sudden and highly successful attacks upon 
Union outposts and wagon trains. The death of Morgan 
occurred near Greeneville, Tennessee, on September 4, 1864, 
when, being surrounded, he was shot down in a dash for life. 

Colonel John S. Mosby, with his raiding detachments of 
varying size, w r as probably the best known and the most anx 
iously sought by the Union forces of any of the partisan lead 
ers. Mosby s absolute fearlessness, his ingenious methods of 
operating, as well as his innate love of danger and excitement, 
all combined to make his sudden descents upon the Federal 
lines of communication spectacular in the extreme. 

His almost uniform success and the spirit of romance 
which surrounded his exploits, drew thousands of recruits to 
his leadership, and had he desired, he could have commanded 
a hundred men for every one who usually accompanied him 
on his forays. But he continued throughout the war using 
small detachments of from twenty to eighty men, and much of 
his success was probably due to this fact, which permitted sud 
den appearances and disappearances. From beginning to end 

[176] 



^ 



1 ^11 1 f/77rsl 




BRIGADIER-GENERAL TURNER ASHBY, C. S. A. 



Such a will-o -the-wisp was Turner Ashby, the audacious Confederate cavalryman, that he 
was looked upon by many officers and men in the Union armies as a purely mythological 
character. It was widely declared that no such man existed, and that the feats accredited 
to Ashby s rangers were in reality the work of many different partisan bands. His habit of 
striking at different and widely divergent points in rapid succession went far toward sub 
stantiating this rumor. He would fall upon an isolated wagon-train at dawn, and by 
twilight of the same day would strike a Federal camp thirty miles or more away. But 
Ashby was a real character, a daring soldier, a superb horseman, and the right-hand man of 
"Stonewall" Jackson. Careless of the additional danger, he customarily rode a beautiful 
white horse. After he was captured by the First Michigan cavalry, it was due to the 
courage and splendid jumping ability of this animal that he was able to make good his 
escape. Ashby met his death in a " Valley " cavalry skirmish at Harrisonburg on June 
6, 1862, crying to his troopers in his last words: "Charge, men! For God s sake, charge!" 



partisan 




of the war, Mosby s raiders were a constant menace to the 
Union troops, and the most constant vigilance was necessary 
to meet successfully his skilfully planned stratagems. 

On March 8, 1863, Mosby performed one of the most dar 
ing and effective feats of his career. In this case, as well as 
in others, it was the supreme boldness of the act which alone 
made it possible. Even with their knowledge of Mosby s 
methods, the Union officers could hardly conceive of such an 
apparently rash and unheard-of exploit being successful. 

With a small band of carefully picked men, Mosby rode 
safely through the Union picket-lines, where the sentries be 
lieved the party to be Federal scouts returning from a raid. 
Upon reaching the vicinity of Fairfax Court House, Mosby 
entered the house used as headquarters by General Edwin H. 
Stoughton, woke the general, and demanded his surrender. 
Believing that the town had surrendered, the Union leader 
made no resistance. Meanwhile, each trooper in Mosby s little 
command had quietly secured several prisoners. Stoughton 
was forced to mount a horse, and with their prisoners Mosby 
and his cavalcade galloped safely back to their lines. 

It was with similar strokes, original in conception and 
daring in execution, that Mosby kept thousands of Federal 
cavalry and infantry away from much-needed service at the 
front. After he became well established as a partisan ranger, 
his men were never organized as a tactical fighting body, and 
never had, as with other troops, an established camp. Through 
his trusty lieutenants, the call would be sent out for a desig 
nated number of men " for Mosby." This was the most defi 
nite information as to their mission that these volunteers ever 
received. In fact, they always moved out with sealed orders, 
but at the appointed time and place the rangers would assemble 
without fail. That Mosby wanted them was sufficient. 

Many of these men were members of regular cavalry regi 
ments home on furlough, others were farmers who had been 
duly enlisted in the rangers, and were always subject to call, 

[178] 




PROTECTION AGAINST THE "JAYHAWKERS" OF LOUISIANA 

The lookout tower in the midst of this Federal cavalry camp in the northwest part of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 
is a compliment to the "jayhawkers" soldiers not affiliated with any command and nondescript guerilla 
bands which infested this region along the hanks of the Mississippi. Here the land is so level that lookout 
towers were built wherever a command stopped for more than a few hours. The soldiers found it safer also 
to clear away the brush and obstructing trees for several hundred yards on all sides of their camps, in order 
to prevent the roving Confederate sharpshooters from creeping up and picking off a sentry, or having a shot 
at an officer. The guerilla bands along the Mississippi even had some pieces of ordnance, and used to 
amuse themselves by dropping shells on the Union "tin-clad" gunboats from lofty and distant bluffs. 
[c-12] 



I 

(O nnfrtorai? partisan Stang^ra * 



\\ 



\ 



still others were troopers whose mounts were worn out, and 
whose principal object was to secure Northern horses. The 
Union cavalry always claimed that among Mosby s men were 
a number who performed acts for which they were given short 
shrift when caught. Of course, the nature of the service per 
formed by these rangers w r as subversive of discipline, and it 
is quite possible that many deeds were committed which the 
leader himself had absolutely nothing to do with and would 
not have sanctioned. But this is true with all warfare. 

Mosby s expeditions often led him far within the Union 
lines, and the command was often nearly surrounded. On such 
occasions Mosby would give the word and the detachment 
would suddenly disintegrate, each trooper making his way back 
to his own lines through forests and over mountains as best he 
could. Frequently his men were captured. But Mosby 
seemed to bear a charmed life, and in spite of rewards for his 
capture and all manner of plans to entrap him, he continued 
his operations as a valuable ally to the main Confederate army. 

Of course much of his success w r as due to the fact that he 
was ever operating in a friendly country. He could always 
be assured of authentic information, and wherever he went was 
certain of food, fresh horses, and means of concealment. 

In 1864, Mosby was shot during one of his forays, and 
was left, apparently dying, by the Union troops, who failed 
to recognize him, in the house where he had been surprised. 
Learning soon after that the wounded Confederate was the 
famous leader of Mosby s rangers, the troops hastily returned 
to capture him or secure his dead body. But in the meantime, 
Mosby s men had spirited him away, and within a short time 
he and his men were again raiding Federal trains and outposts. 

Until the very end of the war he kept up his indefatigable 
border warfare, and it was not until after the surrender at 
Appomattox, that Mosby gathered his men about him for the 
last time, and telling them that the war was over, pronounced 
his command disbanded for all time. 



1 



y// 



o 



V * , v, \ 






X- 




CHAPTEB 
EIGHT 



CAVALRY 

PICKETS, SCOUTS 

AND COURIERS 




A VETERAN SCOUT 

OF THE 
THIRTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY 




WHY FEDERAL 

CAVALRY HISTORY 

BEGAN LATE 



These four Federal troopers holding their horses, side by side with an equal number of infantry, are typical 
of the small detachments that split up the cavalry into units of little value during the first two years of 
the war. The cavalry also furnished guides, orderlies, and grooms for staff officers. The authorities 
divided it up so minutely among corps, division, and brigade commanders as completely to subvert its 
true value. It was assigned to accompany the slow-moving wagon-trains, which could have been equally 
well guarded by an infantry detail, and was practically never used as a coherent whole. "Detachments 








CAVALRY WITH INFANTRY 

ON 
PROVOST-GUARD DUTY 



from its strength were constantly increased, and it was hampered by instructions which crippled it for all 
useful purposes." This photograph was taken in February, 1865, after the cavalry had proved itself. The 
companies attached at that time to the provost-guard were Company K of the First Indiana Cavalry, Com 
panies C and D of the First Massachusetts Cavalry, and the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry. The officer 
is inspecting the arms of the Zouaves at the right, and the troopers with their white gauntlets are much 
more spick and span than if they were assigned to the long rides and open air life of active campaigning. 




CAVALRY GUARDING THE ORANGE & ALEXANDRIA RAILROAD, 1864 



Here it is apparent why the Northern generals found it necessary to detach large portions of their armies along their lines of communica 
tion, to guard against the impending raids of the Confederate cavalry. The destruction of the bridge in this photograph, part of Grant s 
line of communication in the Wilderness campaign, would have delayed his movements for days and have compelled him to detach 
a strong body to recapture the railroad, and another to rebuild the bridge. Hence this strong force detailed as a guard. Cavalry boots 




READY TO FORESTALL A CONFEDERATE RAID 



and sabers are visible in the photograph, with the revolver, distinctive of that branch of the service. The photographer evidently posed 
his men. Note the hands thrust into the breasts of their jackets, or clasped in front of them, the folded arms, and the jaunty attitudes. 
The two boys at the left of the picture seem hardly old enough to be real soldiers. The tangle of underbrush along the banks suggest 
the mazes of the Wilderness where Grant was baffled in his overland campaign. 



I -I 



v~\ 



OUTPOSTS, SCOUTS AND COURIERS 

BY CHARLES D. RHODES 

Captain, General Stuff, United States Army 

AX army on the march is protected from surprise and an 
noyance by advance, rear, and flank guards, or by inde 
pendent cavalry scouting far to the front until contact with the 
enemy is established. When it halts, its security is maintained 
through outposts, instructed to observe the front and flanks 
while it sleeps, and to act as a barrier to the entrance of patrols 
and spies, or to resist strenuously any sudden and unexpected 
advance of a hostile force. 

Outpost duty, therefore, is most important, not alone as 
a protective measure, but because deductions from many cam 
paigns have shown that troops which suffer continuously from 
mjafjiy night alarms either lose nerve or become indifferent, so 
that, in either case, discipline and efficiency suffer. 

In the Federal armies, outpost or picket duty in the pres 
ence of their enterprising adversaries was ever fatiguing, nerve- 
racking, and dangerous. Organizations went on picket for 
twenty-four continuous hours, and, in the cavalry, horses at the 
advanced posts remained saddled and bridled for hours at a 
tim, ready for instant use. Except by the supports and re 
serves, the lighting of fires and cooking of food, when in close 
contact with the Confederates, were forbidden, but many a 
strip of bacon and occasionally a stolen chicken were fried sur 
reptitiously in a safe hiding-place. Although a farmhouse was 
oftentimes available, horses and troopers were usually without 
shelter, and this, in rainy or freezing weather, made outpost 
duty an uncomfortable, if not a thrilling, experience. 

The nervous period for the vedette was between midnight 

[18G] 





"%3s3 



CAVALRY AT SUDLEY S FORD 
BULL RUN 



Not until the time this photograph was taken March, 1862 did the Union cavalrymen revisit this little 
ford after the disastrous rout of the inchoate Federal army the July previous. The following March, the 
Confederate commander Johnston left his works at Centerville for the Peninsula, having learned that 
McClellan s move on Richmond would take that direction. This group of cavalrymen is advancing across 
the stream near the ford where they had so gallantly protected the Federal flight only a few months before. 
At the time this was taken, the Federal Government had already changed its first absurd decision to limit 
its cavalry to six regiments of regulars, and from the various States were pouring in the regiments that 
finally enabled the Union cavalry to outnumber and outwear the exhausted Southern horse in 1864 and 1865. 










, &rmtt0 mb (fcwrara 



and daybreak, when all was still and dark and mysterious. 
For the inexperienced soldier, with eyes and ears at extraor 
dinary tension, the grunting of a predatory hog or the brows 
ing of a calf was quite sufficient to create alarm. 

Again, when the excitement had subsided, and eyes had 
grown drowsy from lack of sleep, steps among the trees would 
bring the sharp challenge and colloquy : 

" Halt! Who comes there? " 

" A friend." 

" Advance, friend, with the countersign." 

Sometimes the " friend " was an officer, making his rounds 
of inspection ; sometimes a countryman who had never heard of 
the countersign. Occasionally the answ r er to the countersign 
was a rush of feet, a blow, and the driving-in of the outpost 
by a force of the foe, or by guerrillas. 

The tendency of the raw recruit was to see a gray uniform 
behind every stump, tree, or bush, and in the early period of 
the Civil War, the rifle-firing by opposing pickets, especially 
at night, was constant and uninterrupted. Many a time, too, 
the lone sentinel or vedette was shot down in cold blood. 

A member of one of the first organized companies of 
Union sharpshooters tells a story of creeping with his comrades, 
in the early morning hours, upon a Confederate outpost. The 
break of a lovely day was just showing red in the eastern sky. 
The range to the hostile picket was considerable, but the rifles 
of the sharpshooters were equipped with telescopic sights. 

Through the glass, a tall, soldierly-looking cavalry officer 
in Confederate gray could be seen through the morning mist, 
sitting motionless on his black charger, admiring the dawn. 
The rifles were leveled; the telescopic sights were adjusted on 
the poor fellow s chest ; the triggers were pulled in unison, and 
although too distant to hear a sound from the outpost, the cav 
alryman was seen to fall dead from his horse. To the narrator, 
an inexperienced New England lad, such deeds were wanton 
murder, and he made haste to transfer to a cavalry command, 

[188] 






1 




GUARDING A PONTOON-BRIDGE 



These cavalrymen posted at the strategic point known as Varuna Landing, across the James River, in 1864, 
are engaged in no unimportant task. The Federals were by no means sure that Lee s veterans would not 
again make a daring move northward. However, by this time (18(54) the true value of the Federal cavalry 
had been appreciated by the authorities; it was being used in mass on important raids, and had been given a 
chance to show its prowess in battle. But not until after Hooker reorganized the Army of the Potomac in 
1863 was the policy definitely abandoned of splitting up the cavalry into small detachments for minor duties, 
and of regarding it merely as an adjunct of the infantry. 




trtpnais, Grouts anln 



<* 










not equipped with telescopic sights and hair-trigger rifles. 
But as the war progressed, this constant firing by sentinels 
and vedettes disappeared, and opposing pickets began to com 
prehend that this was not war. To the guerrillas, who killed 
to rob and loot, it was, of course, a different matter. 

The time came when the " Yankee " troopers exchanged 
newspapers, bacon, or hardtack with the " Johnny Rebs," for 
tobacco or its equivalent, or they banteringly invited each other 
to come out and meet half-way between the lines of outposts. 

It was two years before the true role of cavalry was un 
derstood by the Federal commanders. During that early 
period, the constant use of the mounted branch as outposts for 
infantry divisions and army corps, was largely responsible for 
cavalry inefficiency, and for the tremendous breaking-down of 
horse-flesh. Indeed, it was not until 1864 that Sheridan im 
pressed upon Meade the wastefulness of thus rendering thou 
sands of cavalry mounts unserviceable through unnecessary 
picket duty, which could be as well performed by infantry. 

But many opportunities for brave and gallant deeds oc 
curred on outpost duty, albeit many such were performed in 
obscurity, and w r ere thus never lauded to the world as heroic. 

One such deed, which fortunately did not escape recogni 
tion, was that of Sergeant Martin Hagan, of the Second 
United States Cavalry. When the city of Fredericksburg was 
evacuated by the Union army on December 13, 1862, Sergeant 
Hagan was left behind in charge of an outpost detachment of 
seven troopers, with orders to remain until relieved. 

For some reason or other, Hagan was not relieved, and re 
mained at his post with his pitiably small force until the Con 
federate Army of Northern Virginia began entering the town. 
Then Hagan and his troopers succeeded in delaying the ad 
vanced troops by skirmishing. Subsequently learning that 
the bridges over the Rappahannock behind him had been re 
moved, and that his outpost was the only Union force in Fred 
ericksburg, he retired, stubbornly disputing every foot of his 

[190] 






A FEDERAL CAVALRY "DETAIL" GUARDING A WAGON-TRAIN, 1862 



These troopers bending over their saddles in the eold autumn wind, as the wagon-train jolts along the Rappahannock bank, are one 
of the many " details " which dissipated the strength and impaired the efficiency of the cavalry as a distinct arm of the service during the 
first two years of the war. They carried revolvers, as well as their sabers and carbines, for they had to be ready for sudden attack, an 
ambush, a night rush, or the dash of the swift Southern raiders who helped provision the Confederate armies from Northern wagon-trains. 



, Grouts 



v\\ 

i 



way with a brigade of Confederate cavalry, until the banks of 
the Rappahannock were reached. Here, seeing his men and 
their horses well over the river, he plunged in himself under 
a shower of balls, and swam across without the loss of a man, 
horse, or article of equipment. For this gallant act of " valor 
and fidelity," this cavalry sergeant was awarded the Con 
gressional Medal of Honor. 

SCOUTING 

At the beginning of the Civil War, what is now known 
as military information or intelligence was not appreciated as 
it was later. The organization of the scout service was not 
perfected; accurate military maps of the theater of operations 
were almost wholly lacking, and many commanders accepted 
the gage of battle with no very comprehensive idea of the foe s 
numbers, position, and morale, and with no accurate concep 
tion of the topography of the battlefield. 

As the military organization of the Union armies was 
perfected, however, and the newly made officers learned their 
lesson in the stern school of experience, the importance of scout 
ing became apparent, and this use of cavalry developed into a 
necessary preliminary to every serious encounter. 

Perhaps no branch of the military operations of the Civil 
War gave such opportunities for individual intelligence, initia 
tive, nerve, daring, resourcefulness, tact, and physical endur 
ance, as the constant scouting by the cavalry of the opposing 
armies between the great battles of the war. It required 
bold riding combined with caution, keen eyesight and ready 
wit, undaunted courage not recklessness an appreciation 
<;f locality amounting to a sixth sense, and above all other 
things a mind able to differentiate between useful and useless 
information. 

The increased importance given to scouting, as the cavalry 
of the Federal armies gained in experience and efficiency, by 
no means did away with the use of paid civilian spies. But the 








WATCHING AT RAPPAHANNOCK STATION 
A FEDERAL CAVALRY PICKET IN 62 

IN DANGER AT THE TIME 
THIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN 

This picture of August, 1862, shows one of the small cavalry details posted to guard the railroad 
at Rappahannock Station. The Confederate cavalry, operating in force, could overcome these details 
as easily as they could drive away an equal number of infantry, and unless it was on account of their 
superior facilities for flight, there was little use in using the mounted branch of the service instead of 
the infantry. On the other hand the Union cavalry was so constantly crippled by having its strength 
dissipated in such details that it was unable to pursue the Confederate raiders. Before this scene, 
the summer and fall of 1862, Pope and Lee had been maneuvering for position along each side of the 
Rappahannock River. Pope had established a tele-de-pont at this railroad station, and on August 22d 
Longstreet feinted strongly against it in order to divert Pope s attention from Jackson s efforts to turn 
his right flank. Longstreet and Stuart burned the railroad bridge, and drove the Federals from the 
tefc-de-pont, after a contest of several hours duration. 




information furnished by soldier scouts served as a check upon 
untrustworthy civilians sometimes employed as spies by both 
sides and enabled the Union commanders to substan 
tiate valuable information secured from prisoners, newspapers, 
and former slaves. As in a great many other things, the Con 
federate cavalry excelled in the use of trained officers as scouts- 
officers patrols, as they are called nowadays men whose opin 
ion of what they observed w r as worth something to their com 
manders; while the Federal leaders were very slow to appre 
ciate that false or faulty military information, in that it is 
misleading, is worse than no information at all. 

In many cases loyal inhabitants of the border States were 
utilized as scouts, men who knew each trail and by-path, and 
who were more or less familiar with Confederate sentiment in 
their own and adjoining counties. These men were placed in 
a most uncomfortable position, suspected by their friends and 
neighbors at home, and looked upon with suspicion by their mil 
itary employers. Their service to their country was oftentimes 
heroic, and they frequently laid down their lives in her cause. 

General Sheridan was one of the first of the Union com 
manders who appreciated, at its true value, the importance of 
the information service a part of headquarters which should 
be systematically organized and disciplined, and whose reports 
as to topography and the location of the foe could be absolutely 
relied upon. Indeed, this was one of the secrets of Sheridan s 
almost uniform success. He was always well informed as to 
his opponent s movements, strength, and probable intentions. 

After Sheridan s engagements in the Shenandoah valley 
at Clifton and Berryville, he decided to dispense almost en 
tirely with the use of civilians and alleged Confederate de 
serters, and to depend entirely on Union scouts. For this pur 
pose he organized a scout battalion recruited entirely from sol 
diers who volunteered for this dangerous duty. These troopers 
were disguised in the Confederate uniform when necessary, and 
were paid from secret-service funds. 

[194] 





CAVALRY TO KEEP THE PEACE THE "OXEIDA" COMPANY 

Cavalrymen playing cards, washing, smoking pipes, whittling sticks, indolently leaning against a tree, do 
not fulfill the usual conception of that dashing arm of the service. These are the Oneida Cavalry, used as 
provost-guards and orderlies throughout the war. Not a man of them was killed in battle, and the company 
lost only ten by disease. This does not mean that they did not do their full share of the work, but merely 
that they exemplified the indifference or ignorance on the part of many military powers as to the proper 
role of the cavalry. The "Oneidas" were attached to Stoneman s cavalry command with the Army of the 
Potomac from the time of their organization in September, 18(51, to April, 1802. They did patrol duty 
and took care of the prisoners during several months in the latter year. Thereafter they acted as head 
quarters escort until they were mustered out, June 13, 1865, and honorably discharged from the service. 
[0-13] 



^v 







(Emirara 



This assumption of the Confederate uniform, giving these 
soldiers the character of spies, caused Sheridan s scouts to be 
more or less disliked by the Cavalry Corps, and it has been 
stated on good authority that they were frequently fired upon 
deliberately by their own side, under the pretense of being taken 
for the foe. These scouts literally took their lives in their hands, 
and it required all their ready wit to escape being killed or cap 
tured by either the one side or the other. But the independence 
of the service, its constant risk, as well as patriotic impulses in 
the case of many, fascinated and appealed to a certain class of 
men, and they kept Sheridan well informed at all times. 

The specially selected scouts of the Federal armies usually 
were mounted on the best available horses, and were furnished 
fresh remounts whenever occasion required or they helped 
themselves to what the country afforded. The best scouting 
was done by cavalry troopers working in pairs, on the prin 
ciple that two pairs of eyes are better than one pair. So in 
case of surprise, at least one scout might escape. 

Sheridan s scouts were usually excellent pistol shots, and 
were encouraged to carry several revolvers in their belts or sad 
dle holsters. They carried no sabers lest the rattle of scabbards 
or the gleam of bright metal attract the attention of the 
Southern scouts and betray their presence. The most experi 
enced scouts traveled light. Many times they were forced to 
ride for their lives, and an extra pound or two made a difference 
in the weight-carrying speed of their horses. They usually 
left their grain and clothing in the headquarters wagons, and 
managed to live off the country. 

Sheridan s disguised scouts became expert in picking up 
the stragglers of the opposing army and in questioning them, 
and even went to the extent of riding around the Confederate 
columns and wagon trains. If detected, their fleet horses 
usually put considerable distance between them and their pur 
suers, but they were ever ready to shoot, and instances have 
been recorded of one of their number holding off four men. 

[196] 





CAVALRY CAMP 



Waving sabers in battle, as the cavalryman soon learned, consumed but a small part of his time as 
compared with handling pickaxes and felling trees. In this photograph the cavalry detail at the head 
quarters of General Adelbert Ames is breaking ground to build a camp. The men have just arrived, and 
i the horses are still saddled. A barrel is supplying draft for a temporary fireplace, and even the dog 
is alert and excited. The faces gazing out of the photograph below are of men who more than once have 
looked death in the face and have earned their comparative rest. A pleasant change from active service 
is this camp of Companies C and D of the First Massachusetts Cavalry. They had served at Antietam, at 
Kelly s Ford, at Brandy Station, at Gettysburg, in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and in a host of 
minor operations before they were assigned to provost duty near the end of the war. 




A REST IN THE WOODS 









COURIERS 

The risk taken by the despatch bearers of both armies, 
when occasion demanded, is well illustrated in the story of the 
fate of private William Spicer, of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, 
who undertook to carry an order through the Confederate lines 
while Sherman was conducting his campaign in Mississippi. 
The cavalry of General Smith, numbering nearly seven thou 
sand men, had been detached from the remainder of the army 
arid sent away along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, with orders 
to join the army near Meridian, on February 10, 1864. 

Meanwhile, the main body had marched to Meridian, and 
there Sherman waited for Smith until the 18th, without receiv 
ing any tidings of the missing troopers. Then the remainder 
of the Federal cavalry, under Winslow, was ordered to scout 
twenty miles toward the direction from which Smith w r as ex 
pected, and to convey new orders to him. Winslow s forces 
reached their objective point at Lauderdale Springs, and still 
no news had been heard of Smith. 

Scouts that traveled far into the surrounding country ob 
tained no further news. As Winslow s orders allowed him to 
go no farther, he abandoned the search, but it was necessary 
that Smith receive Sherman s orders, and a volunteer was called 
for to carry the despatch through a country occupied by For 
rest s cavalry, and other portions of Folk s army. The mes 
senger would be forced to locate Smith in whatever manner he 
could, and then to reach him as quickly as possible. 

From many volunteers, Private Spicer was finally chosen. 
He was an Arkansas man, and as many Confederate troops 
had been enlisted there, he was less likely to be suspected than 
a man from any of the Northern States. Spicer considered 
all the features of the case, and his final decision was to risk 
detection in the gray uniform of a Confederate. The Federals 
were supplied with uniforms taken from prisoners and cap 
tured wagons, which were kept for use in such an emergency 

198] 







KEEPING FODDER DRY 

Fodder and equipment were 
scarcer in the field than men. 
Whether the trooper slept in the 
open or not, he took advantage of 
any and every facility to keep the 
fodder dry and protect his horses. 
This photograph shows a half- 
ruined and deserted house utilized 
for these two purposes. The 
saddles were laid beneath the 
shelter; those covered with raw 
hide instead of leather soon split 
if wet, and when cracked were 
far from comfortable. This, like 
the scene below, was taken near 
City Point in 18G4. 





A HOME BECOMES A CAVALRY STABLE 



QUARTERS FOR HORSES 

The trooper s first regard was for 
the comfort of his horse, not only 
in the matter of feeding and 
watering, but also in respect to 
providing him with comfortable 
quarters. Along the crest of 
the hill stretches a row 7 of 
stalls improvised with poles, to 
afford each horse room enough to 
lie down and not be walked on or 
kicked by his neighbor room 
was essential for the hard-worked 
horses. The haze in the distance 
indicates the Virginia summer of 
1804 a trying one for members 
of the mounted service. 



Qt ICKLY IMPROVISED STALLS 



\ 






as this, and Spicer was provided with one that fitted him well. 
It was the evening of February 23d, when he rode northward, 
on his search for the missing cavalry. 

With the tact of a scout well drilled in his work, he fol 
lowed each little clue on his northward ride, until he had learned 
where Smith could be found. On the morning following his 
exit from his camp, he met several bodies of Confederates, who 
passed him with little notice. 

Then another band wa^s met. Spicer saluted; the salute 
was returned, and the Confederates were passing him, as the 
others had. But suddenly one of the party stopped and looked 
closely at the lone rider. The Confederates halted and Spicer 
was ordered to dismount. The man who had called the com 
mander s attention to the courier stepped before Spicer. The 
courier recognized him as a neighbor in Arkansas. 

With all the ingenuity at his command the courier fought 
to allay the suspicions of the Confederates, but slowly and 
surely the case against him was built up. Then a drumhead 
court martial was held in the middle of the road. The verdict 
was soon reached, and Spicer was hanged to a near-by tree. 

One of the swiftest and most daring courier trips of the 
war was made, immediately after the second battle of Bull 
Run, by Colonel Lafayette C. Baker, a special agent of the 
War Department, acting as courier for Secretary Stariton. 
He was sent from Washington with a message to General 
Banks, whose troops were at Bristoe Station, and, as was then 
believed, cut off from Pope s main army. Riding all night, 
making his way cautiously along, Baker passed through the 
entire Confederate army, and at daylight had reached Banks. 

Waiting only for a response to the message, the despatch 
bearer remounted his horse and started the return trip to 
Washington in broad daylight. For a time he eluded the Con 
federates, but finally, as he attempted to pass between cer 
tain lines, he was seen, and a party of cavalrymen started in 
pursuit of him. In spite of the distance traveled, his horse 

[200] 





CAVALRY SCOUTS NEAR GETTYSBURG 1863 



Nothing could illustrate better than this vivid photograph of scouts at White s house, near Gettysburg, a 
typical episode in the life of a cavalry scout. The young soldier and his companions are evidently stopping 
for directions, or for a drink of water or milk. The Pennsylvania farmers were hospitable. The man of 
the family has come to the front gate. His empty right sleeve seems to betoken an old soldier, greeting 
old friends, and asking for news from the front. The lady in her hoop-skirt remains on the porch with 
her little boy. His chubby legs are visible beneath his frock, and he seems to be hanging back in some 
awe of the troopers who are but boys themselves. The lady s hair is drawn down around her face after the 
fashion of the day, and the whole picture is redolent of the stirring times of 63. 



raced away at a speed that soon left a number of the cavalry 
men in the rear. Finally, the number of pursuers dwindled 
to three, and the courier, crossing the brow of a small hill, 
turned his horse into the woods bordering the turnpike. 

The ruse was successful, and the three Confederate cav 
alrymen dashed on down the hill. A short distance farther 
along one of the horsemen abandoned the chase and started to 
return. As he came abreast of Stanton s courier, a movement 
of Baker s horse attracted the Confederate s attention and he 
stopped. The cavalryman saw the courier and started to cover 
him with his rifle, but Baker was prepared. The Federal s 
revolver cracked, and the Southerner fell from his saddle. 

The other Confederates had given up the chase and were 
returning when they heard the shot. They rushed back in 
time to see Baker s steed galloping across an open field to 
reach the road in front of them, and dashed to intercept him. 
The Federal was the first to reach the road, and again the pur 
suit commenced. Baker turned into the fields, and with the 
pursuers close behind him started a last race for Bull Run. 

The despatch bearer s horse w r as panting and exhausted, 
but, with the grit of a blooded racer it struggled on, holding the 
pursuers almost at the same distance. With a final dash Baker 
reached the bank, leaped into the stream and started for the 
opposite shore. The creek was little more than twelve yards 
wide at that point and the horse soon reached the other side, 
but there a steep bank several feet high confronted it, and it 
could not climb out. With revolver ready the courier waited, 
prepared to offer his last resistance, when a shot rang out. It 
was the pickets of the Federal army firing on the Confed 
erates, who abandoned their pursuit at the first shot. The 
messenger made his way into Centreville, and mounting an 
other horse dashed on toward Washington. 

It was late afternoon when he delivered the messages 
from Banks to the Secretary. In twenty-four hours the cou 
rier had ridden nearly one hundred miles. 

[202] 



V 

- 




COPYRIGHT. 191 



A CHANGE OF BASE THE CAVALRY SCREEN 

This photograph of May 30, 1804, shows the Federal cavalry in actual operation of a most important func 
tion the "screening" of the army s movements. The troopers are guarding the evacuation of Port Royal 
on the Rappahannock, May 30, 1864. After the reverse to the Union arms at Spottsylvania, Grant or 
dered the change of base from the Rappahannock to McClellan s former starting-point, White House on 
the Pamunkey. The control of the waterways, combined with Sheridan s efficient use of the cavalry, made 
this an easy matter. Torbert s division encountered Gordon s brigade of Confederate cavalry at Hanover- 
town and drove it in the direction of Hanover Court House. Gregg s division moved up to this line; Rus 
sell s division of infantry encamped near the river-crossing in support, and behind the mask thus formed 
the Army of the Potomac crossed the Pamunkey on May L 28th unimpeded. Gregg was then ordered to recon- 
noiter towards Mechanicsville, and after a severe fight at H awes shop he succeeded (with the assistance of 
Custer s brigade) in driving Hampton s and Fitzhugh Lee s cavalry divisions and Butler s brigade from the 
field. Although the battle took place immediately in front of the Federal infantry, General Meade declined 
to put the latter into action, and the battle was won by the cavalry alone. It was not to be the last time. 










A RIDE THROUGH THE FEDERAL 
LINES AT NIGHT 

BY JOHN ALLAN WYETH, M.D., LL.D., LATE C. S. A. 

THE battle of Chickamauga was fought on the 19th and 
20th of September, 1863. The incident I am about to 
narrate was associated with the movement, a week before this 
battle, to attack in detail the widely separated corps of the 
Federal army, which, crossing Lookout Mountain, had de 
scended through three defiles from ten to twenty miles apart. 

Our division of cavalry (Martin s) was moved by a rapid, 
all-night march from near Lee and Gordon s Mills through 
Lafayette, Georgia, in the direction of Alpine. It was a tire 
some ride, and although we did our best, it was slow work for a 
large body of cavalry stretched along a country road, at night, 
with here and there a narrow or defective bridge or causeway. 

We were the advance brigade, and I recall the fact that in 
the effort to get as much fun and frolic out of an uncomfort 
able situation as possible, a number of the best voices in the 
command had been gathered about the center of our regiment 
and were waking the echoes in the gloomy forests which 
hemmed us in, by singing lively war songs. 

From my point of view, at that time, the war had become 
a very serious matter. In the beginning I thought it would 
be a grand and exciting, yet short-lived, adventure, and with 
a host of others under military age hastened into the service 
fearing war might be over before we had a chance for the glory 
of it. That illusion had been dispelled. Nearly three years 
had passed, and despite the patient toil and suffering and the 
heroic self-sacrifice of the battlefield, our army had met with 
so much disaster, it forced upon me the conclusion that our 

[204] 





THE EVACUATION OF PORT ROYAL NEARLY COMPLETED 



This photograph, taken shortly after the one preceding, witnesses how quickly an army accomplishes its 
movements. The pontoon-bridge leading out to the boats has been practically cleared; all but a few of the 
group of cavalrymen have ridden away, and the transports are whistling "all aboard," as can plainly be 
seen from the sharp jets of steam. A few of the cavalry remain with the headquarters wagon which stands 
near the head of the pontoon. Sterner work awaits the troopers after this peaceful maneuver. Grant 
needs every man to screen his infantry in its attempt to outflank the brilliantly maneuvered army of Lee. 




ofynwgtj tlr? 








struggle was hopeless, and that if we fought on as we had de 
termined to do, death was the inevitable end. That was my 
conviction, and I helieve it accounts for the fact that I volun 
teered to go on the errand which I undertook that night. 

Ahout two o clock word was passed down from the head 
of the column to stop the singing, and for the entire column to 
move in silence. When we heard the order, we knew we were 
coming close to the foe. About four o clock \ve were again 
halted, and another message was started at the head of the 
column and came back down the line in a low tone, for it was 
the custom on night marches, on account of the darkness and 
the crowded condition of the roadway, to transmit orders in 
this fashion. An aide or courier could not get through the 
crowded highway or ride through the thick underbrush and 
woods on either side. The message was, in effect, a call for a 
volunteer to go on a special errand. 

My messmate, Lieutenant Jack Weatherley, who was 
killed soon after at Big Shanty, rode with me to the head of 
the column where, in the darkness, I made out a number of 
men, presumably officers and aides, some mounted and some on 
the ground. The general in command Wheeler or Martin- 
asked if I were willing to go inside the foe s lines. I replied I 
would go provided I could wear my uniform, but not as a spy. 
He said: " You can go as you are. I want you to find a de 
tachment of cavalry which has been sent around the right of 
the enemy s lines, and which by this time should be in their rear, 
about opposite our present position. It is important that they 
be found and ordered not to attack, but to rejoin this column 
by the route which they have already traveled. In order to 
reach them," he added, " you will proceed upon a road which 
leads through the enemy s lines, and should bring you in con 
tact with their pickets about one mile from this point." 

The message was entirely verbal. I carried nothing but 
one army six-shooter. Lieutenant Weatherley, Colonel Ham- 
brick, in command of our regiment at the time, and a guide 

[206] 








COURIERS AT BEVERLY HOUSE WARREN S HEADQUARTERS AT 

SPOTSYLVANIA 



The couriers doing duty before this farmhouse, headquarters of General G. K. 
Warren, are kept riding day and night at breakneck speed. The Fifth Army 
Corps, of which he was in command, occupied a position northwest of Spotsyl- 
vania Court House on the right of the Federal line, where it remained from May 
9th to May 13th. On the evening of May 10th Warren made two assaults on the 
position at his front, at a loss of six thousand men. Again, on the 12th, the dogged 
Grant persisted in his hammering tactics and ordered heavy assaults at different 
points. The Federal loss on that day was approximately seven thousand men 
all told. For another week Grant made partial attacks all along the line, 
but Lee s veterans withstood every onset. In two weeks Grant lost thirty- 
six thousand men. The Fifth Corps bore the brunt of much of the heavy 
work. One can imagine with what rapidity the couriers gathered around 
Beverly s house wore out their horses in transmitting all-important commands. 



:, 



accompanied me a few hundred yards down the road. As I 
started, our colonel said: " This is an important matter, and 
I hope you will succeed. If you do, I will see that you have a 
furlough for as long a period as you wish." 

The officers soon left me, and the guide accompanied me 
half a mile further to where the road forked. He indicated 
the route I should travel which was to the right, as we were 
going, and then telling me that the Federal pickets were at 
a point half a mile beyond, he turned back. By this time, it 
must have been nearly five o clock. 

To the normal human being in times of peace and quiet, 
the love of life is so natural and so strong that it is difficult 
to appreciate, until one has passed into and through it, that 
strange and unusual mental condition in which the value of 
existence becomes a minor consideration. I look back upon 
this occasion as the one supreme moment when I came nearest 
to the elimination of every selfish consideration from the motive 
with which I was then actuated. I do not overstate the case in 
saying that death was preferable to life with failure in the ac 
complishment of my errand. 

I had determined, if halted, to ride over every obstacle at 
full speed, and not to fire my pistol unless in dire extremity, al 
though I had taken it from the holster and had it cocked and 
ready for quick use. I was riding a splendid horse, strong, 
swift, and mettlesome, and so alert that nothing escaped his 
quick observation. 

I have no means of knowing how far I had gone, probably 
half a mile or more, when suddenly I felt my horse check himself 
as if he were about to change his gait. This movement told me 
that he had seen something more than the ordinary inanimate 
object. At the same instant he lifted his head, and in such a 
knowing way, that I was convinced the moment had come, and 
that the Federal outposts were here. Without waiting to be 
halted, I tightened the reins, and crouching down close to the 
saddle and the horse s neck, touched him with the spurs, and 

[ 208 ] 



.1 



> 




A COURIER AT HEADQUARTERS 

Located as they were near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and at times between the hostile lines, the 
dwellings near Fairfax Court House passed time and again from the hands of one army to the other. The home 
in this photograph was used at different times by General Beauregard and General McCIellan as headquarters. 
Even now a Union orderly is waiting to dash off on one of the powerful chargers. The assigning of troopers to 
such duties as these was part of the system which crippled the Federal cavalry till it passed under the control of 
efficient and aggressive Sheridan. The details of the picture indicate a hurried departure of the former occupants. 
The house itself is a fine example of the old Colonial Southern architecture white columns in front of red brick. 
The white stucco has fallen away in places from the brick of the columns a melancholy appearance for a home. 




HORSES THAT CARRIED THE ORDERS OF THE GENERAL-IN-CHIEF 

Crack horses were a first requisite for Grant s staff, escort, and couriers. This photograph shows several 
at Bethseda Church, the little Virginia meeting-house where the staff had halted the day before Cold Har 
bor. The staff consisted of fourteen officers only, and was not larger than that of some division com 
manders. Brigadier-General John A. Rawlins was the chief. Grant s instructions to his staff showed the 
value that he placed upon celerity and the overcoming of delays in communicating orders. He urged his 




COPYRIGHT 191 . PATRIOT PU8. CO. 



WAITING OX GRANT AT BETHESDA CHURCH, JUNE, 184 

officers to discuss his orders with him freely whenever it was possible in the course of an engagement or 
battle, to learn his views as fully as possible, and in great emergencies, where there was no time to com 
municate with headquarters, to act on their own initiative along the lines laid down by him without his 
specific orders. The result was an eager, confident, hard-riding staff that stopped at no danger, whether to 
horse or man. What was even more important, its members did not hesitate to assume responsibility. 
[0-14] 




AN ESCORT THAT MADE HISTORY 



These men and boys formed part of the escort of General Grant during the Appomattox campaign. The 
same companies (B, F, and K of the Fifth United States Cavalry, under Captain Julius W. Mason) wer 
with him at the fall of Petersburg. Perhaps they won this high distinction by their intrepid charge al 
Games Mill, when they lost fifty-eight of the two hundred and twenty men who participated. With suet 
gallant troopers on guard, the North felt reassured as to the safety of its general-in-chief. The little boj 




COPYRIGHT 1911 REVIEW OF REVIEWS CO. 



MEN OF THE FIFTH "REGULAR" CAVALRY 



buglers, in the very forefront of the making of American history, stand with calm and professional hearing. 
Although but fifteen and sixteen years old, they rode with the troopers, and not less bravely. One boy of 
similar age was severely wounded in one of the numerous fights between Stuart and the Second United States 
Cavalry near Gettysburg. His captain, whom he was faithfully following, left him for dead upon the 
field. Many years after the young man sent the captain his photograph to prove that he was whole and sound. 




tlte 3Wimtl 



IL.3 



he bounded forward like the wind. His clear vision was not at 
fault, for as 1 flew by, I saw two men leap up in front of me 
from the edge of the roadway and jump into the shadows of the 
woods and undergrowth at one side. They said something to 
me, and I replied, but my excitement was so intense, expecting 
every moment the crack of their rifles, that no part of the pic 
ture which flashed through my mind remains clearly registered 
except the forms of two men and the sw 7 ift scurry of the horse. 

Fortunately they did not fire. It may be that they felt 
something of the excitement and fright I was experiencing, but 
more than likely they were drow r sy or asleep, and the soft, sandy 
road enabled me to approach them so closely without being 
heard (for in the darkness they could not have seen farther 
than a few feet), that they were taken by surprise, and more 
over, they may have thought I was a Federal picket, since I 
was riding into their lines. In any event, in less time than it 
takes to tell it, I had scurried away beyond their vision and out 
of range of their guns. Although I believed a large body of 
Federals was on either side of the road, I was riding along at 
such a rapid gait, that in the darkness I saw no sign of troops. 
1 cannot even now estimate how far I went at the speed 
I was making probably two or three miles. I know I had 
slowed up, and was riding again at a canter when daylight 
came, and with it I noticed in the valley below a cloud of 
dust not more than half a mile away. This told me of the 
moving cavalry, and in a few minutes more I had the great good 
fortune of riding into the column I W 7 as sent to intercept. 

A few days after the battle of Chickamauga, all of the 
good mounts in the cavalry were organized to cross the Ten 
nessee River and break up General Kosecrans communica 
tions, and I went with this flying column. We took the great 
wagon train in the Sequatchie valley on the 2d of October, and 
on the 4th I w r as captured and taken to the military prison at 
Camp Morton, Indiana, where I remained until the latter part 
of February, 186.5. 

[214] 




CHAPTER 
NINE 



CAVALRY BATTLES 
AND CHARGES 










ON THE WAY TO THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG 
COMPANY L, SECOND "REGULARS" 

The "Second" fought in the reserve brigade under General Merritt, during the sec 
ond day of the battle. The leading figures in the picture are First-Sergeant Painter 
and First-Lieutenant Dewees. Few photographs show cavalry thus, in column. 




THE WAGONS WITH THE RIGHT OF WAY 



The ammunition-train had the right of way over everything else in the army, short of actual guns and 
soldiers, when there was any possibility of a fight. The long, cumbrous lines of commissary wagons were 
forced to draw off into the fields to the right and left of the road, or scatter any way they could, to make 
way for the ammunition-train. Its wagons were always marked, and were supposed to be kept as near the 
troops as possible. Soldiers could go without food for a day or two if necessary; but it might spell defeat 




RIOT PUB. CO. 



AMMUNITION-TRAIN OF THE THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS 



and capture to lack ammunition for an hour. This is a photograph of the ammunition wagons of the Third 
Cavalry Division commanded by General James H. Wilson. They are going into bivouac for the night. 
The wagons on the right are being formed in a semi-circle, and one of the escort has already dismounted. 
A led mule is attached to the wagon on the right, for even mule power is fallible, and if one dies in the 
traces he must be promptly replaced. The men with these trains often held the fate of armies in their hands. 




THE BATTLE-LINE AN ENTIRE CAVALRY REGIMENT IN FORMATION 



This stirring picture shows some of the splendid cavalry that was finally developed in the North arrayed 
in battle-line. Thus they looked before the bugle sounded the charge. One can almost imagine them 
breaking into a trot, increasing gradually to a gallop, and finally, within a score of yards of the Confederates 
roaring guns, into a mad dash that carried them in clusters flashing with sabers through the struggling, 
writhing line. This regiment is the Thirteenth New York Cavalry, organized June 20, 18(5.3. Two weeks 
after the regiment was organized these men were patroling the rear of the Army of the Potomac at Gettys 
burg. The following month they were quelling the draft riots in New York, and thereafter they were engaged 










THE THIRTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY DRILLING NEAR WASHINGTON 



in pursuing the redoubtable and evanescent Mosby, and keeping a watchful eye on Washington. They 
participated in many minor engagements in the vicinity of the Capital, and lost 128 enlisted men and 
officers. The photograph is proof enough that they were a well-drilled body of men. The ranks are 
straight and unbroken, and the company officers are keeping their proper distances. The colonel, to the 
extreme right in the foreground, has good reason to sit proudly erect. Note the white-horse troop in the 
rear, where the war chargers can be seen gracefully arching their necks. This is a triumph of wet-plate 
photography. Only by the highest skill could such restless animals as horses be caught with the camera of 65. 








BY CHARLES D. RHODES 

Captain, General Staff, United States Army 

DURING the first two years of the Civil War, the Federal 
cavalry was subordinated in every way to its true role, 
and one of the common mistakes in those early days of the 
w r ar was to use cavalry with infantry support, so that the latter 
used to shout derisively: " There s going to he a fight, boys! 
The cavalry s coming back! " 

One of the early cavalry actions which excited attention, 
took place during the Peninsula campaign, at the close of the 
battle of Games Mill, June 27, 1862. General Fitz John 
Porter with his Fifth Corps was covering the communications 
of the Army of the Potomac on the Chickahominy line with 
the base at White House Landing on the Pamunkey. The 
Confederate army had made four desperate assaults on the 
Union lines, and every available infantryman had been brought 
into action, so that there was not a single reserve in rear of the 
line of battle, save the cavalry and some artillery. 

The day was fast drawing to a close, when the Confeder 
ates made a final effort to force Porter s left flank and cut it 
off from the bridge. The cavalry commander, General P. St. 
George Cooke, directed the artillery to hold its precarious po 
sition, and ordered Captain Whiting, commanding the Fifth 
United States Cavalry, to charge the advancing infantry. 

Numbering but two hundred and twenty sabers, the little 
force moved out under heavy fire, and striking the foe intact 
with a portion of its line, the charging troopers were only 
stopped by the woods at the bottom of the slope. The casual 
ties of the charging force were fifty-five, with twenty-four 

[220] 



,1 



jL 



GENERAL 
PHILIP ST. GEORGE 

COOKE 
COMMANDING 




THE FIRST GREAT 

FEDERAL 

CAVALRY CHARGE OF THE 
CIVIL WAR 



Had it not been lor General Philip St. George Cooke and his cavalry, Major-General Fitz-John Porter and his staff would not be 
enjoying the luxuries portrayed in the lower photograph, taken nineteen days after the battle of Games Mill. The typical old-time 
Virginia cook, and the pleasant camping-ground on the banks of the river, suggest little of the deadly peril that faced the Federals 
June 27, 1862. The line of battle formed the arc of a circle, almost parallel to the Chickahominy. During the day the Confederate 
forces made four desperate assaults on the Union lines, and every available infantryman was brought into action. The only reserve 
on the left of the line was the cavalry and considerable artillery. As night was falling, the Confederates made a final effort to 
force the left flank and cut it off from the bridge across the Chickahominy. The artillery was directed to maintain its position, 
and General Cooke ordered Captain Whiting, commanding the Fifth United States Cavalry, to charge with his troopers. The 
little force of 220 sabers charged the advancing lines of Confederate infantry; a portion of the line struck the enemy intact and were 
stopped only by the woods at the bottom of the slope. Their casualties were fifty-eight men but under cover of the charge 
the artillery was safely withdrawn, and the sacrifice was well worth the results attained. 




TRIOT PUB. CO. 



GENERAL FITZ-JOHN PORTER AND STAFF, JUNE. 1862 



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horses killed a sacrifice well worth the results attained. Of 
this action, the Comte de Paris wrote fifteen years later: " The 
sacrifice of some of the bravest of the cavalry certainly saved 
a part of the artillery, as did, on a larger scale, the Austrian 
cavalry on the evening of Sadowa." 

General Wesley Merritt, U. S. A., one of the ablest cav 
alry officers of his time, who was present at Games Mill as 
an aide-de-camp to General Cooke, thus described this affair: * 

During the early part of this battle the Union army held its ground 
and gained from time to time some material success. But it was only 
temporary. In the afternoon the writer of this, by General Cooke s direc 
tion, reported at the headquarters of the commanding general on the field, 
Fitz John Porter, and during his attendance there heard read a despatcli 
from General McClellan congratulating Porter on his success. It closed 
with directions to drive the rebels off the field, and to take from them 
their artillery. At the time this despatch was being read, the enemy 
were forcing our troops to the rear. Hasty preparations were made for 
the retreat of the headquarters, and everything was in the most wretched 
confusion. No orders could be obtained, and I returned to my chief 
reporting the condition of affairs. It was apparent from movements in 
our front that the Confederates would make a supreme effort to force 
the left flank of Fitz John Porter s command, and cutting it off from 
the bridge over the Chickahominy, sever it from McClellan s army, and 
capture or disperse it. 

It was growing late. Botli armies were exhausted by the exertions 
of the day. But the prize at hand was well worth the effort, and the 
Confederates with renewed strength were fighting to make their victory 
complete. The Union cavalry commander seized the situation at a glance. 
The cavalry had been posted behind a plateau on the left bank of the 
Chickahominy, with ground to its front free of obstacles and suitable for 
cavalry action. To the right front of the cavalry the batteries of the 
reserve artillery were stationed. . . . 

The events of that day at Games Mill are pictured on the mind of 
the writer of this imperfect skctcli as on a never fading photograph. The 
details of the battle are as vivid as if they had occurred yesterday. As 

* Journal United States Cavalry Association, March, 1895. 

[ 222 ] 







*"~*<-i; 
."** 




MECIIAMCSVILLE, IN 1862, WHERE THE TROUBLE STARTED 

At tliis sleepy Virginia hamlet the series of engagements that preceded the struggles along the Chickahominy in front of Richmond began. 
Early in June, ISW, as the Army of the Potomac extended its wings along both banks of the Chickahominy, Meehanicsville fell into its 
possession. There was a struggle at Heaver Dam Creek and on the neighboring fields, the defenders finally retreating in disorder down 
the pike and over the bridge toward Richmond, only three and a half miles away. The pickets of the opposing armies watched the 
bridge with jealous eyes till the Union lines were withdrawn on the 2(ith of June, and the Confederates retook the village. 




OFFICERS OF THE FIFTH UNITED STATES CAVALRY, IX THE FAMOUS CHARGE 



aualrg Utattka mtft QUrarg^a 









the Confederates came rushing across the open in front of the batteries, 
bent on their capture, one battery nearest our position was seen to limber 
up with a view to retreating. I rode hurriedly, by direction of General 
Cooke, to its captain, Robinson, and ordered him to unlimber and com 
mence firing at short range, canister. He complied willingly, and said, 
as if in extenuation of his intended withdrawal, that he had no support. 
I told him the cavalry were there, and would support his and the other 
batteries. The rapid fire at short range of the artillery, and the daring 
charge of the cavalry in the face of an exhausted foe, prevented, without 
doubt, the enemy seizing the Chickahominy bridge and the capture or 
dispersion of Fitz John Porter s command. No farther advance was 
made by the Confederates, and the tired and beaten forces of Porter 
withdrew to the farther side of the Chickahominy and joined the Army 
of the Potomac in front of Richmond. The cavalry withdrew last as a 
rear guard, after having furnished torch and litter bearers to the sur 
geons of our army, who did what was possible to care for our wounded 
left on the field. 

But it was not until a year later (March 17, 1863), at 
Kelly s Ford on the Rappahannock, that the Union cavalry 
first gained real confidence in itself and in its leaders. 

In this engagement, following the forcing of the river 
crossing, two regiments of cavalry dismounted, with a section 
of artillery, and held the foe in front, while mounted regiments 
rolled up the Confederate flanks; their entire line was thrown 
into confusion and finally driven from the field. 

The decisive cavalry battle at Brandy Station, or Beverly 
Ford, on June 9th, following, having for its object a recon 
naissance in force of the Confederate troops on the Culpeper- 
Fredericksburg road, was the first great cavalry combat of 
the war. It virtually " made " the Union cavalry. 

Buford s division of the Federal cavalry corps accom 
panied by Ames infantry brigade, had been directed to cross 
the Rappahannock at Beverly Ford, and move by way of St. 
James Church to Brandy Station. A second column com 
posed of Gregg s and Duffle s divisions, with Russell s infantry 

[224] 




. 



. 




MAJOR CHARLES JARVIS \VHITING 

Major (then Captain) Whiting was the man 
who led the charge of the Fifth United 
States Cavalry upon the advancing Con 
federate infantry ordered by General Philip 
St. George Cooke at Games Mill, June 27, 
1862. He could entertain no hope of victory. 
The Confederates were already too near to 
allow of an effective charge. It was prac 
tically a command to die in order to check 
the Confederate column until infantry re- 
enforcements could be rushed forward to 
save some imperiled batteries. Over twenty- 
five per cent, of the troopers who rode 
through the Confederate lines were killed, 
wounded, or missing. 



GAINES MILL 



From this rural Virginia spot the battle of 
June 27th took its name. At the close of 
that fearful day the building fell into use as 
a hospital. It was later burned during a 
Federal raid, and nothing but the gaunt 
walls remain. The skull that lies in front of 
the mill evidently belonged to one of those 
brave cavalrymen who gave up their lives 
to save their comrades. He may have re 
ceived a soldier s hasty burial, but it was by 
no means unusual for the heavy rains 
to wash away the shallow covering of soil, 
and to have exposed to view the remains 
of the men who had gone to their reward. 




"FT 



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brigade, was to cross the river at Kelly s Ford Gregg to push 
on by way of Mount Dumpling to Brandy Station, and Duffle 
to proceed to Stevensburg. By a strange coincidence, that 
brilliant cavalry leader, Stuart, planned on the same day to 
cross the Rappahannock at Beverly and the upper fords, for 
the purpose of diverting the attention of the Army of the 
Potomac from General Lee s northward dash into Maryland, 

Under cover of a heavy fog, Buford s column crossed the 
river at four o clock in the morning, surprising the Southern 
outposts and nearly capturing the Confederate artillery. 
Here, in spite of superior numbers, the Union commander, 
General Pleasonton, formed his cavalry in line of battle, cov 
ering the ford in less than an hour, but he could make no per 
ceptible movement forward until Gregg s guns on the extreme 
left had made a general advance possible. 

The Confederates fell rapidly back, and the headquarters 
of Stuart s chief of artillery, with all his papers and Lee s 
order for the intended movement, were captured. A junction 
was soon formed with Gregg, and with heavy losses on both 
sides, the foe was pushed back to Fleetwood Ridge. Of this 
part of the action General Stuart s biographer says: 

A part of the First New Jersey Cavalry came thundering down the 
narrow ridge, striking McGregor s and Hart s unsupported batteries in 
the flank, and riding through and between guns and caissons from right 
to left, hut were met hy a determined hand-to-hand contest from the 
cannoneers with pistols, sponge-staffs, and whatever else came handy to 
fight with. The charge was repulsed by artillerists alone, not a single 
friendly trooper being within reach of us. 

On Fleetwood Ridge the Confederate infantry rallied to 
the support of Stuart s cavalry, and the object of the recon 
naissance having been gained, a general withdrawal of the 
Union cavalry was ordered, Gregg by way of the ford at Rap 
pahannock Bridge, and Buford by Beverly Ford. But as the 
order was about to be executed, the Confederates fiercely 

[ 26 ] 












A BRIDGE OVER THE MUDDY CHICKAHOMINY 1862 

This is a photograph of the insignificant stream that figured so largely in the calculations of the opposing 
generals before Richmond. Under the effect of the almost tropical rains, in a day luxuriant meadows 
would become transformed into lakes, and surging floods appear where before were stagnant pools. Thus 
it became doubtful in June w r hether the struggling Union army could depend upon the little bridges. It 
was said by some of the Union engineers that it w r as only the weight of the troops passing over them that 
held some in place. One was swept away immediately after a column had crossed. The muddy banks 
show more plainly than words what the little Chickahominy could do when it was thoroughly aroused. 
[G 15] 





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^^^^^^^^ 






attacked the Union right, and the most serious fighting of the 
day resulted. At four o clock in the afternoon, a large Con 
federate infantry force being reported at Brandy Station, Gen 
eral Pleasonton began a general withdrawal of the Union cav 
alry, a movement which was executed in good order and com 
pleted by seven o clock in the evening without molestation by 
the Confederates. 

This great cavalry battle lasted for over ten hours, and 
was preeminently a mounted combat, the charges and counter 
charges of the opposing horsemen being of the most desperate 
character. During the day, the First New Jersey Cavalry, 
alone, made six regimental charges, besides a number of smaller 
ones ; the fighting and charging of the regular and Sixth Penn 
sylvania Cavalry was kept up for over twelve hours; and the 
other regiments were almost equally engaged through the 
eventful day. 

Commenting on this defeat of the Confederate cavalry at 
Brandy Station, the Richmond Examiner of that period said: 

The surprise of this occasion was the most complete that has oc 
curred. The Confederate cavalry was carelessly strewn over the coun 
try, with the Rappahannock only between it and an enemy who has 
already proven his enterprise to our cost. It is said that their camp was 
supposed to be secure because the Rappahannock was not supposed to 
be fordable at the point where it actually was forded. What ! Do the 
Yankees then know more about this river than our own soldiers, who 
have done nothing but ride up and down its banks for the past six months ? 

Brandy Station was really the turning-point in the evo 
lution of the Federal cavalry, which had heretofore been dom 
inated by a sense of its own inferiority to Stuart s bold horse 
men. Even the Confederate writer, McClellan, has this to 
say of Brandy Station and its effect on the morale of the 
Union cavalry: 

Up to this time, confessedly inferior to the Southern horsemen, they 
gained on this day that confidence in themselves and their commanders 

[ 228 ] 




^nnun^^^i 




REUNION OF OFFICERS 

OF THE THIRD AND FOURTH PENNSYLVANIA 
CAVALRY 



OT PUB, CO. 



The soldiers in a great war-game make merry while they can. This photograph shows 
the officers of the Third and Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry picknicking on the banks of 
the river at Westover Landing in August, 186%. The Fourth Pennsylvania had taken 
part in the actions on the upper Chickahominy hardly a month before, when the Fifth 
United States Cavalry made their daring charge at Games Mill. Both regiments had 
been active in the Peninsula campaign, although the Third Pennsylvania had been split 
up into detachments and on headquarters duty, and they were to be together on the 
bloody days at Antietam the middle of the following month. They have snatched a brief 
moment together now, and are hopefully pledging each other long lives. Neither the 
Union nor the Confederacy realized that the war was to stretch out over four terrible years. 



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which enabled them to contest so fiercely the subsequent battlefields of 
June, July, and October. 

Passing by without comment the splendid stand of Bu- 
ford s dismounted troops covering the approaches to the town 
of Gettysburg, in which less than three thousand cavalrymen 
and Calef s battery made possible the occupation by the de 
layed Union army of the dominating position along Cemetery 
Ridge and the Round Tops, the desperate battles of the cav 
alry on the right and left flanks at Gettysburg, are history. 

On the Union left flank, Pleasonton had ordered Kilpat- 
rick to move from Emmittsburg with his entire force to pre 
vent a Confederate turning movement on the Round Tops, 
and, if practicable, to attack the Confederate flank and rear. 
Late on July 3, 1863, the reserve cavalry brigade under Mer- 
ritt moved up and took position to the left of Kilpatrick. 
Custer s brigade had been detached to report to Gregg on the 
Union right. The fight which ensued on this third and last day 
of the great battle, was severe in the extreme. 

Merritt s position on the left caused the Confederate gen 
eral, Law, to detach a large force from his main line to protect 
his flank and rear. This so weakened the Confederate line in 
front of General Farnsworth, that Kilpatrick ordered the latter 
to charge the center of Law s line of infantry. The ground 
was most unfavorable for a mounted charge, being broken, 
covered with stone, and intersected by fences and stone M r alls. 

Writing of this charge in " Battles and Leaders of the 
Civil War," Captain H. C. Parsons of the First Vermont 
Cavalry, says: 

I was near Kilpatrick when he impetuously gave the order to Farns 
worth to make the last charge. Farnsworth spoke with emotion : " Gen 
eral, do you mean it? Shall I throw my handful of men over rough 
ground, through timber, against a brigade of infantry? The First 
Vermont has already been fought half to pieces ; these are too good 
men to kill." Kilpatrick said: " Do you refuse to obey my orders? If 
you are afraid to lead this charge, I will lead it." 

[ 230 ] 








HELD BY THE CAVALRY AT ANTIKTAM 

The Federal cavalry bore its share of the work on the bloodiest single day of the war, September 17, 1862, at 
Antietam. At this bridge on the Keedysville road the gallant cavalry leader General Pleasonton had a most im 
portant part to play in the plan of attack on the Confederate positions west of Antietam Creek. In spite of 
galling cross-fire from the Confederate batteries, Pleasonton threw forward his mounted skirmishers, who held 
their ground until Tidball s batteries of the regular artillery were advanced piece by piece across the bridge. 
Opening with canister, the guns routed the sharpshooters, and soon four batteries were in position on the ridge 
beyond the creek. Here they held their ground till nightfall, at times running short of ammunition, but giving 
needed aid to Sumner s advance to their right and in Burnside s desperate struggle to cross the bridge below to 
their left. To the left of the bridge where Pleasonton s successful crossing on the morning of the 17th was ac 
complished stands Newcomers Mill. On the ridge above, the cavalry and artillery held their positions, keeping 
open a way for reenforcements. These were much needed when the ammunition of the batteries ran low. More 
regular troops were sent forward, together with two more batteries from Sykes division, under command of Captain 
Dryer. These reenforcements threw themselves splendidly into the fight. The cavalry had scored again. 




NEWCOMERS MILL ON ANTIETAM CREEK" 



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Farnsworth rose in his stirrups lie looked magnificent in his pas 
sion and cried, " Take that back I " Kilpatrick returned his defiance, 
but, soon repenting, said, " I did not mean it ; forget it." 

For a moment there was silence, when Farnsworth spoke calmly, 
" General, if you order the charge, I will lead it, but you must take the 
responsibility." 

I did not hear the low conversation that followed, but as Farns 
worth turned away, he said, " I will obey your order." Kilpatrick said 
earnestly, " I take the responsibility." 

The charge was a daring and spectacular one. The First 
West Virginia, and Eighteenth Pennsylvania moved through 
the woods first, closely followed hy the First Vermont and 
Fifth New York Cavalry, all mounted, and drove the foe be 
fore them until heavy stone walls and fences were reached. 
Two regiments cleared the obstacles, charged a second line 
of infantry, and were stopped hy another stone wall, covering 
a third line of infantry. The First West Virginia was for a 
time entirely surrounded, but succeeded in cutting its way 
back with a loss of but five killed and four wounded, bringing 
with it a number of prisoners. When the body of Farnsworth 
was afterwards recovered, it was found to have received five 
mortal wounds. 

General W. M. Graham, U. S. A. (Retired), says:* 

The following is the account of Farnsworth s death as seen by a 
Confederate officer and by him related to me in the winter of 1876-77 at 
Columbia, South Carolina: I was introduced to Captain Bachman, who 
commanded the " Hampton Legion Battery," with which I was engaged 
(Battery K, First United States Artillery), at Gettysburg on July 3d. 
Naturally our conversation drifted to the war, and he remarked : " One 
of the most gallant incidents of the war witnessed by me was a cavalry 
charge at the battle of Gettysburg, on July 3d, made by a General 
Farnsworth of the Yankee army. He led his brigade, riding well ahead 
cf his men, in a charge against my battery and the infantry supports ; 
we were so filled with admiration of his bravery that we were reluctant 

* Journal Military Service Institution for March, 1910, p. 343. 




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TWO LEADERS OF THE FEDERAL CAVALRY AT GETTYSBURG 

This martial photograph portrays two of the men who prevented the success of the Confederate General 
Stuart s charge on the third day at Gettysburg, when the tide of battle between the long lines of infantry 
had been wavering to and fro, and Picket! was advancing on Cemetery Ridge. Had the brilliant Stuart 
with his veteran cavalry gained the rear of the Federal line, the natural panic following might have been 
more than sufficient to win the day for the Confederate cause. About noon on July 3d, General Gregg 
was informed that a large body of Confederate cavalry was moving against the right of the line. General 




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PLEASONTON AND OUSTER, THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE BATTLE 

Gregg held Ouster s brigade, which had been ordered back to the left of the line, in order to help meet the 
attack. The Seventh Michigan Cavalry met the charge of a regiment of W. H. F. Lee s brigade, and this 
was followed by a charge of the First Michigan, driving back the Confederate line. Then followed counter 
charges by the Confederates until a large part of both commands w r ere fighting desperately. In this ter 
rible cavalry combat every possible weapon was utilized. This photograph of Pleasonton on the right, who 
commanded all the cavalry at Gettysburg, and of the dashing Custer, was taken three months before. 




SOME OF PLEASONTON S MEN 



AT GETTYSBURG 



These men and mere boys stood seriously before the camera. Without a trace of swagger they leaned upon 
their flashing sabers; yet they had seen all the important cavalry fighting in the East before their final su 
preme test at Gettysburg. They had fought at Fair Oaks and the Seven Days around Richmond. They 
had played their part at Kelly s Ford and in the great cavalry battle at Brandy Station. They came to 
Gettysburg seasoned troopers, with poise and confidence in themselves. On the first day Gregg s Second 
Cavalry Division, of which they formed part, fought the Second Virginia on foot with carbines. On the 
second day they were deployed as dismounted skirmishers to meet Stuart s men. The Confederate cavalry 
leader hoped to charge at the opportune moment when Picket! was advancing, but Pleasonton s men frus- 




COMPANY D 



THIRD PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY 



trated this attempt. The desperate charges and counter-charges on the Union right on that third decisive 
day were the fiercest of the entire war. This photograph was taken seven months later at Brandy Station, 
a few weeks before the Third Pennsylvania went into the Wilderness. Their time intervening since 
the battle of Gettysburg has been spent scouting and picketing along the Rappahannock, including 
many a skirmish with their active adversaries. They have had time to spruce up a bit during one of 
their short rests, but their quiet veteran bearing reflects the scenes they have passed through. Their 
swords that, gleam so brilliantly are the regulation light curved cavalry sabers. With these and all 
other needed articles of equipment they and most of the Federal cavalry are now thoroughly equipped. 



(Omalrg 



* 




his plan of attack was to engage the Federal troops in his front 
with sharpshooters, while he moved the Confederate brigades 
of Jenkins and W. F. H. Lee secretly through the woods in 
an effort to reach the Union rear. Stuart hoped to strike at 
the psychological moment when Pickett s famous infantry 
charge, on the center of the Union line of battle, would engage 
the entire attention of the Army of the Potomac. 

The cavalry combat which followed was probably as des 
perate and as stubbornly contested as any in which the cavalry 
took part during the entire period of the war. A mounted 
charge by a regiment of W. F. H. Lee s brigade, was met by 
a countercharge of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry, the two 
regiments meeting face to face on opposite sides of a stone 
wall, and discharging their carbines point blank. The First 
Michigan Cavalry, aided by Chester s battery made a charge 
which, followed by a hand-to-hand fight, drove the Confederate 
lines back in confusion. Then followed charges and counter 
charges by each opponent, until a large part of both commands 
was involved in a general melee. 

In this terrible cavalry combat every possible weapon was 
utilized, and after it was over, men were found interlocked in 
each other s arms, with fingers so firmly imbedded in the flesh 
as to require force to remove them. The casualties were heavy 
for both Stuart and Gregg, but the latter was able to stop the 
Confederate cavalry leader s critical turning movement. Had 
Stuart with his veteran cavalry been able to strike the rear 
of the Federal army simultaneously w r ith Pickett s infantry 
charge in front, the result of this decisive battle of the war 
might have been different. 

On April 4, 1864, General Sheridan assumed command 
of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, and thereafter 
a new order of things was inaugurated for the Union cavalry 
in the Eastern theater of operations. 

Sheridan insisted that his cavalry should not be separated 
into fragments, but should be concentrated " to fight the 

[240] 




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enemy s cavalry," and in deference to Sheridan s wishes, General 
Meade promptly relieved the cavalry from much of the arduous 
picket duty which it was performing at the time. But he gave 
little encouragement as yet to Sheridan s plans for an inde 
pendent cavalry corps a corps in fact as well as in name. By 
the end of July, the Cavalry Corps had succeeded in almost 
annihilating the Confederate cavalry and had accomplished the 
destruction of millions of dollars worth of property useful to 
the Confederate Government. In all the important movements 
of the Army of the Potomac, the cavalry had acted as a screen, 
and by its hostile demonstrations against the Southern flanks 
and rear, had more than once forced General Lee to detach 
much-needed troops from his hard-pressed front. 

On May llth, at Yellow Tavern, Sheridan had fought an 
engagement which gave him complete control of the road to 
Richmond and resulted in the loss to the Confederates of Gen 
erals Stuart and James B. Gordon. Merritt s brigade first 
entered Yellow Tavern and secured possession of the turnpike. 
The other Union divisions being brought up, Custer with his 
own brigade, supported by Chapman s brigade of Wilson s 
division, made a mounted charge which was brilliantly exe 
cuted, followed by a dash at the Southern line which received 
the charge in a stationary position. This charge resulted in the 
capture of two guns. Then, while Gibbs and Devin forced the 
Confederate right and center, Gregg charged in the rear and 
the battle was won. 

At Deep Bottom, too, July 28th, occurred a brilliant fight 
which is worthy of more than passing notice. 

The Second United States Cavalry led the advance on the 
27th and took the New Market road in the direction of Rich 
mond. When close to the Confederate pickets a dashing 
charge was made, forcing the foe back rapidly. On the after 
noon of the following day the Union cavalry pickets were fu 
riously attacked, and before the leading troops could dismount 
and conduct the led horses to the rear, an entire brigade of 

[242] 





WHERE THE CAVALRY RESTED CASTLE MURRAY, NEAR AUBURN, VIRGINIA 



In the fall of 1863 the headquarters of the Army of the Potomae were pitched for some days on the Warrentown Railroad near Auburn, 
Virginia. Near-by lay Dr. Murray s house, called the Castle, a picturesque gray stone edifice, beautifully contrasting with the dark 
green ivy which had partly overgrown it, and situated in a grove on an eminence known as Rockhill. Here General Pleasonton, com 
manding the cavalry, had his camp, his tents forming an effective picture when silhouetted by the setting sun against the gray walls 
of the Castle. At night the green lamps that showed the position of the general s camp would shine mysteriously over the trees, and 
the band of the Sixth United States Cavalry would make the stone walls echo to its martial music. The cavalry was resting after 
its desperate encounters at Gettysburg and its fights along the Rappahannock. But there remained much yet for the troopers to do. 
[G 16] 




airalrg ISailte aulu 



\\ 






Confederate infantry broke from the woods, and with colors 
flying advanced in splendid alignment across an open field. 
So closely were the advanced Union troops pressed, that de 
spite the destruction wrought in the Southern ranks by the 
breech-loading carbines, there Avas danger of losing the led 
horses. 

The following is quoted from the graphic description of 
this fight by Lieutenant (afterwards Colonel U. S. V.) 
William H. Harrison, Second United States Cavalry: 

With a cheer which makes our hearts bound, the First New York 
Dragoons, the First United States, and the Sixth Pennsylvania on the 
run, dismount, and form themselves on the shattered lines of the Second 
and Fifth. A few volleys from our carbines make the line of the enemy s 
infantry waver, and in an instant the cry is heard along our entire line, 
" Charge \ Charge i " We rush forward, firing as we advance ; the Con 
federate colors fall, and so furious is our charge that the North Carolina 
brigade breaks in complete rout, leaving three stands of colors, all their 
killed and wounded, and many prisoners in our hands. The enemy did 
not renew the fight, and we remained in possession of the field until re 
lieved by our infantry. 

It was, however, in the fall of the year (1864) that under 
Sheridan s brilliant leadership the Union cavalry won its great 
est laurels. On September 19th, at Opequon Creek, Sheri 
dan s infantry and cavalry achieved a victory which sent the 
Confederates under Early " whirling through Winchester," 
as Sheridan tersely stated in a telegram which electrified the 
people of the North. 

While essentially a battle participated in by all arms, the 
brilliant part taken by Wilson s division in a mounted charge 
which gained possession of the Winchester-Berryville turn 
pike, and the subsequent demoralizing attack of Averell s and 
Merritt s cavalry divisions on the Confederate rear, had much 
to do with the Union victory. 

The most severe fighting on the part of the cavalry took 
place in the afternoon. Breckinridge s Confederate corps had 

[244] 




I 



"il, 



/ 



, 







BURNETT S HOUSE, NEAR COLD HARBOR 




A CLOSER VIEW 

Three days before these photographs were taken Brigadier-General Alfred T. A. Torbert, with an isolated command of cavalry, was 
holding the breastworks at Cold Harbor in face of a magnificent attack by a brigade of Confederate infantry. The troopers busy beneath 
the trees are some of the very men who stood off the long gray lines blazing with fire. In the lower photograph they have moved forward, 
so that we can study them more closely. They seem quite nonchalant, considering their recent experience, but that is a veteran s way. 
Burnett s house, here pictured , stood not far from the road leading from Old Church Hotel to Old Cold Harbor. It was along this road that 
Torbert pursued the Confederates in the afternoon of May 30th, and it was near this house that his division of Sheridan s Cavalry Corps 
bivouacked that night. The following morning he continued his pursuit, first driving the Confederates into their breastworks at Cold 
Harbor, and then executing a flank movement to the left, which forced the Southern infantry to fall back three-quarters of a mile farther. 
Sheridan ordered him to withdraw from this isolated position, and he returned to the scene of his bivouac near Burnett s house. 




OLD CHURCH HOTEL NEAR COLD HARBOR 

The very attitude of the rough and ready cavalryman with his curved saber shows the new confidence in itself of the Federal cavalry 
as reorganized by Sheridan in April, 1864. Here the photographer has caught a cavalry detail at one of the typical cross-roads taverns 
that played so important a part in the Virginia campaigns of that year. So successful is the picture that even the rude lettering "Old 
Church Hotel" on the quaint, old fashioned swinging sign can be made out. The scene is typical of the times. The reorganized 
Federal cavalry was proving of the greatest help to Grant in locating the enemy, particularly ahead of the main column as in the case 
of the fight at Old Church. In Grant s advance toward Richmond from North Anna, Sheridan s cavalry corps served as an advance 




FOUR DAYS AFTER THE CAVALRY CLASH OF MAY 30, 1864 

guard. Torbert and (Jregg with the First and Second Divisions formed the guard for the left flank. On May 27th Torbert crossed the 
Pamunkey at Hanover Ferry, captured Hanover Town, took part the following day in the sanguinary struggle at Hawes Shop, and on 
the 29th picketed the country about Old Church Hotel seen in the picture, and toward Cold Harbor. At 4 P.M. on May 30th, the clash 
at Old Church took place, and it was necessary to put in General Merritt with the Reserve Brigade. The photograph was taken on 
June 4th, the day after the battle of Cold Harbor where the Federal loss was so severe. The horses look sleek and well-conditioned 
in spite of the constant marching and Bghting. 




atmlrg 




\ 



fallen back on Winchester, leaving General Early s flank pro 
tected by his cavalry, which was successfully attacked by Gen 
eral Devin s Second Brigade and driven in confusion toward 
Winchester. Then within easy supporting distance of each 
other, the First Brigade, the Second Brigade, and the Reserve 
Brigade moved forward without opposition until the open 
fields near Winchester were reached. 

What followed is well described in Lieutenant Harrison s 
recollections : * 

While awaiting in suspense our next movement the enemy s infan 
try was distinctly seen attempting to change front to meet our antici 
pated charge. Instantly, and while in the confusion incident to their 
maneuver, the Second Brigade burst upon them, the enemy s infantry 
breaking into complete rout and falling back a confused and broken 



Immediately after, the Union reserve brigade under the 
gallant Lowell, formed to the left of the position from which 
the Second Brigade, under Devin, had just charged. They 
rode out fearlessly within five hundred yards of the Confeder 
ate line of battle, on the left of which, resting on an old earth 
work was a two-gun battery. The order was given to charge 
the line and get the guns. Lieutenant Harrison continues : 

At the sound of the bugle we took the trot, the gallop, and then 
the charge. As we nearcd their line we were welcomed by a fearful mus 
ketry fire, which temporarily confused the leading squadron, and caused 
the entire brigade to oblique slightly to the right. Instantly, officers 
cried out, " Forward ! Forward ! " The men raised their sabers, and 
responded to the command with deafening cheers. Within a hundred 
yards of the enemy s line we struck a blind ditch, but crossed it with 
out breaking our front. In a moment we were face to face with the 
enemy. They stood as if awed by the heroism of the brigade, and in 
an instant broke in complete rout, our men sabering them as they 
vainly sought safety in flight. 

* Everglade to Canon, N. Y., 1873. 
[248] 





AFTER WINCHESTER GENERAL THOMAS C. DEVIN AND STAFF 

"We have just sent them whirling through Winchester, and we are after them to-morrow," was Sheridan s 
exultant wire of September 19, 1864, which electrified the North. Washington breathed a deep sigh of re 
lief, and Sheridan s men started on the pursuit of Early. It was at Fisher s Hill on the 21st that the next 
clash occurred, and after a severe engagement of the infantry, Sheridan secured an advantageous position. 
On the 22d Early s rout was made complete. All that night the Federal infantry with Devin s brigade of 
cavalry pushed on in pursuit of the demoralized Confederates. Devin overtook them north of Mount 
Jackson, and had he been properly supported could doubtless have taken thousands of prisoners. 




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The charging force emerged from the fight with two guns, 
three stands of colors, and over three hundred Confederate 
prisoners. Altogether there had been six distinct charges by 
parts of the First Cavalry Division two by the Second Bri 
gade and one by the First Brigade; one by the Second Brigade 
and one by the Reserve Brigade against Early s infantry; and 
one, the final charge, in which all three of the brigades joined. 
General Custer describes the scene in graphic language: 

At this time five brigades of cavalry were moving on parallel lines ; 
most, if not all, of the brigades moved by brigade front, regiments 
being in parallel columns of squadrons. One continuous and heavy line 
of skirmishers covered the advance, using only the carbine, while the 
line of brigades, as they advanced across the country, the bands playing 
the national airs, presented in the sunlight one moving mass of glitter 
ing sabers. This, combined with the various and bright-colored ban 
ners and battle-flags, intermingled here and there with the plain blue 
uniforms of the troops, furnished one of the most inspiring as well as 
imposing scenes of martial grandeur ever witnessed upon a battlefield. 

The Union victory at Opequon came at a time when its 
moral effect was most needed in the North, and restored the 
fertile Shenandoah valley to the Union armies, after a long 
series of humiliating reverses in that granary of the Confed 
eracy. 

A month later Custer encountered three brigades of Con 
federate cavalry under Rosser near Tom s Brook Crossing. 
Men-it at about the same time struck the cavalry of Lomax 
and Johnson on the Valley pike, the Federal line of battle 
extending across the Valley. The fighting was desperate on 
both sides, being essentially a saber contest. For two hours 
charges were given and received in solid masses, boot-to-boot, 
the honors being almost equally divided the Confederates suc 
cessfully holding the center while the Federal cavalry pushed 
back the flanks. 

This finally weakened the Confederates, and as both their 

[250] 



~~~> <& 








ffatiStti 




EVIEWS CO. 



GENERAL TORBERT IN THE SHENANDOAH 

This photograph, made in the Shenandoah Valley in the fall of 18C4, shows General Alfred T. A. Torbert, immaculately clad in a natty 
uniform, on the steps of a beautiful vine-clad cottage. Virginia homes such as this fared but badly in that terrible October. The black 
shame of war spread over the valley and rose in the smoke from burning barns. Grant had resolved that Shenandoah should no longer 
be allowed to act as a granary for the armies of the Confederacy. Sheridan and his men had orders ruthlessly to destroy all supplies 
that could not be carried away. The Confederate cavalry clung desperately to his rear, and gave so much annoyance that on October 
8th Sheridan directed Torbert "to give Rosser a drubbing next morning or get whipped himself." The saber contest that ensued at 
Tom s Brook was the last attempt of the Confederate cavalry to reestablish their former supremacy. The sight of the devastated valley 
spurred the Southern troopers to the most valiant attacks, in spite of their inferior equipment. Again and again were charges made and 
returned on both sides. For two hours the honors were almost even, the Confederates holding the center, while the Federal cavalry 
pushed back the flanks. Finally Merritt and Custer ordered a charge along the whole line, and at last the Confederates broke. 



aualry lattlrs anft 





, 




flanks gave way, Merritt and Custer ordered a charge along 
their entire line. The retreat of Rosser s force became a panic- 
stricken rout, which continued for twenty-six miles up the 
Shenandoah valley. Eleven pieces of artillery, three hundred 
and thirty prisoners, ambulances, caissons, and even the 
headquarters wagons of the Confederate commanders were 
captured by the Federal troops. 

Early ascribed his defeat to Sheridan s superiority in 
numbers and equipment, and to the fact that Lomax s cavalry 
was armed entirely with rifles and had no sabers; that as a con 
sequence they could not*fight on horseback, and in open coun 
try could not successfully fight on foot with large bodies of 

* >j. ; & -+ * .. 

well-trained cavalry.- * 

In the DrillianJ; part taken by Sheridan s cavalry in re 
trieving the -misfortunes of the morning of October 19, 18G4, 
when the Union camp at Cedar Creek was surprised and 
routed with " Sheridan only twenty miles away " resulting 
in the final defeat and pursuit of the Confederate army, the 
Federal cavalry alone captured 45 pieces of artillery, 32 cais 
sons, 46 army wagons, 67*2 prisoners, and an enormous quan 
tity of other property. 

This battle, which Sheridan s magnetic presence turned 
into a great victory, was followed by a number of small but 
highly successful cavalry movements, culminating on March 
27, 1865, in Sheridan s veteran cavalry corps joining the Army 
of the Potomac in front of Petersburg for the final campaign 
against Lee. 

In the Valley campaign Sheridan s cavalry captured 
2556 prisoners, 71 guns, 29 battle-flags, 52 caissons, 105 army 
wagons, 2557 horses, 1000 horse equipments, and 7152 beef cat 
tle. It destroyed, among other things, 420,742 bushels of 
wheat, 780 barns, and over 700,000 rounds of ammunition. 

Meanwhile, during the years of vicissitudes which 
marked the evolution of the cavalry of the East, from a mul 
titude of weak detachments lacking organization, equipment, 

[ aw ] 





CAVALRY THAT CLOSED IN ON RICHMOND 



Wliile Sheridan s troopers were distinguishing themselves in the Shenandoah, the cavalry of the Army of 
the James, which was closing around Richmond, were doing their part. This photograph shows the Fifth 
Pennsylvania Cavalry, or "Cameron Dragoons," part of the second brigade, in winter-quarters. It was 
taken in the fall of 1864, on the scene of the engagement at Fair Oaks and Darbytown Road, October 29th 
of that year. Brigadier-General August V. Kautz had led them on a raid on the Petersburg and Weldon 
Railroad May 5th to llth, and on the Richmond and Danville Railroad May 12th to 17th. On June 9th 
they went to Petersburg and remained there during the siege operations until the Southern Capital fell. 
During all this time they reversed the situation of the early part of the war, and incessantly harassed the 
Army of Northern Virginia by constant raids, cutting its communications, and attacking its supply trains. 



and training to a veteran army, rilled with confidence in itself 
and in its commanders, the cavalry of the West had been 
equally unfortunate in its slow and discouraging development 
of fighting efficiency. 

Under General Rosecrans, as early as 1862, the cavalry 
of the Army of the Cumberland was organized into three brig 
ades under General David S. Stanley, but the mounted force 
actually at the disposal of its commander was but four thou 
sand effective men. Although actively engaged, particularly 
in curbing the depredations of the Confederate cavalry under 
Forrest, its operations were not especially important. Never 
theless, at Stone s River, at Knoxville, at Chickamauga, and 
at other important battles, the cavalry of the West did des 
perate fighting and, considering its numbers, was not lacking 
in efficiency. 

The cavalry which General Sherman assembled for his 
Atlanta campaign numbered about fifteen thousand sabers, 
organized into four divisions, and it participated with credit in 
all the celebrated movements and engagements of Sherman s 
army between May and August, 1864. Protecting the rear 
and preventing the destruction of the Nashville and Chatta 
nooga Railroad by Wheeler s enterprising cavalry, some Union 
cavalry under Rousseau remained at Decatur until by a rapid 
and circuitous march around Johnston s Confederate army, in 
which he destroyed immense quantities of stores and damaged 
several railroads, Rousseau joined Sherman near Atlanta. 
After the fall of the latter city, a cavalry division of over five 
thousand men under Kilpatrick, accompanied Sherman on his 
famous march to the sea. 

Up to this time the activities of the Union cavalry in the 
Southwest, while noted for boldness and celerity of movement, 
for endurance, and for accomplishment of results, though ham 
pered by many drawbacks, were not yet distinguished by any 
of those great cavalry combats which marked the development 
of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. 

[254] 



^x 



s 
V^ 




RICHMOND AT LAST APRIL, 1865 



There is no need now for the troopers carbines which can be seen projecting beside their saddles just as 
the cavalry rode into Richmond. The smoke still rising from the city s ruins seems to be the last great 
shuddering sigh of the Confederacy. The sight of the stark, blackened walls rising around them in the 
noonday sun brings but little joy to the hearts of the troopers. These ruined piles of brick and mortar 
are the homes of their brothers who fought a good fight. A few days from now, in the fullness of their 
hearts, the L nion soldiers will be cheering their erstwhile foes at Appomattox. One more cavalry exploit, 
the capture of Lee s provision trains by Sheridan, which Grant in his delicacy did not reveal to the stricken 
commander, and the cavalry operations are over. Horses and men go back to the pursuits of peace. 




attain; Halites aui (Hljarg^s $ 



* 



Towards the close of October, 1864, however, General 
James H. Wilson, who had commanded a cavalry division in 
Sheridan s Army of the Shenandoah, and who had been 
instrumental in raising the efficiency of the cavalry service 
through the Cavalry Bureau, reported to Sherman, in Ala 
bama, and began a thorough reorganization, a remounting 
and re-equipping of the cavalry corps of Sherman s army. 

Wilson s cavalry corps speedily made itself felt as an in 
tegral part of the army, taking a prominent part in the battle 
of Franklin, scoring a decisive victory over Forrest s cavalry 
under Chalmers, and pressing the foe so closely that the Con 
federate troopers w T ere actually driven into the Harpeth River. 
This decisive action of the Union cavalry prevented Forrest 
from turning Schofield s left flank and cutting his line of retreat. 

In the battle of Nashville, which followed (December 15- 
16, 1864), Wilson s dismounted cavalry gallantly stormed the 
strong Confederate earthworks side by side with their com 
rades of the infantry. General Thomas mentions the part 
taken by this cavalry as follows: 

Whilst slightly swinging to the left, [the cavalry] came upon a re 
doubt containing four guns, which was splendidly carried by assault, at 
1 P.M., by a portion of Hatch s division, dismounted, and the captured 
guns turned upon the enemy. A second redoubt, stronger than the first, 
was next assailed and carried by the same troops that carried the first 
position, taking four more guns and about three hundred prisoners. 
The infantry, McArthur s division, on the left of the cavalry, . . . par 
ticipated in both of the assaults ; and, indeed, the dismounted cavalry 
seemed to vie with the infantry who should first gain the works ; as they 
reached the position nearly simultaneously, both lay claim to the artil 
lery and prisoners captured. 

But the gallant part taken by Wilson s cavalry in these 
operations is best exemplified by the spoils of war. During 
and after the battle of Nashville, and including prisoners taken 
in the hospitals at Franklin, the Union cavalry captured 2 
strong redoubts, 32 field guns, 11 caissons, 12 colors, 3232 

[ 25(5 ] 




THE FEDERAL CAVALRY AND THEIR REWARD MAY, 18C5 



Shoulders squared, accouterments sliining, all of the troops in perfect alignment, a unified, splendidly 
equipped and disciplined body, the Federal cavalry marched up Pennsylvania Avenue on that glorious sun 
shiny day in May when the Union armies held their grand review in Washington. What a change from 
the long night rides and the terrible moments of the crashing charge was this holiday parade, when not a 
trooper thought of sleeping in the saddle which had often proved his only bed. The battles are over now. 
Never again will their cars be riven by the agonized shriek of a wounded horse, said by many a cavalryman 
to be the most horrible sound in the field of battle. Never again will they bend over the silent body of a 
wounded friend. Men die more quietly than their mounts. This is an arm of the service that proved itself. 
From early disappointments and disasters, and dissipation of energy in useless details, it emerged a won 
derfully effective fighting force that did much to hasten the surrender of the exhausted Confederacy. 



^ - -g-jj 


1 

auaint battles anh Olltarnw **<:- 

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1 *i 




prisoners (including 1 general officer), 1 bridge train of 80 
pontoons, and 125 wagons. Its own losses were 122 officers 
and men killed, 1 field-gun, 521 wounded, and 259 missing. 

The following spring, while Wilson and his horsemen 
were sapping the very life blood of the Confederacy, Sheridan 
and his cavalry of the Army of the Potomac had been playing 
a most important part in the grand operations of that remark 
able army, now under the direction of the inexorable Grant. 

After joining Grant in front of Petersburg on March 
27, 1865, Sheridan received instruction from his chief to move 
with his three cavalry divisions of nine thousand men near or 
through Dinwiddie, reaching the right and rear of the Confed 
erate army, without attempting to attack the Confederates in 
position. Should the latter remain entrenched, Sheridan was 
to destroy the Danville and South Side railroads, Lee s only 
avenues of supply; and then either return to the Army of the 
Potomac, or to join Sherman in North Carolina. History 
shows that two of the Confederate infantry divisions and all 
of Lee s cavalry failed to push back five brigades of Sheri 
dan s cavalry, fighting dismounted, in an effort to cut off the 
Confederate retreat. 

In the desperate fighting which took place in the days fol 
lowing, it was the same splendid cavalry at Five Forks, which 
dashed dismounted over the Southern entrenchments, carrying 
all before them. 

And finally, on April 6th, at Sailor s Creek, after desper 
ate and exhausting fighting by Custer s and Devin s divisions, 
it was Crook with his cavalry which intercepted the Confederate 
line of retreat, cut off three of Lee s hard-pressed infantry 
divisions, and made possible the surrender at Appomattox of 
the gallant but exhausted Army of Northern Virginia. 




CHAPTER 
TEN 



CAVALRY LEADERS 
NORTH AND SOUTH 




CUSTER AND HIS DOG 



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SOME CAVALRY LEADERS 



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BY THEO. F. RODENBOUGH 

Brigadier-General^ United States Army (Retired) 

NO war of modern times has produced so many able cav 
alry leaders as the so-called " War of Secession." Sher 
idan, Stuart, Buford, Gregg, Wilson, Merritt, " Fitz " Lee, 
Pleasonton, Hampton, Lomax, Butler, Wheeler, Custer, For 
rest, Grierson, Morgan, Kilpatrick, and others, have written 
their names on the roll of fame in letters of fire alongside those 
of Seydlitz and Ziethen of the Old World. Of the group men 
tioned who have " crossed the river " a few pen portraits by 
friendly hands, and true to the life, are here presented.* 

GENERAL SHERIDAN J 

The general is short in stature below the medium with 
nothing superfluous about him, square shouldered, muscular, 
wiry to the last degree, and as nearly insensible to hardship and 
fatigue as is consistent with humanity. 

His face is very much tanned by exposure, but is lighted 
up by uncommonly keen eyes, which would stamp him any 
where as a man of quickness and force, while its whole charac 
ter would betray him to be a soldier, with its firm chin, high 
cheek bones, and crisp mustache. 

He is exacting on duty and hard on delinquents, and his 
ideas of duty are peculiar, as evinced by the fact that he has 

* More or less personal sketches of famous Cavalry leaders will be 
found in other chapters of this volume and in the volume to be devoted 
to biography. 

f With General Sheridan in Lee s Last Campaign. By a staff officer. 
(Philadelphia) J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1866. 




MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP HENRY SHERIDAN 



General Sheridan was the leader who relieved the Union cavalry 
from waste of energy and restored it an arm of the service as 
effective and terrible to the Confederacy as the Southern cavalry 
had been to the North at the outset of the war. He was born at 
Albany, N. Y., 1831, and graduated at 
West Point in 1 8.>3. In May, 1 8(54, he 
was appointed colonel of the Second 
Michigan Cavalry, and served in 
northern Mississippi. In July he was 
appointed brigadier-general of volun 
teers and distinguished himself on 
October 8th at the battle of Perry- 
ville. He commanded a division of 
the Army of the Cumberland at 
Stone s River, and was appointed 
major-general of volunteers early in 
1863. lie took part in the pursuit 
of General Van Dorn, afterwards 
aided in the capture of Manchester, 
Tennessee, on June 27th, and was 




in the battle of Chickamauga. In the battles around ( hattanooga 
he attracted the attention of General Grant. In April, 18G4, he 
was placed in command of the cavalry corps of the Army of the Poto 
mac, and its brilliant exploits under his leadership culminated in the 
deatli of General J. E. H. Stuart at 
Yellow Tavern, where the ( Confederates 
were defeated. In August, 18G4, he 
was placed in command of the Army 
of the Shenandoah. He defeated 
General Early at Opequon Creek, 
Fisher s Hill, and Cedar Creek, and 
captured .>,<)<)<) of his men and several 
guns. He drove the Confederates from 
the valley and laid it waste. On 
SeptcmlxT 10th he was made briga 
dier-general, and in November major- 
general. In July, 18<>;>, he received 
the thanks of Congress for his dis 
tinguished services. He died at 
Nonquitt, Mass., on August 5, 1888. 



THE LEADER S EYES 




(Eaimlry 



$$ 



never issued orders of encouragement or congratulations to 
his troops before or after campaigns or battles. He lias ap 
parently taken it for granted that all under his command 
would do as well as they could, and they did so quite as a mat 
ter of course. And to this soldierly view the troops always 
responded. Understanding so well what they were fighting 
for and the issues at stake, they would not fight harder to 
accomplish results simply for the satisfaction of having them 
recounted. . . . 

Though always easy of approach, the general has little 
to say in busy times. Set teeth and a quick way tell when 
things do not go as they ought, and he has a manner 011 such 
occasions that stirs to activity all within sight, for a row seems 
brewing that nobody wants to be under when it bursts. Not 
withstanding his handsome reputation for cursing, he is rather 
remarkably low-voiced, particularly on the field, where, as 
sometimes happens, almost everybody else is screaming. 
ki Damn you, sir, don t yell at me," he once said to an officer 
who came galloping up with some bad news, and was roaring- 
it out above the din of battle. In such moments the general 
leans forward on his horse s neck, and hunching his shoulders 
up to his ears, gives most softly spoken orders in a slow, delib 
erate way, as though there were niches for all the words in his 
hearer s memory, and they must be measured very carefully to 
fit exactly, that none of them be lost in the carrying. . . . 

The general has a remarkable eye for topography, not only 
in using to the best advantage the peculiarities of the country 
through which he is campaigning, either for purposes of march 
ing, assaults, or defense, but he can foresee with accuracy, by 
studying a map, how far the country will be available for these 
purposes. 

He has been called ruthless and cruel because, in obedience 
to the orders of the officers appointed over him, he was com 
pelled, by the stern necessities of war, to destroy property in 
the Shenandoah valley, and to take from the war-ridden people 

[204] 



I II 








MAJOR-GENERAL JAMES EWELL BROWN STTART, C.S.A. 

In the liat on General Stuart s knee appears the plume which grew to symbolize the dasb and gallantry of the 

man himself. Plume and hat were captured, and Stuart himself narrowly escaped, at Verdiersville, August 17, 
18(52. " I intend," he wrote, " to make the Yankees pay frr that hat." Less than a week later he captured 
Pope s personal baggage and horses, and for many days thereafter the Federal general s uniform was on exhibition 
in a Richmond store window a picturesque and characteristic reprisal. Horn in Virginia in IH. J. J, Stuart grad 
uated at the United States Military Academy in ISSJ. He saw service on the Texas frontier, in Kansas, and 
against the Cheyenne Indians before the outbreak of the war. On April, 18(51, he resigned from the I nited States 
Army and joined the Confederacy in his native State. He won distinction at Bull Run, and also the rank of 
brigadier-general. Stuart rode twice around the Army of the Potomac when McClellan was in command, and 
played a conspicuous part in the Seven Days !>efore Richmond. At the second Bull Run, at \ntietam, by a 
destructive raid into Pennsylvania, at Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville Stuart added to his laurels. He 
was too late for anything except the last day of Gettysburg, where the strengthened I nion cavalry proved his 
match. He died at Yellow Tavern May H, 18(i4, from a wound received in a pitched battle with Sheridan s cavalry. 




(Emrnlrg 



v 



GENERAL STUART 

Stuart was undoubtedly the most brilliant and widely 
known sabre u? of his time. The term is used advisedly to de 
scribe the accomplished horseman who, while often fighting dis 
mounted, yet by training and the influence of his environment 
was at his best as a leader of mounted men. 

Stuart as a cadet at the Military Academy is thus de 
scribed by General Fitzhugh Lee: 

I recall his distinguishing characteristics, which were a 
strict attention to his military duties, an erect, soldierly bear 
ing, an immediate and almost thankful acceptance of a chal 
lenge to fight from any cadet who might in any way feel him 
self aggrieved, and a clear, metallic ringing voice." 

In the Indian country as a subaltern in the cavalry, his 
commanding officer, Major Simonson, thus wrote of him: 

Lieutenant Stuart was brave and gallant, always 
prompt in the execution of orders, and reckless of danger or 
exposure. I considered him at that time one of the most 
promising young officers in the United States army." 




1 



there what their friends had left them of supplies for man 
and beast. As he rode down the Martinsburg pike in his four- 
horse wagon, heels on the front seat, and smoking a cigar, while 
behind him his cavalry was destroying the provender that could 
not be carried away, the inhabitants of the Valley doubtless 
regarded him as history regards the emperor who fiddled while 
Rome was burning, and would not now believe, what is the 
simple truth, that this destruction w r as distasteful to him, and 
that he was moved by the distress he was obliged to multiply 
upon these unfortunate people, whose evil fate had left them 
in the ruinous track of war so long. But the Shenandoah 
valley was the well-worn pathway of invasion, and it became 
necessary that this long avenue leading to our homes should 
be stripped of the sustenance that rendered it possible to subsist 
an army there. 




MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN BUFORI) 

General Buford was one of the foremost cavalry leaders of the North. lie is credited by many with having chosen 
the field on which the battle of Gettysburg was fought. He was born in 1826 in Woodford County, Kentucky, 
graduated at West Point in 1848, and saw service against the Indians. In November, 1861, he attained to the rank 
of major, and in July, 1862, he was made brigadier- general of volunteers. While in command of a cavalry brigade 
in 1862, Buford was wounded in the second battle of Bull Run. In MeClellan s Maryland campaign, at 
Fredericksburg, and in the spirited cavalry engagements at Brandy Station, he played his part nobly. In 
Pennsylvania he displayed remarkable ability and opened the battle of Gettysburg Ix-fore the arrival of Reynolds 
infantry on July 1st. The Comte de Paris says in his " History of the Civil War in America": "It was Buford 
who selected the battlefield where the two armies were alxuit to measure their strength." After taking part in the 
pursuit of Lee and subsequent operations in central Virginia, he withdrew on sick leave in November, 186, J, 
and died in Washington on December 16th, receiving a commission as major-general only on the day of his death. 














As a Confederate colonel at the first Bull Hun battle, 
General Early reported: 

" Stuart did as much toward saving the battle of First 
Manassas as any subordinate who participated in it; and yet 
he has never received any credit for it, in the official reports 
or otherwise. His own report is very brief and indefinite." 

In a letter to President Davis, General J. Ei. Johnston 
recommended Stuart s promotion, which was made September 
24, 1861: 

He is a rare man, wonderfully endowed by nature with 
the qualities necessary for an officer of light cavalry. Calm, 
firm, acute, active, and enterprising, I know of no one more 
competent than he to estimate the occurrences before him at 
their true value. If you add a real brigade of cavalry to this 
army, you can find no better brigadier-general to command it." 

In an account of the raid into Pennsylvania (October, 
1862) Colonel Alexander K. McClure speaks of the behavior 
of Stuart s command in passing through Chambersburg : 

" General Stuart sat on his horse in the center of the town, 
surrounded by his staff, and his command was coming in from 
the country in large squads, leading their old horses and riding 
the new ones they had found in the stables hereabouts. Gen 
eral Stuart is of medium size, has a keen eye, and wears im 
mense sandy whiskers and mustache. His demeanor to our 
people was that of a humane soldier. In several instances his 
men commenced to take private property from stores, but they 
were arrested by General Stuart s provost-guard. In a single 
instance only, that I heard of, did they enter a store by intimi 
dating the proprietor. All of our stores and shops were closed, 
and with very few exceptions were not disturbed." * 

General John B. Gordon, in his " Reminiscences " relates: 

" An incident during the battle of Chancellorsville [illus 
trates] the bounding spirits of that great cavalry leader, 
General Jeb Stuart. After Jackson s fall, Stuart was 

* Campaigns of Stuart s Cavalry. 

[ 268 ] 




I 




LIEUTEN ANT-GENERAL WADE HAMPTON, C.S.A. 

General Hampton was the leader .selected three months after Stuart s death to command all of Leo s cavalry. 
Although it had become sadly decimated, Hampton lived up to his reputation, and fought effectively to the 
very end of the war. His last command was the cavalry in Johnston s army, which opposed Sherman s advance 
from Savannah in 18G5. Hampton was born in Columbia, S. ( ., in 1818. After graduating in law at the 
University of South Carolina, he gave up his time to the management of his extensive estates. At the out 
break of the war he raised and equipped from his private means the " Hampton s Legion," which did g<xxl ser 
vice throughout the war. He fought at the head of his Legion at Bull Run and in the Peninsula campaign, was 
wounded at Fair Oaks, and soon afterward was commissioned brigadier-general. He served brilliantly at 
Gettysburg, where he was wounded three times, and was made major-general on August 3d following. He was 
engaged in opposing the advance of Sheridan toward Lynchburg in 1804, and showed such high qualities as a 
cavalry commander that he was commissioned lieutenant-general in August of that year, and placed in com 
mand of all of Lee s cavalry. He was Governor of South Carolina from 1876 to 1878; then United States Sena 
tor until 1891. He was United States Commissioner of Railroads, 1893 to 1897. His death occurred Ln 1902. 



(7^ 





designated to lead Jackson s troops in the final charge. The 
soul of this brilliant cavalry commander was as full of senti 
ment as it was of the spirit of self-sacrifice. He was as musical 
as he was brave. He sang as he fought. Placing himself at 
the head of Jackson s advancing lines and shouting to them 
Forward, he at once led off in that song, Won t you come 
out of the Wilderness? He changed the words to suit the 
occasion. Through the dense woodland, blending in strange 
harmony with the rattle of rifles, could be distinctly heard 
that song and words, Xow r , Joe Hooker, won t you come 
out of the Wilderness? " 



GENERAL BUFORD * 

But something more than West Point and frontier service 
was needed to produce a Buford. He was k no sapling chance- 
sown by the fountain." He had had years of training and ex 
perience in his profession, and although they were precious and 
indispensable, they could not have produced the same results 
which were realized in him, had it not been for the honorable 
deeds of his ancestors and the hereditary traits developed and 
transmitted by them. Such men as Buford are not the fruit 
of chance. Springing, as he did, from a sturdy Anglo-Nor 
man family long settled in the " debatable land " on the bor 
ders of England and Scotland, he came by the virtues of the 
strong hand through inheritance. His kinsmen, as far back 
as they can be traced, were stout soldiers, rough fighters, and 
hard riders, accustomed to lives of vicissitude, and holding what 
they had under the good old rule, the simple plan, " Those to 
take who have the power, and those to keep who can." Men of 
his name were the counsellors and companions of kings, and 
gained renown in the War of the Roses, and in the struggle for 

* Major-General John Buford. By Major-General James H. Wilson, 
U. S. V., Brevet Major-General, U. S. A. Oration delivered at Gettys 
burg on July 1, 1895. 

[ 270 ] 







MAJOR-GENERAL WESLEY MERRITT 

Gem-nil Merritt did his share toward achieving the momentous results of Gettysburg. With his reserve brigade 
of cavalry on the Federal left, he eaused Law to detach a large force from the Confederate main line in order to pro 
tect his Hank and rear. Merritt served with distinction throughout the Civil War and later in the Spanish-American 
War. He was born in New York City in 1836, graduated at West Point in 1800, and was assigned to the Second 
Dragoons. In April, 1862, he was promoted to be captain. He rode with Stoneman on his famous Richmond raid 
in April and May, 1863, and was in command of the cavalry reserve at Gettysburg. Merritt commanded a cavalry 
division in the Shenandoah Valley campaign under Sheridan from August, 1864, to March, 18(55. and in the final 
Richmond campaign the cavalry corps. After rendering service in the Spanish-American War, and command 
ing the forces in the Philippines, he was retired from active service in June, 1!)00. He died DecemlxT 3. 1!I10. 




(Hmmlrg 



\\ 






dominion over France. In the wars between the Stuarts and 
the Commonwealth they were " king s men." . . . 

A distinguished officer of the same arm of the service, said 
of him that as a captain of dragoons " he was considered," in 
a regiment famed for its dashing and accomplished officers, 
" as the soldier par excellence" He adds in loving admiration, 
that " no man could he more popular or sincerely beloved by 
his fellow officers, nor could any officer be more thoroughly 
respected by his men, than he was. His company had no su 
perior in the service." The same distinguished officer, writing 
after his career had closed in death, says, " He was a splendid 
cavalry officer, and one of the most successful in the service; 
was modest, yet brave; unostentatious, but prompt and perse 
vering; ever ready to go where duty called him, and never 
shrinking from action however fraught with peril." . . . 

Speaking many years after of the part taken in this great 
day s work * by Buford s cavalry, General F. A. Walker, in 
the " History of the Second Army Corps," uses the following 
language: " When last it was my privilege to see General Han 
cock in Xovember, 1885, he pointed out to me from Cemetery 
Hill the position occupied by Buford at this critical juncture, 
and assured me that among the most inspiring sights of his mil 
itary career was the splendid spectacle of that gallant cavalry 
as it stood there, unshaken and undaunted, in the face of the 
advancing Confederate infantry." Xo higher commendation 
for the cavalry can be found. Its services have been generally 
minimized, if not entirely ignored, by popular historians, but 
no competent critic can read the official reports or the Comte 
de Paris " History of the Civil War in America " without giv 
ing the cavalry the highest praise for its work on this day, and 
throughout this campaign. To Buford was assigned the post 
of danger and responsibility. He, and he alone, selected the 
ground," says that trustworthy historian, " upon which unfore 
seen circumstances were about to bring the two armies into 

*The First Day, Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. 
[272] 




I 



^>^ 




MAJOR-GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST, C.S.A. 

General Forrest was one of the born cavalry leaders. Daring and resourceful in every situation, he and his hard-riding 
raiders became a source of terror throughout the Mississippi Valley. He was born near the site of Chapel Hill. 
Tennessee, on July 31. 1821, attended school for about six months, became a horse and cattle trader, and slave 
trader at Memphis. He cast in his lot with the Confederacy and entered the army as a private in June, 18(51. 
In July he organized a battalion of cavalry, of which he became lieutenant-colonel. He escaped from Fort Donel- 
son when it surrendered to Grant, and as brigadier-general served in Kentucky under Bragg. Transferred to 
Northern Mississippi in November, 1863, Forrest was made major-general on December 4th of that year, and 
at the close of the following year was placed in command of all the cavalry with the Army of the Tennessee. On 
January "24, 1865, he was put in command of the cavalry in Alabama, Mississippi, and east Louisiana, and 
was appointed lieutenant-general on February 28th. He met defeat at the hands of General James II. Wilson at 
Selma, Ala., in March, 186.5, and surrendered to General Canby at Gainesville the following May. He remained 
in business in Tennessee until he died in 1877 one of the most striking characters developed by the war. 



hostile contact. Neither Meade nor Lee had any knowledge of 
it. ... Buford, who, when he arrived on the evening of [June] 
30th, had guessed at one glance the advantages to be derived 
from these positions, did not have time to give a description of 
them to Meade and receive his instructions. The unfailing in 
dications to an officer of so much experience, revealed to Buford 
the approach of the enemy. Knowing that Reynolds was 
within supporting distance of him, he boldly resolved to risk 
everything in order to allow the latter time to reach Gettys 
burg in advance of the Confederate army. This first inspira 
tion of a cavalry officer and a true soldier decided, in every 
respect, the fate of the campaign. It was Buford who selected 
the battlefield where the two armies were about to measure 



their strength." 



GENERAL WADE HAMPTON * 



Wade Hampton entered the military service of the Con 
federate States as colonel of the Hampton Legion, South 
Carolina Volunteers, June 12, 1861, said legion consisting of 
eight companies of infantry, four companies of cavalry, and 
two companies of artillery. With the infantry of his com 
mand, Colonel Hampton participated in the first battle of 
Bull Run, July 21, 1861, where he was wounded. He bore 
a part as a brigade commander in the subsequent battles on 
the Peninsula of Virginia, from the beginning of operations 
at Yorktown until the battle of Seven Pines, where he was 
again wounded. . . . 

I have been often asked if General Hampton was a good 
tactician. If in a minor, technical sense, I answer to the best 
of my judgment, " Xo." I doubt if he ever read a technical 
book on tactics. He knew how to maneuver the units of his 
command so as to occupy for offensive or defensive action the 
strongest points of the battlefield, and that is about all there 

* Butler and His Cavalry, 1861-1865. By U. R. Brooks (Columbia 

S. C.). The State Company, 1909. 

[274] 



L_ 





MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER WITH GENERAL PLEASONTON 

The beau sabrcur of the Federal service is pictured here in his favorite velvet suit, with General Alfred Pleason- 
ton, who commanded the cavalry at Gettysburg. This photograph was taken at Warrenton, Va., three 
months after that battle. At the time this picture was taken, Custer was a brigadier-general in command 
of the second brigade of the third division of General Pleasonton s cavalry. General Custer s impetuosity 
finally cost him his own life and the lives of his entire command at the hands of the Sioux Indians June 
25, 1870. Custer was born in 1830 and graduated at West Point in 18(51. As captain of volunteers lie 
served with McClellan on the Peninsula. In June, 18(>.S, lie was made brigadier-general of volunteers and 
as the head of a brigade of cavalry distinguished himself at Gettysburg. Later he served with Sheridan in 
the Shenandoah, won honor at Cedar Creek, and was brevetted major-general of volunteers on October 10, 
1864. Under Sheridan he participated in the battles of Five Forks, Dinwiddie Court House, and other 
important cavalry engagements of Grant s last campaign. 
[0-18] 







y 



(Eaimlry 



is in tactics. A successful strategist has a broader field for the 
employment of his military qualities. General Hampton ap 
peared possessed of almost an instinctive topographical talent. 
He could take in the strong strategic points in the field of 
his operations with an accuracy of judgment that was surpris 
ing to his comrades. It was not necessary for him to study 
Jomini, Napoleon s " Campaigns," and other high authorities 
in the art of war. He was a law unto himself on such matters. 
According to the rules laid down in the books, he would do 
the most unmilitary things. He Avould hunt his antagonist 
as he would hunt big game in the forest. The celerity and au 
dacity of his movements against the front, sometimes on the 
flank, then again in the rear, kept his enemies in a constant 
state of uncertainty and anxiety as to where and when they 
might expect him. With his wonderful powers of physical en 
durance, his alert, vigilant mind, his matchless horsemanship, 
no obstacles seemed to baffle his audacity or thwart his purpose. 

GENERAL MEBKITT * 

Merritt was graduated in the class of 1860 at the Military 
Academy. He w r as twenty-four years of age. In scholarship 
he was rated at the middle of his class, and in the other sol 
dierly qualities he was near the head. . . . 

At the battle of the Opequon (Winchester) , on September 
19th, his division gave the most effective instance in a hundred 
years of war, of the use of a cavalry division in a pitched battle. 
He rode over Breckinridge s infantry and Fitzhugh Lee s cav 
alry and effectually broke the Confederate left. At this time 
Sheridan wrote to a friend, " I claim nothing for myself; my 
boys Merritt and Custer did it all.". . . 

On the disastrous morning of October 19th, at Cedar 

* General Wesley Merritt. By Lieutenant-Colonel Eben Swift, 
Eighth Cavalry. From the (March, 1911) Journal of the United States 
Cavalry Association. 

[ 276 ] 




1 



f-. . 

V 







MAJOR-GENERAL FITZHUGH LEE, C.S.A, 

A nephew of tin- South s greatest commander, General Fitzhugh I.ee did honor to his famous family. Along 
the Rappahannock and in the Shenandoah he measured swords with the Eederal cavalry, and over thirty 
years later he was leading American forces in Cuba. He was horn at ( lennont.Va., in IH. S/j. graduated at 
West Point in 18.5(i, and from May, 18(>0, until the outbreak of the Civil War was instructor of cavalry at 
West Point. He resigned from the United States Army, and entered the Confederate service in 18(il. He 
fought with Stuart s cavalry in almost all of the important engagements of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
first as colonel, from July, 1804, as brigadier-general, and from September, 18(i, {, as major-general. He was 
severely wounded at Winchester, on September li), 18(>4, and from March, 18(i/>, until his surrender to 
General Meade at Farmville, was in command of all the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. In 
181Mi lie was sent to Cuba by President Cleveland as consul-general at Havana, and in May, 18!)8, when 
war with Spain seemed inevitable, was appointed major-general of volunteers, and placed in command of the 
Seventh Army Corps. He returned to Havana as Military Governor in January, IS!)!). He died in IftO.j. 



(7*- 



Creek, Merritt s division blocked the way of Gordon s victori 
ous Confederates, held its position north of Middletown all 
day, without assistance, then charged and, crossing the stream 
below the bridge, joined Custer in the pursuit to Fisher s Hill. 
In that campaign Merritt s division captured fourteen battle- 
flags, twenty-nine pieces of artillery, and more than three 
thousand prisoners. . . . 

Merritt at his high prime was the embodiment of force. 
He was one of those rare men whose faculties are sharpened and 
whose view is cleared on the battlefield. His decisions were 
delivered with the rapidity of thought and were as clear as if 
they had been studied for weeks. He always said that he never 
found that his first judgment gained by time and reflection. 
In him a fiery soul was held in thrall to will. Never disturbed 
by doubt, or moved by fear, neither circumspect nor rash, he 
never missed an opportunity or made a mistake. 

These were the qualities that recommended him to the 
confidence of that commander whose ideals were higher and 
more exacting than any other in our history. To his troops he 
was always a leader who commanded their confidence by his 
brave appearance, and his calmness in action, while his constant 
thoughtfulness and care inspired a devotion that was felt for 
few leaders of his rank. 



r 



JJ 




GENERAL FORREST 

When the war broke out, Forrest was in the prime of his 
mental and physical powers. Over six feet in stature, of pow 
erful frame, and of great activity and daring, with a personal 
prowess proved in many fierce encounters, he was a king among 
the bravest men of his time and country. He was among the 
first to volunteer when war broke out, and it was a matter of 

* Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars. 
By General Dabney Herndon Maury. (New York) Charles Scribner s 
Sons, 1894. 



4 








LIEUTENANT-GENERAL JOSEPH WHEELER. C.S.A. 

Commander of Confederate forces in more than a hundred cavalry battles. General Wheeler well deserved the 
tribute of his erstwhile opponent. General Sherman, who onee said: "In the event of war with a foreign country, 
Joe Wheeler is the man to command the cavalry of our army." He was born in 18. J(>. and graduated at West 
Point in 18,5!). He served in the regular army until April, 1861, then entered the Confederate service. He com 
manded a brigade o" in antry at Shiloh in April, ISO*, and later in the year was transferred to the cavalry. He 
fought under Bragg in Kentucky at Perryville and in other engagements, and covered the retreat of Bragg s army 
to the southward. In January, 1863. he was commissioned major-general. In the Chattanooga campaigns Wheeler 
showed himself a brave and skilful officer. He harassed Sherman s flank during the inarch to Atlanta, and in 
August, 1864, led a successful raid in Sherman s rear as far north as the Kentucky line. In February. 18(>;>, he 
was commissioned lieutenant-general, and continued in command of the cavalry in Johnston s army until its sur 
render. He served as a major-general in the Spanish-American War. He died in Brooklyn, January 2.~>. 1!XM. 




- 



(Eauulrg 



course that he should be the commander of the troops who 
flocked to his standard. From the very outset he evinced his 
extraordinary capacity for war, and in his long career of great 
achievement no defeat or failure was ever charged to him. . . . 
When Forrest, with about twelve hundred men, set out 
in pursuit of Streight, he was more than a day behind him. 
Streight had several hundred more men in the saddle than For 
rest, and being far in advance could replace a broken-down 
horse by a fresh one from the farms through which his route 
lay, while Forrest, when he lost a horse, lost a soldier, too; 
for no good horses were left for him. After a hot pursuit of 
X \\\V \\W1 five days and nights, during which he had lost two-thirds of 
his forces from broken-down horses, he overhauled his enemy 
and brought him to a parley. This conference took place in 
sight of a cut-off in the mountain road, Captain Morton and 
his horse artillery, which had been so long with Forrest, pass 
ing in sight along the road till they came to the cut-off, into 
which they would turn, reentering the road out of view r , so that 
it seemed that a continuous stream of artillery was passing 
by. Forrest had so arranged that he stood with his back to the 
guns while Streight was facing them. 

Forrest, in his characteristic way, described the scene to 
me. He said, " I seen him all the time he \vas talking, looking 
over my shoulder and counting the guns. Presently he said: 
Name of God ! How many guns have you got ? There s fif 
teen I ve counted already! Turning my head that way, I 
^ said, I reckon that s all that has kept up. Then he said, I 
won t surrender till you tell me how many men you ve got. 
I said, I ve got enough to whip you out of your boots. To 
which he said, I won t surrender. I turned to my bugler and 
said, Sound to mount! Then he cried out I ll surrender! 
I told him, Stack your arms right along there, Colonel, and 
march your men away down that hollow. 

When this was done," continued Forrest, " I ordered 
my men to come forward and take possession of the arms. 

[ 280 ] 




I 

I 




MAJOR-GENERAL JAMES HARRISON WILSON AND STAFF 

This brilliant cavalryman s demonstration of 1865 against Selma and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in aid of (lone nil 
Canby s operations against Mobile and the center of the State, was one of the greatest cavalry raids in the 
West. General W 7 ilson was born in 1837, near Shawneetown, Illinois, and graduated at West Point in 1860. 
He was aide-de-camp to General McClellan on the Peninsula, and served in the engineering corps in the West 
until after Vicksburg and Chattanooga, when he was made brigadier-general of volunteers in October, 186. 5. 
In February, 1864, he was put in charge of the cavalry bureau at Washington, and later commanded the 
Third Division of Sheridan s reorganized cavalry. October 5, 1864, he was brevetted major-general of volun 
teers for "gallant and meritorious services" during the war, and on the 24th of that month he was put in com 
mand of the cavalry corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi. He took part in the battles of Franklin 
and Nashville, and in March, 1865, made his famous Selma raid. In twenty-eight days Wilson had captured 
288 guns and 6280 prisoners, including Jefferson Davis. Five large iron works, three factories, numerous 
mills and immense quantities of supplies had been destroyed. As a reward for these services, he was made 
major-general of volunteers on April 20, 1865. General Wilson later served with distinction in the Spanish 
American War, and was also in command of the British and American troops in the siege at Pekin, China. 




k?trl?a nf 



(Haualrg 



* 



Wlien Streight saw they were barely four hundred, lie did rear! 
demanded to have his arms back and that we should fight it 
out. I just laughed at him and patted him on the shoulder, 
and said, Ah, Colonel, all is fair in love and war, you 
know. ". . . 

Forrest knew nothing about tactics could not drill a 
company. When first ordered to have his brigade ready for 
review, he was quite ignorant, but Armstrong told him what 
commands to give, and what to do with himself. . . . 

Forrest will always stand as the great exponent of the 
power of the mounted riflemen to fight with the revolver when 
mounted and with the rifle on foot. His troops were not 
dragoons " who fought indifferently on foot or horseback," 
nor were they cavalry who fought only mounted and with 
sabers. Few 7 of his command ever bore sabers, save some of 
his officers, who wore them as a badge of rank. None of For 
rest s men could use the saber. He himself had no knowledge 
of its use, but he would encounter half a dozen expert sabreurs 
with his revolver. 

GENERAL CUSTER * 

It was here (Hanover, Pennsylvania, June, 1863) that the 
brigade first saw Custer. As the men of the Sixth, armed with 
their Spencer rifles, were deploying forward across the railroad 
into a wheat-field beyond, I heard a voice new to me, directly 
in rear of the portion of the line where I was, giving directions 
for the movement, in clear, resonant tones, and in a calm, con 
fident manner, at once resolute and reassuring. Looking back 
to see whence it came, my eyes were instantly riveted upon a 
figure only a few feet distant, whose appearance amazed, if 
it did not for the moment amuse me. It was he who was giving 
the orders. At first, I thought he might be a staff -officer, con 
veying the commands of his chief. But it was at once apparent 

* Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman. By J. H. Kidd, formerly 
Colonel, Sixth Michigan Cavalry. (Ionia, Mich.) Sentinel Printing Co. 

[ 282 ] 




BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOHN K. 
CIIAMBLISS, C.S.A. 

General John 11. Chambliss was a Confederate 
cavalry leader who distinguished himself at 
Gettysburg. At Brandy Station, June 0, 1803, 
W. H. F. Lee had been wounded, and Colonel 
Chambliss had taken command of his brigade. 
On the night of June 24th Stuart left Robert 
son s and Jones brigades to guard the passes of 
the Blue Ridge and started to move round the 
Army of the Potomac with the forces of Hamp 
ton, Fitzhugh Lee, and Chambliss, intending 
to pass between it and Centerville into Mary 
land and so rejoin Lee. The movements of 
the army forced him out of his way, so on the 
morning of the 30th he moved across country 
to Hanover, Chambliss in front and Hampton 
in the rear with Fitzhugh Lee well out on the 
flank. Chambliss attacked Kilpatrick at Han 
over about 10 A.M., but was driven out before 
Hampton or Lee could come to his support. 



MAJOR HENRY GILMOR, 
C.S.A. 

Major Gilmor was born in Baltimore County, 
Maryland, in 1838. He entered the Confed 
erate army at the outbreak of the Civil War, 
and was commissioned captain in 1862. In 
ISG^-GS he was imprisoned for five months 
in Fort McHenry, at Baltimore, and in the 
latter year he raised a cavalry battalion, of 
which he was made major. Subsequently he 
commanded the First Confederate Regiment 
of Maryland, and in 1864 1 leaded the advance 
of the forces of General Jubal A. Early into 
that State, and, being familiar with the 
country, made a successful raid north of 
Baltimore. He captured Frederick, Md., and 
created great alarm by his daring exploit so 
far north of the customary battlefields. In 
1874 he became police commissioner of his 
native city. He died in 1883. 





krtrltrs 











that he was giving orders, not transmitting them, and that he 
was in command of the line. 

Looking at him closely, this is what I saw: An officer, 
superbly mounted, who sat his charger as if to the manner 
horn. Tall, lithe, active, muscular, straight as an Indian and as 
quick in his movements, he had the fair complexion of a school 
girl. He was clad in a suit of black velvet, elaborately trimmed 
with gold lace, which ran down the outer seams of his trousers, 
and almost covered the sleeves of his cavalry jacket. The wide 
collar of a navy-blue shirt was turned down over the collar of 
his velvet jacket, and a necktie of brilliant crimson was tied in 
a graceful knot at the throat, the long ends falling carelessly in 
front. The double rows of buttons on his breast were arranged 
in groups of twos, indicating the rank of brigadier-general. 
A soft black hat with wide brim adorned with a gilt cord, and 
rosette encircling a silver star, was worn turned down on one 
side, giving him a rakish air. His golden hair fell in graceful 
luxuriance nearly or quite to his shoulder, and his upper lip 
was garnished with a blonde mustache. A sword and belt, gilt 
spurs and top-boots completed his unique outfit. 

A keen eye would have been slow to detect in that rider 
with the flowing locks and gaudy tie, in his dress of velvet and 
of gold, the master-spirit that he proved to be. That garb, 
fantastic as at first sight it appeared to be, was to be the dis 
tinguishing mark which, during all the remaining years of the 
war, like the white plume of Henry of Xavarre, was to show 
us where, in the thickest of the fight, we w r ere to seek our leader 
for, where danger was, where swords were to cross, where 
Greek met Greek, there he was, always. Brave, but not reck 
less; self-confident, yet modest; ambitious, but regulating his 
conduct at all times by a high sense of honor and duty; eager 
for laurels, but scorning to wear them unworthily; ready and 
willing to act, but regardful of human life; quick in emergen 
cies, cool and self-possessed, his courage was of the highest 
moral type, his perceptions were intuitions. 

[ 28-* ] 








m 




MAJOR-GENERAL HUGH JUDSON KILPATRICK 



This daring cavalry leafier was l>orn in 1836 near Deckertown, New Jersey, and 
graduated at West Point in 1861. He entered the Federal service as eaptain in the 
Fifth New York Volunteers, generally known as Duryea s Zouaves. He was 
wounded at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, and on September 2.5th he became lieutenant- 
colonel of the Second New York Cavalry. In the second battle of Bull Run, and 
on the left at Gettysburg, he served with conspicuous gallantry. In December, 
1862, he was promoted to be colonel, and in June, 1863, to be brigadier-general of 
volunteers while he received the brevet of major and lieutenant-colonel in the 
Regular Army for repeated gallantry. In March, 186t, he made his cele 
brated Richmond ra d and in April accompanied Sherman in his invasion of 
Georgia. He was wounded at Resasca, and at the close of the war he was brevetted 
brigadier-general in the Regular Army for "gallant and meritorious services in the 
capture of Fayetteville, North Carolina," and major-general for his services during 
the campaign under Sherman in the Carolinas. In June, 18(55, lie obtained the 
regular rank of major-general of volunteers. He died at Santiago in December, 1881. 




(Emmlry 



GENERAL FITZHUGH LEE * 

Major-General Fitzhugh Lee, or " Our Fitz " as he was 
affectionately called by his old comrades, won high distinction 
as a cavalryman in the Army of Northern Virginia, and since 
the war won higher distinction as a citizen. 

After serving for a year at Carlisle Barracks as cavalry 
instructor of raw recruits, he reported to his regiment on the 
frontier of Texas, and was greatly distinguished in several 
fights for gallantry. In a fight with the Comanches, May 
13, 1859, he was so severely wounded, being pierced through 
the lungs by an arrow, that the surgeons despaired of his life 
(especially as he had to be borne two hundred miles across the 
prairie in a horse litter), but he recovered and rejoined his 
command, and led a part of his company in January, 1860, 
in a very notable and successful fight with the Indians, in 
which he greatly distinguished himself in a single combat with 
a powerful Indian chief. . . . 

In the campaign against Pope, and the Maryland Cam 
paign (1862) his cavalry rendered most important service, of 
which General R. K. Lee said in his official report: " Its vigi 
lance, activity, and courage were conspicuous; and to its assist 
ance is due in a great measure some of the most important and 
delicate operations of the campaign." . . . 

When Hampton was sent south, Lee was put in command 
of the entire cavalry corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
and only the break-up at Richmond prevented him from re 
ceiving his merited commission as lieutenant-general, which 
had been decided on by the Confederate President. . . . 

When the war with Spain broke out he was made major- 
general of volunteers, and put in command of troops destined 
to capture Havana. After the close of the war he was kept 

* Thirty-sixth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates 
of the United States Military Academy, at West Point, New York, June 
1. }, 1905. 

[286] 








MAJOR-GENERAL LOVELL HARRISON 
ROUSSEAU 

General Rousseau was born in Stanford, Lin 
coln County, Ky., in 1818. He fought in the 
Mexican War, distinguished himself at Buena 
Vista, and later settled in Louisville. In 1800 
he raised the Fifth Kentucky regiment, of 
which he was made colonel, and in 1801 he 
\\as made brigadier-general. He served with 
great credit at Shiloh, and was made major- 
general of volunteers for gallant conduct at 
Perryville. He commanded the Fifth Division 
of the Army of the Cumberland at Stone 
River and at Chickamauga, and in 1804 made 
a cavalry raid into Alabama. In the Nashville 
campaign he had command of Fort Rosecrans 
under General Thomas, and did his share in 
achieving the notable results of that battle. 
At the time of his death in 18(50 he was 
commander of the Department of the Gulf. 



MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE 
STONEMAN 

General Stoneman was born at Busti, Chau- 
tauqua County, N. Y., in 1822, and graduated 
at West Point in 1846. Following some service 
in West Virginia in the early part of the war, 
he was appointed chief of cavalry in the 
Army of the Potomac. After the evacuation 
of Yorktown, he overtook the Confederate 
troops and brought on the battle of Williams- 
burgh in May, 1862. On November 15, 1862, 
he was made commander of the Third Army 
Corps, which he led at Fredericksburg on 
December 13, 1862. During Hooker s Chan- 
cellorsville campaign he led a cavalry raid 
toward Richmond. In April, 1864, he was 
made commander of a cavalry corps in the Army 
of the Ohio, and in the Atlanta campaign under 
took a raid against Macon and Andersonville. 
For three months he was a prisoner. 





ftrtdpa 



(Uatmlry 



* 



for a time in Cuba as Commander of the District of Havana, 
and was made brigadier-general in the regular army, where 
he served with distinction until he was retired. 

GENERAL WHEELER 

One of the most versatile soldiers of the Civil War was 
Joseph Wheeler, Lieutenant-General, C. S. A., Brigadier- 
General, U. S. A., and in the opinion of General R. E. Lee one 
of " the tw r o ablest cavalry officers which the war developed." 

President Davis said that General Wheeler displayed " a 
dash and activity, vigilance and consummate skill, which justly 
entitled him to a prominent place on the roll of great cavalry 
leaders. By his indomitable energy he was able to keep the 
Government and commanders of our troops advised of the ene 
my s movements and by preventing foraging parties from leav 
ing the main body, he saved from spoliation all but a narrow 
tract of country, and from the torch millions worth of prop 
erty which would otherwise have certainly been consumed." 

One of his biographers (Rev. E. S. Buford) states that: 
" General Wheeler has commanded in more than a hundred 
battles, many of which, considering the numbers engaged, were 
the most severe recorded in the history of cavalry. Always in 
the front of battle, he was wounded three times, sixteen horses 
were shot under him, eight of his staff-officers were killed and 
thirty-two wounded." 

At the outbreak of the war with Spain, Wheeler was ap 
pointed a major-general, U. S. V., and during the short but 
sharp campaign in Cuba, displayed the same energy and abil 
ity which had distinguished him in a greater conflict. In 1899 
he was ordered to the Philippines, serving there until June, 
1900, when he was commissioned brigadier-general, U. S. A., 
and in September of the same year was retired from active 
service. His old opponent, General Sherman, paid this tribute 
to his worth: "In the event of war with a foreign country, 
Joe Wheeler is the man to command the cavalry of our army." 

[ 2S8 ] 




CHAPTER 
ELEVEN 



FAMOUS CHARGERS 




GRANT S FAVORITE WAR-HORSE "CINCINNATI" 




. f 
^ x* * ., , , ~+ A ; . A 
v 


. 


.:>* 



THREE CHARGERS THAT BORE A NATION S DESTINY 



These three horses can fairly he said to have borne a nation s destiny upon their backs. They are the 
mounts used by General Grant in his final gigantic campaign that resulted in the outwearing of the Con 
federacy. When photographed in June, 1864, they were "in the field" with the General-in-Chief, after 
the ghastly battle of Cold Harbor, and before the crossing of the James River that sealed the fate of Lee s 
army. On the left is "Egypt," presented to Grant by admirers in Illinois, and named for the district in 




IN THE FIELD WITH GENERAL GRANT 



he was l>red. The horse m the center, fully caparisoned, is "Cincinnati," also a ,-- from a 

U; S, Lonis, ,ho on his deatlw sent for .^rant and presented 1 X% 

,,-rM." The littlc black y to the ri g h is "Jeff Davis/ captur,,, ,n ,, ,,,v, ,h ,., ^ ^ - 

J,,c Davis, brother of the (-onf,,lcrate l res,d,-nt. near ^ icksburg. 

"Cincinnati" and "Egypt" have pricked up their cars. .Vrhaps they were looU.ng at G mral Grant. 

[G 19] 




WAR-HORSES 



BY THEO. F. RODENBOUGH 

Brigadier-General , l r mtcd States Army (Retired) 

THE battle chargers of the general officers of the Confed 
erate and Federal armies during the American Civil War, 
wrote their names upon the scrolls of history by their high 
grade of sagacity and faithfulness. They carried their masters 
upon the tedious march and over the bullet-swept battlefields, 
and seemed to realize their importance in the conflict. The 
horse of the commanding officer was as well known to the rank 
and file as the general himself, and the soldiers were as affec 
tionately attached to the animal as was the master. 

GENERAL GRANT S HORSES 

When the Civil War broke out, my father,* General 
Grant, was appointed colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Vol 
unteer Infantry and on joining the regiment purchased a horse 
in Galena, Illinois. This horse, though a strong animal, proved 
to be unfitted for the service and, when my father was taking his 
regiment from Springfield, Illinois, to Missouri, he encamped 
on the Illinois River for several days. During the time they 
were there a farmer brought in a horse called " Jack." This 
animal was a cream-colored horse, with black eyes, mane and 
tail of silver white, his hair gradually becoming darker toward 
his feet. He was a noble animal, high spirited, very intelli 
gent and an excellent horse in every way. He was a stallion 
and of considerable value. My father used him until after the 
battle of Chattanooga (November, 1863), as an extra horse 

* This account was furnished at the author s request by General 
Frederick Dent Grant, U. S. A. T. F. R. 




EW Or REVIEWS CO. 



"STONEWALL" JACKSON S WAR-HORSE SHORTLY AFTER HIS MASTER S DEATH 



The negative of this picture, made in 1863, not long after the terrible tragedy of General Jackson s death, 
was destroyed in the great Richmond fire of 1865. The print is believed to be unique, and here reproduced 
for the first time. All day long on May 2cl of 186. }, "Old Sorrel," as the soldiers called him, had borne 
his master on the most successful flanking march of the war, which ended in the Confederate victory at 
Chancellorsville. There have not been many movements in military history so brilliant and decisive in 
their effect. At nightfall Jackson mounted " Fancy " for the last time, and rode out to reconnoiter. Gallop 
ing back to avoid the Federal bullets, he and his staff were mistaken for foes and fired upon by their own men. 
Jackson reeled from the saddle into the arms of Captain Milburn, severely wounded. The horse bolted 
toward the Union lines, but was recovered and placed in the stable of Governor John Lctcher at Richmond. 





and for parades and ceremonial occasions. At the time of the 
Sanitary Fair in Chicago (1863 or 64), General Grant gave 
him to the fair, where he was raffled off, bringing $4,000 to the 
Sanitary Commission. 

Soon after my father was made a brigadier-general, 
(August 8, 1861 ), he purchased a pony for me and also another 
horse for field service for himself. At the battle of Belmont 
(November 7, 1861), his horse was killed under him and he 
took my pony. The pony was quite small and my father, feel 
ing that the commanding general on the field should have a 
larger mount, turned the pony over to one of his aides-de 
camp (Captain Hyllier) and mounted the captain s horse. 
The pony was lost in the battle. 

The next horse that my father purchased for field service 
was a roan called " Fox," a very powerful and spirited animal 
and of great endurance. This horse he rode during the siege 
and battles around Fort Donelson and also at Shiloh. 

At the battle of Shiloh the Confederates left on the field 
a rawboned horse, very ugly and apparently good for nothing. 
As a joke, the officer who found this animal on the field, sent it 
with his compliments, to Colonel Lagow, one of my father s 
aides-de-camp, who always kept a very excellent mount and 
was a man of means. The other officers of the staff " jollied " 
the colonel about this gift. When my father saw him, he told 
the colonel that the animal was a thoroughbred and a valuable 
mount and that if he, Lagow, did not wish to keep the horse 
he would be glad to have him. Because of his appearance he 
was named " Kangaroo," and after a short period of rest and 
feeding and care he turned out to be a magnificent animal and 
was used by my father during the Vicksburg campaign. 

In this campaign, General Grant had two other horses, 
both of them very handsome, one of which he gave away and 
the other he used until late in the war. During the campaign 
and siege of Vicksburg, a cavalry raid or scouting party ar 
rived at Joe Davis plantation (the brother of Jefferson Davis, 

[294] 




J 



m 



j ^_ 





MEADE S BATTLE-SCARRED MOUNT THREE MONTHS AFTER GETTYSBURG 



"Baldy" was the horse that carried General George G. Meade from September, 18(51, to the end of the war, 
except when "absent on sick leave." His war record is remarkable for the number of wounds from which he 
recovered, reporting for duty each time he was convalescent. He was wounded twice at the first battle of 
Bull Run, before he came into General Meade s possession. Left on the field for dead at Antietam, he was 
later discovered quietly grazing, with a deep wound in his neck. Again, at Gettysburg, a bullet lodged 
between his ribs and rendered him unable to carry his owner again until after Appomattox. "Baldy" was 
a bright bay horse, with white face and feet. This bullet-scarred veteran followed General Meade s hearse to 
his last resting-place in 1872, and survived him by a decade. The photograph was taken in October, 1863. 





President of the Confederacy) and there captured a black pony 
which was brought to the rear of the city and presented to me. 
The animal was worn out when it reached headquarters but was 
a very easy riding horse and I used him once or twice. With 
care he began to pick up and soon carried himself in fine shape. 

At that time my father was suffering with a carbuncle 
and his horse being restless caused him a great deal of pain. 
It was necessary for General Grant to visit the lines frequently 
and one day he took this pony for that purpose. The gait of 
the pony was so delightful that he directed that he be turned 
over to the quartermaster as a captured horse and a board of 
officers be convened to appraise the animal. This w r as done 
and my father purchased the animal and kept him until he 
died, which was long after the Civil War. This pony was 
known as " Jeff Davis." 

After the battle of Chattanooga, General Grant went to 
St. Louis, where I was at the time, critically ill from dysentery 
contracted during the siege of Vicksburg. During the time of 
his visit to the city he received a letter from a gentleman who 
signed his name "S. S. Grant," the initials being the same as 
those of a brother of my father s, who had died in the summer 
of 1861. S. S. Grant wrote to the effect that he was very de 
sirous of seeing General Grant but that he was ill and confined 
to his room at the Lindell Hotel and begged him to call, as he 
had something important to say which my father might be 
gratified to hear. 

The name excited my father s curiosity and he called at 
the hotel to meet the gentleman who told him that he had, he 
thought, the finest horse in the world, and knowing General 
Grant s great liking for horses he had concluded, inasmuch as 
he would never be able to ride again, that he would like to give 
his horse to him; that he desired that the horse should have a 
good home and tender care and that the only condition that 
he would make in parting with him would be that the person 
receiving him would see that he was never ill-treated, and 

[296] 










OF REVIEWS CO. 



GENERAL SHERIDAN S "WINCHESTER" 



"Winchester" wore no such gaudy trappings when he sprang "up from the South, at break of day" on that 
famous ride of October 19, 1804, which has been immortalized in Thomas Buchanan Read s poem. The silver- 
mounted saddle was presented later by admiring friends of his owner. The sleek neck then was dark with 
sweat, and the quivering nostrils were flecked with foam at the end of the twenty-mile dash that brought hope 
and courage to an army and turned defeat into the overwhelming victory of Cedar Creek. Sheridan himself 
was as careful of his appearance as Custer was irregular in his field dress. He was always careful of his horse, 
but in the field decked him in nothing more elaborate than a plain McCIellan saddle and army blanket. 



should never fall into the hands of a person that would ill-treat 
him. This promise was given and General Grant accepted the 
horse and called him " Cincinnati." This was his battle charger 
until the end of the war and was kept by him until the horse 
died at Admiral Ammen s farm in Maryland, in 1878.* 

About this time (January, 1864) some people in Illinois 
found a horse in the southern part of that State, which they 
thought was remarkably beautiful. They purchased him and 
sent him as a present to my father. This horse was known as 
Kgypt " as he was raised, or at least came from southern Illi 
nois, a district known in the State as Egypt, as the northern 
part was known as Canaan. 



1 






GENERAL LEFS TRAVELLER 

The most famous of the horses in the stables of General 
Lee, the Confederate commander, was " Traveller," an iron 
gray horse. He was raised in Greenbrier County, near ISlue 
Sulphur Springs, and, as a colt, won first prize at a fair in 
Lewisburg, Virginia. When hostilities commenced between 
the Xorth and the South, the horse, then known as " Jeff 
Davis," was owned by Major Thomas L. Broun, who had 
paid $175 (in gold) for him. Lee first saw the gray in the 
mountains of West Virginia. He instantly became attached 
to him, and always called him " my colt." 

In the spring of 1862, this horse finally became the 

"Cincinnati" was the son of "Lexington," the fastest four-mib 
thoroughbred in the United States, time 7:19^ minutes. "Cincinnati" 
nearly equaled the speed of his half-brother, "Kentucky," and Grant was 
offered $10,000 in gold or its equivalent for him, but refused. He was 
seventeen hands high, and in the estimation of Grant was the finest horse 
that he had ever seen. Grant rarely permitted anyone to mount the horse 
two exceptions were Admiral Daniel Ammen and Lincoln. Ammen 
saved Grant s life from drowning while a school-boy. Grant says: "Lin 
coln spent the latter days of his life with me. He came to City Point in 
the last month of the war and was with me all the time. He was a fine 
horseman and rode my horse Cincinnati every day." T. F. R. 







GENERAL ALFRED PLEASONTON AND HIS HORSE 

Tliis is the horse which General Pleasonton brought with him from Utah in 1861. This charger carried 
him through the Peninsular campaign when he was a major in the Second Cavalry, commanding the regi 
ment and covering the march of the Federal army to Yorktown, August 18 and 19, 18(5-2. It bore him at 
Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, where Pleasonton distinguished himself by checking the 
flank attack of the Confederates on the Federal right, and perhaps it stepped forth a little more proudly 
when its owner was given command of the entire cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac on June 7, 
18(53. This photograph was taken at Falmouth, Va., in the latter year. General Pleasonton is riding the 
same charger in the photograph of himself and Custer used to illustrate the battle of Gettysburg on page 237. 




nf ifoafors ani 



\r\ 



property of the general, who paid $ 200 in currency for him. 
He changed the name of his charger to " Traveller " and 
from the date of purchase it became almost a daily sight to 
see the commander astride the gray, riding about the camp. 
There were a number of battle horses in Lee s stables dur 
ing the war. There were " Grace Darling," Brown Roan," 

Lucy Long," " Ajax," and Richmond," but of them 
all " Traveller " became the especial companion of the general. 
The fine proportions of this horse immediately attracted atten 
tion. He was gray in color, with black points, a long mane 
and long flowing tail. He stood sixteen hands high, and was 
five years old in the spring of 1862. His figure was muscular, 
with a deep chest and short back, strong haunches, flat legs, 
small head, quick eyes, broad forehead, and small feet. His 
rapid, springy step and bold carriage made him conspicuous 
in the camps of the Confederates. On a long and tedious 
march with the Army of Northern Virginia he easily carried 
Lee s weight at five or six miles an hour, without faltering, and 
at the end of the day s hard travel seemed to be as fresh as at 
the beginning. 

The other horses broke under the strain and hardships; 

Lucy Long," purchased by General " Jeb " Stuart from 
Stephen Dandridge and presented to Lee, served for two years 
in alternation with " Traveller," but in the fall of 1864 became 
unserviceable and was sent into the country to recuperate.* 
; Richmond," " Ajax," and Brown Roan " each in turn 
proved unequal to the rigors of war. 

"Lucy Long," second to "Traveller" in Lee s affections, was re 
called from the country just before the evacuation of Richmond; but dur 
ing the confusion she was placed with the public horses and sent to Dan 
ville, and Lee lost all trace of his war-horse. A thorough search was made, 
and finally, in 1800, she was discovered and brought to Lexington to pass her 
days in leisure with General Lee and "Traveller." After a number of years 
the mare became feeble and seemed to lose interest in life, and when "Lucy 
Long" reached about thirty-three years of age a son of General Lee merci 
fully chloroformed the veteran war-horse of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

[ 300 ] 




GENERAL RUFUS IXGALLS CHARGER 

Like General Grant s "Cincinnati," this horse was present at Lee s surrender at Appomattox. Major- 
General Rufus Ingalls was chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac. After the surrender he 
asked permission to visit the Confederate lines and renew his acquaintance with some old friends, class 
mates and companions in arms. He returned with Cadmus M. Wilcox, who had been Grant s groomsman 
when he was married; James Longstreet, who had also been at his wedding; Heth, Gordon, Pickett, and a 
number of others. The American eagle is plainly visible on the major-general s saddle-cloth, which the 
charger is wearing. The whole outfit is spick and span, though the double bridle is not according to army 
regulations, and General Ingalls even enjoyed the luxury of a dog at the time this photograph was taken. 






fc ft, 



But " Traveller " sturdily accepted and withstood the 
hardships of the campaigns in Virginia, Maryland, and Penn 
sylvania. When in April, 1865, the last battle of the Army of 
Northern Virginia had been fought, the veteran war-horse was 
still on duty. When Lee rode to the McLean house at Appo- 
mattox Court House, he was astride of Traveller," and it 
was this faithful four-footed companion who carried the South 
ern leader back to his waiting army, and then to Richmond. 

When Lee became a private citizen and retired to Wash 
ington and Lee University, as its president, the veteran war- 
horse was still with him, and as the years passed and both 
master and servant neared life s ending they became more 
closely attached.* As the funeral cortege accompanied Lee 
to his last resting place, " Traveller " marched behind the 
hearse, his step slow and his head bowed, as if he understood 
the import of the occasion. 

GENERAL MCCLELLAN S HORSES 

While General McClellan was in command of the Army 
of the Potomac, in 1862, he had a number of war-horses. 
The favorite of them all was " Daniel Webster," soon called 
by the members of the general s staff " that devil Dan," be 
cause of his speed with which the staff officers had great diffi 
culty in keeping pace. During the battle of the Antietam the 
great horse carried the commander safely through the day. 

" Daniel Webster " was a dark bay about seventeen hands 
high, pure bred, with good action, never showing signs of fa 
tigue, no matter how hard the test. He was extremely hand- 

* During the life of "Traveller" after the war, he was the pet of the 
countryside about Lexington, Va. Many marks of affection were showered 
upon him. Admiring friends in England sent two sets of equipment for 
the veteran war-horse. Ladies in Baltimore, Md., bestowed another 
highly decorated set, and another came from friends at the Confederate 
capital, Richmond. But the set that seemed to most please "Traveller" 
was the one sent from St. Louis, in Missouri. 

[ 302 ] 



n 





GENERAL RAWLINS MOUNT 

It is a proud little darkey boy who is exercising the horse of a general John Aaron 
Rawlins, the Federal brigadier-general of volunteers, who was later promoted to 
the rank of major-general, U. S. A., for gallant and meritorious services during 
the campaign terminating with the surrender of the army under General Lee. 
The noble horse himself is looking around with a mildly inquiring air at the strange 
new instrument which the photographer is leveling at him. 






some, with more than ordinary horse-sense. He was a fast 
walker, an important requisite in a commander s charger, but a 
disagreeable quality for the staff officers whose horses were 
kept at a slow trot. After McClellan retired to private life, 
" Dan " became the family horse at Orange, X. J., where he 
died at the age of twenty-three. McClellan said: " Xo soldier 
ever had a better horse than I had in Daniel Webster. 

McClellan also had a charger named " Burns," a fiery 
black, named after an army friend who gave the horse to Mc 
Clellan. His one failing was that at dinner time he would holt 
for his oats regardless of how much depended on McClellan s 
presence on the battlefield at the critical moment, as in the bat 
tle of the Antietam. Running at dinner time became so much 
an obsession with " Burns " that McClellan was always careful 
not to be mounted on him at that hour of the day.* 

GENERAL SHERMAN S HORSES 

General Sherman s best war-horse was killed early in the 
Civil War, at the battle of Shiloh, where he led the right wing 
of the Federal army against General A. S. Johnston s Confed 
erate legions. Two of his other chargers were killed while 
being held by an orderly. Of the many horses that carried 
Sherman through the remaining years of the struggle, two had 

* The Editor has vivid recollection of "Little Mac" in April, 180 L 2 
(then at the height of his popularity), during a ride from Fort Monroe to 
Big Bethel, being the first day s march of the Army of the Potomac toward 
Yorktown, Va. The writer commanded the escort (a squadron, Second 
U. S. Cavalry), and during the ten or twelve miles of the route covered at 
a gallop, between double lines of infantry, halted for the moment to per 
mit the commanding general to pass, the air was literally "rent" with the 
cheers of the troops, filled with high hopes of an early entrance to the 
Confederate capital. As the brilliant staff, headed by the young chieftain of 
magnetic presence, with bared head, mounted on "Black Burns," swept 
along amid clatter of hoof, jingle of equipment, and loud hurrahs, the 
thought came to the writer that thus the "Little Corporal" was wont to 
inspire his devoted legions to loud acclaim of Vire rEmpereur. (T. F. R.) 

[30-1] 





GENERAL BUTTERFIELD, A WELL-MOUNTED INFANTRY GENERAL 

This is ji photograph of the well-mounted chief-of-staff and corps commander of the Army of the Potomac. It was the custom of 
generals who had been infantry officers to set their own pace, regardless of their cavalry escort. A cavalryman detailed to escort 
him tells the following story: "We started out with General Butterfield one day upon the Potomac to meet Confederate officers in 
relation to the exchange of prisoners. My regiment was ordered out to escort him. The infantry officers, accustomed to riding alone, 
made their way regardless of their escorts, and inside of half an hour my column was distributed over two miles of road; General Butter- 
field did not adapt his riding to the pace of the escort and made it very difficult for the cavalry to follow him." 















a particular place in the general s affections Lexington " 
and " Sam." The former was a Kentucky thoroughbred, and 
his fine action attracted the admiration of all who saw him. 
When the Federal forces finally entered and occupied Atlanta, 
in 1864, Sherman was astride of Lexington"; and after 
peace was declared, in 1865, the general rode the same horse 
in the final review of his army in Washington. 

" Sam " was a large, half -thoroughbred bay, sixteen and a 
half hands high. lie possessed great speed, strength, and en 
durance. The horse made one of the longest and most difficult 
marches ever recorded in history, from Vicksburg to Washing 
ton, through the cities of Atlanta, Savannah, Columbia, and 
Richmond. He had a rapid gait, and could march five miles 
an hour at a walk. While under fire " Sam " Avas as calm and 
steady as his brave master. He was wounded several times, 
while mounted, and the fault was usually due to Sherman s 
disregard of the horse s anxiety to seek cover. In 186.5, Sher 
man retired " Sam " to a well-earned rest, on an Illinois farm, 
where he received every mark of affection. The gallant war- 
horse died of extreme old age, in 1884. 

GENERAL JACKSON^S HORSES 

General Thomas J. ("Stonewall") Jackson, the great 
Southern leader, had his favorite battle charger, which at the 
beginning of the war was thought to be about eleven years old. 
On May 9, 1861, while Jackson was in command of the gar 
rison at Harper s Ferry, a train load of supplies and horses, 
on the way to the Federal camps, was captured. Among the 
horses was one that attracted Jackson s attention. He pur 
chased the animal from his quartermaster s department for his 
own personal use. The horse, named " Old Sorrel," carried 
Jackson over many of the bullet-swept battlefields and was 
with Jackson when that officer fell before the volley of his 
own men at the battle of Chancellorsville. During the swift 
campaign through the Shenandoah, in 1862, when Jackson 

[ 306 ] 



/ 



V /A 




AN "AIDE" OF GENERAL GRANT 

A photograph of little "Jeff Davis," a pony that won General Grant s approval at the siege of Vicksburg 
by his easy gait. General Grant was suffering with a carbuncle and needed a horse with easy paces. A 
cavalry detachment had captured a suitable mount on the plantation of Joe Davis, brother of the President 
of the Confederacy, and that is how the little black pony came by his name. The great Union general was 
more apl to ("ill him "Little Jeff." The general used him throughout the siege, l>ul lie felt that the com 
manding general on the battlefield should have a larger mount, and "Jeff Davis" in this photograph is 
apparently saddled for an orderly or aide. The little horse remained with General Grant until he died. 
[a 20] 



marched his " foot cavalry " towards the citadel at Washing 
ton, the horse was his constant companion. 

In 1884, a state fair was held at Hagerstown, in Mary 
land, and one of the most interesting sights was that of the vet 
eran war horse, " Old Sorrel," tethered in a corral and quietly 
munching choice bits of vegetables and hay. Before the fair 
was ended nearly all the mane and hair of his tail had disap 
peared, having been plucked by scores of relic hunters. For 
many years after the cessation of hostilities, Jackson s gallant 
old war-horse was held in tender esteem at the South. 

When the veteran battle charger died, admirers of Jack 
son sent the carcass to a taxidermist and the gallant steed now 
rests in the Soldier s Home in Richmond, Virginia.* 

GENERAL SHERIDAN^S " RIENZI " 

General Sheridan s charger was foaled at or near Grand 
Rapids, Michigan, of the Black Hawk stock, and was brought 
into the Federal army by an officer of the Second Michigan 
Cavalry. He was presented to Sheridan, then colonel of the 
regiment, by the officers, in the spring of 1862, while the regi 
ment was stationed at Rienzi, Mississippi ; the horse was nearly 
three years old. He was over seventeen hands in height, pow 
erfully built, with a deep chest, strong shoulders, a broad fore 
head, a clear eye and of great intelligence. In his prime he 
was one of the strongest horses Sheridan ever knew, very 
active, and one of the fastest walkers in the Federal army. 
Rienzi " always held his head high, and by the quickness of 
his movements created the impression that he was exceedingly 
impetuous, but Sheridan was always able to control him by a 
firm hand and a few words. He was as cool and quiet under 
fire as any veteran trooper in the Cavalry Corps. 

At the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, the name 
of the horse was changed from " Rienzi " to " Winchester," 
a name derived from the town made famous by Sheridan s ride 

* From the Confederate Veteran. 

[308] 



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to save his army in the Shenandoah Valley. Poets, sculptors, 
and painters have made the charger the subject of their works. 
Thomas Buchanan Read was inspired to write his immortal 
poem, " Sheridan s Ride," which thrilled the Xorth. 

From an account of this affair in " Scribner s Magazine," 
by General G. W. Forsyth, who accompanied Sheridan as 
aide-de-camp, the following*is quoted: 

The distance from Winchester to Cedar Creek, on the north bank of 
which the Army of the Shenandoah lay encamped, is a little less than 
nineteen miles. As we debouched into the fields . . . the general would 
wave his hat to the men and point to the front, never lessening his speed 
as he pressed forward. It was enough. One glance at the eager face 
and familiar black horse and they knew him and, starting to their feet, 
they swung their caps around their heads and broke into cheers as he 
passed beyond them ; and then gathering up their belongings started 
after him for the front, shouting to their comrades farther out in the 
fields, " Sheridan ! Sheridan ! " waving their hats and pointing after 
him as he dashed onward. ... So rapid had been our gait that nearly 
all of the escort save the commanding officer and a few of his best 
mounted men had been distanced, for they were more heavily weighted 
and ordinary troop horses could not live at such a pace. 

In one of the closing scenes of the war Five Forks- 
Sheridan was personally directing a movement against the 
Confederates who were protected by temporary entrenchments 
about two feet high. The Federal forces, both cavalry and in 
fantry, w r ere suffering from a sharp fire, which caused them to 
hesitate. Where is my battle-flag? " cried Sheridan. Seiz 
ing it by the staff, he dashed ahead, followed by his com 
mand. The gallant steed leaped the low works and landed the 
Federal general fairly amid the astonished Southerners. Close 
behind him came Merritt s cavalrymen in a resistless charge 
which swept the Confederates backward in confusion. The 
horse passed a comfortable old age in his master s stable and 
died in Chicago, in 1878; the lifelike remains are now in the 
Museum at Governor s Island, N. Y., as a gift from his owner. 

[310] 












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The battle horse, " Highfly," carried General " Jeb " 
Stuart through many campaigns and had become his favored 
companion. The intelligence and faithfulness of the steed had 
many times borne the dashing cavalier through desperate per 
ils. In the summer of 1862, at Verdiersville on the plank road 
between Fredericksburg and Orange, in Virginia, Stuart was 
stretched out upon a bench on the porch of the tavern, awaiting 
the arrival of General Fitzhugh Lee with whom he desired to 
confer on the next movement of the cavalry. : Highfly " was 
unbridled and grazing in the yard near the road. The clatter 
of horses aroused the Confederate general, and he walked to 
the roadway, leaving behind on the bench his hat, in which was 
a black plume, the pride of Stuart s heart. Suddenly, horse 
men dashed around the bend in the road and Stuart was within 
gunshot of Federal cavalry. He was nonplussed; he had ex 
pected to see Fitzhugh Lee. Mounting his faithful and speedy 
bay he soon left the chagrined cavalry far behind, but the foe 
carried away the hat with its black plume. 

GENERAL MfiADE^S " BALDY " 

In the first great battle of the Civil War, at Bull Run, 
there was a bright bay horse, with white face and feet. His 
rider was seriously wounded. The horse was turned back to 
the quartermaster to recover from his wounds received that 
day. Later, in September, General Meade bought the horse 
and named him " Baldy." Though Meade became deeply 
attached to the horse, his staff officers soon began to complain 
of the peculiar pace of " Baldy," which was hard to follow. 
He had a racking gait that was faster than a walk and slow 
for a trot and compelled the staff, alternately, to trot and then 
to drop into a walk, causing great discomfort. 

Baldy s " war record was remarkable. He was wounded 
twice at the first battle of Bull Run; he was at the battle of 
Drainesville; he took part in two of the seven days fighting 

[312] 





THE HALT 

On this and the opposite page are shown types of the horses for which the Northern States were ransacked 
to furnish mounts for the staff and regimental officers of the Union armies. Small wonder that this magnifi 
cent, well-groomed animal has excited the admiration of his own master who is critic-ally looking him over. 
The officer is Captain Harry Page, quartermaster of the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, sub 
sequently colonel and chief quartermaster of the cavalry corps under Sheridan. This was one of the most 
arduous posts of duty in the entire service, and one whose necessities during the severe campaigns up the 
Shenandoah Valley, and around Richmond, kept the young colonel always upon his mettle. He has culti 
vated the ability to rest and relax when the opportunity arrives. He is evidently awaiting the arrival of his 
wagon-train, when he will again become active at the pitching of the tents and the parking of the wagons. 



nf 



GENERAL THOMAS 



BILLY 



The " Rock of Chickamauga," General George H. 
Thomas, possessed two intelligent war-horses, both powerful 
and large, and able to carry the general, w r ho weighed nearly 
two hundred pounds. Both horses were bays; one named 
* Billy " (after Thomas friend, General Sherman) was the 
darker of the two, about sixteen hands high, and stout in build. 
He was, like his owner, sedate in all his movements and was not 
easily disturbed from his habitual calm by bursting shells or the 
turmoil of battle. Even in retreat, the horse did not hurry his 
footsteps unduly, and provoked the staff by his deliberate pace. 

Billy" bore General Thomas through the campaigns in 

[314] 



1 



around Richmond in the summer of 1862: at Groveton, August 
29th, at the second battle of Bull Run ; at South Mountain and 
at Antietam. In the last battle the gallant horse was left on 
the field as dead, but in the next Federal advance " Baldy " 
was discovered quietly grazing on the battle-ground, with a 
deep wound in his neck. He was tenderly cared for and soon 
was again fit for duty. He bore the general at the battles of 
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. For two days " Baldy " 
was present at Gettysburg, where he received his most grievous 
wound from a bullet entering his body between the ribs, and 
lodging there. Meade would not part with the gallant horse, 
and kept him with the army until the following spring. 

In the preparations of the Army of the Potomac for their 
last campaign, " Baldy " was sent to pasture at Dow r ningtown, 
in Pennsylvania. After the surrender of Lee s army at Ap- 
pomattox, Meade hurried to Philadelphia where he again met 
his faithful charger, fully recovered. For many years the horse 
and the general were inseparable companions, and when Meade 
died in 1872, the bullet-scarred war-horse followed the hearse. 
Ten years later " Baldy " died, and his head and two fore hoofs 
were mounted and are now cherished relics of the George G. 
Meade Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in Philadelphia. 





AN OFFICER S MOUNT 



Captain Webster, whose horse this is, showed a just pride in his steed. Observe how the 
reins are hitched over the saddle to exhibit the arched neck to the best advantage. The 
equipment is regulation except for the imhooded stirrups. It has the preferable single line, 
curb bit, no breast strap and no martingale. The saddle is the McClellan, so-called because 
adopted through recommendations made by General George B. McClellan after his official 
European tour in 1800, although it was in reality a modification of the Mexican or Texas 
tree. It was an excellent saddle, and in an improved pattern remained after fifty years 
of trial still the standard saddle of the United States regular cavalry. In its original 
form it was covered with rawhide instead of leather, and when this covering split the 
seat became very uncomfortable to the rider. Captain Webster used a saddle cloth instead 
of the usual folded blanket. His horse s shiny coat shows recent thorough grooming. 



middle Tennessee and northern Georgia. He was on the fields 
of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and marched with the Fed 
eral host in the advance upon Atlanta. From Atlanta, he next 
moved to Nashville where his master engineered the crushing 
defeat to the Confederate arms in the winter of 1864, the last 
battle in which Thomas and " Billy " participated. 

GENERAL HOOKER S " LOOKOUT " 

General Hooker first became acquainted with his famous 
charger, " Lookout," while the animal was stabled in New 
York, and when Louis Napoleon, the French emperor, and 
an English gentleman of wealth were bidding for its purchase. 
Napoleon repeatedly offered the owner a thousand dollars for 
the horse. Hooker finally obtained him and rode him in the 
campaigns in which he later participated. 

Lookout " was raised in Kentucky, and he was a three- 
quarters bred, out of a half bred mare by Mambrino. He was 
of a rich chestnut color, stood nearly seventeen hands high, and 
had long slender legs. Despite his great height, the horse was 
known to trot a mile in two minutes and forty-five seconds. 
When the battle of Chattanooga occurred, the horse was seven 
years old. It was here that the animal received its name of 
Lookout." The grandeur of Lookout s " stride and his 
height dwarfed many gallant war-horses and he has been 
termed the finest charger in the army. 

GENERAL KEARNY^S HORSES 

General Philip Kearny was a veteran of the Mexican 
War, with the rank of captain. It had been decided to equip 
Kearny s troop (First United States Dragoons) with horses 
all of the same color, and he went to Illinois to purchase them. 
He was assisted in the work by Abraham Lincoln and finally 
found himself in possession of one hundred gray horses. While 
engaged in battle before the City of Mexico, mounted upon 
one of the newly purchased grays, " Monmouth," Kearny was 

[316] 



a 





WHEN SLEEK HOUSES WERE PLENTIFUL YORKTOWX. 1862 

Confederate winter quarters near Yorktown, Virginia, which had passed into Federal hands. 
When McClellan moved to the Peninsula in the spring of 1802 he had but few cavalry, but 
every officer was provided with a handsome charger on which he pranced gaily up and down 
the lines. "Little Mac" himself rode preferably at full speed. His appearance was the 
signal for an outburst of cheering. It was to be a picnic parade of the well-equipped army 
to the Confederate capital. It is presumable that the portly officer in the center of the picture 
had lost some weight, and the chargers some sleekness before they were through with Lee and 
Jackson. To such an extent had overwork and disease reduced the number of cavalry horses 
during McCIellan s retreat from the Peninsula that when General Stuart made his raid into 
Pennsylvania, October llth of the same year, only eight hundred Federal cavalry could be 
mounted to follow him. Under date of October 21st, McClellan wrote to General Halleck: 
"Exclusive of the cavalry force now engaged in picketing the river, I have not at present 
over one thousand horses for service. Without more cavalry horses our communications 
from the moment we march would be at the mercy of the large cavalry force of the enemy." 




ar-l 



0f 



* 






wounded in an arm, which was finally amputated. During the 
Civil War, Kearny had many excellent animals at his com 
mand, but his most celebrated steed was " Moscow," a high- 
spirited white horse. On the battlefield, " Moscow " was con 
spicuous because of his white coat, but Kearny was heedless of 
the protests of his staff against his needless exposure. 

Another war-horse belonging to General Kearny was 
" Decatur," a light bay, which was shot through the neck in the 
battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines. Bayard," a brown horse, 
was ridden by Kearny at this battle, and his fame will ever 
stand in history through the poem by Stedman, " Kearny at 
Seven Pines." At the battle of Chantilly, Kearny and " Bay 
ard " were advancing alone near the close of the struggle, 
when they met with a regiment of Confederate infantry. 
Bayard " instantly wheeled and dashed from danger, with 
Kearny laying flat upon the horse s neck. A shower of bul 
lets fell about the general and his charger. They seemed about 
to escape when a fatal bullet struck the general. 

The leader of the Southern legions in the West, Gen 
eral Albert Sidney Johnston, rode a magnificent thorough 
bred bay, named " Fire-eater," on the battlefield. The steed 
stood patiently like a veteran when the bullets and shells hur 
tled about him and his master, but when the command came 
to charge, he was all fire and vim, like that Sunday in April, 
1862, the first day of the bloody battle of Shiloh. 

Among the hundreds of generals mounts which became 
famous by their conspicuous bravery and sagacity on the battle 
fields, were General Fitxhugh Lee s little mare, " Nellie Gray," 
which was killed at the battle of Opequon Creek; ^Major- 
General Patrick R. Cleburne s " Dixie," killed at the battle 
of Perryville; General Adam R. Johnson s "Joe Smith," 
which was noted for its speed and endurance; and General 
Benjamin F. Butler s war-horse, " Almond Eye," a name de 
rived from the peculiar formation of the eyes of the horse. 

[318] 





i 



j\ 




w 



CHAPTER 
TWELVE 



MOUNTING THE CAVALRY 
OF THE UNION ARMY 







AN OKDKIUA WITH AN OFFICERS MOUNT 




A THOUSAND FEDERAL CAVALRY HORSES 

Lovers of horses will appreciate, in this photograph of 1864, the characteristic friendly fashion in which the 
cavalry " mounts " are gathering in deep communion. The numerous groups of horses in the corrals of the 
great depot at Giesboro, D. C., are apparently holding a series of conferences on their prospects in the coming 
battles. Presently all those who are in condition will resolve themselves into a committee of the whole 
and go off to war, whence they will return here only for hospital treatment. The corrals at Giesboro could 
easily contain a thousand horses, and they were never overcrowded. It was not until the true value of 




"TALKING IT OVER" 

cavalry was discovered, from the experience of the first two years of warfare, that this great depot was es 
tablished, but it was most efficiently handled. Giesboro was a great teacher in regard to the care of 
horses. Cavalrymen learned what to guard against. The knowledge was acquired partly from field service, 
but in a great measure from the opportunity for leisurely observation, an opportunity somewhat analo 
gous to that of a physician in a great metropolitan hospital where every kind of a physical problem 
has to be solved. 






THE MOUNTING AND REMOUNTING 
OF THE FEDERAL CAVALRY 

BY CHARLES D. RHODES 
Captain, General Staff, United States Army 

AS has been indicated in a preceding chapter, the result 
of organizing a great mass of untrained cavalry and 
putting it into the field without adequate instruction, resulted 
in a tremendous loss in horse-flesh to the Federal armies. 
During the first two years of the war, two hundred and eighty- 
four thousand horses were furnished the cavalry, when the 
maximum number of cavalrymen in the field at any one time 
did not exceed sixty thousand men. In February, 1865, Gen 
eral Halleck stated that the expenditure of cavalry horses dur 
ing the preceding year had been somewhat less than one hun 
dred and eighty thousand, while the expense of the cavalry in 
horses, pay, forage, rations, clothing, ordnance, equipments, 
and transportation, was quoted by him as having reached the 
enormous sum of one hundred and twenty-five million dollars 
for the single year alone. 

The great number of casualties among the horses was due 
to many causes, the least of which, it may be said, was through 
death in battle. Ignorance of inspecting and purchasing of 
ficers, poor horsemanship by untrained men, control of tactical 
operations of cavalry by officers ignorant of its limit of endur 
ance, the hardships inseparable from the great raids of the 
war, and last but not least, the oftentimes gross inefficiency and 
ignorance on the part of responsible officers as to the care of 
horses in sickness and in health all cooperated toward im 
mense financial loss and temporary military inefficiency. 

As late as April, 1864, Sheridan reported the horses of 

[ 322 ] 





COPYRIGHT, 1911, . : . F .s OF KtnEAS CO. 

CAVALRY STABLES AT ARLINGTON THE GREAT CORRAL IN THE DISTANCE, 3i MILES 




INTERIOR MEW OF CAVALRY STABLES AT ARLINGTON 

The streets of Washington re-echoed throughout the war with the clatter of horses hoofs. Mounted aides, couriers, the general staff, 
the officers of the various regiments stationed in and about the Capital ail had their chargers, and Gicshoro was too far away to stable 
them. In the left-hand corner of the upper picture, the Giesboro corral shown on the following pages can be seen in the distance. 
A glance at the photograph will show that the corral was too faraway to be convenient for horses in use in Washington. It is three 
and a half miles as the crow flies from Arlington to the corral. The photographer has written on the face of the lower photograph 
the date, Mime 29, 1804." At this moment Grant was swinging his cavalry toward Petersburg. 
JG-21] 








1 






llnum (Emmlnj 



It is absolutely necessary that some energetic measures be taken to 
supply the cavalry of this army with remount horses. The present rate 
of supply is 1,050 per week for the entire army here and in front of 
Washington. From this number the artillery draw for their batteries. 

The demand for horses was so great that in many cases 
they were sent on active service before recovering sufficiently 
from the fatigue incident to a long railway journey. In one 
case reported, horses were left on railroad cars fifty hours with 
out food or water, and were then taken out, issued, and used 
for immediate service in the field. 

To such an extent had overwork and disease reduced the 
number of cavalry horses in the Army of the Potomac, that 
when the Confederate general, Stuart, made his daring raid 
into Pennsylvania, in October, 1862, only eight hundred Fed 
eral cavalrymen could be mounted to follo\v him. 

Of course the original mounting of the cavalry, field-artil 
lery, and field- and staff-officers caused a great demand for 
suitable chargers throughout the North. The draft animals 
required for transportation purposes increased the scarcity of 
suitable horses. Furthermore, with the unexpected losses dur 
ing the first years of the war came such a dearth of animals 
suitable for the cavalry service, that in course of time almost 
any remount which conformed to the general specifications of 
a horse, was thankfully accepted by the Government. 

[324] 



1 



his command worn out by the mistaken use of mounted men 
to protect trains a duty which could be as well and much 
more economically performed by infantry; and by the unneces 
sary picket-duty, encircling the great infantry and cavalry 
camps of the Army of the Potomac on an irregular curve of 
nearly sixty miles. 

In October, 1862, when service in the Peninsula cam 
paign and in that of the Army of Virginia, had brought the 
number of mounted cavalrymen down to less than a good-sized 
regiment, McClellan wrote Halleck: 



/// , 

// 

I I I 




SMELTER FOR SIX THOUSAND HORSES AT (IIESBORO 

Thirty-two immense stables, besides hospitals and other buildings, provided shelter for six thousand horses 
at the big cavalry depot, District of Columbia, but most of the stock was kept in open sheds or in corrals. 
The stockyards alone covered forty-five acres. The stables were large, well-lighted buildings with thou 
sands of scrupulously clean stalls. The horses were divided into serviceable and unserviceable classes. 
About sixty per cent, of the horses received from the field for recuperation were returned to active service. 
Five thousand men were employed in August, ISO. }, to rush this cavalry depot to completion. Its main 
tenance was one of the costly items which aggregated an expenditure by the Union Government of *1,000,- 
000 a day during the entire period of the war an expenditure running even as high as $4,000,000 a day. 




THE BARRACKS AT (JIESHORO 




imtialjtttgi !inr0H In % Hutmt (Eatmlrjj 



Most of the animals used by the Union cavalry were pur 
chased by contract from dealers for a stated sum per head. 
Many of the mounts were not thoroughly broken, while not 
a few were absolutely unbroken. But no horse was so wild 
and unmanageable that some trooper could not be found, more 
than willing to undertake the animal s training. In fact, many 
cavalrymen took particular pride in having broken the horses 
which they rode in campaigns. 

At the beginning of the war, when horses were being re 
ceived from the West in car-load lots and shipped to the new 
regiments, some effort was made to organize troops of the same 
color blacks, grays, bays, and sorrels and to maintain this 
harmonious coloring from the remounts received from time to 
time. But after the regiments were fairly initiated into real 
campaigning and the losses in horseflesh became serious, all 
thought of coloring troops and regiments was abandoned, and 
the one idea was to secure serviceable mounts and remounts 
of any color, size, or description. 

It is related of one cavalry colonel, whose regiment had 
been in several engagements and who had lost more than half 
his horses, that he appealed most eloquently to the quartermas 
ter, for a supply of remounts. " Colonel," said the quarter 
master in reply, "I ll tell you frankly that we haven t five 
pounds of horse for each man to be mounted." That won t 
help much," retorted the colonel, testily; "we were thinking 
of riding the brutes, not of eating them." 

The continual complaints as to the quality of the horses 
furnished, the tardiness with which remounts were supplied, 
and the inadequacy of conveniences for recuperating broken- 
down horses in the field, led to the establishment, in the year 
18(>.% of the Cavalry Bureau, with General George Stoneman 
as its first chief, followed soon after by General Kenner Gar- 
rarcl. But it was under General James Harrison Wilson that 
the Cavalry Bureau reached its greatest efficiency. 

This war bureau was charged with the organization and 



L 



a 





IX BARRACKS 

A COMFORTABLE SPOT 

FOR THE CAVALRY TROOPER 



These cavalrymen of 64 look comfortable enough in their barracks at Giesboro. When the cavalry depot 
was established there in 63, it was the custom to have the troopers return to the dismounted camp near Wash 
ington to be remounted and refitted. Some " coffee-coolers " purposely lost their equipments and neglected 
their horses in the field in order to be sent back for a time to the comfortable station. The order was finally 
given by General Meade to forward all horses, arms, and equipments to the soldiers in the field. While the men 
in this photograph are very much at ease and their lolling attitudes would seem to denote peace rather than 
war, they are probably none of them self-indulgent troopers who prefer this luxurious resting-place but are 
part of the garrison of the post charged with defending the valuable depot. There are many Civil War photo 
graphs of cattle on the hoof, but this picture contains the only representation of a sheep that has come to light. 




imttHlitwj 



tn tlje Union Qlaualrg 









-t- 



equipment of the cavalry forces of the army, and with the pro 
viding of mounts and remounts. The inspection of horses for 
the latter purpose was ordered to be made by experienced cav 
alry officers, while the purchasing was under the direction of 
officers of the Quartermaster s Department of the army. 

Under the general charge of the Cavalry Bureau, six 
principal depots were established at Giesboro, District of Co 
lumbia; St. Louis, Missouri; Greenville, Louisiana; Nashville, 
Tennessee ; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Dela 
ware, for the reception, organization, and discipline of cavalry 
recruits, and for the collection, care, and training of horses. 

The principal depot was at Giesboro, District of Columbia, 
on the north bank of the Potomac, below Washington, and 
consisted of a site of about six hundred and twenty-five acres 
for which the Government paid a rental of six thousand dollars 
per annum. Stables, stock-yards, forage-houses, storehouses, 
mess-houses, quarters, a grist-mill, a chapel, and wharves, were 
soon constructed, and within three months after taking posses 
sion (August 12, 18(>3) provision had been made for fifteen 
thousand animals; and within three months more, arrangement 
had been made for the care of thirty thousand animals, although 
twenty-one thousand was the largest number on hand at any 
one time. The wharves afforded facilities for three steamers of 
the largest class to load simultaneously; the hospitals had ac 
commodation for two thousand six hundred and fifty horses; 
five thousand men were employed during the construction 
period, afterward reduced to fifteen hundred; while thirty- 
two stables, besides hospitals and other buildings, gave shelter 
to six thousand horses. Most of the stock \vas kept in open 
sheds or in corrals, these stock-yards alone covering forty-five 
acres, each yard being furnished with hay-racks and water- 
troughs, and having free access to the river. The estimated 
cost of the Giesboro Depot was $1,225,000. 

The remount depot at St. Louis covered about four hun 
dred acres, and had a force of nearly eleven hundred employees 

[328] 





CAVALRY TO GUARD THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 



Between June and December, 1863, just at the time that the Giesboro remount depot was established, 
four companies of the First District of Columbia Cavalry (A, B, C, and D) were organized. These com- 
mand> were assigned to special service in the District of Columbia, subject only to the orders of the War 
Department. The thousands of mounts at Giesboro were not many miles from the track of the Confederate 
raiders, and presented a tempting prize to them. But early in 1864 the "District" cavalry were ordered 
away to southeastern Virginia, where they served with Kautz s cavalry division in the Army of the James, 
during the Petersburg and Appomattox campaigns. Colonel Lafayette C. Baker, in command of this cav 
alry, reported an encounter with Mosby, to whose depredations their organization was chiefly due, on October 
2 2, 1863: "Sir: This morning about ten o clock a detachment of my battalion, under command of Major 
E. J. Conger, and a detachment of the California battalion, under command of Captain Eigenbrodt, encoun 
tered a squad of Mosby s men some three miles this side of Fairfax Court House and near the Little River 
turnpike. One of Mosby s men (named Charles Mason) was shot and instantly killed. The celebrated 
guerrillas, Jack Barns, Ed. Stratton, and Bill Harover, were captured and forwarded to the Old Capitol 
Prison. These men state that they were looking for Government horses and sutlers wagons. None of our 
force were injured." Colonel Baker was in the Federal Secret Service, and used these cavalrymen as his 
police. Eight additional companies were subsequently organized for the First District of Columbia Cavalry 
at Augusta, Maine, January to March, 1864, but after some service with Kautz s cavalry, these were con 
solidated into two companies and merged into the First Maine Cavalry. 



imttBljwg 



10 % Muintt (Eatmlry * 



blacksmiths, carpenters, wagon-makers, wheelwrights, far 
riers, teamsters, and laborers in many departments. 

The stables were long, well-lighted buildings with thou 
sands of scrupulously clean stalls. From five to ten thousand 
horses were usually present at the depot, nearly evenly divided 
between serviceable and unserviceable classes the latter class 
being again divided into convalescents and condemned animals. 
The condemned horses were those declared unfit for further 
military service, and unless afflicted with some incurable dis 
ability, were sold at public auction. 

About fifty per cent, of the horses received from the field 
^ for recuperation were returned to active service, " fit for duty." 
More than half of the remainder were recuperated sufficiently 
to be sold as condemned animals, while less than one-fourth of 
the unserviceable animals received, died at the depot or were 
killed to prevent further suffering. 

The bane of the cavalry service of the Federal armies in 
the field was diseases of the feet. Hoof -rot," " grease-heel," 
or the " scratches " followed in the wake of days and nights 
spent in mud, rain, snow, and exposure to cold, and caused 
thousands of otherwise serviceable horses to become useless 
for the time being. 

Sore backs became common w r ith the hardships of cam 
paigning, and one of the first lessons taught the inexperienced 
trooper was to take better care of his horse than he did of him 
self. The remedy against recurrence of sore backs on horses 
was invariably to order the trooper to walk and lead the dis 
abled animal. With a few such lessons, cavalry soldiers of 
but short service became most scrupulous in smoothing out 
WTinkles in saddle-blankets, in dismounting to walk steep hills, 
in giving frequent rests to their jaded animals, and when op- 
f^-^ portunity offered, in unsaddling and cooling the backs of their 
mounts after hours in the saddle. Poor forage, sudden changes 
of forage, and overfeeding produced almost as much sickness 
and physical disability as no forage at all. 

[330] 




I 



A RIDING COB 



IN WASHINGTON, 1865 



NOT THE SORT 



FOR CAVALRY 



This skittish little cob with the civilian saddle, photographed at the headquarters of the defense of Wash 
ington south of the Potomac, in 186.5, was doubtless an excellent mount upon which to ride back to the 
Capital and pay calls. But experience soon taught that high-strung hunters and nervous cobs were of 
little or no use for either fighting or campaigning. When the battle was on and the shells began to scream 
a small proportion of these pedigreed animals was sufficient to stampede an entire squadron. They 
took fright and bolted in all directions. On the other hand, they were far too sensitive for the arduous 
night marches, and lost in nerves what they gained in speed. A few of them were sufficient to keep a 
whole column of horses who would otherwise be patiently plodding, heads down, actually stumbling 
along in their sleep, wide awake and restive by their nervous starts and terrors. The short-barreled, wiry 
Virginia horses, almost as tireless as army mules, proved to be far their superiors for active service. 






ttrmaljituj 



to tire llntmt QIatmlry 












In its cantonment at Brandy Station, during the winter 
of 1864, the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac was nearly 
ruined by increasing the ration of grain to make up a de 
ficiency in hay. During the famous Stoneman raid (March 
and April, 1863) an entire cavalry division was without hay 
for twenty-one days, in a country where but little grazing was 
possible. During Sheridan s last raid, in 1865, nearly three- 
fourths of the lameness of his horses was due to an involuntary 
change of forage from oats to corn. 

But much of the breaking-down of cavalry horses was 
merely inseparable from the hardships and privations which 
every great war carries in its train, and which the most expe 
rienced leaders cannot foresee or prevent. 

In General Sheridan s march from Winchester to Peters 
burg, February 27th to March 27, 1865, each trooper carried 
on his horse, in addition to his regular equipment, five days 
rations in haversacks, seventy-five rounds of ammunition, and 
thirty pounds of forage. On General James H. Wilson s 
Selma expedition, each trooper carried, besides his ordinary kit, 
five days rations, twenty-four pounds of grain, one hundred 
rounds of ammunition, and two extra horseshoes. 

A remarkable case, illustrating the conditions surrounding 
the war service of cavalry regiments, was that of the Seventh 
Pennsylvania Cavalry. In April, 1864, this regiment started 
on a march from Nashville, Tennessee, to Blake s Mill, Geor 
gia. It had nine hundred and nineteen horses fresh from the 
Nashville remount depot, and among its enlisted men were 
three hundred recruits, some of whom had never been on a 
horse before. 

In a little over four months, the regiment marched nine 
hundred and two miles, not including fatiguing picket duty 
and troop scouting. During this period, the horses were with 
out regular supplies of forage for twenty-six days, on scanty 
forage for twenty-seven days, and for seven consecutive days 
were without food of any kind. In one period of seventy-two 

[ 332 ] 




WHERE THE FEDERAL CAVALRY WAS TRAINED 

Giesboro, D. C., where the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac was remounted after August, 186.5, was also their drill and training ramp. 




A BIG RESPONSIBILITY FORT CARROL, GIESBORO, I). C. 

Millions of dollars worth of Government property was entrusted to the men who occupied these barracks at Fort Carrol, Giesboro, 
D. C. The original cost of the cavalry depot was estimated at a million and a quarter dollars, and there were immense stores of fodder, 
medicine, cavalry equipment, and supplies at the depot, besides the value of the horses themselves. The Union Government s appro 
priations for the purchase of horses for the period of the war mounted to $123,864,91.). The average contract price per head was $140, 
so that approximately 825,766 horses were used in the Union armies. Giesboro was the largest of the Government s cavalry depots, 
and it must have been an anxious time for those responsible for the preservation of all this wealth when Early threatened W ashington. 




urmslttttg ijnrj8#0 fn ilj? Utttmt Oktmlrg * * 



v~"\ 



hours, the horses remained saddled for sixty hours. During 
the expedition, two hundred and thirty horses were abandoned 
or died, and one hundred and seventy-one were killed or cap 
tured by the Confederates a total loss of four hundred and 
one animals, or nearly fifty per cent, of those starting on the 
march. With such hardships, it is little wonder that it became 
necessary to send thousands of horses back to the depots for 

/ \ j. 

rest and recuperation. 

But, of course, one of the main purposes of the great 
horse-depots of the Civil War period, was not to recuperate 
horses already in the military service, but to receive, condition, 
and issue thousands of animals purchased throughout the 
country for army use. 

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, the Federal 
Government purchased 188,718 horses in addition to 20,308 
captured from the Confederates and reported; while during 
the first eight months of the year 1864, the cavalry of the Army 
of the Potomac, alone, was supplied "with two complete re 
mounts or nearly forty thousand horses. 

The price paid to contractors by Federal purchasing 
agents averaged about $160 per head, and occasionally really 
high-class horses found their way into the lots received at the 
depots. More often, however, the reverse was the case, and the 
inspectors of horses were usually at their wits ends detecting 
the many frauds and tricks of the horse traide, which dealers 
attempted to perpetrate on the Government. Men otherwise 
known to be of the staunchest integrity seem to lose all sense 
of the equity of things when it comes to selling or swapping 
horses ; and this is particularly the case w r hen the other party to 
the transaction is the Government, a corporate body incapable 
of physical suffering and devoid of sentiment. 

The Giesboro depot received between January 1, 1864, 
and June 30, 1866 a period of two and one-half years an 
aggregate of 170,654 cavalry horses. Of this number, 96,006 
were issued to troops in the field, 1574 were issued to officers, 

[334] 



V 

^ 








AN ARTILLERY OFFICER S MOUNT 







m -<. * 



A QUARTERMASTERS MOUNT 



Mounts were required by staff and regimental officers, as well as for the cavalry and mounted artillery. So great was the demand 
that during the second year of the war any quadruped that answered to the general specifications of a horse was seized upon. These 
fine animals look as if they had been obtained early in the war. The second and third show a " U. S." brand on the shoulder. 





urmaljwg 



10 



(Haualry 






//J 




48,721 were sold, and 24,321 died. In addition to this number, 
over 12,000 artillery horses were handled at the depot. 

While the capacity of the St. Louis depot was thirty 
thousand animals, it was never completely filled the service 
able remounts being promptly forwarded to regiments in the 
field, and the recuperating animals being held only long enough 
to render them serviceable or to determine whether they would 
not respond to further rest or veterinary treatment. The hos 
pitals for the accommodation and treatment of disabled animals 
were probably the most complete of their kind existing at that 
time; but after it had been demonstrated that an animal could 
not be nursed back to the military service, it was a matter of 
economy to dispose of him to some enterprising bidder for the 
average price of thirty dollars per head. 

The depot system or caring for Government stock, receiv 
ing those newly purchased and recuperating those returning 
sick or disabled from the field, proved a measure of the great 
est economy to the Federal Government, in addition to its 
marked effect on the military efficiency of the mounted service. 
The value of the animals returned to duty with regiments from 
the St. Louis depot alone, in excess of what the same animals 
would have been worth at public auction as condemned articles 
of sale, was in a single year nearly two hundred thousand dol 
lars more than the entire operating expenses of the plant. 

When it is remembered that there were six large depots, 
all engaged in handling the mounts and remounts of the great 
Federal armies, and that the depots at Giesboro and St. Louis 
comprised but a part of this complex system of administration 
and supply, the tremendous responsibilities imposed upon the 
Cavalry Bureau of the Federal War Department may be 
appreciated and understood. 



[ 336 ] 




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AX HONOR MAN OF THE REGULARS 

First-Sergeant Conrad Schmidt of the Second 
United States Cavalry a fine type of the " reg 
ular " trooper. He was decorated for galloping to 
the assistance of his captain, whose horse had been 
killed in a charge, mounting the officer behind 
him under fire and riding off to safety, although 
his own horse had been wounded in five places. 
This was at the Opequon, September 19, 186-1. 



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