THE EVOLUTION OF CAVALRY IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR; 1861-1863

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THE EVOLUTION OF CAVALRY IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR; 1861-1863

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THE EVOLUTION OF CAVALRY IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR; 1861-1863

by Thomas F. Thiele

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Michigan 1951

Committee in charge: Professor Professor Professor Assistant

Dwight L. Arthur E* Andrei A. Professor

Dumond, Chairman R. Boak Lobanov-Rostovsky James H. Meisel

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PREFACE The Civil War in the United. States has long attract­ ed much attention.

Aside from the fact that it involved so

many elements vital to the American way of life and that it generated so many social, political, and economic problems, that war produced much colorful tradition, many great lead­ ers of men, and demonstrated much about warfare.

Consequent­

ly, an enormous number of volumes has been written on the military history of the Civil War.

Most of these works have

related the basic story of the various armies and outstand­ ing persons of the Worth and South, and correctly enough, the story ..thus told revolves about the "Queen of Battles", the Infantry* On the other hand, the story of the Cavalry never has been treated fully, despite its color, and the interested student or casual reader must roam widely through biographies and general works, recreating the picture of the Cavalry a piece at a time.

The purpose of this study is to fill the

existing gap by reproducing the story as fully as possible. The part of the story contained herein deals with the period through 1863 which was the decisive year of the war so far as the history of the.Cavalry in the conflict is concerned.

Considerations of space have precluded carrying

the study beyond that year in this volume. It will be observed that the various aspects of the subject are handled by topic, and my conclusions on the ii

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various problems and points under review are given at the end of each discussion.

I have summarized some aspects of the

subject, feeling that they have been treated adequately else­ where, and I have attempted to deal more thoroughly with those facets, such as General Popefs use of Cavalry, which have been neglected in other works on the Civil War. Special attention was given to making a thorough investigation and synthesis of available information on mo­ bilization— including the organization and arming of the Cavalry of both armies.

A like effort was made on the study

of the horse supply and related affairs.

These topics have

been neglected by Civil War historians, and generalities or partial studies have been accepted as representing the whole truth. It would be an unwarranted presumption to say that the Cavalry played a decisive role in the Civil War, but the mounted arm contributed much to the decisive actions of the conflict, and there is much to be learned about American temperament, military history, and the principles of mobile warfare in a study of Cavalry in the Civil War.

iii

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1 >

‘ Chapter I• II. III.

CONTENTS

*W

{

Page

Background . . . . . .

.............

1

The North Mobilizes................... 30 Federal Cavalry Finds Its Place. . . .

79

IV.

The South Mobilizes.................. 116

V.

Horse and Forage Problems............ 178

VI.

The Campaigns of 1861...............

289

VII.

The Valley and the Peninsula.........264

VIII.

From the Peninsula to Fredericksburg . 304

IX.

Fort Henry to Holly Springs.......... 338

X.

The War in Tennessee and Kentucky. . . 368

XI.

Chancellorsville and A f t e r ...........392

XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII.

Gettysburg and Mine Run. .

.........422

Vicksburg to Knoxville.............

452

Leadership.......................... 486 Cavalry Tactics...................

508

Strategic Usage of Cavalry .........

524

Conclusions at Mid-Pas s a g e ...........543

Appendices.................

. . . . . .

Bibliography.........................

549 556

iv

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MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS Map I* II. IIX. IV.

Page The Peninsula and West Virginia........ 228 Mississippi and Western Tennessee. . . .

337

Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky.......... 367 Northern Virginia, Maryland andPenn­ sylvania

421

Some Cavalry Formations..............

511

Figure I.

v

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CHAPTER I BACKGROUND The existence of Cavalry in the army of the United States from the close of the Revolutionary War until 1833 was a precarious one, nearing a complete end at times.

For

a new and impoverished nation with few martial undertakings, the maintenance of even one regiment of Cavalry was very ex­ pensive.

Cavalry meant horses and extra equipment, and

after all, the nation had gained its independence without much in the way of a mounted arm.

As a result of this type

of thinking, the history of Cavalry for the fifty years prior to 1833 is one of feeble beginnings and sudden re­ trenchments, depending upon the moods of legislators and their constituents and upon the nation’s economy. In the Revolutionary War, a small body of good Cav­ alry, admirably led, opposed Tarleton on the plains of the Carolinas*

Except for that and a few similar bands, the

army had no real Cavalry.

After the War, a policy of re­

duction of the military from top to bottom was followed. V

1

\

It is npt surprising, therefore, that in 1789, a year in which the War Department of the United States had been re­ duced to one clerk and General Henry Knox, there was no Cavalry at all in the army. 1

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2 This policy of retrenchment soon gave way to one of vigorous reorganization in the face of renewed Indian dis­ turbances in the Old Northwest. a legion.

In 1792 the army was called

It was sub-divided into "sub-legions," each the

strength of a small battalion, and to each "sub-legion" was assigned one troop of dragoons composed of eighteen officers and non-commissioned officers and sixty-five privates.-1This new organization, under the command of Anthony Wayne, won a fine victory at Fallen Timbers in 179^.

Partly as a

result of this success, the Cavalhy grew from four troops of light dragoons in 1792 to a regiment of eight troops by July, 1798, only to lapse into complete oblivion--a victim of Jefferson*s economic policy of coordinate reduction of army and taxes. Whatever the merits of the Jeffersonian economic policies, the nation was to pay, with interest in 1813, for the economies of 1802, and for reliance upon economic retaliation as a means of defense.

The embargo was a dis­

mal failure by 1808, and war with France or England was a prob­ ability.

Secretary of War Henry Dearborn recommended to

Jefferson an increase of the army— asking for 6,000 men in­ cluding one regiment of light Cavalry.^

His recommendation

in the form of proposed legislation set off a storm of debate

l"Report of the Secretary of War, December 27, 1792," in American State Papers. Class V, I, l+O-ijJ.. 2lbid.

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3 in the House of Representatives,

The vitriolic John Randolph

lashed out to right and to left, objecting bitterly to both Jefferson*s policy and an increased

army.3

Again, the expense

of a larger army was the chief argument against it, although the Cavalry was not singled out for special criticism. When the debate ended, an act was approved, April 12, 1808, which provided for five regiments of infantry, one of riflemen, one of light artillery, and one of light dragoons.^- Under the provisions of the act, the dragoon regiment was to be organized into eight troops, each to include eighty-two officers and enlisted men.

In addition,

provision was made for assigning a riding master to the regiment.^ Having been resurrected as a part of the armed forces, the Cavalry received an unexpected addition, due to the exigencies of the War of 1812, in the form of a second regiment of light dragoons added by Act of Congress on January 11, 1812.^

According to Secretary of War John

3Annals of Congress. 10 Congr., 1 Sess., II, 19021913. ^Ibid.. 281j.9-2853. ^Peters and others, eds. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America. Ii6l-li82. Hereafter, this will be cited as U. S. Statutes at Large. ^Ibid., 671-6711.. The law stated that the was to have 12 captains, 12 first lieutenants, 12 lieutenants, 12 cornets, 2lj. cadets, lj.8 sergeants, als, 12 saddlers, 12 farriers, 12 trumpeters, and vates— all to be organized into two battalions of nies each.

regiment second I4.8 corpor­ 960 pri­ six compa­

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k Armstrong, the Cavalry of the army of the United States on December 29 of the following year consisted of the First Light Dragoons with 703 officers and enlisted men, and the Second Light Dragoons with 1,328 officers and enlisted men.? There were at the time, forty-five regiments of Infantry, making the proportion of Cavalry to Infantry, one to twentytwo . \

Such unaccustomed prosperity for the Cavalry was too good to last, and the pendulum nearly completed its cycle on March 30, l8li}.. With the war virtually over, Congress, choos­ ing to ignore the Indians in the West, returned to budget cutting and passed an act entitled "An Act for Better Orga­ nizing, Paying, and Supplying the Army of the United States.” Sections four and five provided that in place of the two ex­ isting regiments of dragoons, there was to be one, composed of eight troops— each having 121 officers and enlisted men, a riding master, and a master of the sword.® arm disappeared completely in 1815.

The mounted

On March 3 of that year,

an act was passed fixing the size of the military peace es­ tablishment of the United States.9

No provision was made for

Cavalry, and for eighteen years that arm sank into the com­ plete oblivion of Jeffersonian days.

It was not until 1832,

during the Jackson Administration, that the pressure of

^"Register of the Army," in American State Papers. Class V, I, 393-408. ---------------- --8U. S. Statutes at Large. Ill, 113-116. 9Ibid., III, 22l+-22Jp.

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Indians in the West forced the revival of the mounted arm. Prom that date on, Cavalry had a permanent place In the mil­ itary force and expanded steadily, except for one lapse— in

18142. The people, Congress, and the young recruits for the army did not consider the Cavalry as either an elite or as important.

This attitude contrasted strongly with that of

contemporary Europe.

Twice, Congress had revived Cavalry

prior to l833> and twice, had permitted it to disappear; in nearly half the fifty years, there had been no Cavalry at all. One of the reasons for the omission has been men­ tioned— Cavalry was expensive, and Congress hoped to get the most protection for the least money by relying on mili­ tia and a handful of regular Infantry.

This formula had

been fairly successful during the Revolution and the War of 1812, and the legislators saw no particular reason for mak­ ing a change.

Furthermore, the heavily wooded terrain of

North America was a bar to the successful use of large bodies of heavy Cavalry employed In the orthodox fashion, and it was considered useless to maintain an arm of the service which was not always of use. Another reason of considerable weight is found in the combat performance of the mounted troops.

No matter in

what light the combat record of Cavalry up to 1833 is ex­ amined, it is not dazzling.

In the Revolutionary War,,

Cavalry was not numerous enough to play a major role— certainly

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6 not Important enough to impress upon the nation the indispensability of the mounted arm. said of the War of 1812.

The same thing may be

The United States went into the

war with one regiment of light dragoons under Colonel Wade Hampton; by the close of the war, the mounted force had been doubled, but was still numerically insignificant.

At Sacketts

Harbor, Stony Creek, and Chrystler’s Field, the regular Cav­ alry did well, but there was not enough of it.

At Bladens-

berg, some 150 raw recruits on new horses, nominally desig­ nated regular Cavalry, participated in the defeat which opened Washington to the British.^-0

At Lundy1s Lane, had there been

one regiment of Cavalry for pursuit, the Americans would have captured Drummond and his British veterans.

When these

statements have been made, the role of the regular Cavalry has been described.^ It was from the mounted volunteers of the War of 1812, John Coffee's men in Alabama, and more particularly, Richard M. Johnson's men at the Thames, that one of the great lessons in American Cavalry history was experienced,

■^"Report of Lt. Col. J. Lafall," in American State Papers. Class V, I, 570-571• The haste with which most of the Americans retreated caused the British to refer to the battle as the Bladensberg "races." •^Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry. from the Formation of the Federal Government to the 1st of June. 1863. 33. says. ''The truth is.' that in the last war with Great Britain, our dragoons were of no great use..... they fell into neglect, and the service became unpopular. There seems to have been no system about their organization and ways of doing.... The general officers knew little and cared less about cavalry...." Hereafter, cited as Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry....

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7 and the tragedy is that the scarcity of numbers involved and lack of records permitted that lesson to be lost until acci­ dentally relearned in the Civil War, forty-seven years later. Colonel Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky was a frontier politician, self-educated lawyer, and a militia of­ ficer; in short, he was one of the many border captains the West produced in the early years of the nation1s history.^ Soon after Detroit fell to the British in August, 1812, Johnson proposed the raising of 500 mounted volunteers to march on the fallen city, and a meeting to raise the men was held at Georgetown.^3

Not only were enough men raised,

but as might have been expected, they elected Johnson as the commanding officer.

The unit served in the West under

William Henry Harrison, and relieved the Indian pressure on closely invested Fort Wayne in Indiana Territory.

Soon,

thereafter, Johnson and his men rode sixty-three miles in thirteen hours— not a poor record for an untrained volun­ teer unit in a region devoid of roads.

As the campaigning

season of 1812 drew to a close in October, Johnson, by now a colonel, and his battalion were discharged.

12Johnson served in the Kentucky legislature, was sent to Congress as a Jeffersonian Republican in 1806 and served in the Senate and House off and on from 1820 to 1837. Johnson has received some attention in Pratt, Eleven Generals, -------------81-98. 13m e s Register. Sept. 12, 1812, 25.

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8 On February 26, 1813 in answer to a proposal he had made previously, Johnson was authorized to raise a regiment of mounted volunteers on special terms; all officers were to be elected, the unit was to serve for four months within 300 miles of Cincinnati, and the regiment was not to cost the government a single cent until mustered into the service of the United States.*^

Johnson called at once for 1,£00 men,

later reducing the call to 1,000, each to bring fifteen days provisions, an extra powder horn, bullet bag, forage bag, and five flints.^

At his own expense, he provided gunsmiths.

As volunteer units go, this one was as well prepared for ac­ tion as any in the nation1s history.

It was loosely organized,

the company being the administrative unit, and it was not en­ tirely devoid of essential discipline. Harrison ordered the command to scour the frontiers and not to remain at one place more than three days— thus taking advantage of the regiment*s mobility.

On September

30, the command reached Detroit and was ready to participate in the Battle of the Thames, and Harrison at once used it to press the retreat of the Indians t.£> the river, prior to the general action. There is some controversy with respect to the part Johnson had in choosing the mission of his regiment in the

■’•^•Meyer, The Life and Times of Colonel Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky. 101. The source cited in this work is Secretary of War Armstrong to Johnson as published in the Kentucky Reporter. April 3, 1813. 1^Ibid.. 107.

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9 battle, but regardless of who conceived of the mission, the regiment won the battle virtually alone.

Johnson*s own report

to the Secretary of War states that his mounted regiment charged across a swamp against both the British line and the Indians.1^

Both Johnson*s report and Harrison*s report agree

that the mounted regiment did the bulk of the fighting, quickly broke Proctor*s British troops, and was the only force able to press the Indians constantly.

Although John­

son* s command fought mounted, Harrison*s report correctly speaks of it as Mounted Infantry and not as Cavalry. ^ The record of this regiment, brief though it was, ought to have shown what type of mounted troops was best adapted to North American terrain.

If the military men of

the time were so close to the events as to be unable to see the point, certainly in the years following the War of 1812 someone should have done so.

No one did.

In the first

place, the unit was composed of skilled marksmen, lightly equipped, and well adapted to a hit-and-run type of combat. Secondly, the -unit had a flexible organization--obviating the necessity for rigid central control.

Finally, the unit

so armed and organized was capable of mounted or dismounted action and had defeated both regular Infantry in line and

-*-%eyer, The Life and Times of Colonel Richard M . Johnson of Kentucky. 126 cites his complete' report. •^Harrison*s i*©pwt to the Secretary of War Is pub­ lished in the Niles Register. Oct. 23, 1813, 130-132.

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10 highly mobile light Infantry— in this case, the Indians,

These

three points passed unnoticed and were only partially recov­ ered later on the Western plains, and still later, were learned the difficult way in the Civil War.

The only two features of

Johnson’s command which the nation retained were of question­ able value.

One of these remained until comparatively recent

times— the practice of permitting volunteer organizations to elect their officers— with unfortunate effects in almost every case.

The other feature was the result of Congressional,

and often, War Department insistence, until after the Mexican War, that any Cavalry in the United States Army must be cap­ able of fighting both mounted and dismounted.

Johnson had

demonstrated this to be a good idea, but Johnson had placed the emphasis upon dismounted action; his men were mobile In­ fantry,

Congress and the War Department missed the point.

For years, the n ation’s Cavalry was to be a dragoon force armed with some form of clumsy musket and a heavy sabre.

The

principle of the mounted rifleman and the European idea of mounted shock charges with the sabre were combined, and the emphasis shifted from one side to the other; the result was an unsatisfactory straddling of the issue. Indifference to Cavalry lasted from l8l5 until June 15, 1832 when Jackson was authorized by Congress to raise "Mounted Volunteers for the Defence of the Frontier."'*'®

S. Statutes at La r g e , IV, 533*

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11 Some 600 mounted "rangers" were recruited and organized as a battalion, the enlisted men to furnish their own arms, horses, and equipment.

Each was to receive the sum of one dollar per

day for his services, his gun, and his horse.

However feeble,

it was a beginning, and although this command had a short life, it furnished some needed experience for future refer­ ence.

~ In December, 1832, the Secretary of War proposed that

the informally organized battalion be converted to a regi­ ment of dragoons.

Richard Johnson, then a member of the

House Military Affairs committee, supported the proposal.^ The advocates of conversion urged that the size of the ex­ isting command was unwieldy and that a regiment of dragoons would cost $153»932 a year less.2*-* peal that brought the change.

Perhaps it was this ap­

In any event, Congress di­

rected on March 2, 1833 that the change be made from the battalion of rangers to a regiment of dragoons, and a mounted force became a permanent organic part of the army from this time

f o r w a r d . 21

Section three of the act provided that said

regiment of dragoons "shall be liable to serve on horse or foot...."22

^ American State Papers. Class V, V, 126. 20Ibid. 2^II. S. Statutes at Large. IV, 652. 22Ibid.

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12 With the establishment of a mounted force after seventeen years without one, certain problems immediately arose*

No one knew what to do with Cavalry, and few really

cared.

There were no experienced Cavalry officers in the

regular army.

Cavalry tactics was not a part of the West

Point curriculum.

In the words of Philip St. George Cooke,

then a lieutenant recruiting for the new organization, it was an "extraordinary fact, that Cavalry tactics were un­ known in the army; and, with the whole theory and practical detail, were to be studiously acquired--in a manner, in­ vented...."^

To complicate matters the government was

slow, perhaps reluctant, to arm and equip the dragoons. Furthermore, Congress had provided in 1808 and in l8llj. for riding masters and instructors in swordsmanship, but no such provisions were made in 1833.

Lack of instruction

seriously hampered the efficiency of the regiment.2^- Some five companies were rapidly raised, but before they were mounted, equipped, or trained, they were hastily ordered to duty at widely separated frontier posts;2^ all plans to

23cooke, Scenes and Adventures in the Army or Romance of Military Life. 20*3. 2^For interesting anecdotes connected with the prob­ lems of the dragoons at this time, see; Hildreth, Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains. 119. Hildreth was a mem­ ber of the regiment. 2^Cooke, op. cit.. 219. Pelzer, Marches of the Dragoons in the Mississippi Valley. 19.

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13 make of the dragoons an elite and a natty unit were abandoned. In all, some ten companies were recruited and spread out in the Missouri and upper Mississippi River valleys, and as many different systems of tactics were invented by the officers, most of whom were detailed from the Infantry, as there were units.26 Whatever organization the regiment did receive came from the hands of Colonel Henry Dodge and Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Kearney at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.

As the

companies were assigned in the West, headquarters was moved to Port Leavenworth, and that frontier post became the virtual West Point for cavalrymen. In addition to keeping an eye on the Indians, the dragoons were occupied after 1830 in escorting wagon trains on the Santa Pe trail, and in making enormous marches through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and points West.

Some of these

1

expeditions averaged from 1600 to 2200 miles In every kind of weather and over trackless and unexplored areas. ^ Although constant duty against elusive Indians was an admirable school of tactics--emphasizing the Mounted Infantry aspects of the dragoons, the problems of uniformity and or­ ganization remained acute.

As a partial solution in 1829,

26Cooke, op. cit.. 227. ^?In 1835 Colonel Dodge made his eleventh such mounted expedition, one of 1600 miles, travelling to and into the Rocky Mountains and back. For his report and a map of the route followed, see: American State Papers. Class V, VI, 130-ll|.6.

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34 Winfield Scott translated the French army tactics into English, but much to his disgust, the work was abridged by order of General Macomb, Scott’s personal rival.

Abridged or not, it

was all that was available, and Richard Johnson urged the House to have copies printed and distributed to the state militia on the grounds that there was little point in issuing Cavalry arms and accoutrements to the militia unless they pO

were taught to use them properly. Such as they were, these tactics were the ones with which the army fought the Mexican War and served indirectly as a basis for Hardees Tactics of Civil War renown. The matter of organization received some attention in 1835 when a Cavalry school was set up at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, under the able Captain E. V. Sumner who was to become one of the first corps commanders in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

From 183£ Carlisle Barracks

served as a starting point and clearing house for Cavalry affairs. In 1836 Congress caused a second regiment of dragoons to be raised and to be organized and equipped in the same manner as the regiment already in

s e r v i c e . 29

This act was

both an answer to increased pressure on the frontier and an indirect tribute to the ability of the dragoons to do the work cut out for them, but the primary reason for raising

^ American State Papers. Class V, VI, 3li-5» ^ TJ. S. Statutes at Large. V, 32-33.

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another regiment was the Seminole War in Florida.

It was not

long before the Second Dragoons were standing hip deep in the tepid swamps peering into the gloom for Indians who rarelyappeared. Both the uniform and the equipment of the dragoons of the period displayed a considerable European influence. The dragoon with his short blue fatigue jacket trimmed with gold lace, flat forage cap, and sky blue trousers would not have outshown an Austrian hussar, but he must have brightened up the dreary plains and Florida wastes.

His armament con­

sisted of a musketoon on a swivel or sling belt, a heavy Prussian sabre, and a horse pistol.

The sabre was a useless

encumbrance in action against the elusive Indians, and the musketoon was a short range weapon of doubtful accuracy. The variety of armament was determined by the inability of the powers on high to decide whether a dragoon was primarily a Mounted Infantryman and secondarily a Cavalryman or vice versa. In the Second Dragoons under Colonel Twiggs, the European influence became more pronounced,especially after one of its officers, Captain Hardee, returned from a military commission in France.

Two squadrons were armed with impro­

vised lances,3° but the experiment was not a success.

It is

a curious fact that the United States army never successfully

30jRodenbaugh, From Everglade to Canon with the Second Dragoons. 81}..

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16 made use of lancers.

Attempts were made in the Mexican War,

but the Mexican troopers proved far more adept with the l a n c e . 31

In the Civil War the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

(Rush’s Lancers) tried to use that weapon, but by 1863 they abandoned it. The lance was never successfully employed for sev­ eral obvious reasons.

In the first place, it was govern­

mental policy until the late l8£0s to use only Cavalry cap­ able of dismounted as well as mounted action. was a lancer on foot?

Of what use

In the second place, much of the

Eastern part of the United States was heavily wooded, and a lance was a serious encumbrance there.

Since the chief

enemy of the time prior to the Civil War was the Indian, and the Indian rarely would come to grips with an organized force, the lancer was of little value.

Finally, to ride

with a lance and to use it properly took long training, and training was something Cavalry recruits rarely received; they learned by doing.

There is no evidence to show that

the War Department ever seriously 'encouraged the use of the lance. A more permanent European influence was injected into the Cavalry when a commission of three officers re­ turned from a tour of Europe.

One of the officers, young

Philip Kearny, had studied for six months at the Royal Cavalry School at Saumur, France, and then putting aside

31]3rackett, History of the United States Cavalry. 81j..

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17 his books, somehow managed to serve with the Chasseurs d ’Afrique in an Algerian campaign.

Since there were no dip­

lomatic repercussions from his rather irregular action, the most important result of his experience came from his report to the Secretary of War.

Attached to it was a long supple­

ment entitled Applied Cavalry Tactics Illustrated in the French Campaign. This, when published by order of the Secre­ tary of War, Joel R. Poinsette, in February, l81j.l, became the accepted Cavalry tactics of the army.^

Fundamentally, like

Scott’s, these tactics were a translation of the French sys­ tem, and in the period from 181^.1 until post Civil War times were regarded by cavalrymen as the best available. 33 For ten years the stepchild of the army had basked in the sun and had multiplied, but in 18^.2 a rude jolt, reminis­ cent of l8l5, awaited it.

In discussing the army appropria­

tion bill in the House, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts and Cave Johnson of Tennessee, in the interests of economy, proposed a reduction of the army which included the disband­ ing of the Second Dragoons.3^

Congressmen Fillmore, Granger,

Thomson, and Allen came to the rescue of the dragoons.

After

a lengthy and rather noisy debate, a compromise was reached; by a vote of 82 to ij.0, it was agreed to retain the Second

3%or an account of Kearny’s experience in Africa, see Kearny, General Philip Kearny. Battle Soldier of-Five Wars, 50-66. / 33Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry. l\.8. 534*

-^Congressional Globe, 27 Congr., 2 Sess., XI, 528Hereafter, this source will be cited as Cong. Globe.

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18 Dragoons, but to save money, they were to be dismounted and serve as

r i f l e m e n .

No one can be more abject than a caval­

ryman on foot, and morale in the Second Dragoons fell to an all-time low when the news of the action of Congress reached the -unit. Scarcely had the action been taken when adverse re­ ports began to roll in from the Secretary of War, from Gen­ eral Scot't, and from the frontier states.

One regiment of

mounted troops simply could not cope with the Indians.

By

18Ij4 Congress sensed the change in public opinion, cheer­ fully repealed its former action, and provided for the remount­ ing of the Second regiment. ^

It was a wise move, for the

Mexican War was in the immediate offing. The Mexican War ought to be the starting point for any study of the Civil War in view of the large number ef officers who served their apprenticeship to Mars in Mexico and then went on to rise to high command in the Union and Confederate armies.

For the Cavalry, however, the Mexican

War was a rather bootless venture; very few cavalrymen were available, and the inclination to use it was correspondingly less.

At the outbreak of the war, our Cavalry still con­

sisted of two regiments of dragoons, but as usual, the pressure of war forced an increase in all arms, including the Cavalry.

3£cong. Globe.. 903.

U. S. Statutes at Large. V, f>12.

3&U, S. Statutes at Large. V, 6£L}..

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19 On May 19, lQk-7* Congress passed a law to provide for raising a "Regiment of Mounted Rifles" and establishing military sta­ tions on the route to

Oregon.

37

The regiment was duly raised,

but was not sent to Oregon as originally intended; it was sent to Mexico and with the exception of two companies, served as dismounted riflemen.

On February 11, lQk-7» Congress added a

third regiment of dragoons "for and during the War with Mex­ ico," thereby completing the expansion of the regular army Cavalry for the war.3® In addition to these two new regiments, the mounted arm was augmented, in the course of the war, by approximately seven regiments of mounted volunteers.39

These men were not

all organized into regiments, nor were they of uniform qual­ ity. ^-0 Discipline varied from little to nohe; equipment was nondescript; only in spirits, natural and bottled, did all alike have an abundance.

Virtually all of these units came

from Southern states, especially, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri Arkansas, and Texas.^

3 7 s. Statutes at Large. IX, 13 - lif.. The sum of $76,500 was appropriated for mounting and equipping the regi­ ment. 3®lbid.. 123-12ij.. 39House Exec. Docs.. 30 Cong., 1 Sess., II, Doc. 8, ^-Qlbid. There were one regiment, twenty-two independent companies enlisted were one regiment of seven companies, one independent companies enlisted for twelve

two battalions, and for the war. There battalion, and four months.

telbid.1. Doc. 62, 28-86.

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20 At the close of the war, the regular army had four regiments of mounted men, with an aggregate total strength in December, 181*7 of 3,0^8.^2

There were at the time, sev­

enteen regiments of regular Infantry; thus, the proportion of Cavalry to Infantry was about one to four.

When the

seven regiments of mounted volunteers raised during the course of the war, totalling 6,91*6, is compared to the number of volunteer Infantry raised, the proportion there is almost one to three.^-3 ’ Both of these ratios were considered to be more than adequate— in theory, but they are misleading, for at no time in the war did either the army under Taylor or that under Scott ever have anything like one unit of Cavalry for every three or four units of Infantry.

The mounted vol­

unteers were not all in service at any one time, and the Cav­ alry, regular and volunteer, was spread out in driblets all the way from Missouri to California, and from Oregon to Mexico City. Colonel Stephen Kearny at Port Leavenworth had 300 dragoons, most of them from the First Dragoons, eight compa­ nies of mounted volunteers, and a company of St. Louis Rang­ ers .M*

It was with a part of this force that he marched to

California.

Some eleven companies were scattered about the

Ij-^House Exec. Docs.. 30 Cong., 1 Sess., II, Doc. 8, 10.

^3ibid.. 72-75 ^•Pelzer, Marches of the Dragoons in the Mississippi Valley. 11*2.

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West outside areas of active operations.^

Taylor had some

ten companies of regular Cavalry and a few companies of mounted volunteers.

In his report on the battle of Buena

Vista, Taylor lists as present at the action, 200 dragoons and 809 mounted Kentucky and Arkansas volunteers.^ When Scott launched his expedition at Vera Cruz, he took the bulk of Taylor*s dragoons with him, an action that was in part responsible for an acrimonious controversy between Scott and Secretary of War Marcy.

Robert Anderson, as an

Artillery officer with Scott, recorded in his diary, that in spite of annexing Taylor’s mounted men, "We are so poor in Cavalry, that we can use that arm for few other purposes than reconnoisances (sic) and in pursuit after

b a t t l e . " ^

Even though there were few troopers with Taylor and Scott, one might expect that they were used to the best possible advantage, but such was not the case.

The scat­

tering of Cavalry all over the West was a violation of the principle of concentration of force.

The fact that neither

Taylor nor Scott had insisted that a respectable body be gathered indicates an indifference to or an ignorance of

^House Exec. Docs.. 30 Cong., 1 Sess., II,Doc. 8, 75-177. Three companies of dragoons were at Santa Pe. One battalion of Missouri mounted volunteers was on the Ore­ gon Trail. One company of dragoons was at Monterey, Cali­ fornia. One company of dragoons was at Port Gibson, Cherokee Country. ^6Ibid.. 126-128. ^Anderson, An Artillery Officer in the Mexican War. l8k6-7, 221. Edited by Eba Lawton Anderson.

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22 the value of that arm.

Both Taylor and Scott did use Cav­

alry for reconnaissance missions, for the most part success­ fully,^-® but they by no means explored the possibilities and capabilities of Cavalry.

In reading the reports of the two

generals, the impression received is that the role assigned to Cavalry was an afterthought.

It was not consolidated ad­

ministratively, nor was it used as a u n i t . S c o t t * s memoirs rarely mention Cavalry and then with no details and an obvious lack of interest. For the men in Mexico who were to take a commanding part in the Civil War, the Mexican War taught few positive lessons about Cavalry.

Either through ignorance or indif­

ference, the men in command made slight use of Cavalry, and that use was not of the best.

No one was interested enough

to concentrate the regular Cavalry, and much reliance was placed upon mounted volunteers.

Most of the latter came

from the South, more particularly, the border states.

They

had a little Cavalry tradition stemming from the War of 1812, a considerable initial enthusiasm, but because of lack of discipline or organization, very little effectiveness.

^•®Sraith, To Mexico with Scott. 25. Edited by Emma Jerome Blackwood. However, companies C and F of the Second Dragoons were captured in April, l8i).6, on such a mission. The "Texas Rang­ ers" were especially good on reconnaissance. See also: Rodenbaugh, From Everglade to Canon with the Second Dragoons. 119121, 13o* 14-2* 131. Scott, Memoirs of Lieut.Heneral Scott, W .

--------------------------- ------------

^ S e e Smith, op. cit.. 51.

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In battle neither Scott nor Taylor, even where ter­ rain was excellent, committed Cavalry to a major mission.

At

Resaca de la Palma, one squadron successfully charged a Mexi­ can battery; at Buena Vista, the regular Cavalry was confined to the reserve and watched the battle; at Cerro Gordo, the Cavalry was sent off in pursuit of a beaten foe only to halt because the horses were broken down; at Contreras, Cavalry was not used at all; and at Cherubusco, a badly organized wild charge was made unsuccessfully upon a fortified position. For the three regular Cavalry regiments in the war, the total losses numbered only 1 0 2 . At Taylor’s great battle of Buena Vista, he had Kentucky and Arkansas mounted volunteers in line numbering 809; their total losses were 111), or and this was as heavy a loss as the Cavalry sustained in the entire war. At the end of the war, Congress disbanded the Third Dragoons, in this way giving its usual post war accolade to the mounted arm. II The l850’s were valuable years to the Cavalry, val­ uable in several ways.

12-13 .

Roaming the prairies and hillocks

^ House Exec. Docs.. 30 Cong., 1 Sess., II, Doc. 8,

I exclude the Mounted Rifle Regiment as the bulk of it served on foot. ^Ibid., 1[(.2-143.

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and skirmishing with Indians made the troopers adept at par­ tisan warfare.^

Furthermore, during Robert E. Lee’s tenure

as Superintendent of West Point, the War Department ordered separate instruction in Cavalry tactics.

Prior to this, if

taught at all, it had been lumped together with Artillery. In 1856 the staff at West Point included an instructor in Artillery and Cavalry and two assistant instructors in Caval­ ry. £3

t0

f i n the cup to overflowing, Congress, in the army

appropriation act of March 3, 1855, added two regiments of Cavalry to the army.^

These two new regiments were specifi­

cally labeled Cavalry and not dragoons; including the mounted rifles, the army now had three types of mounted troops. The fundamental difference between the three types was more in name and dress than in function.

The dragoon

still carried the musketoon, sabre, and pistol; the mounted rifleman had a percussion rifle and Colt’s army revolver-no sabre; the new cavalryman was armed with a rifle— carbine, saber, and Colt’s navy r e v o l v e r . T h e trimming on the dragoon’s jacket was orange, that of the mounted rifleman was green, and the new cavalryman had yellow trimmings from whence,the name "yellow leg" was derived.

The function of

Z^For a colorful picture of the Cavalry in this period, see; Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon ( ’li9 to ’310 and Other Ad­ ventures on the Great Plains. 5, 310.

^ Senate Exec. Docs.. 3b Cong., 3 Sess., Ill, Doc. ; ^ TT. S. Statutes at Large. X, 639.

£^The Navy colt originally was designed for Naval service. It was of .36 caliber, while the Army colt was of .bk caliber. See, Pollard, A History of Firearms. 132, 272-273. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

25

all three types was to fight Indians in the best way possible One of the most remarkable things about the five scat tered little regiments of mounted troops in the years between 1855 and i860 was the large number of officers in them who achieved an important command and prominence in the Civil War .^

More than fifty of the officers assigned to the five

regiments in 1855 were to become general officers in either the Union or Confederate armies.

Sentiment among the

Northern and Southern officers was pretty evenly divided. Except in the Second Cavalry, the number of officers going with the Confederacy about equalled those staying with the Union. Perhaps the last strong impact of European thinking upon Cavalry of the United States Army prior to the Civil War was transmitted through the report of Captain George

^Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army from Its Organization. September 29. 1789, to March 2, 1903.' Among them were John Buford, Alfred Pleasanton, R. S. Ewell, E. V. Sumner, J. E’ . Johnston, R. E. Lee, G. B. McClellan, J. E. B. Stuart, A. S. Johnston, Fitzhugh Lee, W. J. Hardee, Earl Van Dorn, J. B. Hood,. For a complete list, see Appendix A. 57'Ibid. The following table was compiled from the information in this source. Of the officers assigned to each of the itemized regiments, the following number reached the rank of general officer: From the

In the Union Army

First Dragoons Second Dragoons Mounted Rifles First Cavalry Second Cavalry Total

3 k 8 7 k “26

In the Confederate Army 3 k 8 6 9 “30

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26

Brinton McClellan.

He had been sent abroad as a member of a

military commission at the time of the Crimean War.

Iiis re­

port was voluminous and detailed and contained many recom­ mendations.

After stating that our Cavalry equipments were

little more than copies of those used by the French, he pro­ posed several changes.

Later, he offered a design for a

saddle which has been used since that time in the army and which bears his name.

McClellan urged the founding of a

Cavalry school to train young officers, a veterinary school, and a school for farriers.-^®

Moving on to greater things,

he listed many desirable tactical formations for Cavalry and stated the functions of Cavalry in time of war.^9 These make interesting reading, although the reader can not help but smile when he recalls that McClellan ignored most of own advice on Cavalry when he became a field commander in the Civil War. There were no more fundamental changes made until the secession crisis turned the faces of many officers and men Southward. In surveying the long and unsteady growth of Cavalry in the United States, three fundamental facts stand out.

In

the first place, there was no great Cavalry tradition in this country--in spite of an abundance of horses and grain.

£®Farriers were primarily blacksmiths, but they were also expected to treat horses for minor ailments. ^McClellan, The Armies of Europe. J4.76-ij.77.

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27

The nation did not look upon the mounted arm with special pride, nor did the small boy see in it a corps d*elite. The reasons are fairly obvious. able.

Its war record was not remark­

In the War of 1812 there were few cavalrymen, and

they accomplished little.

Only Richard Johnson*s men pointed

the way, and their example was soon forgotten.

In the Mexi­

can War Cavalry was conspicuous by its scarcity, and so were its accomplishments.

Cavalry tradition was further inspired

by Congressional eagerness to economize— often by cutting down on “expensive" Cavalry.

Whenever peace seemed around

the corner, Congress got rid of some Cavalry— in 1789, 1815, l81j.l, and l81j.8.

This policy was not likely to encour­

age many to "jine" the Cavalry. In the second place, the South was in a better posi­ tion than the Horth to raise and use a large mounted force in the Civil War.

Whatever feeling the people of the United

States had for the mounted arm seems to have centered in the border states of the South. War of 1812 were Kentuckians.

Richard Johnson* s men in the The bulk of the mounted vol­

unteers with Scott and Taylor in Mexico were from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri.

In a position to procure good

horses at once, and having a large portion of its population accustomed to riding, the South could very soon field a large number of mounted troops who, at least, did not have to learn how to ride a horse.

Still, the difference between a horse-

minded people and a Cavalry-minded people is perceptible.

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The

28

North was at a disadvantage in producing good mounted troops. With no discoverable Cavalry tradition, circumstance's forced the North to put forward a good many farm boys and shopkeepers on plow horses as the only Cavalry immediately available to the Union army prior to 1863. Third and last, there existed in the minds of military men a muddled mixture of European Cavalry methods and various ideas resulting from frontier experiences with the

Indians.

Kearney, Hardee, and McClellan had all gone abroad on military commissions, and each had returned with ideas which changed or affected the Cavalry of the United States Army.

Furthermore,

"Old Fuss and Feathers," Winfield Scott, and "Old Brains," Henry Halleck, both commanded the United States Army during critical periods, and both of them translated European mil­ itary works for American use.

Halleck never could remember

that Jomini didn’t do his fighting and observing in the Virginia Wilderness or in the Ohio Valley forests.

The wild

shock charge of Frederick the Great's Cavalry, the impetuousity of Murat’s dashes, and the tactics of Austro-Hungarian hussars were bound up in those European ideas and Infiltrated Into American military thinking.

Unfortunately, these ideas

were predicated upon the outmoded supposition that an in­ fantryman’s weapon was ineffective beyond a few yards.

There

were still used, even in the United States Army Regulations of 1861, the terms "Heavy Cavalry," "Cavalry of the line," and other concepts ill-suited to North America.

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29

Yet, experience on the Western plains had soon taught the regular Cavalry the virtues of dismounted action and tac­ tics of irregular warfare. ■The result of this mixture of prototypes was an awkward compromise— the dragoon, who, in theory, had the favored attributes of both rifleman and hussar, but who, in practice, tended to be a poorly armed and badly used Mounted Infantryman. Formal military thinking had completely missed the point so clearly delineated by Johnson, Coffee, Marion and others who gave a man a rifle and pistol and used a horse to get him to the scene of action as a striking force and not just as a cover for the Infantry.

There is little evi­

dence to show that many men foresaw the role Cavalry would prove best suited for in the Civil War.

The solution was

painfully forged in the fire of action, for most military men had forgotten that through technological advances, an infantryman’s gun could kill a charging horseman from a long way off.

The mixed concepts of the cavalryman as a

saber-swinging horseman and as a Mounted Infantryman, products of European influence and Indian warfare experience, were carried into the Cavalry camps of both Union '.and Con­ federate armies.

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CHAPTER II

THE NORTH MOBILIZES The approach and outbreak of the Civil War thrust enormous problems and embarrassments upon the Federal gov­ ernment at Washington. ation of an army.

Not the least of these was the cre­

As the guns of Sumter boomed, a worried

Lincoln turned, naturally enough, to his ranking military man, Winfield Scott, for advice and aid in building an army. Scott, veteran of two conflicts, was an admirable old war horse, steeped in devotion to his country, and possessed of a wealth of field and administrative experience, but his huge body was racked by disease and the infirmities of old age.

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles found him "old,

infirm, and c hangeabl e,and described his influence in the early months of the administration as "unfortunate."2 Hampered by the lack of an experienced staff, the old man struggled to prepare the nation for a greater fight than thei nation expected it would have to make. Scott also made a serious blunder.

Firmly entrenched

among the other ideas in his mind was the notion that Cavalry

^Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles Secretary of the Navy under Lincoln and'Johnson,' I, 10ii. 2Ibid.. I, 17.2, 30 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

31

was to play no part In the approaching conflict.

David

McMasters Gregg, destined to rise high in the Federal Cavalry command in the Civil War, recalled years later that in April of 1861 Scott was convinced that Cavalry was not needed be­ cause the war would be too short to train it well, the ex­ pense would not be justified, and the character of the country was such that Cavalry could not be used. 3

a

little-known

German immigrant, Carl Schurz, applied personally to Scott, offering to raise in New York a Cavalry unit composed of vet­ eran German cavalrymen; he was refused for similar reasons.^ Although Scott expected a longer war than most people and was ridiculed for his "Anaconda" strategy, he ob­ viously underestimated the duration of the conflict, and he failed to realize that Cavalry might be adapted to the ter­ rain and need not follow blindly the European pattern.

He

was hampered by his own lack of experience with mounted troops and by the fact that Secretary of War Cameron was utterly

3Gregg, "The Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac, in the Gettysburg Campaign," in the Journal of the United States Cavalry Association. XVIII, No. 6£>, 213. ^•Schurz quoted Scott as saying, "It [the war] would be over long before any volunteer cavalry troops could be made fit for active service in the field. Moreover, the theater of that war would be Virginia, and the surface of Virginia was so cut up with fences and other obstructions as to make operations with large bodies of cavalry Impractible. The regular dragoons he had were quite sufficient for all needs." Schurz, The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, II, 229-231. See also, Kidd, Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer1s Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War. 32-33.

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32

incompetent and inclined to thrust his own duties on top of Scott*s great burdens. Lincoln and Cameron tended to give Scott his head in the matter at first, and under Lincoln’s first call for troops, no Cavalry was asked for.

Across the numerous letters and

telegrams of state officials asking for permission to accept mounted troops, Cameron wrote, "Accept no cavalry."-*

The

attitude of the general public toward Cavalry was by no means as conservative as Scott's, and great pressure was placed upon the Governors, who in turn besieged Lincoln, Cameron, and Scott.

Not until the middle of June, l86l, however, did

the official policy alter; and the change was produced by the 6 astute Lincoln who quietly overruled Scott. Lincoln urged the Unionists of Kentucky to raise a regiment of Cavalry, and under pressure from the President, Cameron accepted regiments of volunteer Cavalry from Indiana, Iowa, and

Virginia.7

^The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of The Union and Confederate Armies. Series 111, Volume 1, ?7. hereafter, this source will be cited as Official Records ... Armies. Between May 2 and May 30, l86l the Governors of In­ diana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Iowa offered Cavalry without success, although Governor Yates of Illinois, May 30, l86l, finally received permission to raise five companies. He was deluged with ten and was reduced to extremes to get the extra ones accepted— writing plaintively, "Now, Mr. Cameron, please do accept my ten cavalry companies," See Ibid.. liA, 219, 228, ,261, 272. ^Schurz, Reminiscences o f C a rl S chu rz, II, 231. See a ls o , O f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s III, V o l. I,

275. ?Ibid.. 275, 279, 291, 361}.. See also, Pickerill, History of the Third Indiana Cavalry, 8 .

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33

Even Scott gave a little ground under the urgings of George McClellan out in the Department of Ohio.

McClellan

was complaining that want of Cavalry and transportation was holding up an advance on Beverly, Virginia and asked for the six companies of the First Cavalry, then at Fort Leavenworth.® This was one of the first times that McClellan raised his oft-repeated cry that he had not the requisite troops or equipment for an advance.

In July, Scott grudgingly permitted

him to accept one company of Ohio volunteer Cavalry for three years

service.^

Meanwhile, in Chicago in July, a newly created

Brigadier-General, John Pope, was telling General Fremont that a regiment of Cavalry was the thing n e e d e d , w h i l e an assistant adjutant-general of Missouri was bombarding Cameron for Cavalry — predicting that Cavalry would crush secession "within two months."

Another obscure soldier, II. S. Grant, sent a request

for Cavalry as did political Brigadier Jim Lane and the gov­ ernor of Kansas.-^ Under the importunities of an eager public and the urgings of governors and officers, not to mention the lesson

^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 67I+. ^Ibid.. 7^2. During and after Bull Run, Scott was vilified by the press and by Congress for his lack of vision concerning Cavalry. Chicago Tribune, July 19, 1861, 2. Cong. Globe. 37 Cong., 2 Sess., Pt. 1, bi|8. The British reporter, William Howard Russell, also pronounced Scott culpable. Russell, My Diary North and South, 390. ^ Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. Ill, 386. 11Ibid.. 393-39i|., 1|32, I4.38, 1&2, ijlj.6, 2+69, ^86.

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3k of Bull Run, the War Department began to accept Cavalry from everywhere and in every quantity and condition. 12 Once the avalanche got under way, it rolled a little further than had been expected.

When it became evident that the War Depart­

ment had relented, men rushed by the thousands to join vol­ unteer Cavalry units.

As a matter of fact, by October, l86l

it became necessary to stop the rush.

Assistant Secretary

of War Thomas Scott sent out word that "The Department has determined not to authorize any increase in the mounted force at present beyond that which is now authorized and organizing, believing it will be sufficient for the require­ ments of the service."-1-3 On November 1, l86l, Scott retired and McClellan took his place.

Six days later McClellan urged the War De­

partment to accept no more Cavalry units in view of the fact that there was insufficient equipment for those already in service.^

Cameron responded by -ordering that fragments

of regiments in the process of recruiting be consolidated rather than be completed, and requested that if the parties most concerned objected to the consolidation, the units be discharged.*^

Furthermore, Cameron, December 10, l86l,

•^Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, 32k, 337$ , 2>k^> 357, 392. Even Cavalry companies at­ tached to Infantry regiments were accepted. Ibid., 303, 255 • 13Ibid.. 606. ^ I b i d .. 622. x%bid., 67, 72!^.

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35 inform ed the Hon. Henry W ils o n , in q u ir in g chairm an o f th e committee on M i l i t a r y A f f a i r s , " th a t a la r g e r fo r c e o f c a v a lry has a lre a d y been re c e iv e d in to th e s e rv ic e than i t s n e c e s s itie s demand."18 By December 1, 1861 th e S e c re ta ry o f War re p o rte d th a t he had in the C a v a lry 54>&54 v o lu n te e rs and 4 ,7 4 4 regu ­ la r s and ap o lo g ized f o r heavy expenses on th e ground th a t the la r g e mounted fo rc e was a burdensome d r a in

.^

M c C le lla n was

suggesting th a t h is needs f o r an army in th e f i e l d ,

e x c lu s iv e

o f co v erin g fo rc e s and g a rr is o n s , would be 2 2 5 ,0 0 0 I n f a n t r y

and twenty-eight regiments of Cavalry, numbering 25,500, a 1ft

p ro p o rtio n o f C a v a lry to I n f a n t r y o f about one to n in e .

M eanw hile, Paymaster Benjamin P . Larned suggested to Henry W ilson t h a t th e b est way to reduce expenses was to g e t r i d o f re g im e n ta l bands, and to reduce the number o f v o lu n te e r C a v a lry re g im e n ts .1^ It

is apparent t h a t S c o tt*s ideas on C a v a lry had a

good many ad h eren ts.

Even when Jackson whipped Banks in the

Shenandoah V a lle y and touched o f f a fre n z y o f f r e s h

I n o f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I ,

V o l. I ,

735. 17

Ibid., 699, 700. Cameron reported in the Infantry service, 53>7,208 volunteers and 11,175 regulars. Thus the proportion of Cavalry to Infantry was about one to ten. Cameron pronounced this excessive, and in view of its great cost, suggested that a policy of gradual reduction of the Cavalry would follow, l8Ibid., Series I, Vol. V, 7. 19Ibid.. Series I I I , Vol. I, 19.

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recruiting in the North, Adjutant-General Lorenzo Thomas wired Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania, May 27, 186?, that "no home guards, cavalry, or artillery will be received."20 Yet, the story does not end there.

On the next day, Stanton,

who had replaced Cameron in the War Department, changed course and asked for all the Cavalry, mounted or unmounted, that the states of New York, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Michigan could send on.2^

Meanwhile, out in the West, Generals Buell

and Rosecrans were clamoring for Cavalry in quantity, and pp

they continued to do so in 1863. After Pope took his beating, a fresh supply of Cavalry regiments was accepted, and as the war moved through the Spring of 1863, Hooker,directing the destinies of the Army of the Potomac, wanted more Cavalry; General Halleck at Washington had none ready to give him.2^

As a result, the

number of Cavalry regiments accepted remained rather high all through 1863. The fundamental result of General Scott’s attitude on Cavalry was far reaching, despite the pressure of a pub­ lic opinion in favor of more Cavalry and the requests of

200fficial Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. II, 89 21Ibid.. 9i+, 95, 101, 233. 22Ibid., Series I, Vol. X, Pt. 2, 183, 218; Ibid.. Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 197, 202, 266, 360, i+16, 655,* Ibid.. Vol. XVII, Pt. 2, 105, 108; Ibid., Vol. XXIII, 3k, lWTl-55, 288. 23lbid.. V o l. X X V II, Pt. 1, 3^-37.

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37

Generals Grant, Hooker, Buell, and Rosecrans.

Scott's atti­

tude is understandable, although incorrect, and it was in keeping with the long standing policy of the nation to re­ duce expenditures on the military.

Certainly the expense

of a large body of Cavalry was appalling.

But, unfortunately,

Scott retarded the growth of a Federal Cavalry force while the Southern Government, with a pre-existing advantage in raw material, launched a respectable body of Cavalry into the field at once and achieved a real advantage. Many evils, real or supposed, were traced to Scott*s error by contemporaries.

Colonel Albert Gallatin Brackett

of the United States Cavalry, writing in 1861)., asserted that Scott's attitude lived on through McClellan, and that McClellan's weakness in Cavalry contributed much toward his lack of success on the Peninsula and in Maryland.^

William

Howard Russell wrote that "From the want of cavalry...the un­ military practice of 'scouting* as it is called here, has a r i s e n . "^5

Whatever the evils or implications of the halting,

shuffling policy on Cavalry, the fact remains that the Federal armies started at a distinct disadvantage to the Confederate armies in Cavalry, and if someone must be blamed, General Scott is the man.

^■{-Brackett, H is to r y o f th e U n ite d S ta te s C a v a lr y .........

283-281}.. I do not agree with Brackett that McClellan in­ herited from Scott a dislike of cavalry, but I would agree that McClellan did not use his cavalry well. 25rus 3

6

My D ia r y N o rth and S o u th , 3ip2—3^4-3• visits'.

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38

Despite a belated start the Federal Cavalry grew rapidly in numbers, once the process got under way.

The

precise number of Cavalry units raised and mustered into Federal service during the war or in service at any specific date, however, is extremely hard to determine.

Reports by

the War Department were erratic and not always complete. Field returns were even less dependable, and very often in the early months of the war, Cavalry was not listed sepa­ rately, but was lumped together with Infantry and Artillery in the strength returns. As previously pointed out, after Bull Run, the num­ ber of mounted units authorized was large— too large, and Cavalry recruiting lagged -until 1862, when it revived, and continued steadily in 1863. During this period, regiments were accepted for periods of service ranging from thirty and ninety days on through one, two, and three years. From mid-1862 on, the term of service was generally three years except during the Gettysburg emergency when temporary Cavalry units were accepted.

All the regiments raised in

the period 1861-1862 were not, of course, in service at the same time. In June, l86l the only Cavalry in the Federal service were the five regular regiments, and of these, only four companies were near the seat of war.2^ Even after it became

2^ R u s s e ll, My D ia ry N o rth and S outh, 3i|.2—31+3.

"Report of the Secretary of War," in Senate Exec. Doc£., 31 Cong., 1 Sess., I, Doc. 1, 22,ij!9-8.3. See also Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 187.

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39 g e n e r a lly acknowledged th a t C a v a lry must be accep ted , the number o f u n its d e s ire d remained d e b a ta b le .2^

H a lle c k , who

was to become G e n e r a l-in -c h ie f of the F e d e ra l arm ies in J u ly ,



1862, had w r itte n in 1860 th a t " In a w e ll-o rg a n iz e d army, the c a v a lry should be o n e -fo u rth to o n e -s ix th o f the i n f a n t r y . • • . " 20 The r a t i o

o f C a va lry to In f a n t r y in the F e d e ra l army, however,

remained v e ry roughly about one to n ine o r one to ten d u rin g the la s t th re e years of the w a r .20

By 1863, th e re had been

about 227 regim ents and b a t ta lio n s o f C a v a lry , e x c lu s iv e o f Mounted I n f a n t r y ,

in F e d e ra l s e r v ic e .30

In the course o f the

w ar, th e re were in the F e d e ra l army about 272 regim ents and

27A s a point of reference, it might be noted that: About 1785 France had: 30 regim ents o f c a v a lry 17 regim ents o f dragoons 2 4 ,1 8 2 men 4 regim ents o f hussars c a v a lry o f the guard In F re d e ric k the G re a t's tim e , A u s tr ia had: 77 squadrons o f c u ira s s ie rs 42 squadrons o f dragoons 35 squadrons o f hussars The above fig u re s were taken from D enison, A H is to r y o f Cav­ a lr y from the E a r lie s t Times w ith Lessons f o r the F u tu r e , 271. N apoleon, as consul, had 84 regim ents o f C a v a lry o f from 350 to 600 men per re g im e n t. Oman, S tu d ie s in the N apoleonic W ars, 2 3 2.

\

20H a lle c k , Elements o f M i l i t a r y A r t and S c ie n c e , 2 7 2. F eb ru ary 19, 1862 A d ju ta n t-G e n e ra l Lorenzo Thomas 'reported to S ta n to n : " I t is judged th a t 4 0 ,0 0 0 c a v a lr y troops w i l l meet a l l the requirem ents of the s e r v ic e ." O f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I , V o l. I , 909. This fig u r e was q u ite prob­ a b ly M c C le lla n ’ s . 20Due to a la c k o f p re c is e in fo rm a tlo n , th is r a t i o , is o f course, an ap p ro xim atio n . 30B ra c k e tt, H is to r y o f the U n ite d S ta te s C a v a l r y . . . . A ppendix. Appendix B gives 'an ite m iz e d l i s t o f the u n it s .

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i+0

two companies of mounted

troppa.-^-5-

In short, over eighty

per cent of the total Federal Cavalry strength had been de­ veloped by 1863. In raising the Federal Cavalry units, all sections of the country were drawn upon— some thirty-eight states and ter­ ritories contributing regiments or companies.32

Missouri,

Hew York, and Pennsylvania, contributed most heavily, and eight of the states, belonging to the Confederacy contributed a total of forty regiments and twenty-five companies of Cav­ alry*

rphe korc[.er states of Missouri and Kentucky furnished

an additional forty-six regiments and thirty-six companies* For obvious strategical and tactical reasons, the dis­ tribution of the units in proportion to the Infantry varied a great deal in different areas of the war.

As of July 8, l86l,

the Official Records show, in service, twenty-seven Cavalry regiments and thirty-two Cavalry companies*

On the same

date, there were 266 Infantry regiments and eighteen Infantry companies in service— a ratio of less than one to

n i n e . 3^-

31phisterer, Statistical Record of the Armies of the United States. 22-23. Beach* The First New York..., 12, estimates the number of Cavalry regiments at 300, but he does not give his source, and the estimate seems high*

For a breakdown of regiments and companies according to the period of service for which they volunteered, see Phisterer, op. cit.. 12-21. The number of Cavalry units furnished by each state and territory at several different dates is given in Appendix B below. -^See Appendix B. 33lbid. 3^0fficlal Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I,

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Organized, but not yet in service were four regiments and two companies of Cavalry and forty regiments and eight compa nies of Infantry.3£

Authorized, but not yet organized were

twenty-three regiments and thirty companies of Cavalry and 226 regiments and ten companies of Infantry.3&

In November,

1861, Harpers Weekly quoted the usual "reliable sources" to the affect that there were in the field or on their, way into the field 35,500 Cavalry.3?

That same month, returns of

the Army of the Potamac show 10,761(. Cavalry present for duty fully equipped.3^

The next month, the Secretary of

War reported Cavalry in service as 5i|,65b volunteers and lj.,7^4 regulars,39 The distribution of these troops in the early Spring of 1862 varied in the different areas.^

In March, 1862,

35official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. I,

1^55-1|56. ------------------------36lbid. 37rlarpers Weekly, November 9 , 1861, 719. 3Qpfficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. V, 650 39lbicU, Series HI, Vol. I, 699.

^ T h e general situation may be gathered from the chart below. The information was taken from the report of General Buell (Department of Ohio), ibid.. Series I, Vol. VII, 563, 615; ibid.. Vol. X, Part 27T&, and from the report of the Adjutant-General to Stanton, February l5» 1862 See Ibid., Series III, Vol. I, 890-891. No information was available for the troops in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, etc.

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k2 just after taking Port Henry,

Grant reported that he had

3,169 Cavalry and 35,11+7 Infantry, a ratio of one to twelve,^ and. Grant was operating against an army which contained Nathan Bedford Forrest, the ablest Cavalrymen in the West.

By. the

summer of 1862 there were in the service of.the United States seventy-five regiments and sixty-five companies of volunteer Cavalry, totalling on paper 76,81+1}. officers and enlisted menA2

It should be noted, however, that these figures are

a far cry from the number of men actually present for duty. By November, 1862, the number had swelled to eighty-six reg­ iments and thirty-seven companies .^-3 As the year of great Cavalry battles, 1863, began its course, the Armies of the Potomac, Cumberland, and the Department of Tennessee shared 3^-1-#921 cavalrymen present for

Approximate p ro p o rtio n o f C a v a lry to In f a n t r y :

Departm ent: New England

1 Z

Cavalry- 1,150 Infantry- 6,1+60 Army of the Potomac Cavalry- 22,1+97 Infantry-170,223

1

s

Ohio

C a v a lry 2,51+9 I n f a n t r y - 1+1,563 Western V ir g in ia C a v a lry - l,65l I n f ant r y - 1 5 ,5311P a c ific C a v a lry - 1,539 In f a n t r y - l+,l+20

1 17

1 15

^ O f f i c i a l Records . . . P a rt 2 , 21. li2I b i d . , S e rie s I I I ,

Arm ies, S e rie s I , V o l. X ,

V il.

II, 183-181+.

toibld.. 859-860.

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duty.44

By July of the same year, the three armies could

muster only 31,325 Cavalry present for duty.4£

Furthermore,

during the Gettysburg emergency, the government called into special service 2,739 militia Cavalry volunteers for six months service, 559 militia Cavalry for ninety days service, and 491 emergency militia Cavalry for very temporary duty.4^ Virtually all of these emergency troops were drawn from Pennsylvania.

Aside from these men, the Cavalry force had

grown to 174 regiments on active duty.47

By November 30,

^-Army of the Potomac— 24,702. Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXV, Part 2, 15. Army of the Cumber­ land— 4,549. Ibid., Vol. XXIII, Part 2, 29. Department of Tennessee— 6,300. Ibid.. Vol. XXIV, Part 2, 153. 45a rmy of the Potomac— 11,313. Ibid.. Vol. XXVII, Part 1, 154* Army ofthe Cumberland— 11,369. Ibid.. Vol. XXIII, Part 2, 573. Department of Tennessee— 8,643. Ibid.. Vol. XXIV, Part 2, 452-453. This last figure was compiled from various reports and may be in considerable error. 46lbid.. Vol. XXVII, Part. 1, 215-216. 47Ibid., Series III, Vol. Ill, 992, According to the Cavalry Bureau they were distributed to: Department of Army Number of j 23rd Army Corps 13 l6th Army Corps 13 Dept, of the Northwest 3 22nd Army Corps 6 Dept, of the Missouri 27 Dept, of West Virginia 12 Dept, of New Mexico and Pacific 4 Middle Dept. 7 Cav. Corps, Army of the Potomac 35 Dept, of Washington 5 Dept, of the Cumberland 23 Dept, of the Ohio 4 Dept, of Virginia and North Carolina 5 Dept, of the East 1 Cam£, of Instruction 1 Dept, of the Gulf 8 13th Army Corps 2 Dept, of Tennessee 5 with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

kk 1863, the Army of the Potomac had a Cavalry force of 11,520 present for duty fully

e q u i p p e d . ^

About the same date, the

Army of the Cumberland reported a Cavalry corps of 3>193 Pre­ sent for duty equipped.^-9

Returns for the balance of the

Cavalry In that area and for the Cavalry of the Army of the Tennessee are fragmentary. Although the number of Cavalry raised was a long way from being excessive by technical standards, the foregoing figures speak eloquently of the great weight of the Federal Cavalry in 1863 and of the surprising growth of the mounted arm since early l86l. The growth of the Federal army occurred in spite of confusion which stemmed from lack of time and experience, 1

duplication of effort, and from the method by which the Fed­ eral government worked through the state governments. The burden of formulating a policy for the creation of a volunteer army and of attending to a mass of adminis­ trative detail fell upon the shoulders of Cameron, and when the burden proved greater than the man, the ubiquitous Secre­ tary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, was left, with Scott*s

^ O f f i c i a l Records ... Armies. Series I. Vol. XXIX. Part I, 675-686.------- --------------

^9Ibid.. Vol. XXXI, Part 2, 13. ••^Shannon, The Organization and Administration of the Union Army l86l-l865. I. presents the calse against Lincoln’s way of handling the problem--objecting to the "State right* element in the solution. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General. II, 796-800 offers a rebuttal. I am in­ clined to agree with Williams that despite its faults, Lincoln’s solution was probably the only practicable one.

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aid, to organize the volunteers.

Assistant-Adjutant General

McDowell and Captain Franklin of the Topographical Engineers were appointed to advise him on the subject.

They wanted

the volunteer force to he considered a part of the Regular Army with the officers appointed by the President upon recom­ mendation of the governors of the States.^1

Chase, for sound

political and traditional reasons, set aside the McDowellFranklin suggestions, and the governors were permitted to appoint all officers of volunteers below the grade of Brig­ adier General.

In the case of troops called out under the

dusty old Militia Act of 1795* they were permitted to appoint all officers up through the grade of Major General.

A series

of Acts of Congress on July 22, July 25, and July 29, l86l strengthened the grasp of the governors upon military af­ fairs.^

Under the system so set into motion, the President,

the Secretary of War, and the governors of all the Northern States and Territories might authorize individuals to raise units.

The confusion resulting from having so many co-managers

raising troops, extended, of course, to the Cavalry. As Cavalry became more acceptable in the summer of l86l and in 1862 and 1863, local politicians, Congressmen,

^Upton, The Military Policy of the United States. 23k • ^For the legal machinery set up for raising volunteer troops, see: Sanger, ed., United States Statutes at Large. XII, 269-270; Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, 13>2-l$k» 5l8j Moore ed. The Rebellion Records. A Diary of American Events. I, 269: 0 1Brlen and. Die'fendorf. General'"'Orders of the War Department Embracing the Years 1861, iff'62.' and lffffff. I f'Z69, 2jk» 281. See also,' Shannon, "State Rights and the Union Army, 1 in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XII, 61j.-65.

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and foreign adventurers succeeded in gaining an official ear and thereby secured authority to raise a Cavalry regiment, battalion, company, or even, a squad.^3

The

governors bitterly objected to the authorization by Lincoln or his Secretary of War of individuals to raise units, for they found his appointees transcending state boundaries and competing with themselves for men.

The

Chief Clerk of the War Department stated that by August 6, 1861, the government had accepted twice as many regi­ ments from individuals as from state e x e c u t i v e s S o many complaints were received on this score that Lincoln in 1862 began to issue authority to individuals to raise units only if the governor of the state affected approved As a result of this change, confusion and grumbling de­ creased markedly. Recruiting for Cavalry units increased the diffi­ culties of the governors, for that arm of the service was more popular than the Infantry.

As a consequence,

the governors had great difficulty in filling their

£3Kidd, Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer*s Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War. 35. Hereafter, this source will be cited as Kidd, Personal Recollections... • See also, Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, ll|.0-llj.l, 367, 5>i|9; Cheney History of the Ninth Regiment. New York Volunteer Cavalry War of l8fel to' 1865. 20. Hereafter, this source will be cited as Cheney, History of the Ninth Regiment... . 5^official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. I, 390. 55lbid.. Vol. II, 691.

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k7 Infantry quotas as long as a Cavalry unit had vacancies, for the prospective volunteers preferred to join the mounted troops. Under the system, special interest groups were permitted to form units.

A local attorney in sleepy

little Bethlehem, Pennsylvania raised a company of mounted Moravians,while Brigham Young formed a mounted company of Mormons for ninety days service,^ anci a group of Iowa temperance men wanted to raise a "cold water" Cavalry reg­ iment.^

A unit known as the Kentucky Light Cavalry was

formed; its name was a mystery even to its members, for it was composed entirely of Pennsylvanians.^

a

soldier

of fortune, "Colonel" Smolenska, was authorized to recruit a regiment of United States Lancers, presumably among men 6*1_ of Polish origin. One Frederick Von Schickfuss enrolled

^Official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. I, 1+90, U99. ' ^Hyndman, History of a Cavalry Company. A Complete Record of Company "a V1* hth Penn a. Cavalry, 2#. Hereafter, this source will be "cited as Hyndman, History of a Cavalry, Company ... . ^ Official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. II, 27. ^ Ibid., Vol. I, 51+9. in as Infantry.

This unit was later mustered

^°Rawle, History of the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry in the American Civil War 1^61-1865, 3-7. ^-Cheney, History of the Ninth Regiment ... , 20. These lancers never materialized, becoming inst'ead, prosaic cavalrymen.

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^8

four companies of Germans,^ and the Hungarian, Captain Zagonyi, commanded a conglomerate mounted troop which served as General Fremont’s guard.^3

p0r the most part,

however, these adventurers dropped out of sight very early in the war, and less spectacular members of society raised the units, the great bulk of which were composed of men of every shade of nationality, interest, and religion. All through the Northern States in 1861 the cities and towns abounded in Ilussars, Blues, Light Horse, Mounted Rifles, Schambeck’s Dragoons, and the like— for the most part, as yet unorganised, unmounted, unequipped, and unin­ structed, but bursting with enthusiasm.

If the newspapers

are an indication, the public was not concerned that these units were to be led by the rankest

a m a t e u r s .

Professional

82]3each, The First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry from April 19, 1861. to July 7. l86^. 13. Hereafter, this source will be cited as Beach, The First New York ... . ^ Harper *s Weekly. September 21, l86l, 596, 60ij.. k^New York Times. June 2, l86l, "Anyone from civil life can learn in a few weeks, to command (if he is fit for it) a company." Ibid.. July 10, 1861, "While we certainly do not intend to underrate the value of a military education, yet we by no means suppose that military talent or genius for command are confined to the graduates of our military schools. In our views it is far from being a source of dis­ couragement that so many of our officers are of necessity taken from among civilians."

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soldiers, of course, did not share this view.^

After the

disaster at Bull Run, however, the public agreed with the professional soldiers, and efforts were made to secure men of experience to lead newly organized Cavalry units. The general methods for raising units remained about the same throughout the war, although confusion and popular enthusiasm both decreased steadily as time went on. As a rule, an individual was given authority to raise a regiment.

If he was s^^ccessful, he was to receive a colonel

commission when the regiment ,was mustered in.

The prospec­

tive colonel, armed with this authority, acted as an entrepeneur— authorizing others to raise a battalion, company, or platoon \ in return for a commission as Major, Captain, or Lieutenant.

The prospective officers usually

bore the expense of recruiting the

r e g i m e n t . ^7

^McClellan, in January, 1862, began plumping for careful examination of all officers assigned to volunteer Cavalry to ensure their familiarity with Cavalry tactics and organizations. Henry Wilson took the matter up in Congress without success. Congr. Globe. 37 Congr., 2 Sess., Part 1, 87?. ^ official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. II, 388. War Department General Orders No. 107, August 15, 1862 materially aided this trend by permitting offi­ cers of the Regular Army leaves of absence to accept the rank of Colonel in volunteer regiments. ^7Beach, The First New York... , 39. The cost of raising nine companies of this regiment was about $800. The officers were reimbursed at a later date by the government. The officers of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, however, never submitted a claim for their ex­ penditures. See Sipes, The Seventh Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Cavalry. 2; Lee, Personal and Historical Sketches of the Seventh Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry. l8&21863. 2bl

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50 I n the la r g e r c i t i e s , c o n s id e ra b le fa n fa r e and c o lo r attend ed th e r e c r u i t i n g o f a re g im e n t, i n p a r t , as a r e s u lt o f the g e n e ra l e x c ite m e n t, b u t more o fte n due to the n e c e s s ity o f m eeting c o m p e titio n from o th e r u n its seeking r e c r u i t s .

A r e c r u i t i n g o f f i c e was opened— i n one

case, a Synagogue was used, i n a n o th e r, a r id in g academy se rv ed .

Newspapers c a r r ie d s t r i k i n g l y i l l u s t r a t e d adver­

tisem en ts prom ising g re a t a d v e n tu re , a c tio n , f i n e eq u ip ­ m ent, and a b r i l l i a n t u n ifo rm to those who e n lis t e d in t h is regim ent o f L ig h t C a v a lry o r th a t regim en t o f Mounted R ifle s .

Needless to say, few o f the promises were k e p t,

save th a t o f a c tio n .

Flamboyant p o s te rs I n b la c k and w h ite

o r in r i c h c o lo rs were b ro a d c a s t, and fr e q u e n tly a brass band»s m a r t ia l a ir s summoned a crowd.

The curious and

th e h e s ita n t were th en exposed to th e blandishm ents o f the en trep en eu r o r h is a s s is ta n ts . I n r u r a l a re a s , lo c a l schoolhouses and town h a lls were u t i l i z e d as r a l l y i n g p o in ts f o r r e c r u it in g d r iv e s , and th e d riv e was capped by a p a t r i o t i c speech by th e r e c r u i t e r o r th e lo c a l o r a to r or* p re a c h e r.

In most cases, th e r e ­

c r u i t e r a ls o scoured th e county byways, knocking on farm ­ house doors, p la c a tin g t e a r f u l m others, w iv es , and sweet­ h e a rts o r p le a d in g w ith th e p ro s p e c tiv e v o lu n te e r . E a r ly in th e w ar, C a v a lry regim en ts were often-* r a is e d and m u s te re d -in i n le s s than a month.

Youngsters

and graybeards l i e d about t h e i r ages i n o rd e r to

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51 join.k®

Captain Charles Russell Lowell, recruiting in the

Western Reserve for the Sixth United States Cavalry, wrote plaintively to his mother in July, l86l that there were none left save the elderly and the married, all others havAQ ing long since joined the volunteers. ' This early enthus­ iasm very soon over-subscribed Cavalry quotas.

By the

second week in October, l86l, New York had raised 3>000 cavalrymen with about 3*000 more in the process of or­ ganization, and Pennsylvania had raised eight regiments of

C a v a l r y . 70

As the war dragged on, however, fervor

lessened, and it required much more time and effort to re­ cruit a Cavalry unit— something more than a patriotic speech being demanded.

Nevertheless, the war machine ex­

panded steadily, and the process of organization continued. The regimental organization for Cavalry in the Fe­ deral army did not remain fixed.

In May, 1861, the War

Department specified that a regiment of volunteer Cavalry might consist of four, five, or six aquadrons of two com­ panies each.

The volunteers could be mustered into Federal

^®See, for example, Pickerill, History of the Third Indiana Cavalry. 8; Sipes, the Seventh Pennsylvania Vete­ ran Volunteer Cavalry. 2. ^Emerson, ed., Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell. 2114.-215. ^ Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, 567, 577• By September, 1861, Illinois had already raised over seven Cavalry regiments. Ibid.,

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52

service by companies, as was usually the case, and then be organized as a regiment, or the entire regiment might be raised, formed, and mustered in as a unit,71

The minimum

aggregate for a regiment of four squadrons was 600 men; for one of five squadrons, 8l8 men; and for one of six squadrons, 97& men.

The maximum was to be six squadrons

containing 1,168

72

men.

This was an express copy of the

French system, and the same system was followed in the Ca­ valry regiment added to the Regular Army in July, 1861.73 Greater control was facilitated when two more ma­ jors were added to each regiment, permitting a three battalion organization within the regiment and assuring the regiment of ample field grade officers.7^-1In September of 1862 a new organization for the Cavalry was provided.

Each regiment was to consist of

^ Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, 152-153. 7*~Ibid. The staff for a regiment was specified as: 1 Colonel 1 L ie u te n a n t C o lon el 1 M ajor

1 1 1 1 18

Adjutant (a Lieutenant) Regimental Quartermaster Regimental Commissary Sergeant Hospital Steward Bandsmen

73Ibid.. 372-373. 7^-Ibid., 15>l).. See also, Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry ..., 226.

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53

twelve troops (companies) and it had a considerably dif­ ferent type of staff.75

Experience had demonstrated that

American troops in the field required more service of supply, maintenance, and medical aid than did Europeans. While a regimental band was no longer provided, each com­ pany was permitted to enlist two musicians as privates. Some regimental officers preferred to maintain a band at their own expense rather than be deprived of it.

Regiments

organized on the previous plan were not required to change to the new system, but those regiments composed of four or five squadrons were permitted two Majors.

Each troop, how­

ever, was supposed to have ninety-five officers and men-including one Captain, one First Lieutenant, and one Second Lieutenant. In the field, normal attrition and various exigencies reduced regiments and companies far below their table of organization strength.

It is questionable whether many of

them had the minimum numbers required when they were mus­ tered in.

Furthermore, since the states were asked to fur­

nish regiments rather than a specific number of men, old 75offjcial Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. II, 518-519. The new staff authorized was: 1 Colonel 1 Sergeant Major 1 Lieutenant Colonel 1 Quartermaster 3 Majors Sergeant 1 Surgeon 1 Commissary Ser1 Assistant Surgeon geant 1 Regimental Adjutant (aLieutenant) 1 Saddler Sergeant 1 Regimental Quartermaster " " 1 Blacksmith 1 Regimental Commissary " n 1 Chaplain All new regiments did not maintain a staff this large, how­ ever, .For example, see Gracey, Annals of the Sixth Pennsyl­ vania Cavalry, 36.

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5k regim ents r a r e ly ever re c e iv e d rep lacem en ts.

The governors

p r e fe r r e d to r a is e new u n it s — thus le a v in g the o ld e r ones mere s k e le to n s . Under these v a rio u s p la n s , th e re were in F e d e ra l s e rv ic e th e n , th re e s ize s and two types o f C a va lry re g im e n ta l o r g a n iz a tio n .

They m ight c o n s is t o f e ig h t, ten or tw e lv e

tro o p s , and th e y m ight be arranged i n squadrons or b a t t a lio n s . For most u n its th e governor o f the s ta te in w hich a regim ent was r e c r u it e d appointed th e f i e l d grade o f f i c e r s . In 1861, one t h i r d o f th e company o f f ic e r s were supposed to be tak en from th e sergeants upon recommendation o f th e C o lo n e l. 76 by th e

The rem ainder were o r had a lre a d y been ap pointed

C o l o n e l . 77

For a s h o rt p e rio d , J u ly 22 to August 6,

1861, th e e n lis t e d men were p e rm itte d to e le c t o f f ic e r s to a l l vacancies from C olonel on

d o w n . 78

The e f f e c t o f t h is

e le c tio n clau se upon d is c ip lin e was so p e rn ic io u s th a t the p r a c tic e was d is c o n tin u e d August 6, 1861, by an Act o f Con­ g re s s . 79

^ o f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies. S e rie s I I I ,

V o l. I ,

15k*

7 ^ In May, l 8 6 l the S e c re ta ry o f War suggested th a t age l i m i t a t i o n s , m o ra ls, p a t r io t is m , and h e a lth be considered ' when a p p o in tin g o f f i c e r s , b u t h is suggestions w ere, o f course, not o b lig a t o r y . Moore, The R e b e llio n Record. A D ia ry o f Am eri­ can E v e n ts . I , 269. 7®Revised R e g u latio n s f o r the Army o f the U n ite d S ta te s 18 61. Changes and Laws A f fe c tin g Army R egu lation s and A r t ic le s o f War to June 25. l8'6'3.‘ 5o8. 79u pto n , The M i l i t a r y P o lic y o f the U n ite d S ta te s . 260. For th e r e a c tio n o f p u b lic o p in io n to the e le c tio n system, see H a rp e r’Is W eekly, V , 562 and the Hew York Times. September 1 9 ,

1861.

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When a u n it had been r e c r u it e d , o f f ic e r e d , and o r­ g a n ize d , i t was in s p e cte d b e fo re being m ustered in t o Fed­ e r a l s e r v ic e .

The in s p e c tio n made by a F e d e ra l "m u stering

o f f i c e r " v a rie d as to throughness,

depending upon who made

it.

a t l e a s t , , were th e m uster

The p o in ts checked, in th e o ry

r o lls

and a perso nal exam inatio n o f the men; in th e case o f

C a v a lry u n it s , an exam ination in horsemanship was re q u ire d from August, 1862 on.®® A f t e r developing a process f o r r a is in g and o rg a n iz ­ in g the men f o r a C avalry f o r c e , t r a in in g th e raw m a te r ia l was the n ext problem . fa c ilitie s

Having had n e it h e r th e tim e nor the

to o rg an ize a t r a in in g program f o r mounted

tro o p s , the War Department found upon i t s

doorstep l a t e

in l 8 6 l a horde o f cavalrym en, most o f whom, i t could n o t r id e a h o rse.

developed,

I t was a g e n e r a lly accepted f a c t

a t th e tim e th a t because o f a s c a tte re d p o p u la tio n , unim­ proved roads and a ta s te f o r r i d in g , a g re a t ern ers were accomplished horsemen,

many South­

w h ile v e ry few men in

the N o rth had occasion to r id e a h o r s e , T h e

army soon

re co g n ized as a l l too t r u e , o ld G eneral S c o t t’ s a s s e rtio n th a t i t

took a long tim e to t r a i n C a v a lry , f o r not o n ly

®°O f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I , II,

V o l.

380.

8 lF o r example, see th e a s s e rtio n s i n , Hess "The F i r s t C a v a lry B a ttle a t K e l l y ’ s F o rd , V a ," in F i r s t Maine B u g le , Campaign, 111, C a ll 3 (J u ly 1 8 9 3 ), 3 -5 ; Hunt "The F i r s t Day a t G e tty s b u rg ," in B a ttle s and Leaders o f th e C i v i l War. I l l , 25 8-2 59 ; T a y lo r , D e s tru c tio n and R e c o n s tru c tio n , 55.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

were clo se o rd er mounted e v o lu tio n s to be le a rn e d , but a ls o the manual o f the s a b re , p i s t o l and c a rb in e , as w e ll as the proper care o f the h o rs e .

These to p ic s had to be

m astered alo ng w ith the u su al d u tie s o f s o ld ie rs o f a l l branches o f the s e r v ic e — s c o u tin g , camp l i f e , m i l i t a r y c o u rte s y , and the l i k e .

Now, i t seemed, th a t the army

must a ls o teach the men how to r id e a h o rs e . to a v o id th is s i t u a t io n ,

I n an e f f o r t

in August 1862, the War D e p a rt­

ment ordered th a t ’’ The in s p e c tio n o f a l l c a v a lry fo rc e s , p re p a ra to ry to t h e i r b ein g m ustered in to the s e rv ic e o f the U n ite d S ta te s , s h a ll h e r e a f t e r com prise, in a d d itio n to the usual p erso nal e x a m in a tio n , a te s t o f horsemanship 32 ... .” The o rd e r was u s e le s s , f o r the sim ple f a c t was, th e re were not s u ffic ie n t.m e n a v a ila b le who could pass a t e s t o f horsem anship.

They had to be t r a in e d , and h a v in g

no t r a in in g program in advance, the army was slow In g e t t in g one under way; I t

d id not r e a l l y succeed in t h is

u n t i l 1 8 6 3 .83 P r io r to June 1862, the b as ic t r a in in g o f the C a v a lry remained the r e s p o n s ib ilit y of the u n it commanderSe­ lf

th e y possessed exp erien ce o r were fo r tu n a te enough to

have an experienced s u b o rd in a te ,

the men m ight re c e iv e

the b a s ic elements o f Army e q u ita tio n and the d u tie s o f

82officlal Records . . .

A rm ies, S e rie s I I I ,

V o l. I I ,

38 0. 8 3 D e ta ils o f the re o r g a n iz a tio n fo llo w below .

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

th e s o ld ie r .

Some o f them never had a chance to le a r n

these h ig h ly e s s e n tia l item s b e fo re being sent in to th e fie ld .

D uring th e A n tie ta m campaign, C a v a lry was b ad ly

needed a t once, and th e commander o f the newly r a is e d and u n tra in e d F if t e e n t h P e n n sy lv an ia C a v a lry asked f o r 200 men "who knew how to r id e a h o rs e ."

These men were sent in to

the f i e l d b e fo re th ey were uniform ed or eq u ip p ed ,8^

Of

seven F e d e ra l C a v a lry regim en ts g ath ered to g e th e r in the f i e l d in Tennessee, th e commanding o f f i c e r re p o rte d th a t f i v e o f them had never been d r i l l e d a t a l l . 8^

M c C le lla n ,

who was more p a r t i c u l a r , r e p o r tin g on th e re o r g a n iz a tio n o f th e Army o f th e Potomac in l 8 6 l ,

s a id he had l e f t the

v o lu n te e r C a v a lry in W ashington as th e y were not s u f f i ­ c i e n t l y in s tr u c te d to be assigned to d iv is io n s in th e f i e l d . 86 Where tim e p e rm itte d t r a in i n g , th e q u a lit y and p a tte r n v a r ie d according to th e u n it commander and the equipment a v a ila b le .

Some u n its went in to camp in the

a re a from which th e y were r e c r u ite d ;

o th e rs , e s p e c ia lly in

8^-Kirk, H is to r y o f th e F if t e e n t h Pennsylvania V o l­ u n te e r C a v a lr y .. . . 31* ^ O f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I , V o l. X V I , P a rt 2 , T a y lo r, D e s tru c tio n and R e c o n s tru c tio n . 5>5>> a s s e rts th a t some New England c a v a lry captured in the Shenandoah V a lle y in 1862 were strapped to t h e i r horses sin ce th e y c o u ld n ’ t r i d e . I have never seen t h is statem ent c o rro b o ra te d by any o th e r w itn e s s , alth o u g h i t is q u ite p o s s ib le th a t th e p r a c tic e e x is te d .

$52.

860 f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies. S e rie s I , V o l. V , 13 .

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

|

58 l 8 6 l , were sent on to Washington as soon as th e y were muste re d i n ,

and were tr a in e d th e r e .

Many u n its d id n o t r e ­

ce iv e horses f o r some tim e , and o f n e c e s s ity perform ed t h e i r e v o lu tio n s on f o o t .

T h is in i t s e l f was n o t a bad

p la n ; f o r most commanders found th a t even i f th e men could r i d e , i t was b est to le a r n the vario u s fo rm a tio n s on fo o t b e fo re t r y in g them mounted. B u t, b efo re most o f the men le a rn e d fo rm a tio n s th ey le a rn e d to r i d e .

Many o f them were more a f r a id o f

t h e i r horses th an o f th e enemy

.^

Ludicrous s p i l l s and

OQ runaway horses were common lig h t s in every C a v a lry camp. Even men who had rid d e n b e fo re d id not r id e "th e army way" and had to le a r n a l l o ver a g a in .

Furtherm ore, many o f th e

horses were s c a rc e ly broken, and none o f them were accus­ tomed to moving in l i n e and column q u ite close to o th e r h o rses.

This f a c t o r com plicated th e s it u a t io n .

A l l in

a l l , many, many neophyte cavalrym en ate a l l meals stand ing up. The drudgery o f c a rin g f o r the horse opened the r e j

c r u f t ’ s eyes to some o f th e advantages o f I n f a n t r y , es -

I I

p e c ia ll y in the cy cle o f r a i n , thaw, and mud which occupied

1

a good p a r t o f th e y e a r.® ^

Even a f t e r le a rn in g to r id e

and

to m a in ta in the semblance o f fo rm a tio n w h ile in m o tion , the

®7Hess, "The F i r s t C a va lry B a ttle a t K e l l y ’ s F ord, V a . f " in F i r s t Maine B u e le . Campaign I I I . C a ll 3, ( J u ly ,

1893), S. °S ee, f o r exam ple, G la z ie r , Three Years In th e F e d e ra l C a v a lry . 3 5 -3 8 , o r P i c k e r i l l , H is to ry o f the T h ird In d ia n a C a v a lry . 9 . 89Emer3on, e d ., L i f e and L e tte r s o f Charles R u s s e ll L o w e ll. 2 lij.-2 l5 . Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

men had a lo n g way to go. w ith o u t f a l l i n g

Being a b le to swing a sabre

o f f th e h o rs e , s ta b b in g your n e x t-h o rs e -

n e ig h b o r, or w ith o u t c u ttin g o f f th e horses* ears was an accomplishment o n ly s lo w ly a t t a in e d .

There was als o the

manual o f fir e a r m s , mounted and dismounted, to be m astered. Some o rg a n iz a tio n s made r a p id progress in two or th re e m o n t h s . O t h e r s

d id n o t.

Under M c C le lla n ’ s w atch­

f u l eye, th e C a v a lry in camp n ea r Washington h e ld co n stan t d r i l l , mounted and dism ounted, and took p a r t in endless r e v i e w s .^

Mounted d r i l l s

always drew crowds; some came

to admire and some to l a u g h . T h e

C olonel o f the S ix th

M ichigan made use o f a c le v e r d ev ic e to in s u re p ro p er a t ­ te n tio n and z e a l f o r t r a in i n g .

lie announced th a t th e

l e t t e r d e s ig n a tio n f o r each tro o p depended upon p r o fic ie n c y in d r i l l by a c e r t a in d a te — th e b est tro o p to become ’’Troop A ," and so on, down the

l i n e . ^3

Since tro o p A was

co n sid ered th e post o f honor everyone f e v e r is h ly s tu d ie d manuals on t a c t i c s .

Here a g a in , a problem a ro s e .

There

were in e x is te n c e , a t le a s t th re e books on t a c t i c s , a l l w ith some o f f i c i a l s ta n d in g — S c o t t ’ s T a c tic s . v in ta g e 1826,

9 ° S e e , for example, Hyndman, History of a Cavalry Company.... 29-35-

91

Cheney, H is to r y o f th e N in th New Y ork V o lu n te e r C a v a lr y .. . . 2lj.-26. 92

Gracey, Annals of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry,

20-30 . 93K idd, P e rs o n a l R e c o lle c tio n s . . . .

I4.7-I4.8.

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

60 th e "l81{.l T a c tic s " ( P o in s e t t ) ,

and th e Cooke system.

F u rth e rm o re , some u n i t commanders tended to im p ro vise ac­ co rd ing to t h e i r own t a s t e s . C a v a lry fo rc e t r a in e d , i f

The obvious r e s u lt was a

at a ll,

according to a w e lte r o f

methods. In a few In s ta n c e s , a F e d e ra l v o lu n te e r regim ent was n o t plagued w ith h avin g to le a r n to r i d e .

The F i r s t



P e n n sy lv an ia was composed l a r g e ly o f men who could r i d e , and a c c id e n ts and 'awkwardness were r a r e . 9^

The regim ent

was commanded by George Bayard who knew h is business w ellil He h e ld o f f i c e r s school tw ic e d a ily on t a c t i c s , and company, squadron and re g im e n ta l d r i l l ;

sabre e x e rc is e s ,

mounted and dism ounted, were pushed to the u tm o st, morn­ in g and a fte r n o o n .9 ^

Rush’ s S ix th P enn sylvan ia came

along r a p id ly , f o r Rush was a West P o in te r w ith a h e a lth y re s p e c t f o r t r a in in g and d is c i p li n e .

D e v in ’ s S ix th Hew

9^-Gray, C a v a lry T a c tic s as I l l u s t r a t e d by the War o f th e R e b e llio n , 8 - 9 . 9-^Lloyd, H is to r y o f the F i r s t :.Regiment P enn sylvan ia Reserve C a v a lr y , 1 2 . 96I b i d . , 1 3 . T h is schedule compares w e ll w ith the p re -w a r t r a in i n g program in the r e g u la r C a v a lry . See, f o r exam ple, L ars o n , S ergeant L arso n , Cav. . 1^3-52. As to R eg u lar Army methods, C a p ta in L o w e ll, t r a in in g th e S ix th U n ite d S ta te s C a v a lry w ro te , "The men are g e tt in g on so w e ll in squadron d r i l l th a t tomorrow I s h a ll commence w ith th e " in d iv id u a l d r i l l " f o r th e m orning, squadron d r i l l th re e a fte rn o o n s , and re g im e n ta l d r i l l two afte rn o o n s and Sunday m orning. The t r a in i n g o f th e h o rse , and tea ch in g o f th e tro o p e r to r i d e , you see, which ought to come f i r s t , came l a s t in our method o f r a is in g c a v a lry re g im e n ts , . . . Emerson, e d ., L i f e and l e t t e r s o f Charles R u s s e ll L o w e ll,

kth

2i|£.

i

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

.

61 York a ls o reached a f a i r l e v e l o f t r a in in g e a r ly in the w a r.97

Aside from these and a few o th e rs , the v o lu n te e r

C a v a lry rode f o r t h in to b a t t l e r a th e r wobbly in the s a d d le . In an e f f o r t to s ta n d a rd iz e t r a in in g and a c c e le ra te the r a t e o f in s t r u c t io n ,

the War Departm ent, June 5> 1862,

o rd ered the c o n s tru c tio n o f a camp o f in s tr u c tio n f o r 50 ,00 0 men, in c lu d in g C a v a lry , a t A n n ap o lis, M aryland.

G eneral Wool

was assigned to command the camp, and B rig a d ie r G eneral L . P. Graham was ap p o in ted to d u ty as c h ie f o f C a va lry a t the camp.The

e f f e c t o f t h is camp was n e ith e r im m ediate,

nor f a r re ac h in g u n t i l l a t e in the w ar. I t was n o t u n t i l Hooker re o rg a n ize d the Army o f the Potomac th a t schools o f in s t r u c t io n were e s ta b lis h e d , boards o f exam inatio n s e t up, and new young o f f ic e r s ap­ p o in te d to th e C a v a lry co rp s. c le a r ly improved a t once.

T ra in in g in th a t army

The W estern arm ies, however, had

no comparable C a v a lry program. In 1863, a C a v a lry Bureau was e s ta b lis h e d in Wash­ in g to n , and under i t s

d ir e c t io n some u n ifo r m ity and ade­

quate t r a in in g were i n s t i t u t e d i n th e c a v a lry o f a l l th e F e d e ra l a rm ies .

By t h is tim e , however, the b u lk o f the

F e d e ra l C a v a lry u n its were a lre a d y combat veteran s and had le a rn e d t h e i r lessons in th e d i f f i c u l t school o f e x p erie n c e.

97Trem ain, L a s t Hours o f S h e rid a n ^ C a v a lry , 37* ^ o f f i c i a l Records . . . II,

A rm ies, S eries I I I ,

V o l.

108.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission

J

\

1

3

i

62

.f

ITo o th e r aspect o f b u ild in g th e F e d e ra l Army q u ite e q u a lle d the c h a o tic e f f o r t s to arm and equip th e troops r a is e d .

E v e ry th in g e s s e n t ia l, from b u lle t s to suspenders,

was la c k in g .

Among th e s c a rc e s t item s were those th in g s

needed f o r the C a v a lry .

Whereas In f a n t r y and A r t i l l e r y

had always been keystones in the U n ite d S ta te s Army, and th e r e fo r e , th e re was on hand a f a i r alth o u g h inad eq u ate i

i

supply o f equipment f o r those b ranches,

C a v a lry had never

been w h o le h e a rte d ly accep ted , and th e re were n e it h e r C a v a li

r y arms nor equipments in th e n a tio n *s a rs e n a ls .

A ccord-

i,

in g to G en eral R ip le y o f the Ordnance D epartm ent, th e re were on hand a t th e b eg in n in g o f th e r e b e l li o n , i{.,076 c a rb in e s , 2 7 ,1 9 2 p i s t o l s , 16,933 sa b res , and 1|,320 horse accoutrem ents.^^

A l l th e c a rb in e s and horse accoutrem ents,

one t h i r d o f th e p i s t o l s , and one f o u r t h o f th e sabres were re q u ire d f o r th e use o f R eg u lar Army C a v a lry .

The r e ­

m aining p is t o ls were to a c o n s id e ra b le d eg ree, f l i n t - l o c k 1 j

h o r s e p is to ls l e f t over from the War o f 1812.

Since the

\

o n ly works owned by th e Government f o r su p plyin g arms was

j J I

th e S p r in g f ie ld armory w ith a maximum c a p a c ity o f 2 ,^ 0 0

1

arms (m o s tly r i f l e s little

and muskets) p e r month, th e re was

p ro sp ect f o r arming v o lu n te e r c a v a lry by Government

m an u factu re.

99o f f j c i a i Records . . . II,

A rm ies. S e rie s I I I ,

8£8.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

V o l.

Of course, w h ile G eneral S c o t t ’ s view on C a v a lry p r e v a ile d , th e War Departm ent o rd ered no C a v a lry arms to speak o f , and by th e tim e S c o tt was ousted and C a v a lry ac­ cep ted , th e supply was so f a r beh in d th e demand th a t i t d id n ot ca tch up u n t i l I 863.

A lthough R ip le y re p o rte d a l l

C o l t ’ s p is t o ls as out o f sto ck May 1 , l 8 6 l , ^ ^ h is e f f o r t s to in s u re a supply o f p is t o ls and o th e r arms s u ita b le to C a v a lry 'were e x tre m e ly c o n s e rv a tiv e .

In June, he proposed

to o rd e r o n ly l5 » 0 0 0 C a v a lry and A r t i l l e r y sabres and 5 ,0 0 0 C o lt p is t o l s — f a r too fe w .'1'0'1'

R ip le y was n o t to

blame f o r f a i l i n g to fo rs e e th e demand which would fo llo w ; th e e n t ir e War Departm ent was caught u nprepared. M eanw hile, from a l l over th e co u n try came th e o f t re p e a te d p le a s f o r C a v a lry arm s--fro m governors and i n d i ­ v id u a ls r a is in g u n it s , from u n it commanders in th e f i e l d , and from army commanders and t h e i r s t a f f o f f i c e r s . Pope in Chicago, J u ly 1 7

»l 8 6 l,

John

re p o rte d th a t th e re was n o t

a s in g le C a v a lry reg im en t in the area armed w ith e it h e r sabres o r r e v o lv e r s .1 0 2

u#

G rant a t C a iro , O ctober 7»

1861, w rote la c o n i c a l l y , " I f the c a v a lry h ere were f u l l y armed and equipped th e y [ the C o n fed eratesJcou ld be e a s ily d riv e n o u t.

There i s no use going a f t e r them w it h any

lOOpfficial Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I , I, 135. 101I b i d . . 263-262+. 102I b i d . . S e rie s I ,

V o l. I l l ,

396.

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

V o l.

614-

other arm."108

General C. P. Smith at Paducah complained

that his Cavalry had no carbines, and the Ordnance Depart­ ment could not supply them.10^- The Sixth United States Cavalry had 6^0 men in camp, only two companies of which had arms.10^

In October, l86l, McClellan reported that

the Army of the Potomac had [j.,268 unarmed Cavalry and 3,163 partially armed troopers.10® The clamor f o r C a v a lry arms in 1862 continued from a l l s id e s .

G eneral B u e ll a t L o u is v ille in F ebruary p ro ­

te s te d b i t t e r l y th a t In h is departm ent he had o n ly two companies, o f C a v a lry , t o t a l l i n g e ig h ty -e ig h t men, co m p letely armed, w h ile nine regim ents la c k e d f ir e a r m s .1 0 ?

Compare

t h is to h is Ij.3,300 In f a n t r y and tw en ty-tw o A r t i l l e r y b a t­ t e r ie s armed and ready f o r d u ty .

In th e f a l l o f the y e a r,

the War Department ordered th a t th e newly r a is e d F o u rth M ichigan C a v a lry , 1200 s tro n g , was e n t i t l e d to o n ly 3^0 c a rb in e s . in g .

"They are s u f f i c i e n t f o r sco uting and s k irm is h ­

T h e ir equipment is complete w ith sabres and pistols."-*-®®

T h is' o rd e r was d ic ta te d by s c a r c it y o f arms, not by ta b le s

i9

m anu facture, a t a cost o f $ 9 3 7 7 7 0 .1 1 .

In th e same p e r io d ,

th e Department procured 103*033 p is t o l s , in c lu d in g 1

5,2.5b

o f fo re ig n m anu facture, a t a cost o f $ 2 ,1 1 7 ,1 2 0 .6 9 .

A

supply o f 1 9 2,7 99 C a v a lry sabres and Iq.,301 lan ces was purchased.All

the sa b res , the b u lk o f th e c a rb in e s ,

109offjcial Records ... Armies, Series I , Vol. X V I I , P a rt 2 , 282. See a ls o , S h e rid a n , P erso n al Memoirs o f P. H. S h e rid a n . I , llj-7 .

V o l. I I ,

^■L0See O f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I . 517 f o r exam ple.

•^•^I b i d . . 85 6. The v a rio u s p a tte rn s o f carb in es and p i s t o l 3 purchased were:

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

66

and a la rg e p a r t o f th e p is t o ls were issued to th e C a v a lry . The p r ic e o f th ese item s v a r ie d a g re a t d e a l, b u t th e y were never cheap.

I n 1850 a H a ll c a rb in e was l i s t e d a t $ 1 7 *5 0 ,

a Sharps c a rb in e a t $ 3 0 .0 0 , a C o lt re v o lv in g r i f l e

at

$ 3 3 .5 0 , and C o lt b e l t p is t o ls s o ld a t $ 1 8 .0 0 each, w h ile a sabre averaged $ 7 *5 0 .

*11 O

By the end o f th e w ar, th e Govern­

ment had purchased f o r th e F e d e ra l tro o ps about ifOO,000 c a r­ b in es in c lu d in g n in e te e n d i f f e r e n t makes. The in c r e d ib le v a r i e t y o f p a tte rn s o f weapons p u rchased was d ic ta te d o b v io u s ly by th e n e c e s s ity f o r p la c in g arms o f any k in d in ;bhe hands o f th e tro o p s .

B u t, asid e

from t h is c o n s id e ra tio n , th e re were o th e r f a c t o r s , in c lu d in g disagreem ent in h ig h p la c e s as to what c o n s titu te d p ro p e rly armed C a v a lry and th e f a c t t h a t many o f the models were ex­ p e rim e n ta l and had to be re p la c e d by more s u c ce ssfu l d es ig n s .

C a rb in e s : Sharps 1 3 ,0 0 5 Jo slyn 750 M e r r ill 2 ,6 6 0 Sm ith 3 ,0 0 0 Burnside 1 ,8 8 5 G a lla g h e r 3»^4-60 L in d n e r 391 H a ll 6 ,0 5 9 Bohemi an 1 0 ,0 0 0 O ther T o ta ls

P is to ls : C o lt - h o ls t e r typ e C o l t - b e lt type Remington Savage W hitney B eal Joslyn S ta rr F o re ig n

3 9 ,3 8 8 llj.,816 lif,8 l6 10,62j.0

975 if, 900

15,254

lxiii

^2,323

Unofficial Records

. A rm ies. S e rie s I I I ,

V o l. I ,

28-29 H ^S av/yer, F irea rm s in Am erican H is to r y . I l l ,

i

■ ■

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

223.

The Government has been s e v e re ly c r i t i c i z e d f o r n o t fu rn is h in g the C a v a lry im m ed iately w ith the breech lo a d in g re p e a tin g Spencer r i f l e s

and carb ines which proved

so e f f e c t i v e toward th e end o f th e w a r.'*'^ '

It

is tru e

t h a t Congress, p r i o r to the w ar, had a p p ro p ria te d money to encourage experim ents i n bree.ch lo a d in g arms— w ith good results,but

d iffic u ltie s

in s e ttin g up fa c t o r ie s to

mass produce these weapons were c o n s id e ra b le , and much Old Army p re ju d ic e a g a in s t new weapons was e n c o u n te r e d .i In speaking o f th e Spencer re p e a tin g c a rb in e , p a te n te d by n in e te e n y e a r o ld C h ris to p h e r Spencer in 1860,^^^ R ip le y * s a t t it u d e was e x tre m e ly c a u tio u s .

He re p o rte d to

^-•^Shannon, The O rg a n iz a tio n and A d m in is tra tio n o f th e Union Army 1 8 6 1 -1 8 6 5 # I , 9 0 - ll|2 makes e x ten siv e c r i t i cism o f the Government’ s h a n d lin g o f th e weapons problem . W illia m s , L in c o ln F in ds a G e n e ra l, I I , 7 9 8 -8 0 0 , ta k in g up th e cudgels f o r L in c o ln , p o in ts out the f a ilu r e s and s e r­ io u s ommissions o f Shannon’ s argument. H ^Senate Exec. Docs. . Doc. 2 , 1 1 .

36 Cong., 1 S e s s ., I I ,

U n o f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I , V o l. I , lj.23. R eport o f the Ordnance C h ie f, G eneral R ip le y , to th e A s s is ta n t S e c re ta ry o f War, August 17* l 8 6 l w ith re fe re n c e to an o f f e r by .one T . P o u ltn e y to fu r n is h 1 0 ,0 0 0 S m ith ’ s p a te n t breech lo a d in g c a rb in e s a t $35 each? " I would g la d ly a v a i l m y s e lf o f an o p p o rtu n ity o f o b ta in in g a t th is tim e , a t any p r ic e n o t beyond re as o n , such arms as are re q u ire d f o r th e tro o p s c a lle d in to s e r v ic e . The carb ine is o n ly , how­ e v e r, a c a v a lry arm. I t is used o n ly by dragoons when d is ­ mounted and f ig h t in g on f o o t , and the orders in the D iv is io n o f th e Potomac are to arm the c a v a lry w ith p is to ls and sabers o n ly ." In th ese l a s t statem ents is bound up a l l the accumu­ la t e d O ld Army f e e lin g on C a v a lry and new weapons. •^ ^ P o lla r d , A H is to r y o f F ire a rm s , 196-197*

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Cameron in December, l 86l

th a t w h ile re p o rts were fa v o ra b le

on l im it e d t r i a l , th e y went no f u r t h e r than suggesting p la c in g a few in the hands o f troops f o r f i e l d le y »s main o b je c tio n was re a s o n a b le .

tr ia l.

R ip ­

As he p o in te d o u t,

the c a r tr id g e type o f ammunition re q u ire d f o r th e Spencer and Henry carbines was u n tr ie d and, even i f proved success­ f u l , would com plicate an a lre a d y complex jum ble o f ammuni­ tio n s in use.^-1^

According to leg en d , young Spencer went

over R ip le y ’ s head to L in c o ln who ordered the weapon p ro 119 duced. 7 The weapon, however, d id n o t reach C a v a lry in th e f i e l d u n t i l la t e in the w ar.

In the same v e in , As­

s is t a n t S e c re ta ry o f Vifar Watson w rote G eneral Rosecrans in F eb ru ary o f 1863 and p o in te d out to him , in r e p ly to h is r e ­ q u e sts , th a t C o lt ’ s re v o lv in g carbines could o n ly be made a t th e r a t e o f 300 p er month and t h a t i t would ta k e a y e a r to p rep are m achinery to m anufacture them r a p i d l y .^20 In th e e a r ly months o f the w ar, th e r i f l e d

c a r­

b in es in g e n e ra l use were the Sharps, B u rn sid e, and H a ll p a t e n t s ,-'-21 although s e v e ra l o th e rs were is s u e d .

U n o f f i c i a l Records . . .

- ^.

Many o f

A rm ies, S e rie s I I I ,

V o l. I ,

7 33 73

^ ■ ^ P o lla rd , op. c l t . . 196. 1200 f f i c i a l Records . . .

P a rt 1 ,

1$,

Arm ies. S e rie s I ,

V o l. X X I I I ,

121por -kkg d e s c rip tio n and s p e c ific a tio n s o f most o f the c a v a lry weapons in use, see, Sawyer, F irearm s in American H is t o r y . 1 1 1 ,1 3 7 -1 5 5 ; H ic k s , Rotes on U n ite d S ta te s Ordnance. I, 6 1 -8 2 ,

with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

I

69 th e weapons were u s e le s s .

G eneral Boyle a t L o u is v ille in

.1

J u ly , 1862 re p o rte d o f the G a lla g h e r c a rb in e s , "They snap

I

o fte n ;

i

the c a r tr id g e hangs in a f t e r f i r i n g ;

d i f f i c u l t to

get th e exploded c a r tr id g e out o fte n fe v e n 7 w ith a screw­ d r iv e r ; men throw them away and ta k e Ca3 musket o r any o th e r arm.

They are u n q u e stio n a b ly w o rth le s s . 1 2 2

re p o rt m ight w e ll be a p p lie d to many o f the o th e r models a ls o . Weapons were not u n ifo rm even w ith in the re g im e n ts . For example, the Seventh P en n sylvan ia C a v a lry , o r i g i n a l l y armed w ith B e lg ia n r i f l e s ,

in Jan uary, 1862, exchanged

them— s ix companies g e ttin g the B urnside ca rb in e and fo u r companies the Sm ith c a r b in e .1 ^

T h is c o n d itio n was p r e t t y

w e ll rem edied f o r most u n its by th e end o f 18 62 , the men o f each regim ent being armed w ith weapons o f the same make and c a l ib e r , b ut even so, the ammunition problem was com pli­ cated; every v a r i e t y and c a lib e r were re q u ire d w ith in the j|

C avalry s e rv ic e .

.k

Not o n ly were weapons s c a rc e , but horse f u r n it u r e and C a v a lry accoutrem ents were h ard to f in d a ls o .

Even

% I

the

equipment a v a ila b le could n o t be d is t r ib u t e d e v e n ly .

j

The

Seventh P e n n s y lv a n ia , f o r exam ple, had no sad d les,

j f

122 p f f j c i a i Records . . . X V I, P a rt 3,

T5o~.

A rm ies, S e rie s I ,

V o l.

123 -'S ipes, The Seventh P e n n sy lv an ia V e te ra n V o l­ u n te e r C a v a lry . 9 . Those whose ca rb in e s d id n ot fu n c ­ t io n ke p t the B e lg ia n r i f l e s .

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

70 b r i d l e s , or h a lt e r s as th e y went in to the f i e l d . T h i s was a common o ccu rren ce.

The T h ird In d ia n a had been issued

o n ly h a lt e r s , u n ifo rm s , and spurs when i t mounted march from W heeling to P itts b u r g .

s ta r te d on a On th e way, the

men besieged farm ers f o r wheatsacks w ith which to impro­ v is e

sad d les, u sing c lo t h s lin e f o r s t i r r u p s . 12^*

Reaching

W ashington, t h is m o tley crew re c e iv e d the r e s t o f t h e i r equipm ent. The b u lk o f th e horse equipments and a l l spurs and weapons, when fu rn is h e d by th e Government, were drawn from th e Ordnance D e p a rtm en t.12^*

B ugles, pennants and th e l i k e

came from th e Q u a rte rm a s te r.

Equipments were fu rn is h e d in

s e p a ra te p a r t s , each man r e c e iv in g a s a d d le, b r i d l e , curb b i t ,

a

a h a l t e r and h a l t e r - s t r a p , a p a ir o f s t ir r u p s ,

s t ir r u p - s t r a p s , s t ir r u p f la p s ,

saddle bags, a horse

b la n k e t, g i r t h and s u r c in g le , a nose bag, c u rry comb and b ru s h .

How to p u t to g e th e r and what to do w ith the in d is ­

c rim in a te l o t was a r e a l p u z z le to the average v o lu n te e r. The saddle issued was th e model o f 1859, c a lle d the M c C le lla n s a d d le , which co n tin ued in use w ith some changes,

^ J lS ip e s , The Seventh P ennsylvania V e te ra n V o l­ u n te e r C a v a lr y , 9 . 125>Pickerill, History of the Third Indiana Cavalry,

11-12 I n o f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies. S e rie s I I I ,

I, 559-560.

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V o l.

u n t i l 1 9 1 7 . The saddle was easy on both man and horse and cost only $ l 8 . l 8 12°

The Ordnance Department re p o rte d

th a t by November 2 1 , 1862, 176,^67 sets o f C a va lry ac­ coutrem ents were issued.-*-29 As f a r as p e rs o n a l equipment was concerned, each C a v a lry p r iv a te was e n t i t l e d to a c lo th in g allow ance o f $i|9.5>8 a

year.

^-30

T his was u s u a lly p r e t t y w e ll used up by

a u n ifo rm is s u e , alth ou gh in 1861, th e re was n o th in g u n i­ form about the is s u e .

The men o f th e S ix th M ichigan were

each g iven one C a v a lry ja c k e t, one p a ir o f r e in fo rc e d tro u s e r s , one fo ra g e cap, and one p a ir o f knee boots, w h ile th e New York N in th had issued to each man one C a va lry ja c k e t, one p a ir o f tro u s e r s , underw ear, one s h i r t , one

•^ ^ D a v is , " C a v a lry Equipment— Past and P re s e n t," i n Journal o f the U n ite d S ta te s C a va lry A s s o c ia tio n , X X V I, N o.~168 ("October, 1915)» 2 1 8 -2 3 5 , says th a t i t wa3 claim ed t h a t t h is saddle was a copy o f one in v e n te d by C ap tain Cogent, d ir e c to r o f th e saddle fa c to r y a t Saumur, P rance. M c C le lla n denied t h i s . I n o f f i c i a l Records I I , 617. The t o t a l cost o f f o llo w s : saddle $18.18 b r id le ij-.60 h a lte r 2 .0 3 w a te rin g b r id le 1 .0 6 spurs .60 comb, brush l.S l

. . . A rm ies, S e ries I I I , V o l. equipment is ite m iz e d as b la n k e t (d a rk w ith orange b o rd e r 3 lb s a t p er l b . )

'JQ^.

nose bag h itc h in g s tra p T o ta l

$2.10

1 .0 0 .25

$28.08

12^ I b i d . , 851. 13 ° i b i d . . 617.

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p a ir o f s to c k in g s , and one p a i r o f s h o e s I n d i v i d u a l cavalrym en made a d d itio n s o f t h e i r own, some o f them p u r­ chasing and w earing b r e a s t p la t e s .132

As l a t e as A ugust,

1862 p a r t o f th e F if t e e n t h P en n sylvan ia C a v a lry wore a u n i­ form o f navy b lue w ith orange b r a id , w h ile some o f th e men had no u niform s a t a l l .

As f a r as u n ifo r m ity was concerned,

th e C a v a lry never d id c a rr y o f f a p r i z e — a f a c t which as l a t e as 1861^. was s t i l l

i r r i t a t i n g p ro fe s s io n a l s o l d i e r s . 1 ^^

E very v a r i e t y o f h a t , b o o t, and v e s t was worn, but W estern­ e rs , a t l e a s t ,

saw no o b je c tio n to t h is so lo n g as the

equipment was s u f f i c i e n t f o r the

w o r k . 1 -^4-

lj)1 K id d , P ersonal R e c o l l e c t i o n s . . . . , Ij.8; Cheney, H is to r y o f th e N inth' R e g im e n t'..., 1 8. 1 -^2H arpers W eekly, a d v e rtis e d them in l 8 6 l , a t $6 to $8 each. T a y lo r , D e s tru c tio n and R e c o n s tru c tio n . 55, a s s e rts t h a t New England' c a v a lry wore them in th e Shenandoah V a lle y causing th e C onfederates to wonder, "w hether the F e d e ra ls had o rg an ize d c u ir a s s ie r s , or were r e c u r r in g to th e customs o f Gustavus A dolphus." 1 83see th e com plaints in "Our C a v a lry ," in The U n ite d S ta te s Army and Navy J o u rn a l, I , F ebruary 2,G, looij., Ij.02. Among o th e rs , In the way o f h a ts — we "see them in ev e ry known and co n ceivab le v a r i e t y - - t h e re g u la ­ t io n h a t , th e same minus f e a t h e r and co rd , then the b u rlesq u e on th e in v e r te d c o ffe e p o t, fa tig u e cap, then the k e p i, then comes the Kossuth, M o n ito r, S tra w , Wide Awake and In v a r i e t y ad i n f i n i t u m , a l l re p re s e n te d in one sq u ad ro n ." 1 3%'he Normal P ic k e t . Ir o n to n , M is s o u ri, I , January 1 , l a 62. ——

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S

73

|

C h ie f among th e aspects o f su p p ly, was the la c k

|

o f a c e n tr a l purchasing agency.

|

u n it commanders, and defense committees were competing

I

madly w ith each o th e r and the U n ite d S ta te s f o r arms and equipm ent.

Buyers f o r s ta te s , c i t i e s ,

A l l o f these agencies were tr y in g to arm and

equip u n it s , and th e d u p lic a tio n o f e f f o r t o fte n r e s u lte d in some u n its being o v e r-e q u ip p e d , some h a lf-e q u ip p e d , and o th e rs n o t equipped a t a l l .

A t y p i c a l example o f th e d i f ­

f i c u l t y is re v e a le d in t h is l e t t e r from Governor Andrew o f M assachusetts to Cameron, October 11, l 8 6 l : "The C a v a lry reg im en t d e s ire d from Massachusetts i s f u l l y r e c r u it e d .

We are ab le to fu r n is h a l l c lo th in g ,

camp equipment and h o rs e s .

We have not fu rn is h e d sab ers,

horse accoutrem ents, e t c . , or taken measures to im port them from Europe because we r e l i e d on your promise to fu r n is h them.

Now, th e Q u a rte rm a ste r r e q u is itio n s us to supply

1200 horse equipm ents, 1200 sabers and b e l t s , and 1200 spurs and s tr a p s .

We can not fu r n is h them, and i t

is too

I.;

l a t e to send to Europe f o r . them. "^-35 I j

!

I n g e ttin g C a v a lry equipment and arms, the Government u t i l i z e d

every o u t l e t .

In m id - l8 6 l, Cameron had

j

C o lo n el George L . S c h u yler purchasing C a v a lry arms abroad;

I

th e Departm ent asked s ta te s to fu r n is h equipm ent, and i t

-35offjcial Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s I I I , £71-572.‘

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

V o l. I ,

a u th o riz e d s ta te s to copy U n ite d S tate s p a tte rn s and to man­ u fa c tu re equipments a t th e expense o f the g en eral Govern­ ment.-1- ^

As tim e went on, the supply system evolved in to

a fa m ilia r p a tte rn .

If

th e s ta te s could not equip t h e i r

C a v a lry u n it s , th e U n ite d S ta te s su p p lied a l l d e fic ie n c ie s in w hole, or in p a r t .

U n fo r tu n a te ly , th e c o m p e titio n in the

arms m arts le d to enormous s p e c u la tio n in arms, and out o f t h is grew such in c id e n ts as the n o to rio u s H a ll carb in e a f ­ f a i r in which the War Department p a id in S t. Louis in Sep­ tem ber, 1861, l mounted men, and

Roddey*s command in East Tennessee numbered

l,7kS

troopers.^

By August 10, however, attrition and transfer had reduced Bragg*s number to 10,597*^ In reviewing the returns of both armies as given in the Official Records for the period I86I-I863, It would ap­ pear that the Confederates enjoyed nothing like the pre­ ponderance In numbers of Cavalry usually attributed to them --save in the earliest phases of the war.

By I863, the

three major Federal armies had about 31#300 Cavalry present for duty, while the Confederate Cavalry facing this force numbered approximately 29,000.?° 1863*

The trend was clear by

The Confederates were unable to replace their losses

in horses and men, while the Federals still were expanding. Southern superiority in numbers had been achieved by the age old military principle of concentration and by rapidly placing the mounted troops in the field while the Federals had dispersed their Cavalry and were slow about getting them into the field. As in other aspects of their Cavalry, the training of Confederate mounted troops was considerably less precise

^Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 873. 69lbid.. 95 7. 7°Fiebeger, Campaigns of the American Civil War. 221 asserts that the Confederates enjoyed "a Cavalry superiority in the ratio of six to four, but the Official Records do not verify this statement.

Reproduced with permission ofthe copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

ll{.0

than even that of the Federals.

Some of the old militia

and pre-l86l units had received some rudiments of the mounted evolutions, military courtesy, and perhaps, the manual of the sabre, but of outpost duty, camp life, and the like, they were utterly ignorant.

Their great advan­

tage over the Northerners lay in the fact that virtually all of them could ride a horse as if glued to it, although a few of them were inclined to abuse the

animals.

7^

The training bible for most Eastern Confederate units was the Trooper*s Manual adapted by J. L. Davis from Poinsette*s 18^1 Tactics', although Hardee*s Tactics were popular with many units.72

a number of the Western

units such as Morgan*s, ignored the manuals and learned tactics in the school of expediency by making small

r a i d s . 73

In l86l, R. E. Lee made an attempt to see to it that the Cavalry in the Virginia area received some training by sending Captains Cosby and John Bell Hood to General Magruder to serve as Cavalry instructors.However, competent officers were so rare that both Hood and Cosby were soon de­ tailed to bigger commands and more important duties.

In

the West, General Ben McCulloch ordered a camp of Instruction

7Xfilackford, Letters from Lee*s Army. 12.

72]31ackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart. 13. 7-^Duke, Morgan* s Cavalry. $1 • 883.

7^-Official Records ... Armies, Series I. Vol. II, : ----------------

Reproduced with permission ofthe copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

11*1 laid out near Carthage, capable of taking care of three mounted regiments*

He also made detailed instructions for

and gave much attention to teaching guard and sentinel Judging from reports made about his troops later,

duty.7£

his efforts to instruct them were not overly successful* Training was never allowed to interfere with fishing and swimming among some units in the

West.7&

As the war progressed, the situation improved but little.

Ashby*s accumulation of over twenty companies in

the Shenandoah Valley never held battalion or regimental drill.77

They existed as a kind of tribal hand held together

by admiration and respect for their chief, Turner Ashby, and he kept them busy on active duty.

Morgan*s and Forrest*s

units in the West might be described in the same terms. Only Stuart’s men received regular training and frequent reviews; Stuart was not averse to attending personally to the minutia of training.

His men were not, perhaps, good

parade ground soldiers, but he saw to it that they knew their business.7® In the use of firearms, the lack of training was not serious, for most Southern Cavalrymen seem to have been familiar with them.

A more serious deficiency was the

7£official Records . * • Arm ie s* S e rie s I , V o l. I l l , 700-701* ' 7^Deupree, "The Noxubee Squadron of the First Mississippi Cavalry, C. S. A., l86l-l865," in Mississippi Historical Society Publications* II, 17* 77McDonald, A History of the Laurel Brigade... , 78]3lackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart. 16. Reproduced with permission ofthe copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

li|2 absence of practice in the handling of the sabre, even if some units were fortunate enough to have them.

When the

sabre was used, the Confederate horsemen used it by in­ stinct rather than by rote. The bulk of the Southern units were not absolutely destitute of training in mounted evolutions, of course, yet the subject received scant attention in comparison to that lavished upon it by some Northern units.

Nevertheless, sub­

sequent developments in combat did not reveal a noticeable difference between the two forces in the ability to maneuver. If the South had resort to expediency in the realm of training, it was forced to even stranger solutions to the problem of arming its Cavalry.

It has been generally ac­

knowledged that while the North was unarmed for any such conflict as the Civil War, the South was even worse off; for the North had the facilities and the potential resources for making arms later in the war, while the South had no hope of producing weapons In any quantity no matter how long the conflict lasted.

One author, however, has asserted that

In i860 the South had a considerable amount of material-some 5^4-0,000 small arms in Its state arsenals or seized In Federal armories--and that the difficulty was the unwilling­ ness of states to turn over their arms to the Confederate Government•^

^Thomason, Jeb Stuart. 66-67. Sawyer, Firearms in American. History. Ill, 2l7* however, states that the

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1U-3 With respect to Cavalry arms at any rate, the situ­ ation is clear.

There were not enough, and the Confederacy

lacked the means to produce them.

For example, Virginia

which provided most of the Cavalry Lee had, in September, i860, had in her armories or in the hands of her militia only 2,666 pistols of all kinds, 673 carbines, and 3>665 swords,®0

These suffic.ed to arm barely three full Cavalry

regiments, and many of the firearms were flintlocks, Missouri, which furnished so many mounted troops to the South and which had expended $150,000 for arms between 1859 and 1861 reported that as of January 18, 1861, there were only 107 state-owned sabres within her borders.^ Majdr Josiah Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance for the Con­ federate States of America, reported on April 20, l86l that there were in his hands, of the arms seized in the United States arsenals by the several seceding States, only 73^ carbines, 2,876 pistols, and 1,215 sabres.®2 the situation was well nigh hopeless.

By June, 1861,

There were, subject

to control of the Confederate Ordnance Department, I4.56 Colt

Confederacy had o n ly 150,000 shoulder arms. I f th a t i s t r u e , Thom633l , s fig u r e in c lu d e s l}.90,000 p is t o l s , sabres, cannon, e t c . , and I do not see how th a t was p o s s ib le , I th in k Thomason's es tim a te h ig h . ® ° 0 f f i c i a l Records . . . A rm ies, S e rie s IV , V o l. I ,

386-387. 8 l I b i d . . 67. ®2I b i d . , 228, 292.

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Ik k pistols, 161}. percussion pistols, and 87 Cavalry sabres--all scattered from the Texas arsenal to the Mount Vernon arsenal, while contracts outstanding existed for 12,700 sabres, 5*000 "Grape-shot revolvers," 5*000 breech loading carbines, and 1,000

lances.

^3

Needless to say, most of these contracts

were never fulfilled. Certainly, the states either could not or would not give Cavalry arms to the Confederate Government.

Secretary

of War Walker appealed time and time again to the various states for Cavalry arms, only to be refused, or asked in turn if he had none to give the states.®^

It is true that most

states utilized the weapons in their possession to arm troops raised within their own borders, but the result was an ex­ ceedingly uneven distribution.

In December, 1861, Virginia

had ninety-two troops of Cavalry only fifty of which has pistols or sabres.^

General Lee pleaded with Governor

Brown of Georgia, in the name of the common cause, to send Cavalry arms to Virginia on the grounds that it was the 0/

area most threatened.uo

The appeal was fruitless.

A similar situation existed in Tennessee.

Governor

Harris of that state wrote President Davis that the Cavalry

622.

®3official Records ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. I, ------------

^•See, for example, Walker to Governor Moore of Alabama, August 21, 22, l86l and reply, ibid., 581, 582,

382.

8%bid., 383. See also, ibid. Series I, Vol. I, 86Ibid., Series IV, Vol. I, 356.

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iii-5

of the Provisional Army of Tennessee was armed with revolv­ ers and sabres, In part, the remainder having double-barrelled shotguns."

More and more Cavalry were forced to depend

upon the shotgun In lieu of a more suitable arm.

By Septem­

ber, 1861, Davis was asking the governors to influence the volunteers to bring their own arms--rlfles and doublebarrelled shotguns, promising to replace them with more uniOO form weapons when these became available. Meanwhile, the uncooperative governor of Georgia informed the Confederate War Department that he could furnish several new companies of Georgia Cavalry to the Government and arm them with Sharps and Maynard carbines."

what the Government wanted

at this time was not more Cavalry units, but suitable arms for those already in service,

Lee, whose appeal to Georgia

for arms had been rebuffed, was reporting units of Cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley as entirely u n a r m e d . S t a t e rights was disrupting arms distribution seriously. While acute shortages existed in some areas, abundance existed in others.

The Washington Mounted Rifles had Sharps

breach-loading carbines, sabres, and Colt pistols, ^ while a

" official Records ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. I, 1+17• 88Ibid., 422. "ibid., 1+17. 90Ibid., Series I, Vol. XI, Pt. 3, 523. ^Blackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart, l£.

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lij.6 few miles away, a company of Cavalry reported having thirty men with sabres and twenty men with no arms--they were un­ able to find even shotguns.92

They were offered flintlock

pistols and cast off swords by the Government

While the

First Mississippi Cavalry had a profusion of carbines, pistols, and sabres,^ the Wise Legion Cavalry had only 260 sabres, sans scabbards, and fifty-three flintlock pis­ tols.

As a result of these and similar situations, in

desperation, the Confederate Government in November, l86l forbade acceptance of any Cavalry units unless already arm ed.9^

The system of furnishing arms which had been adopted early in l86l by the Confederate Congress provided that either the state or the general Government would furnish the weapons.9?

As in the case of the Federals, this sys­

tem led to mutual competition between the several states and the Confederate Government. Very few unit commanders

^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 851, 853. ------------------------93lbid.. 883, 912. 9J+Deupree, "The Noxubee Squadron of the First Miss­ issippi Cavalry, C. S. A., 1861-1865," in Mississippi Historical Society Publications, II, 11+-18. 9^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 909. 96Ibid., Series IV, Vol. I, 7&6. 97ibid.. 126-127, 581.

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1^7

attempted to purchase arms, but many local committees en­ tered the market as buyers.

Abroad, Confederate purchasing

agents not only bid against agents of the United States, but also competed amongst themselves for the purchase of the cast offs of Europe.

The Confederates, however, were hamp­

ered by a lack of cash and c r e d i t , a n d the blockade soon cut off this source of supply to a considerable extent. Southern agents succeeded to some degree in purchas­ ing arms from Northern manufacturers who were not averse to gain from any source early in the war.

John Forsyth, Confed­

erate agent, notified Secretary of War Walker in April, l86l that he could obtain 2,000 Colt pistols at twenty-five dol­ lars each, Sharps carbines at thirty dollars, and Colt car­ bines at thirty-dollars--from Northern sources. Walker QQ authorized the purchase.77 These prices were the same that the Federal Government was paying.

But as the war progressed,

these Northern sources gradually dried up, and the South had to look elsewhere for arms. Although the Confederates in l86l had as much Cavalry to arm as the North, they failed to anticipate the demand for Cavalry arms.

One Oliver Charwin was sent to Europe to purl

chase 5*000 carbines, 5*000 pistols, and 10,000 sabres in December, l86l,1(^

This was much too small an order— even

^^Sawyer, Firearms in American History, III, 217 gives some statistics on Confederate purchases. ^ Official Records ..» Armies, Series IV, Vol. I, 212213. 1Q0Ibid.. 721, 730. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

11+8

s m a lle r than th e c o n s e rv a tiv e F e d e ra l War Department was making a t about the same tim e .

I f th e C onfederate War De­

partm ent expected t h is purchase to be augmented by Southern m anufactures v ia th e c o n tra c ts a lre a d y l e t f o r C a v a lry arms, i t was v e ry ig n o ra n t indeed o f th e la c k o f Southern f a c i l i t i e s . Very p ro b a b ly , i t was ju s t a case o f i n s u f f i c i e n t p la n n in g and c o o rd in a tio n .

F u rtherm o re, although hampered by a la c k

o f fu n d s , the C onfederates began o ffe r in g e ig h t to tw e lv e d o lla r s f o r sabres and t h i r t y - f i v e d o lla r s f o r u n s p e c ifie d p a tte rn s o f p is t o ls a t th e same tim e and i n the same m arket i n which th e F e d e ra l Government was paying o n ly seven and a h a l f and tw e n ty -fiv e d o lla r s f o r th e same a r t ic le s .'* '0'*'

Even

th e S ta te o f Texas was able to buy 1 ,0 0 0 C o lt p is t o ls f o r 102 o n ly tw e n ty -fiv e d o lla r s each.

For the Confederates, probably the chief source of more improved Cavalry arms in the period 1861-1863 was the oft-defeated and captured Federal Cavalry.

Captured arms

were the mainstay of Confederate Ordnance during most of the war.

Morgan* s men were armed with an incredible collec­

tion of Engield rifles, carbines of all makes, and various kinds of pistols— all taken from their adversaries.'*’0^

^•Q^- O f f i c i a l Records . . . 102I b i d . .

A rm ies, S e rie s IV , V o l. I ,

721, 730.

■^-^Duke, Morgan1s C a v a lry . I l l , and S c a lp e l, 1 7 9 .

W yeth, W ith Sabre

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£00.

114-9

Forrest completely armed and equipped two brigades at Federal expense, and many of Wheeler’s and Stuart’s troopers had helped themselves from Northern supplies.

Although this prac­

tice was common to most Confederate Cavalry units,1°^- the Southern Government sought to augment the supply, not only by purchase, but also by improvising and copying Northern pat­ terns. Two of their most successful attempts in this direction were the Confederate Perry breech-loading carbine, caliber .52, and the Confederate Sharps carbine manufactured at Richmond in 1 8 6 2 . Their efforts to copy or manufacture arms were ser­ iously retarded by an almost complete lack of raw material, machinery, and skilled labor, and the volume of production remained very low. In its efforts to arm a Cavalry force, the Confederacy, like the Union, had recourse to the lance, but plans for a lancer unit seem to have spluttered to a halt.

In March, 1862,

the sovreign State of Texas flambouyantly announced that, ,fCol. [s±c] James P. Major, ..., has been commissioned by the Secretary of War to raise a regiment of lancers. Let the valiant sons of Texas rally from the bill-tops and the valleys, like Highland Scots to the bugle blast of the bold McGregor’s horn, ... ,”106

10^-Cooke, Wearing of the Gray .... 50. 105>Sawyer, Firearms in American History. Ill, 2'li6-2lj.7* Sawyer also lists t5e manufacturers wording for the 'Confederate Government and estimates their output at 1).0,000 arms of all kinds; op. clt.. 218-220. l.C)^official Records ... Armies, Series IV, Vol. I, 1007c

!

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150 As to whether or not this unit ever materialized the records are silent, hut in Virginia, a company of lancers ap­ parently existed, for they were seen by George Heese of Chew*s b a t t e r y . I f this unit existed, it must have been disbanded or rearmed for it drew no further comment, and the Official Records contain no reference to it. Although Secretary of War Benjamin had stated in Feb­ ruary, 1862 that the Government would accept lancers and pro­ vide the l a n c e , a n d the Government had placed an order for 1,000 l a n c e s , t h e Confederate high command never considered the experiment as seriously as did the Federals under McClellan.

107ueese, Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artil­ lery, 13-llp. ’’This afternoon a company of our Cavalry passed us, armed with lances, which consisted of a steel spear about ten inches long mounted on a wooden shaft about eight feet long. These were some of the identical weapons that the saintly,martyr, John Brown, had at Harpers Fterry, ... ,n It is entirely possible that a company of Confed­ erate Cavalry, in lieu of other.arms, had received some of the John Brown pikes. However, I have found no other reference, to the unit. lOQofficial Records ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. I, 9^4-8. 1Q9Ibid.. 622. 110t Wo Confederate officers, Major General Magruder and Lieutenant Colonel Ewell, however, did urge the lance as a temporary expedient; see, ibid., Series I, Vol. XI, Pt. 3, 391, and ibid.. Vol. II, 62.

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151

Even In 1862 the weapon situation did not ease.

The

Ordnance Department in the west, reported that there were no pistols for sale at any point in the Confederacy.

It was sug­

gested that many of them had been bought up by Infantrymen and that these should be collected and turned over to the Cav­ alry.

Three weeks later, the War Department forbade the

rank and file to carry any sidearm other than those issued by the Government.3--*-2

It is doubtful that this order was en­

forced enough to provide very many pistols for the Cavalry. Governor Clark of North Carolina complained vehemently March 11, 1862 that the Government was still accepting Cavalry while the unit North Carolina had raised five months before was still not armed.

He asserted that he had tried for three

months to get arms at every place from New Orleans to Rich­ mond, without success.

In desperation, he had finally purchased

at very high prices some swords from the Eastman B. Proelich sword factory at Wilmington, but three-fourths of them proved to be worthless.3-3-3 By the time Shiloh was fought, the Department of East Tennessee still contained 2,000 unarmed Cavalry,3-3-^- while the Fifth Texas had to content themselves with "good common hunting rifles" and long knives,

■^•^Official Records ... Armies, Series IV, Vol. I, 965* 112Ibid., 1028. 113Ibid., 987. 1:L4ibid., Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 918. H 5xbld.. Series IV, Vol. I, 982-983. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

152

Although in 1863 most Cavalry units had arms, they were neither uniform nor satisfactory.

In the West, Bragg*s

Cavalry had a bewildering variety of weapons,

1

-1

ZL

while in

the East, Lee wrote to Stuart: "In reply to your different communications on the sub­ ject of the deficiency of good arms in the Cavalry, ... . There are many difficulties, however, in the way of or­ ganizing the Cavalry thoroughly, ... . Pew Cavalry' arms are imported, and those manufactured in the Con­ federacy are generally rejected ... . Where Infantry arms have been issued to the Cavalry, it is stated that they have either been turned in or thrown away in nine cases out of ten, ... ."H< Certainly the arms problem was not solved in the per­ iod I86I-I863. The profusion in types of arms and calibers was unbelievable, and it was increased by the capture of all kinds of arms from the Federals*

Pew regiments were armed

entirely with the same type or caliber of weapons, and this produced a difficult ammunition problem.

Each trooper

usually carried forty to sixty rounds, but if this supply was exhausted, he often had difficulty in finding more am­ munition that would fit his gun.

U nofficial Records ... Armies. Series I , Vol. X X I I I , Pt. 2, 762-763* In tHe hands of the Cavalry were: Smooth bore percussion muskets, 1,363 Rifles of different calibers, k-t&k9 Carbines of different calibers, 1,1*69 Double barrelled shotguns, 773 1,566 Colt pistols, Single shot pistols, 1*2

1:L7lbid.. Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 61^8.

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153

The p re c is e numbers and types o f weapons in use in th e C onfederate C a valry s e rv ic e d u rin g the war p ro b ab ly w i l l rem ain a m ystery in view o f the incom plete records on th e s u b je c t.

Confederate C a valry were never a l l equipped w ith

sa b res , n ot e n t i r e l y because th ey could not be o b ta in ed in q u a n tity , but also because the Southern tro o p e rs , e s p e c ia lly in the West, had no fondness f o r th a t weapon.

Being un­

tr a in e d in the use o f the s a b re, F o r r e s t* s , W h e eler*s , and Morgan*s men p re fe rr e d the p is t o l a t sh o rt ran g e. Perhaps nowhere was the casualness o f the Confed­ e ra te m i l i t a r y o rg a n iz a tio n and equipment thrown in to such sharp r e l i e f as in the m a tte r o f uniform s and perso nal ac­ coutrem ents.

L ik e the F ed eral m i l i t i a u n it s , C onfederate

tro o p e rs in i8 6 0 and l 8 6 l were garbed i n a l l manner o f gorgeous co lo rs and plumes.

The Wise Troop wore b r ig h t

b lu e pantaloons w ith gold cord down the s id e , and s c a r le t h o rs e h a ir t u f t s hanging down behind th e m ,^ ® w h ile the 119 B o te to u rt Dragoons fe a tu re d navy b lu e and y e llo w . These

'

examples can be m u ltip lie d ad in f in it u m .

A f t e r a few months

in th e f i e l d , however, these young men were metamorphosed in t o b u tte rn u t homespun v e te ra n s , th e f in e r y long since worn out or cast a s id e ,

H ^ B la c k fo r d , L e tte r s from Lee*s Army, 1 . were atta ch ed to the tro u s e rs .

The t u f t s

-*--*-9peck, Reminiscences o f a C onfederate S o ld ie r o f Co. C ., 2nd. Va. C a v a lry . 2'.'

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15k According to Army Regulations, the Confederate Cav­ alrymen wore gray trousers, gray Cavalry jacket, end a gray 1Po kepi with a dark blue band, yellow crown, end havelock. ^ In fact, he wore whatever kind of trousers, coat or shirt, and hat he could obtain.

Lack of supply forced the individual to

provide for himself, and he often had to wear captured Federal clothing or go naked.

Many a Confederate trooper remained in

the saddle in mixed company because there was no seat in his trousers.

With no regular issue of Government clothing in ex­

istence, the people back home often made rough hewn clothing of homespun, dyed all the bilious shades of brown that butter­ nut or other impromptu dyes could produce, and forwarded the garments to the soldiers.

Since the pay of a private was barely

in excess of twelve dollars a m o n t h , h e could not afford to purchase clothing.

Only the officers, and not all of them, man­

aged to provide themselves with gray Cavalry uniforms of the regulation type. With respect to horse equipments, the Confederate trooper was expected to bring his own along with his own along with his own horse, for very few Cavalry equipments existed in the armories of the seceding states. 1PP In the

IZOpfficial Records ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. I, 879. 121Ibid.t 758. -*-22Ibid.. 358. In 1862 the Government made about 100 sets of Cavalry equipments a week at Augusta, but abandoned the work because of prohibitive costs. Also, at Augusta, some llpOO horseshoes with nails were made per day, lieuten­ ant Colonel George Rains, commanding the Government Works at

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155

early years of the war, most of the men used civilian sad­ dles of the English round tree pattern.1^3

The Confederate

Government purchased abroad large quantities of leather to be made into harness and

b r i d l e s ,

and never met the demand.

but production was slow

Later in the war, the Confederacy

manufactured a few saddles--easy on the horse, but hard on the man.

Eventually, the majority of their Cavalry had the

McClellan saddle and equipment, like many of their weapons, captured from the Federals. The problem of getting Southern Cavalry units into the field was not hard to solve.

Most of them were anxious

to get to the scene of the war and were highly impatient of delay.

After colorful ceremonies, flag and sword presenta­

tions, elaborate repasts, and tearful goodbyes, the Confed­ erate troopers swung into their saddles and trotted off to the wars.

Some of the mounted units belonging to the Vir­

ginia forces were gathered together at a special Cavalry camp located at Ashland;3-^5 from there, they marched overland as far as $00 miles to join General Johnston in the

Augusta to Brigadier General Thomas Jordan, October 31, 1862, in the Clinton H. Haskell Collection, Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan -J-^Myers, The Comanches .«,.» 50: Thomason, Jeb Stuart, 75. Inofficial Records ... Armies, Series IV, Vol. I, 820. l25ibid. . Series I, Vol. II, 886.

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156

S h e n a n d o a h , a n d the march was one continuous ovation. ^ 7 Many units had a very long way to travel, coming up or down the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers by steam­ boat, transferring to rickety railroads, and finishing the trip on

horseback.

!28

once in the field, and after the

siege of measles which was common to all new troops, the Cavalry units were ready to take part in the struggle. Although many of the problems of integrating Cavalry within the army, which had troubled the Pederals, were com-, mon also to the South, they were not exactly the same in degree or kind, nor were their solutions the same in both cases.

In general, the Confederates were not so hampered

by European ideas and trends inapplicable to warfare in America.

Mere forms and precedents had to give way to ex­

pediency and common sense.

Furthermore, having no regular

army at all at the beginning of the war, the Confederacy was not committed to a rigid system of organization. This void, however, was not without its faults, for it left the way open to a plethora of unique arrangements early in the war.

The South, far more than the North, had

accepted "legions” of Cavalry, often combined with Infantry

126Biacic£or3.

’.ft Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

battalions to the various Infantry

d i v i s i o n s . -^9

Only

Forrest*s and Vi/harton*s regiments were withheld and retained subject to the orders of the commanding General.

Beauregard,

by this time second in command to Johnston, complained to Ad­ jutant General Cooper that Polkfs command sadly lacked orga­ nization, especially 1,400 Cavalry "over whom there should be some competent commander,"'*'^®

The various companies scattered

about suffered in morale, equipment, and usefulness because of faulty organization.

Had they been concentrated, their

wants could have been attended to.

As it was, the only con­

solidated Cavalry the Confederates had in the West at this time was the brigade of weak regiments which belonged to Sterling Price*s d i v i s i o n . T h i s division, at the Battle of Pea Ridge in the Spring of the year, lost Its two ablest Cavalrymen, McCulloch and McIntosh, and the Cavalry brigade languished from that time on. On March 29, 1862, as a prelude to Shiloh, Johnston assumed command of the profusion of armies in Kentucky and

Mississippi, uniting them into one force known as the Army of the Mississippi.

Within this army, Leonidas Polk had the

First Corps, Braxton Bragg had the Second Corps, and William Hardee had the Third Corps.

Each division In the army was

Inofficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. VII.

854, 904-90F:----------------------1^°Ibid., 906. 1^1Ibid., Vol. VIII, 788.

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166

to consist of two brigades of Infantry and one regiment of C a v a l r y .1 ^

All Cavalry not so assigned was to be gathered

together and placed under a certain General Hawes.^ 3

Hawes

identity is not clear, and he soon returned to obscurity. Fortunately for the Confederates, the terrain at Shiloh precluded Cavalry operations of any extent, for the organization of the mounted troops rendered them almost use­ less.

Albert Sidney Johnston may have been regarded by the

Confederates as the best soldier of the Confederacy, but he could not hold a candle to Joseph E. Johnston when it came to Cavalry organization.

After their repulse at Shiloh, the

Confederate forces in the West disintegrated rapidly.

By

June, Bragg commanded the reduced Army of the Mississippi, and that army listed no Cavalry present for duty.

General

McCown*s Army of the West had over ten regiments of Cavalry dismounted, and he entertained no prospects of being able to remount them.3-^

In all, the mounted troops numbered

only 775 men in two regiments, having shrunk from the ij.,100 reported when the Confederates had retreated to Corinth.3-55 In the Department of East Tennessee, General E, Kirby Smith had 1,055 Cavalry present for duty--including a very small brigade of three small regiments.3-5&

By the following

-*-52pfficiai Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. X, Pt. 2, 370-371. 153ibid. I5ij-ibid.. 787-790. 155ibid.. 792.

1^6Ibid.. Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 715. £ Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

167

month (July) Smith added a second brigade to his Cavalry force— the brigade commander being Colonel Nathan B. For­ res t.^7

That gave Smith the best organized Cavalry force

in the West, commanded by the best Cavalryman in that area. By the fall of the year, Bragg had rebuilt the Army of the Mississippi and had also organized a Cavalry force. Forrest was promoted to Brigadier General, and his brigade of four regiments and one battalion was assigned to the right wing of the army, while a brigade of three regiments and one battalion under Colonel Joseph Wheeler was assigned to the left wing,-^®

This disposition was not ideal, divid­

ing, as it did, the Cavalry force, and decentralizing control by giving the direction of the force to the wing commanders. Considering the fact, however, that Forrest and Wheeler were entirely different personalities and at opposite poles on the use of Cavalry, Bragg*s organization was a modus vivendi, and under those two leaders, the Confederate Cavalry did hopelessly outclass the hapless Federals. To increase further Confederate Cavalry superiority in the West, a powerful force of mounted troops under John Morgan, John Pegram, and J. S. Scott had been gathered by the persistent E. Kirby Smith in O c t o b e r . T h i s force in­ cluded twelve regiments, four battalions, and five batteries.

^-^official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 719.

^Ibid,, 82^. ■^■^See ibid.. 985, for details of regimental assign­ ments •

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168

In the Pall, however, developments took a new turn when a personality clash between Forrest and Wheeler reached an impasse, and Forrest was relieved of his command and sent to Middle Tennessee to build a new force,-*-^0 whiie Wheeler was given command of all the Cavalry with the Army of Ken­ tucky (Smith) and the Army of the Mississippi.1^1

With one

stroke of his pen, Bra.gg (inadvertantly I suspect) had taken steps to produce more troops, temporarily relieved the army of a personality conflict, and created an excellent Cavalry corps Tinder an able commander.

This was the greatest step

toward organizing the Confederate Cavalry that was ever taken in the West. As the dreary Vicksburg campaign dragged on, the year 1862 closed in the West with one critically weak spot remain­ ing in Cavalry organization.

Pemberton, the defender of

Vicksburg, had only a very weak Cavalry force of 3 the command of a complete nonenity.1^*2

under

An adequate mounted

force never was forwarded to Pemberton until it was too late. Spring brought new changes in Cavalry organization in the East.

It also opened a year in which some of the

defects in the Confederate structure became glaring.

In

April, 1863 Stuart gave orders that the Horse Artillery would cease to belong to the brigades, but would constitute a separate body to operate with the Cavalry, and It was to

•^-^Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 876-U77: 161Ibid., 940. 16?

Ibid., Vol. XVII, Pt. 2, 81I4..

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169

be under the command of Major P. F. B e c k h a m . T h i s was purely an administrative improvement, not a tactical change, for the batteries were to remain on duty with the brigades to which they were assigned. In the realm of administrative improvement, Stuart wrestled with the problem of an inadequate staff.

Many of

his appointees were chosen for personality rather than for experience or special aptitude for the various tasks. the whole, Stuart*s paper work was not well handled.

On His

official staff for the Cavalry division was published on June 1, 1863. ^ ^ Meanwhile, Lee was becoming more and more concerned over the growing weakness of Stuart*s force In contrast to the growing strength of the Federal Cavalry.

Writing to’ ..

Stuart on May 11, Lee said, "If you think a visit to Richmond, on your part, will expedite the organization or equipment of your command,

I n official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XVII, Pt. 2, QlLp. l6^Ibld.. 862. It included: Major Heros Von Borcke— Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General Major H. B. McClellan— Assistant Adjutant General Major A. R. Venable--Assistant Adjutant General Major Norman B. Fitzhugh— Quartermaster Major William J. Johnson— Commissary of Subsistence. Captain William W. Blackford— Engineer Captain John Esten Cooke— Chief of Ordnance First Lieutenant Chiswell Dabney— Aide-de-Camp First Lieutenant Robert Goldsborough— Aide-de-camp Surgeon Talcott Ellason— Division Surgeon Captain W. D. Farley— Volunteer Aide Captain J® L. Clark— Volunteer Aide Major Fitzhugh seems to have done much of the work which might have been expected of Majors Von Borcke, McClellan, and Venable.

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170

I have no objection, but on the contrary recommend it. I believe I told you of my wish to place Jenkins1 Cav­ alry in the Valley and draw Jones to you. I thought . it would give you a more reliable and larger force... ." Twelve days later, Lee again wrote Stuart, revealing his own anxiety and touching on many of the weak points of his Cavalry.

First, he asked for a report on numbers of men

and animals, condition of men and animals, and weapons— for making such reports was not one of Stuart's favorite pastimes. Lee promised Stuart to scrape up 1,5>00 carbines for him, but said he could not give Stuart the Artillery pieces the Cav­ alry needed.

Lee also expressed regret that they had no

camp of instruction and refreshment for the Cavalry.

Just

why no such camp was constructed at that time or before is not clear, except that the Confederacy had never had either the time or the resources to build an installation of any magnitude save fortifications.

In concluding his letter,

Lee wrote, "Vie could with propriety diminish the number of regiments in a brigade if they were full, but they are so small— I mean the effectives— that ,a

brigade has hardly

over two full regiments with it.,,"^^> The amount of time and thought Lee devoted to Cavalry affairs is an indication of the seriousness of Confederate weakness, and Lee's letters delineate clearly the errors and problems in the Southern structure.

The basic organization

Inofficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVII, Pt. 2, 792. l66Xbid.. 820-821.

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171

was good--one Cavalry command with one commander, but de­ fects in the system and supply of horses, weapons, and the like were robbing the regiments of their strength.

If there

had been a Confederate Cavalry Bureau or even a few camps for instruction and remounting, these problems might have been solved, and the deterioration of the Southern mounted force might have been stayed.

No such solution was forth­

coming. As the Confederates moved on Pennsylvania in 1863 their mounted force included the brigades of Wade Hampton, Pitz Lee, Beverley Robertson, Mieah Jenkins, William Jones, W* H. P. Lee, and John Imboden along with the Stuart Horse Artillery of six batteries.

The mounted troops consisted of

twenty-three regiments, the Cavalry of three legions, and three battalions, in addition to one battery not included in the Stuart Horse A r t i l l e r y . ^11 of the brigade com­ manders, except perhaps, Robertson, Jenkins, and Imboden who had angered Stuart, were quite competent, and the force as a whole held its own at Gettysburg.

This, of course,

constituted a reverse for the South, for they were accus­ tomed to driving back the Federal horse.

Furthermore, the

severe Cavalry battles of the summer served to reduce further the number of men and horses in the Confederate regiments, and the brigade commanders were unable to give

l67official Records ... Armies. Vol. XXVII, Pt. 2, 290-291 gives' the entire organization by regiments.

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172 enough time and attention to the matter to effect an improve­ ment, Lee, in an endeavor to reorganize his Cavalry and inject new vitality into it, wrote President Davis on August 1, setting forth his views and proposals.

He stated that

the Cavalry brigades were too large for the brigade commander to manage efficiently.

As a solution, he proposed to in­

crease the number of brigades to seven and to decrease the size of the existing brigades.

Lee suggested that these

brigades be organized into two divisions under Wade Hampton and Fitz Lee.

The entire command was to be under Stuart.

Lee concluded by suggesting several officers for promotion to the rank of brigadier general. 1 Aft Stuart seems to have convinced Lee that the brigades were too large, perhaps, as one author suggests in order to create vacancies for deserving

C o l o n e l s .

"^9

In any event,

the proposed reorganization was carried out; with the Cavalry organized into two divisions, the force as a whole consti­ tuted a corps.

According to law, this would have entitled

Stuart to promotion to Lieutenant General, but Lee never formally declared it a corps, nor did he ever recommend Stuart for promotion.

l680fficlal Records ... Armies. Vol. XXVII, Pt. 3, 1068-1069. The full text is given i n Appendix C. l^ p re e m a n , Lee’ s L ie u te n a n ts , A Study in Command,

in, 209-213.

:

~

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173

Many changes in command were made— Fitz Lee and Wade Hampton being elevated to Major-Generalcies as division com­ manders; M. C. Butler and William Wickham replaced Wade Hampton and Fitz Lee as brigade commanders, and Lawrence Baker replaced Beverley Robertson, who was transferred, while Lunsford Lomax was also elevated to Brigadier Gener­ al.

Somewhat later, the long smoldering fire between

Stuart and "Grumble" Jones flared up, and Jones was transferred with Tom Rosser replacing him. 1 7 1 These were the changes that Lee and Stuart made in order to bolster up the Confederate Cavalry in preparation for the next campaign.

As future events were to show, they

were improvements, but they were not enough to overcome de­ fects in supply and deficiency in manpower inherent in the Confederate system. The outlook in the West, however, was more encourag­ ing.

In January, 1863, Earl Van Dorn formed a Cavalry force

at Grenada, Mississippi.

It was composed of four brigades-—

including Roddey»s rather nebulous

c o m m a n d . 1 ”^

The units

170por these changes, see Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 3, 1006, 1007, 106$, 1075. A more complete discussion of these changes will be found in a later chapter. 171Ibid.. Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 779, 788. See also, McDonald, A History of the Laurel Brigade .... 168-169. 172official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXII, Pt. 2", 314-6-511.7. See also, ibid.. XXIV, Pt. 2, 592.

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174 in this force were of very uneven quality, but the centra­ lization was a major step in organization.

At the same

time, Bragg assigned Wheeler, at that time a Major General, to the command of all the Cavalry in Middle Tennessee.173 Bragg*s army now known as the Army of Tennessee, headquart­ ers at Tullahoma, on February 25, 1863 proceeded to organize the most powerful Cavalry force ever created in the West prior to l 86ij..

Van Dorn*s force, reinforced by Forrest*s

command constituted one division, while the brigades of Wheeler, Wharton, Morgan, and a small unit were combined into another division under Wheeler.^-74

The following

month, Bragg decided that the divisions were so large that they ought to be designated as corps— although they did not officially call for the rank of Lieutenant General.

Whatever Bragg*s failings as an army commander, and they were numerous, he took advantage of his opportunity and centralized his Cavalry into two fairly well-knit corps which paralyzed his opponent, Rosecrans.^?^

Furthermore,

a new Cavalry force appeared on the scene when General Stephen D. Lee was ordered to assume command of all Cavalry

173pfficlal Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol.

xxiv, 614. 1 74ibid.. Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 650.

175ibia.. 701. Rosecrans* information on and estimate of Confederate Cavalry-organlzation in the Chickamauga Campaign, see, Ibid.. Vol. XXX, pt. 1, 232.

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175

in Mississippi.1"^

Lee was to play a considerable part in

Cavalry affairs in the last two years of the war. At Vicksburg, Pemberton was still limping along v/ith a thin line of Partisan Rangers and bits and scraps of mounted companies in lieu of a real Cavalry

f o r c e . 178

For the most part, these were the units which Lee was ex­ pected to weld into a respectable body of Cavalry, but Lee's efforts did not bear fruit until after Vicksburg fell. By the end of the year in the West, the Confederates held a clear superiority in Cavalry organization, but they were beginning to lose ground to the Federal mounted force which Rosecrans was bending every effort to improve.

One

of the chief weaknesses in the Southern structure was the independence of spirit in Morgan and Forrest.

The former

wrecked his command in an unauthorized raid across the Ohio River, while the latter could not and would not work under Bragg and Wheeler.

The end result was that Forrest and

Wheeler worked independently of each other— thus posing an over-fine problem in coordination for Bragg who lacked the requisite ability to solve it. In reviewing the evolution of a Confederate Cavalry force it Is clear that the South enjoyed certain distinct advantages.

From the standpoint of good horsemen and good

lOlj.8.

^official Records ... Armies, Vol. XXIV. Pt. 2, -------------------------

702-707.

■*-78jp0r an itemized list of these units, see ibid., ~

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176 horses, the Confederates had an undisputed advantage over the Pederals throughout l86l and 1862.

As we shall see later, the

South was also more fortunate in its choice of Cavalry lead­ ers.

More adept at getting the volunteer units into the

field rapidly, the Confederates were able to establish a superiority in numbers at given points, although contrary to popular opinion they did not enjoy numerical superiority in general, save perhaps early in 1861.

But more important,

the Confederate commanders mastered the principle that con­ centration and unity of Cavalry command were a sine qua non of mounted success, and therein lies, to a considerable de­ gree, the superiority enjoyed by the South in most of the period under discussion.

Long before Chancellorsville, all

the Cavalry with the Army of Northern Virginia had been placed under the control of Stuart as a distinct command, while the Pederals under Burnside at Fredericksburg in 1862 were still parcelling Cavalry out.

In the West, after a slow

start, the Confederates began steadily centralizing their mounted troops until the great bulk of them was concentrated into two corps, while Rosecrans and his Pederals were still struggling to build a Cavalry force, and Grant was trying to do without one. In regimental organization, there was little to choose between the two structures, save that the Confederates seem to have regarded the matter in a more casual light.

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177

In the realm of equipment, supply, and training the South fell steadily behind, the victim of an inherently weak system of army administration, and the remount methods robbed the Confederates of their original superiority in horseflesh.

In contrast, by 1863 in the East and a year

later in the West, the Pederals had so improved their men by training and their equipment through the medium of superior resources that Southern superiority in Cavalry was trembling in the balance.

Furthermore, the North had been able to

raise more men, and by 1863 had finally placed most of them in the field, giving them numerical superiority. Whereas the Pederals had capped their organization by setting up a Cavalry Bureau to maintain administrative order, the Confederacy failed to take such a step, and as a result, those problems of administration and supply which had plagued them from the beginning became a nemesis.

As

early as 1863, Lee*s letters to Davis and Stuart reveal that he saw the handwriting on the wall, and his forebod­ ings were fulfilled in l86Ij..

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CHAPTER V

HORSE AND FuRAGE PROBLEMS "For the Want of a Nail ...

The old, old jingle

about the loss of a nail entailing the loss of a shoe, and so on until the loss of a battle and a kingdom resulted, is of special significance to the study of Cavalry.

The problem

of keeping the Cavalry mounted was one of the most difficult aspects of administration for both Federal and Confederate armies.

War was much harder on horses than it was on men, and

it required an enormous supply of the animals to keep the troopers mounted.

As in the case of supplying weapons, food,

equipment, and new troops, transportation and distribution were the major stumbling blocks to a solution of the prob­ lem. The census of i860 revealed that there were about ij.,688,678 horses and I)-5^-,08l mules in the loyal states.^ Not all of these, of course, were suitable for Cavalry pur­ poses, nor could all of them be used for the army; farmers and civilian transportation required horses and mules also.

•^Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. II, 799. 178

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179

Upon these millions of animals, however, the demands of the Federal Cavalry became so extensive, that of necessity, re­ course was had to purchase in Canada, and even then, in order to get enough horses, standards of quality had to be lowered.

The quality of the horses furnished the Federal

Cavalry was, according to both Northern and Southern sources, generally inferior to that established by the Confederacy in which fine Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia hunters and jumpers were obtainable. It is generally known that the Confederacy required its Cavalrymen to provide mounts for themselves.

It is not

generally known that at the beginning of the war, the Fed­ eral s adopted the same system.

The precedent was set on

May 1, l86l by the War Department in announcing that Carl Schurz was authorized to raise a regiment of volunteer Cavalry, for the Department stated that, "The Government ...cannot provide the horses and accouterments [sicj. For these necessities, we shall rely upon the patriotism of the States and the citizens... ."2

Three days later,

the Adjutant General's Office confirmed the policy in a General Order requiring all volunteer Cavalrymen to furnish their own horses.3 This system was an expedient dictated by the com­ plete want of a supply of horses on hand.

The main

^Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, lIj.0-1^1. “ ~

3Ibid.. 153.

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180

objection was that many of the Federal volunteers were city dwellers of low income who owned no horses, and therefore could not bring their o w n A

T6 supply the existing need,

some patriotic citizens came to the rescue by giving either horses or the purchase price of a horse to the volunteers, and the States generally made up any remaining deficiencies. While there were few high bred horses among those so fur­ nished, most of them were good, serviceable animals.^

The

only real strong point of the system lay in the fact that it offered a means of putting a mounted force into the field at once, and this advantage was lost to the Federals because their volunteers required training in horsemanship and consequently were slow getting into active duty.

For­

tunately for the North, the Government in August of 1861 abandoned the system of depending upon individuals to supply the horses and relied largely upon the States to secure mounts. This shift was an improvement in policy, but it also increased the difficulties of purchase.

As in the case of

buying arms, states, individuals, and the Government com­ peted for the supply.

As a consequence, there was an over­

supply at one time or place and an undersupply at another,

^-Exceptions to this statement were some of the regi­ ments raised in the West where farmers volunteered and brought their horses— some of which were better adapted to the plow than to the charge. See Pickerill, History of the Third Indiana Cavalry. 11. ^Beach, The First New York .... ij.7.

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181

while prices spiralled ever higher and added to the 'general confusion.

For example, at the same time the War Department

expected Massachusetts to mount the Cavalry regiment it had raised in October, l86l, Secretary Stanton was advising Governor Morgan of New York that over 8,000 horses were on hand in Washington and that New York need purchase none.

While Massachusetts starved in a land of plenty,

some of the Western states found horses so numerous within their borders that they were able to assign to each troop horses of all the same color— one troop mounted on bays, another on blacks, a third on grays, and so on.?

This

luxurious arrangement did not last long in the field, for it was too difficult to replace lost or unserviceable horses with those of appropriate colors. Gradually, the United States assumed more of the burden of mounting units and depended less upon the states, thereby decreasing confusion to some extent, although the Treasury and War Departments were getting in each other*s Q way for awhile. Soon, however, the very able Quarter­ master General, Montgomery Meigs, took over the job and

^Compare Official Records •..• • Armies, Series III, Vol. I, 559-560 with* ibTd.. 571^*572.' ?See for example, Kidd, Personal Recollections 55. Also, Miller, ed. The Photographic 'History of1' the Civil War, IV, 35, 326. ®See the account of this situation in Nioolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, A History. IV, 256-257.

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182

began to introduce order, not without difficulty.

Prior to

the Peninsular Campaign, Captain J. J. Dana had charge of the transportation, Cavalry, and Artillery horses in and around Washington, and he gave some direction to the afQ

fairs of horse supply.7

Coordination was the major problem

at times, for the Quartermaster occasionally continued to purchase animals when the War Department considered that it was over supplied.3'0 Forced to go far afield for horses, the Government had to pay steamboat lines and railroads to ship the animals to the proper places.

The railroads charged a standard rate

of about seven dollars per each carload of horses.31

These

rates made shipment expensive, especially whenshortage of fodder necessitated frequent re-shipment or letting animals starve— as was the case in some areas at various times.

*1 p

A great deal of adverse comment in the North was oc­ casioned in 1861 and early 1862 by the Federal Government1s reluctance to seize and impress horses found in those states or regions which were Confederate in fact or in sympathy.3^

^See Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. IV, 27 for Dana’s appointment. 10Ibid.. Series III, Vol. I, 759. ^ Ibld.. 326. 18,000 pounds.

One carload of horses weighed about

12For example, see, ibid., Series I, Vol. XI, Pt. 3» 90. ^See the Quartermaster General’s complaint on this score In ibid.. Vol. XII, Pt. 3» 60-66.- As he pointed out, confiscation was sanctioned by Army Regulations which per­ mitted a commander to levy military contributions in kind.

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It was held that most of the people In these areas gave their support to the South and ought to be treated as enemies, and that if the Federal Government did not take their horses, the owners would and did turn them over to the Confederacy.

The

Government, of course, followed the gentle policy in order not to antagonize the border states, but as it became in­ creasingly apparent that the border areas occupied by Federal troops were abounding in guerrillas and Confederate raiders encouraged and guided by local inhabitants, the kid gloves were removed.

On April 9, 1862, the Government permitted

General Banks to confiscate 1,500 horses, and in July, 1862, John Pope seized the initiative and authorized confiscation of all mules and horses in the Shenandoah Valley except those absolutely essential to subsistence agriculture.-^ From this time on, Southern horses were fair game for Federal cavalrymen— if they had not already been carried off by the Confederates. The Federal system of horse supply, as it evolved, included two methods of purchase.

The chief method was

purchase by contract, and the main markets were at St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Washington, but by 1863, horses were obtained by contract at such remote points as Augusta, Maine and Madison, Wisconsin.

1^

An alternative to the contract method

was purchase in the open market by Government-appointed

^ O f f i c i a l Records ... Armies, Series I. Vol. XII,

Pt. 3,

6 0 JUT.------------ ----------

1^See, ibid.. Series III, Vol. Ill, 886. ibid.. Vol. I I , ^ T l .

See also,

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purchasing agents.

This system had a drawback, however, in

that the agent, in order to fill his quota, had to bid higher and higher in order to compete with other agents, thereby nA driving the price up. The cause for this state of affairs lay in the fact that agents were sprinkled too thickly and too close together and were all trying to buy the same supply. For examples, there were agents at Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; Evansville and Indianapolis, Indiana; Gallipolis and Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis and Belton, Missouri, and so on.^^

In both the contract and open market methods, hap­

hazard buying,unsatisfactory inspection, and plain and fancy frauds resulted in an uneven quality of horseflesh. In an endeavor to standardize quality, the War Depart­ ment in 1862 set forth specifications for Federal Cavalry mounts.

They were "To be sound in all particulars, from 1$

to 16 hands high, not less than I4. nor more than 9 years old. color to be bays, blacks, or sorrels, good square trotters, bridle-wise," and of size sufficient for Cavalry purposes.-*-® Almost all of these specifications were ignored at one time or another In the general eagerness to get enough animals, and as a result, quality varied. ^

Many of the horses purchased

-*-®See, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 31^ ‘ 17'See the complaint of the agent at Louisville, In ibid. l8»Report of the Secretary of War on the Purchase of Horses," in House Exec. Docs., 37 Cong., 2 Sess., V, Doc. 60, ' 19»Cavalry Bureau," in The United States Army and Navy Journal. I, August 29, 1863, 3.

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185

were only three or four years old, and General Pleasanton complained to Quartermaster Meigs that no Cavalry horse should be less than six years of age.20

Meigs agreed on

the ground that horses under six seemed to be unduly sus­ ceptible to disease, but he stated that the remedy really lay in better inspection, for the available supply had not yet been used up.21

Despite these views, however, the pur­

chase of young horses continued. The tendency to ignore specifications which continued through 1862 was brought sharply to a halt late in 1863. The Cavalry Bureau took over purchase and inspection and held rigidly to the limits on height and age, although the limi­ tation on color was waived. walk and trot for stiffness.

Each horse was checked at a If a horse was accepted, he

was branded on the left shoulder with the letters U. S. and with the inspectors and contractors initials, while rejects were supposed to be branded with a small R on the fore hoof.

Presenting a rejected horse for inspection with­

out warning was considered fraud, as was filing teeth to conceal age. 22

At each depot for the inspection of horses,

a careful register was kept in which the contractors recorded

200fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXV, Pt. 2, 5 9 3 T ~ 21Ibid.. Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, 19-20. 22»Qur Cavalry,1' In The United States Army and Navy Jo'urhal:. I, February 20, I86I1Y l^O^-^OIi.’ "r-

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186

their names, the number of horses they contracted to deliver, the beginning and ending dates of each contract, and the in­ spectors were to record the number of horses presented for inspection each

day.^3

In spite of all precautions taken in the period 1861-1863, the quality of inspection was uneven and unpre­ dictable.

Lacking a sufficient number of Cavalry officers

to provide all the inspectors needed, the Government was forced to hire civilians, many of whom were short on the requisite integrity and technical qualifications.

In

Fremont’s graft-ridden command in 1861, he had retained one J. E. Reside to inspect horses purchased at Cincinnati, and he also appointed Reside to purchase horses at that place. Hence, Reside was inspecting the animals he purchased; since he received as his commission two and one half per cent of the amount paid out, he was paying the top price for every horse, good or bad.^+ In November, 1861 a committee of outraged citizens at Huntington, Pennsylvania sent a bitter protest to Meigs on the waste of public money, saying that $00 horses had been inspected and accepted in their town— horses which were affected with every conceivable ailment-blind, spavined, ring-boned, broken-winded, over age, under age, and so on.^5

23"0ur Cavalry," in The United States Army and Navy Journal. I, February 20, 1884,' /+o£-i|Oh. 1 ' " ^ •Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. VIII, 372. ^"Report of the Secretary of War on the Purchase of Horses," In House Exec. Docs., 37 Cong., 2 Sess., V, Doc. 60, 33. ------Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

187

Furthermore,

while awaiting transportation, theanimals

were put out

on contract to keep at

the rate offorty cents

per day per horse— "nearly twice the sum at which it could ?A have been done... . The officer responsible for the en­ tire arrangement countered with a statement that he knew nothing of horses and had hired inspectors highly recommended by the citizens of the various towns in the area.2? On the other hand, conscientious and qualified in­ spectors sometimes retarded purchasing operations.

When

an inspector achieved a reputation for integrity and im­ perviousness to bribery, horse dealers avoided him and sought greener pastures for the sale of their animals. ation at one

period in 1862 reduced

going to Rosecrans1 Cavalry

to only

Such a situ­

the supply of animals twenty-ninehorses per

day.2^ It is not particularly surprising that venality and inefficiency were present in the purchase of horses, for the opportunity for both was almost unlimited.

The

establishment of the Cavalry Bureau in 1863 went far toward rescuing the system from complete collapse by introducing order through a series of regular surveys and periodic in­ spections by competent men.

Had It not been for the Bureau,

the Federal Cavalry would have fallen upon evil days Indeed.

2^nReport of the Secretary of War on the Purchase of Horses," In House Exec. Docs. 37 Cong., 2 Sess., V, Doc. 60, 33* 2?I M d . 2®0fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 2727

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188

Whether the system operated more or less efficient­ ly, mounting the Federal troopers called for the expenditure of enormous sums of money, and this in turn, served as a constant source of worry and remark on the part of the Gov­ ernment and the people. varied.

The prices paid in 1861 for horses

In some areas, $130 was the top price, and this was

considered too high by the Quartermaster

General.

^9

As he

pointed out, at that rate it would cost $1’ 30»000 to mount a regiment.

Generally speaking, the prices asked by Western

contractors were lower than those demanded by Eastern sell­ ers; many contracts were let as far away as Iowa which paid only $115 to $125 for each animal delivered at

Washington, 30

One of the lowest prices paid was $96 each at Quincy, Illi­ nois.

3-*- For the most part, $llj.O was the average price paid

throughout the period I86I-I863, and horses could be pur­ chased for lower prices in the West without sacrificing quality.3^ On March 1, 1862 Congress made a special appropri­ ation of $l,66l,Oij.O for the purchase of Cavalry and Artil­ lery horses, and this was only a start,33

The Quartermaster

29officiai Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. VIII, 372; Series^ III, Vol. I, ij.32-Ij.33. 3°lbid.. Series III, Vol. I, k-33* 31lbid. 32lbid., Vol. Ill, 88I4.-886. Rhodes, "The Mounting and Remounting of the Federal Cavalry," in Miller, ed., The Photographic Hlwtory of the Civil War, IV, 336, says the average price was $160, but this seems high compared to the figures in Official Records. 33 Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. I, 919. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

189

General reported that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, $6,202,8314..0I4. had been expended in buying horses for the Cavalry and Artillery.3^4- Appropriations for the year ending June 30, 1863 included $5,1^00,000 for the purchase of horses.3^

While Rosecrans was trying to build a Cavalry

force, he badgered the War Department constantly for more horses, finally exhausting the patience of the Quartermaster General who asserted that in five months four million dollars in horses had been shipped to Rosecrans.3& The rate of purchase of horses'for the Federal Cav­ alry varied directly in proportion to Cavalry activity, lack of care, disease, and a vigorous campaign or raid fre­ quently resulted in an almost complete turnover of animals. Even very active picket duty often served to break down most of the horses.

The rate of purchase was also affected by

the estimates of future needs made by the officers in the field, and their lack of accuracy early in the war often impaired supply.37 In the East in 1862, the problem of keeping Pope’s and McClellan’s Cavalry mounted became acute about the time of Second Manassas and remained in that state until

78 8

.

3^}ffjcial Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. II, 3%bid., 215. 36lbld.. Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 272, 289, 291.

370ne officer in l86l estimated the natural depletion of stock In the field at the ridiculously low rate of one per cent per month. See, ibid.. Vol. VIII, 577*

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190

after Antietem.

Hard and effective use of his Cavalry at

Cedar Mountain by Pope left the squadrons of Buford and Bayard virtually on foot*

Pope sent in plaintive reports

that his Cavalry force was completely broken down, and he asked for 1,500 horses, while Meigs made pertinent comments about the abuses and extravagances of Pope’s troopers.38 The horses were sent by rail, but were never delivered. ^ On August 31, Pope was desperate and asked for 2,000 horses, asserting that he had never received a single one, and he suggested that they be sent to him under a strong sscort— to ensure

delivery.

^+0 By September 1, he reported that he

had no Cavalry at all as he had not a single horse that could possibly perform service.^Hard on the heels of Pope’s debacle came Antietam which imposed a continued drain on the supply of animals. By October 1, 1862 McClellan'reported that he had "only" 8,092 Cavalry horses,^ and that he was not getting the supply of animals he needed.

Meigs retorted that the horses

issued to the Army in the six weeks prior to October 1^. had cost the Government $1,200,000 and that .McClellan’s men were

38official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XII, Pt. 2 , 53;^ t . 3 , 573-576, 588 , 589, 596-597. 39jbid. . Pt. 3, 639, 662. received is not clear.

Just why they were not

J+Qlbid.. Pt. 2, 81. ^Ibid., 82, 83. ^ I b i d .. Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, 97.

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191

not caring for the animals and that as a result, there were in Washington at that time, from 2,671 to 3*300 unservice­ able h o r s e s A c c o r d i n g to Meigs1 figures, McClellan had been issued L(-,i}.93 horses in September and 3*261 in the first eleven days of October.'^ McClellan ignored Meigs and complained to Halleck on October 12, "It is absolutely necessary that some energetic measures be taken to supply the Cavalry of this army with re­ mount horses.

The present rate of supply is l,0f>0 per week

for the entire army here and in front of Washington.

From

this number the- Artillery draw for batteries."^ When Meigs* records were cited to McClellan showing him to be in error, he countered one week later, saying that when he took command after Pope, over half the Cavalry horses were unserviceable, and that he had received nothing like the number of animals Meigs claimed to have sent to replace them.^

Meigs replied on October 21 that the discrepancy

^ official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XIX, pt. 2, W llbid. Pt. 1, 13. The records of the Quartermaster show that an average of 1,1+50 horses per week was sent for six weeks. See, ibid.. 9. ^Ibid., 17. McClellan claimed to have received in the debated six week period: By Captain J. C. Crane, assistant Quartermaster at Frederick — 732. By Captain Weeks, assistant Quartermaster at Hagerstown— 134 • By Captain Pitkin, assistant Quartermaster at Harpers Ferry — 201. By Captain Bless, assistant Quartermaster at Harpers Ferry— 4-98. By Captain J. B. Howard, assistant Quartermaster at Army Hqs. --299. Total received 1,961]..

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192

between McClellan*s figures and his own was more apparent than real, for McClellan had ordered that no horses be issued unless he approved, and Meigs said that of some 11,000 horses purchased by the Quartermaster, McClellan had seen fit to approve the is­ sue of only l,96i|. to his army. ^ The quarrel dragged on through the rest of October. By the last of the month, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Myers, Quartermaster with the Army of the Potomac, said that 7*176 horses had been issued to the Army of the Potomac between September 6 and October 31* of which 3,000 were turned into the depot as unfit for service, and 1,500 more should be turned over as worn out or diseased.^*®

McClellan reacted

to this with a blast which said that only 3*813 horses came to the army while he was in command of which 3*000 were unfit, and that of the balance of those still with the army 1,500 more should be turned in as unfit, leaving him actually short 700 of replacing existing deficiencies.

As his

valedictory, he stated that as of October 21, there were only 1,000 serviceable horses in his Cavalry.^ The last word, however, belonged to Rufus Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac.

He said

that excessive loss was due to an epidemic of disease, but he asserted that on October 1 McClellan had 8,llj.2 Cavalry

^ Official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, 19. ^8Ibld., 78-79. ^ Ibid.. 79.

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193

horses and that on November 1 the Army of the Potomac had 9,582 Cavalry horses. The facts of the matter were that the Quartermaster was purchasing an ample number of horses and was maintain­ ing the rate of purchase successfully, but disease, over work, and poor care were decreasing the number too rapidly before they got to McClellan who felt that he was being short changed.

McClellan, of course, was not given to minimiz­

ing his difficulties, and he seems to have made more of the problem than the situation warranted. Scarcely had Meigs finished with McClellan when he was pressed from the West by Rosecrans whose demands for horses for his new Cavalry force were insistent and con­ stant.

In April, 1863, Rosecrans ordered his Chief of

Cavalry, General Stanley, to proceed to Louisville with all his dismounted Cavalrymen (some 1,600 men); there, he was to mount them as soon as possible.^

It soon became ap­

parent that 1,600 horses were not to be found at Louisville, and Rosecrans asked the War Department for help.^

The re­

quest was referred to Meigs who replied that he was sending

^Official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, 95. ‘ ^ Ibid.. Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 214-6. % b i d . , 270-271.

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all he could and that the chief obstacle lay in finding qualified inspectors who could not be bribed.

He also pointed out,

however, that Rosecrans was free to impress all the horses he p

could find.-^

I

Actually, Rosecrans ought not to have been short of

I[■■

animals.

By December 1, 1862 he had already received 27,159

.

horses and 26,275 mules, but by March 23, he had only 19,l61|. |

horses and 23,859 mules.^

He had released 9,119 horses and

! '

I

l>l^-9 mules as unserviceable due to disease and lack of

I

f o r a g e , b u t the Quartermaster had sent him as replacements, 7,35>7 horses and 11,692 mules to Nashville and 6,706 horses

!

and 150 mules directly to his army in the period November 1862 through April 27, 1863*^^

These ought to have more than

made up for losses due to normal attrition. Meigs, in a long report to Rosecrans dated May 1, t' j

1863,said that every possible exertion had been made to

|

supply him in order to meet the demands of mounting his Cav­ alry and some 6,000 Infantry, and that Rosecrans in five months had received 33>057:animalsj that he had about one

i animal for every two men in his army, and that his men simply were not caring properly for the



j

!

animals.

^7

Meigs

^ CTfficial Records ... Armies'. Series III, Vol. XXIII, P t . T / ‘272, 281, ’ 289. 5^1-see the figures given In ibid., 28l. Rosecrans had drawn on the Department of the Ohio, the Louisville area, and Impressment for many of his animals.

55lbld. 56ibid. £7lbld.. 300-30J4..

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195

also accused Rosecrans of wasting his horses by needless "gallopings about. Rosecrans, like McClellan, denied the accuracy of the Quartermaster’s statistics, stating that he had not the 12,000 mounted men attributed to him, but only 5»000 and that this was a meagre force compared to the 80,000 the Russian Army maintained.

Just what the Russian Army had to do with it

is not clear unless Rosecrans felt that it served as an im­ pressive statistic.

The assistant Quartermaster at Louis­

ville, Thomas Swords, broke into the argument about this time, reporting to Meigs that between January 2 and August 29, Rosecrans had received 18,957 horses.^*0

The much

maligned Meigs and his assistants had done heroic work in securing horses for both McClellan and Rosecrans in 1862 and early 1863, but they simply could not keep the rate of purchase up with the voracious demand. Meanwhile events in the East were building up to the campaign of Gettysburg which made such great demands upon the horse supply.

In January, 1863 the Transportation

Reports for the Army of the Potomac listed only ip,879 Cav­ alry horses for Ip,880 Cavalrymen, and in the Cavalry division

^ Official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. xxiii, Pt.~2, 300-301}:. & Ibid.. 320-321. 6oIbld. . Vol. XXX, Pt.

3,

356-357.

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196

proper, there were 21 ambulances.^*

draft animals to pull 113 wagons and

This weakness in animals was the result

of the drain of the previous Pall and a hard Winter. 1 however, there was a great increase.

By May

The Army of the

Potomac had 12,386 Cavalry horses, ip,188 draft and Artillery animals, 317 wagons and 86 ambulances— all in the Cavalry corps.^

As the tempo of events increased, however, and the

Federal Cavalry clashed again and again with the Confederate horse, Quartermaster Ingalls wrote to Meigs on June 19: "The loss of Cavalry horses in battle and on scouts is already beginning to be heavy. Our Cavalry is doing splendid service, and must be kept well mounted at this juncture. I am sending out trains of forage today, with forges, blacksmiths, etc., to Aldie where Pleasanton*s headquarters are. Will you please order a good supply of horses? Three or four thousand should.be kept on hand and well shod, ready for issue h 63 • • • • Ingalls was both conscientious and efficient, and he certainly did his best to meet and anticipate Pleasanton*s needs.

In addition to the above-mentioned effort, one week

later Ingalls informed Pleasanton that there were 700 horses waiting for him at Alexandria, being shod and readied for issue. 6k

As Gettysburg passed its climax, July ip, Ingalls

^ Official 98!p. It should be for mounts only on connection between of Cavalry mounts.

Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XXI, noted that the draft animals were used rare occasions. Hence, there was no the stipply of draft animals and the supply

^Transportation Report in ibid., Vol. XXVII, Pt. 3*

213. 63Ibid., 212.

&Ij-Ibid.. 338.

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informed Meigs that the loss in horses had been very severe, and he estimated his requirements at 2,0.00 Cavalry horses, while Pleasanton wired directly' to Secretary of War Stanton on the following day asking that 3,000 horses be sent him at Frederick City at once.

Within five hours of his request,

Halleck had so ordered.88

General Herman Haupt, the rail­

road genius who served the Government so well as transporta­ tion expediter, on July 6 wired the presidents of the various railroads in the North that fresh horses were essential to reap the fruits of victory and asked their cooperation in forwarding the a n i m a l s . ^ That same day, Meigs was able to inform Ingalls that

1 ,6 0 0 horses and 2 ,0 0 0 freshly mounted Cavalry had left for Frederick City at 1

2

P.M., and that several trains of

cars with from 100 to 275 horses each were supposed to be on the way, and further, that 300 horses were to be shipped from Detroit that day while 275 had left Boston the night of July 5.68

Thus, Meigs and Haupt were pulling horses from

all over the North and getting them to Meade in record time. Despite these heroic efforts, Meade was forced to ask again for horses to meet the continuing drain of the campaign.

On July 25 Halleck replied that, "Every possible

^Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 3, 514-3“ 66Ibid., 514-3, 5¥>.

67ibid.. 568. 68Ibid,. 568-569.

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198

effort has been made to send remounts to your Cavalry, but the destruction of horses is enormous.

Every serviceable

horse in the country occupied by your army should be im­ pressed."^

Meade, who was more tactful them McClellan

or Rosecrans, wrote three days later that a want of Cavalry horses was one of the main factors retarding his pursuit of Lee, but he assured Halleck that he was aware that the Quartermaster was doing everything possible for him.^° It was at this critical juncture that the belated Cavalry Bureau was established, and one of its major missions was the purchase, care, and distribution of horses.

One of

General Stoneman*s first reports as Chief of Cavalry, dated October 1$, was devoted to urging the construction of mounted camps, stables, and depots to help prevent the great destruc­ tion of horseflesh.

To help prove his case, he cited the

remount problem in the Gettysburg campaign.

His report

stated that after the Battle of Gettysburg, 5>500 horses were collected near Frederick City; of these, by October 15, less than 2,000 remained alive, only one half of which were in a condition to return to duty.71

At the time

Stoneman made his report, there were 16,000 unserviceable horses in the vicinity of Washington alone.72

^ Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 1, 99. 7°lbid.. 103. 71Ibid., Series III, Vol. Ill, 88Lj.-886. ?2Ibld.

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199

The foregoing examples offer only a small part of the picture of the huge task of furnishing horses to the Cavalry,

Prom January to October 15, 1863, there were of­

fered. to the Government on contracts, llj.5,195 horses; of these, 30,950 were purchased on contract, and 6,562 were bought in the open market,73

in the six months preceding

October 30, 1863, in the East alone, 18,078 horses were re­ ported killed, wounded, or dead of disease.74

This figure

does not include those horses turned in as unserviceable which with proper care had been returned to duty.

In the

light of these figures and those concerning the Western armies, Stoneman estimated that at the existing rate of use, it would require lp35,000 horses a year to keep the Federal Cavalry well mounted.75

73official Records ... Armies, Series III, Vol. Ill, 88I4.-886. See also, ibid.. Series I. Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 398399, for a report of the Cavalry Bureau to General Halleck, October 30, 1863. During the six months prior to this date, there had been issued to the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac alone: In: May— 5,073horses June— 6,927 " July— 4,716 " August— 5,499 " September 5,027 " Gct'ober— 7/036 ,! ' Total 357078“ " Add to this, an unspecified number taken from civil­ ians. For the number of horses issued to each Cavalry divi­ sion. iof the Army of the Potomac, see, ibid.. 1|05« 74ibid. 75lbid.. 399

.

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200

A number of factors accounted for the rapid rate at which Federal horses were used up.

Some of the animals

were too young or not in good condition when purchased, and many horses were returned to duty before they were recuper­ ated.

Some were wounded or killed in battle, but as Meiga

had suggested again and again, one of the chief factors the lack of care given to the animals.

was

In the early months

of the war, the average Federal cavalryman was completely ignorant of the great amount of care which a horse required. Grooming was avoided, and there were frequent complaints that the Cavalry galloped or ran their mounts on the most trivial errands when a walk would have sufficed.

Men let

overheated horses drink their fill or permitted them to overeat.7^

Cavalry officers were remiss in enforcing even

the minimum of care and good t r e a t m e n t . A s the war pro­ gressed, some of these weaknesses were repaired, although not completely.

Losses remained high when the Cavalry was

inactive, and they very rapidly became excessive at the slightest activity. Horses sometimes went unsaddled for days in bad weather because the men did not want the saddle to get

^.^0n these points, see, Mille^ ed., The Photographic Bistory of The Civil War. IV, l\l, 65. 7?Carter, Horses, Saddles and Bridles, 11. 7®See, for example, reports on the Federal Cavalry near Corinth in 1862, in Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXIV, Pt. 2, 181^.

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201

muddy.

If not left on too long, the saddle served to keep

the horse*s back warm, but over a period of time, the prac­ tice invariably resulted in saddle sores.79

An improperly

folded blanket under the saddle often galled the horse and started saddle sores also.

The Comte de Paris, observing

the Army of the Potomac under McClellan, attributed the in­ efficiency of the Federal Cavalry solely to its ignorance and inability to care for the horses.

fin

During Pope»s cam­

paign, his Cavalry horses were saddled continually for ten days and had received no forage; as a result, less than 500 of his 4,000 Cavalrymen were still mounted.

fin

Buford

and Bayard between them had not five horses in the two brigades which could be forced into a trot.

By November

20, 1862 the lack of adequate care for the animals had be­ come so flagrant that the War Department issued an order that commandants of all corps, divisions, and brigades were to hold inspection of all Cavalry within ten days and report to the War Department the names of all officers whose Cavalry horses appeared to have been neglected or unfit for duty.

"^Larson, Sergeant L arso n . 4th Cav. . 171.

^°History of the Civil War in America. I, 276. On Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XII, Pt. 2, 34-3^7Ti. ®^Ibid., 44-45. Meigs stated that much of Popete loss in horses was due to hard and unnecessary riding. Ibid.. Pt. 3, 596.

A

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202 Such o f f ic e r s were to be dism issed from the s e rv ic e . D e sp ite t h is s tr in g e n t remedy, in the fo llo w in g s p rin g , in th e Army o f the Potomac a lo n e , o n ly f o r duty out o f 12,000.®^-

ki&77 horses

were f i t

Not a l l th e losses were due to

la c k o f c a re , f o r some o f th e C a v a lry commanders, such as Buford and Gregg, husbanded t h e i r anim als c a r e f u lly , but b a t t l e losses could not account f o r over

J,000 horses.

The

f a u l t la y in th e company o f f ic e r s and the men. Second o n ly to la c k o f care as a k i l l e r o f horses and c lo s e ly a l l i e d w ith i t was d is e a s e . the C i v i l War, l i t t l e

In the p e rio d o f

was known about the causes o f disease

in e it h e r horses o r men.

Since th e knowledge o f p ro p h ylax is

was n o n -e x is te n t, i t was n a tu r a l th a t disease would spread l i k e w i l d f i r e when g re a t numbers o f anim als were crowded to g e th e r in th e f i e l d or In d ep o ts.

Two very severe diseases

which were not p ro p e rly diagnosed o r tr e a te d were glanders and f a r c y .

Both are borne by germ and h ig h ly contagious.

W hile glanders a tta c k s the mucous membranes o f the n o s t r i l s , fa r c y a tta c k s th e lymph glands o f the le g s .

8i[4.

Both r e s u lt in

83official Records . . . A rm ies. S eries I I I , V o l. I I ,

^-J-See the re p o rt In i b i d . , S e ries I , V o l. XXV, P t. 2 , 5>33* See a ls o , th e breakdown o f the fig u re s on s e rv ic e ­ ab le and u n s e rv ic e a b le horses as g iven in i b i d . , V o l. X X V II,

Pt. 1, 152+.

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203

u l c e r s . A s i d e from these, all through l86l and 1862 distemper, grease (or "greased heel"), lameness, and sore backs were putting Federal horses out of action.®^

Most

of these were relatively minor ailments cured by time and rest.

Two other complaints which plagued the Federal horses

were described as "mud fever" and "the scratches. Far in advance of the other killers, however, were frequent and virulent epidemics of foot and mouth disease. Often described as "rotten hoof," it frequently cut horses down before they could even be issued to the units.

One

brigade lost half its horses by this malady within one week DO after it had been completely remounted. The disease seems to have been new and unexpected, for Ingalls reported in 1862 that a most violent and destructive disease hit the horses putting nearly I{.,000 horses out of service in a few days.

"Horses reported perfectly well one day would be

dead or lame the next... . They were attacked in the hoof and tongue.

No one seemed able to account satisfactorily

for the appearance of this disease.

Animals kept at rest

S^For a full discussion, see Mayo, "Glanders and Farcy," in Journal of the United States Cavalry Association. XIII, No. (October, l962), l$3-l9h. ^Offi c i a l

Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXV,

Pt. 2, I4-69" Q7lbid.. Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 382. Rhodes, "The Mounting and Remounting of the Federal Cavalry," in Miller, ed., The Photographic History of the Civil War,

IV, 330. These two complaints were not "clearly identified, but seemed to have been akin to distemper. ®®0fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 3821

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20k would recover in time, but could not be worked."®9 The treatment approved by the Cavalry Bureau for foot and mouth disease at the Dismounted Camp near Washington included two remedies.

Chloride of antimony for the feet and

a decoction of white-oak bark or borax and alum was applied to the tongue with a swab dipped in sweet oil.

An alterna­

tive to this treatment was common salt crisped on a hot shovel and applied to the feet and tongue.9® This treatment was reported as effective, and to ensure safety, great care was taken to see that no horse left the Camp until visibly cured.9-*- Despite the improve­ ment due to the treatment and the dismounted camp system, Gregg’s division of the Army of the Potomac had more than one out of every seven horses unserviceable from disease in this period, while over one out of five had already been turned in as unfit.92

In Buford’s Division, disease had

cut down three out of every eight horses in one brigade in a few

days.

^3

Added to the confusion was the fact that there never were enough bona fide veterinarians to go around.

Most compa­

nies had a farrier, a combination blacksmith and veterinary surgeon, who was next in pay to a Second Lieutenant, but his

®9Ingall’s report, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIX, Pt. 1,”^ 90Ibld.. Pt. 2, £89. 91Ibid.. 398-399. 92lbld.t 398-399. 93ibid.

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205>

knowledge was limited.*^

Even considering the primitive

stage of knowledge of disease at that time, many farriers at best applied very questionable treatments.

Prior to

1863, those regiments having veterinarian's, had appointed them in a haphazard manner.

After the establishment of the

Cavalry Bureau, however, a new policy was inaugurated August 1, 1863. Veterinary surgeons were to be selected by the Chief of the Cavalry Bureau from nominations made by the regimental commanders.

These nominations were supposed

to be founded upon the recommendation of a board of the three officers next in rank to the regimental commander. The final appointing authority was the Secretary of War.*^ Although this change was designed to improve the care given the horses, it had little effect, for at the pay allowed by the Government, the very little veterinary talent that existed was not attracted to the

s e r v i c e .

98

The problem of obtaining veterinarians was never solved satisfactorily. Still another difficulty, was the periodic lack of horse shoes and nails.

Frequent shortages in these items

were the result of routine supply difficulties, but they

9^-Rodenbaugh, "Cavalry of the Civil War, Its Evolu­ tion and Influence," in Miller.efl^Jhe Photographic History of the Civil War. IV, kS* 95General Orders No. 259 in Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol. Ill, 605^60^! ort of the Cavalry Bureau, October 15* 1863 in Ibid.„ 88Z4.—886.

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206

very often brought the Federal Cavalry to a halt.

In the

crucial June of 1862, Bayard reported that for lack of shoes and shoe nails, he had not two serviceable horses In his entire brigade.97 Even if shoes were plentiful, time and effort were required to fit them to the horses, and an improper fit or balance in shoe resulted in a lame horse.

Most blacksmiths,

clad in their leather aprons, sleeves rolled up, sweated over the portable anvil set on an overturned tub from dawn until dusk and went to bed exhausted again and again.^ V/hat with replacing cast shoes, new horses to be shod, and the like, it was hard to keep up the pace.

As soon as a

long halt was called or the unit went into bivouac, out came the tubs, the portable anvil, a fire was started, and the shoeing began once again.

One blacksmith, at least,

partially solved his problem by fitting an extra pair of shoes for each horse in the company.

The trooper put the

horse’s shoes in his saddle bag, and if the horse lost a shoe, the replacement could be tacked on in a few minutes.99 Vital to the existence of the Cavalry was an ade­ quate supply of forage.

Even more than lack of care or

97official Records ... Armies, Series I , :

Vol. X I I ,

Pt. 3, 376^377::

9®See the Diary of Orlando E. Carpenter {Blacksmith in the Fourth Michigan CavalryJ 1861-1865, [ MS 3, in the University of Michigan Historical Collections. ^ N e w c o m e r , Cole’s Cavalry; or Three Years in the Saddle in the Shenandoah Valley, 00.

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207

lack of shoes, lack of forage paralyzed Cavalry and killed horses, and as In the case of purchasing horses, the burden of furnishing forage fell upon Quartermaster General Meigs who was besieged from all sides.

The war had scarcely

started before grain prices began to rise.

In October 1861

fodder was hard to find, and hay sold at Harrisburg, Penn­ sylvania, at twenty to twenty-four dollars a ton, while oats brought thirty-five to forty cents a bushel.^0®

As a result,

the cost of feeding and caring for 3>000 horses at that place, was about §1,500 per day.10^ High prices for fodder unfortunately developed about the same time that the cost of transportation rose.

Since a

full ration for one horse weighed twenty-six pounds, 1 OP and rail prices were high, the Government cast about for cheaper ways to feed the animals.

In the East, It was suggested that

the granary of the Confederacy, the Shenandoah Valley, ought to feed the Federal Cavalry.

This suggestion was passed

along to General Banks who was in the Valley, and he replied stiffly that he was already impressing forage, giving re­ ceipts for It, but that it was a wheat country, not a hay country, and that the War Department was overrating the Valley as a source of

supply.

103

lOOtt^eport of the Secretary of War on the Purchase of Horses," in House Exec. Docs.. 37 Cong., 2 Sess., V, Doc. 60, 11. 1 0 1 Ibid.

102see the Quartermasters report, Official Records ... Armies. Series III, Vol.Ill, 911. 1Q3lbid.

. Series I , Vol. X I I , Pt. 3, 76, 77*

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Keeping up with the demand for forage virtually ex­ hausted the resources of the Quartermaster’s Department.

In

the campaign of Second Manassas, Pope’s Cavalry went for days without forage and withered away as a consequence— despite the best efforts of Meigs and his s t a f f . P o p e was calling for 2^,000 forage rations per day, or stated another way, twenty car loads of grain per day, and his men would not ac­ cept corn for their h o r s e s . S i n c e the oat crop for the year was light, and the price had risen in one year from forty to seventy cents a bushel, Meigs insisted that the Cavalry must subsist, at least in large part, on the country occupied.-*-®8 Responding to the tremendous demands of the Gettys­ burg campaign a year later, the Quartermaster forwarded huge amounts of fodder— at one time, 750,000 pounds of grain and 250,000 pounds of hay in one day for the Army of the Potomac a l o n e . E v e n so, Custer complained to Pleasonton that his horses had been .several days without for age.-*-08 Buford’s command at this time was in similar distress, for he reported that the grazing in the area was very poor, and he was not receiving adequate fodder.-*-®9

^Oil-See Pope’s statement, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XII,-Pt. 2, 15. 10%bid., 596. 106ibid. 1Q7lbld.. Vol. XXVII, Pt. 3, 569. lo8IbTd.. 775. 109Ibid.. Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 6. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

209

In the West where one might expect forage and good grazing to have been plentiful, the situation was far from satisfactory.

The exacting Rosecrans embroiled himself

once again in an acrimonious correspondence with Meigs, this time over forage.

In reply to Rosecrans* incessant demands,

Meigs, his patience exhausted, wrote a biting letter.

In it,

he asserted that Rosecrans with full railroad and water transportation facilities complained of lack of forage for his mounted force of 12,000, and yet, in the same breath said the Confederates outnumbered him five to one in Cavalry. How then, asked Meigs, did the Confederates without full rail­ road and water transportation get forage for the 60,000 horses Rosecrans* estimate gave them?

Meigs went on to sug­

gest that a heard of buffalo resting in one place would starve and urged that Rosecrans try moving his Cavalry around once in awhile. Rosecrans could only reply that he was 220 miles from his base, that his Cavalry was doing its best, and that it numbered only 5,000, not 2 0 , 0 0 0 . Meigs* rejoinder as­ serted that Rosecrans had ij-5,000 animals, each of which required a minimum of ten pounds of grain per day— making a daily total of lj.50,000 pounds, and that filling this ■*»

llOpfficiai Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 300-30l£ 11:LIbid.

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210 requirement used twenty-eight freight cars per day.-^^

Since

forage was only one of many items required each day, this constituted a serious demand upon the railroads.

Supplying forage for the Cavalry in the Civil War was a difficult task, and it remained so all through the conflict.

The Quartermaster’s Department made a magnifi­

cent effort, but it required constant and extensive search on the part of the units in the field to augment the supply issued.

There never was security from want in this respect. Another of the chief difficulties in the Federal

mounted service lay in developing a smooth and efficient remount system.

The most efficient method was established

in the East in late 1862 and 1863. The system in vogue at that time was built around a Dismounted Camp and depot near Washington.

The Camp enjoyed the partial favor of

General Stoneman, Chief of the Cavalry Bureau, but it drew the ire of Pleasanton and other field commanders.

The

principle objection seems to have been that the men de­ liberately abused their horses and lost their equipment, knowing that they would be sent to Washington to refit— thereby enjoying an unofficial furlough.^-3

it was also

^-^Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 601. Had a full ration 66611 issued to each animal, 1,170,000 pounds would have been needed daily, requiring seventy-one freight cars. About one third of this total would have gone to Cavalry horses. i:L3lbid., Vol. XXIX, 398-399, contains General Kilpatrick’s criticism based on this assertion; others stated It also.

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211

felt that the system was too slow.

Custer complained that

he had received a detachment of forty men from the Camp, seventeen of whom had to return because their horses could not make it to the army. "It is an actual fact that there are men in my command who have been captured by the enemy, carried to Richmond, and rejoined my command in less time than it frequently requires for men to proceed to the Dismounted Camp and re­ turn mounted.... My command suffers about as much from the influences and effect of the Dismounted Camp as it does from the weapons of the enemy."114 Stoneman, perhaps weary of Custer's youthful out­ bursts, commented, "that Custer's brigade are great horsekiliers, and it is very likely that the 17 horses were used up as stated, though they were considered serviceable when they left the depot. Although the Dismounted Camp had its defects, the alternatives were neither plentiful nor satisfactory. Stoneman wrote to Quartermaster Ingalls that he had tried sending remounts to the army in charge of "disposable men" and also the plan of sending men to Washington to refit and that both plans had serious objections.116

proposed

sending the horses out by rail— a plan that met with no en­ thusiasm from the overworked Ingalls.

General Pleasanton's

proposed alternative solution was to abandon the Dismounted

Unofficial Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIX, w .

---------------------------------

11^Ibid.,



ll6Ibid., ifO2.

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212 Camp and create remount depots with the army In the field. The objection to this plan is obvious.

It would be a labor­

ious task to keep building and then moving the necessary in­ stallations each time the army moved. The Dismounted Camp remained, and with all its draw­ backs, it served to keep the Federal Cavalry in the East better mounted, and refitted than were the Confederate mounted troops in 1863.

In the West, no clear system such

as the Dismounted Camp evolved, and the mounted troops there continued to get remounts as best they could through St. Louis, Cincinnati, and other purchase points. Considering the immense expense and exertion re­ quired to provide horses, forage, horse shoes, blacksmiths, and medical care, the Federal Cavalry was surprisingly well cared for in these respects, and the outcome of the Cavalry engagements in the period 1863-1865 offers testimony to the efficacy of the system which had evolved in the first two and one half years of the war. Supplying the Southern troopers with horses and forage posed the same problem that had faced the Horth, but the solution was considerably different.

Mounting

the Confederate Cavalry did not present the same initial difficulty that the Federals encountered, and it was a relatively painless process for the South in l86l.

H7official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIX, 1*18 -1*1 9 . -----------------------

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213

There were in the eleven seceding states about 1,608,328 horses, while the border states of Kentucky, Mary­ land, and Missouri had 718*216 additional a n i m a l s . T h e greatest horse breeding region in the United States, both in quantity and quality, lay in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, and from these states the Southdrew heavily in l86l and early 1 8 6 2 . The lower South was not a horse breeding region; in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, as well as in the border State of Missouri, there were more mules than horses, while the herds of Texas horses were mustangs. There seems to be little doubt that many of the horses which the Confederate Cavalrymen rode were of a finer breed, had more staying and recuperating power, and often­ times more speed than the average Federal steed.

According

to one Confederate Cavalryman, the superiority of Southern horses was due to the large infusion of Arab blood in the animals bred in Kentucky, Tennessee, and V i r g i n i a . U n ­ fortunately for the Confederacy, the loss of much of these three states in 1862 cut off the supply of better grade stock, and from Gettysburg on, the Confederates began to

-^^Compiled from the statistics in Kennedy, ed., Preliminary Report on the Eighth Census, i860., 198. H^Ramsdell, "General Robert E. Lee’s Horse Supply, 1862-1865.” in The American Historical Review, XXV. No. it (July, 1930), 7W. ’ 120Duke, Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke. 30.

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21k feel the pinch; unable to obtain the same quality of animal, the South rapidly lost Its advantage In horseflesh. Prom the beginning of the war, the Confederacy expected each cavalryman to bring his own horse.

Most of them brought

the best animal they had or could obtain.

This system had Its

advantages early in the war, for since the Confederate Gov­ ernment had no supply of horses on hand nor a method whereby such a supply could be gathered rapidly, it permitted the South to put a well mounted Cavalry in the field almost at once.

Furthermore, since the horses belonged to the men,

they were much more likely to get better care than the Federals gave their Government issue animals# Under the system, the Confederate Government entered Into a contract with the Individual cavalryman.

The man fur­

nished the horse, and the Government paid him the rather small sum of forty cents a day for the use and risk of the animal.

If the horse were killed In battle, the owner was

to be paid the value of the horse as estimated at the time the man was mustered into service.

If the horse were

captured by the enemy, worn out, or disabled, the loss fell upon the owner who was then required to procure another mount or be transferred to another arm of the service.^ 1 The weaknesses inherent In this plan are evident, and they were among the basic causes for the deterioration

l^lgee the Confederate War Department Circular of November, 1861 in Official Records ... Armies. Series IV,

Vol. I, 766.

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of the Confederate mounted arm.

In the first place, the sum

paid for a horse killed in battle in no case was sufficient to replace the animal, for the price of horses rose steadily from 1861 on, as the demand increased.

By the end of 1863,

ordinary horses in the Confederacy were selling for from $2,000 to $3»000 each,"*-22 and since the private soldier's pay was under twenty dollars per month, he could not buy a horse without mortgaging his farm.-^3

Even if he were able

to buy, he had to be furloughed in order to get to those places where horses could be found.

The alternative was

to permit the dismounted man to act as a "scout" and at­ tempt to capture a Federal animal.

In either case, the

result was heavy absenteeism.-^-^ The immediate drain on horseflesh as early as l86l caused volunteer cavalrymen to write to their home states for mounts and remounts.

In July of 1861, constant appli­

cations were made to Virginia for replacements for jaded and galled h o r s e s , w h i l e in January, 1862 North Carolina

122qiperrall, Forty Years of Active Service, 89. ■^^Bigelow, The Campaign of Chancellor3ville... , 2I4., asserts that this was a common practice. 12^See, ibid., on these points. For example, Fitz Lee's brigade In March, 1863 had 2,100 men on Its rolls, but only 800 were present and mounted. ^2-^0fficial Records ... Armies. Series I. Vol. II, 998.

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216

furnished all the horses for two full Cavalry regiments.12^ North Carolina expected the Confederate Government to reimburse the State or else to turn over to the State the forty cents per day per horse usually allowed the men.^2^

In this ex­

pectation, North Carolina was disappointed. By the end of 1862, the shortcomings of the Southern remount system were becoming very apparent.

Rebel War Clerk

Jones recorded in his diary on December 2 that General Lee was recommending that all Cavalrymen who were unable or un­ willing to remount themselves be transferred, and those In­ fantrymen who could procure good horses replace the dismounted raen.-^®

Lee’s suggestion was not officially adopted until

May, 1863 when a General Order was issued stating that the Corps commander might transfer the dismounted men to any In­ fantry or Artillery company of the individual’s choice.

In

lieu of such soldiers, men of the Infantry and Artillery who owned good horses and who so desired might be transferred to the Cavalry.12^ The reasons for this order are obvious, but the change was at best an ineffectual stop gap, for the Cavalry corps commanders were reluctant to transfer loyal veterans of man# mounted clashes, and groups of dismounted men

126Qfficiai Record3 ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. I, 827. 127lbid. ■L2®Jones, A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary .... I, 202. 566.

Inofficial Records ... Armies, Series IV, Vol. II, ------- ---------- -------

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217

continued, to linger on, hoping against hope that horses for them would turn up somehow.

From l86l on, the number of men

In Company "Q," as the dismounted men were called, remained ever larger.

There were, of course, always a few men who were

happy to be dismounted and therefore out of action, and these made no attempt to remount themselves.^30 The greatest hardship lay in the fact that most of the horses lost were lost through disease or capture, or were worn out. the entire loss.

This meant that the individual trooper bore The number of horses actually killed in

battle must have been relatively small.

From February 10,

I863 to October 13 of the same year— the year involving the heaviest Cavalry losses in the period 1861 through 1863— the Confederate Congress appropriated a total of only $250,000 to replace horses killed.^31 In an attempt to remedy the evils of the remount system, General Wade Hampton, most of whose men came from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Mississippi, wrote to Lee In December, 1863, making the following proposal: "Owing to the great distance they are from home, the men In these brigades find great difficulty in keeping them­ selves well mounted and horses have reached such prices

^•30see, Thomason, Jeb Stuart. 71> on this point. 13lQfficial Records ... Armies. Series IV, Vol. II, 119#392, 531* If we may assume that the average horse was evaluated at $150 at muster (a figure from ten to fifty dollars higher than the Federals paid for a horse), the number of Confederate horses killed in battle In these seven months of 1863 would have been only 1,667.

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218 that I greatly fear many of my best men will be forced to go into the Infantry. If these two brigades can be spared this winter, I advise that they be sent to the Roanoke River, near Weldon, where forage is abundant, and where they will have an opportunity not only of procuring fresh horses, but of doing good service byprotecting a very valuable portion of our country.,fl32 Despite the wisdom of Hampton’s suggestion, Lee was unable to accept it, for the pressure of the improved Federal Cavalry was so strong that every sabre was needed. In Its efforts to keep mounted, the Confederate Cav­ alry seized every opportunity in East and West to impress all the horses that could be found--giving a draft on the Confed­ erate Government in exchange, or sometimes, facetiously, a draft on Uncle Sam.

In the West in 1863, Bragg’s troopers

impressed all the horses they could find, whether they be­ longed to Federal or Confederate sympathizers.

Bragg author­

ized them to pay "at the prices of such impressment,"^-33 whatever that meant.

Forrest’s and Morgan’s commands had

kept themselves mounted all through the period largely on captured or impressed horses. In the East, the Confederate advances into Maryland and Pennsylvania were Heaven-sent opportunities to seize fresh horses. ^3^+ Occasional horse gathering raids on the

^32official Records ... Armies. Scries I, Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 862. : 133ibid.. Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 918. 13^-Brooks, "Sketches of Hampton’s Cavalry," in Stories of the Confederacy. 101. This source repdats an oft told' tale of the reaction of the Pennsylvania Dutch upon being told that Jeff Davis wanted their horses: "Sheff Davis I Mine Gotti Vot ish Sheff Tavis got tu do mit mine horses? -Mine Gotti -He vill never send tem pack!"

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219

upper Potomac sometimes brought In as many as 1,200 to 1,500 animals and gladdened Lee's heart, but all the horses could not be taken, a few being left for subsistence agriculture.

Furthermore, the horses captured from the farmers

in the East were often suited much more to the plow than to the Cavalry service, and they seem to have lacked the stamina that the rangy Kentucky and Virginia animals had.

The ac­

cretions from the raids failed to equal the normal loss In horseflesh, and the unchecked losses seriously decreased the mobility of Lee's Cavalry. As a remedy, In 1862 Lee suggested that the Govern­ ment purchase horses in Texas to replace disabled mounts, and the Secretary of War in November sent to Texas for 1,000 horses which he proposed to resell to the Cavalrymen at cost.1^?

number ordered was too small, and purchase

In Texas was not very practicable.

As early as 1862 the

Confederate railroad system was declining, and transporting horses from far away Texas was a very slow and uncertain procedure.

Just why the Government did not undertake the

full burden of purchasing remounts wherever available East of the Mississippi River Is not clear.

Even If the horses

•^■•35Ramsdell, "General Robert E. Lee's Horse Supply, 1862-1865,” In The American Historical Review. XXV. No. k (July, 1938), i Wo •^•-^See Freeman's statement in R. E. Lee. A Biography,

I, x. ■^^Official Records ... Armies. Se'ries I, Vol. XIX, Pt. 2, 709,^71^7

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220

so gathered had been sold rather than issued to the Confed­ erate troopers, a distinct improvement would have been made. While Lee’s Cavalry seemed to have suffered more severely from a shortage of mounts, the supply in the West was far from meeting the demand there, but neither Johnston nor Bragg seem to have concerned themselves with the situa­ tion. The problem of disease was no doubt as great in the Confederacy as it was in the Federal service, although the relative scarcity of Confederate records on the subject makes it difficult to see just how serious a problem it was.

The correspondence of the commanders of Southern

armies and Cavalry in the West is almost silent on the subject.

In the East, however, disease was a constant worry

to Stuart and Lee.

The general collection of maladies in­

cluded glanders, farcy, greased heel, and the like, but the most severe ailment was foot and mouth disease. In November, 1862 Lee wrote to the Secretary of War, saying that Stuart reported three fourths of his horses were afflicted with the disease, which produced sore tongues and caused hooves to slough off.

Lee wrote that Stuart con­

sidered the disease as caused by a lack of salt, but Lee disagreed because the Artillery horses, which also lacked salt, had not yet caught the disease.^38

Lee stated that

138officjai Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XIX, Pt. 2, 709.

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221

unless the disease was checked or fresh horses procured, his Cavalry would be inadequate to his needs by spring.-*-39 since the disease was not checked and fresh horses were not procured, the weakened brigades of Stuart found hard going in the cam­ paigns of I863. The Confederate system for caring for sick or dis­ abled horses was ill-defined and variable.

Some units had

so-called veterinary surgeons, but they did not always remain in the field with the units.

Some of them, instead, estab­

lished "horse parks” in the rear areas where wounded, sick, or worn out horses might recuperate.-*-^®

Other units, early

in the war, turned over disabled animals at stated intervals to Quartermaster officers or agents who distributed them on pasture under the care of subordinates.

The horses seldom re­

ceived much care and either recuperated or died without aid. Since the animals were rarely properly inspected, under the "horse park" system, diseased mounts were often placed with the others, thereby spreading the disease.-*-^--1- A further ob­ jection to this system was the fact that the soldier-owner of the horses had no guarantee that his own mount would be returned to him. By I 863 the situation had become sufficiently acute to occasion real consideration.

At the suggestion of General

139official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XIX,

Pt. 2, 709. 1^-°P©ck, Reminiscences of a Confederate Soldier of Co. C. 2nd Va. Cavalry,’ 'j?0.' _ i^Ramsdell, on. cit.. 761.

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222

Pendleton,1^

the Chief of Artillery who also was concerned

over the horse supply, the entire Confederacy was divided into four inspection districts under an inspector general who was on the staff of the Quartermaster General.

For the

treatment of horses, an infirmary was set up at Lynchburg, Virginia.

As disabled horses came in, they were inspected,

and the diseased animals were segregated, while the others were farmed out to experienced caretakers in the surround­ ing counties where good pasturage was available.

This sys­

tem, having some of the same weaknesses as the "horse park," was apparently only moderately successful, for in the fifteen months prior to February, 1865, of 6,875 horses received, only 1,075 were recruited and returned to duty, while 2,81plp died, 133 were stolen,599 were condemned and sold, 799 were transferred to North Carolina, and 1,14-83 were still unserviceable.1^ This method was basically sound, in view of the lim­ ited resources of the Confederacy.

The high losses were due

largely to the fact that most of the horses sent to the in­ firmary were virtually hopeless cases.

As long as an animal

could stumble along, his owner would not turn him in.

The

^■k^k letter from Pendleton to Major Cole, Inspector General of Transportation, September 3» 1863 in Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 697-^99, in­ dicates that the plan was suggested to Pendleton by Major Paxton of Jenkins* Cavalry Brigade. ■^-^For a full discussion of this system, see, Ramsdell, op. cit.. 772.

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223

unfortunate part is that the system was utilized almost ex­ clusively for Artillery and draft animals, the Cavalry rarely participating.

Although the scheme had been suggested origi­

nally by a Cavalry officer, it was not adopted in either the East or West on a large scale for Cavalry horses. Although replenishing the supply of horses was a constant source of worry to the Confederate commanders, feeding the animals they did have required as much if not more time and ingenuity.

The correspondence of l86l made

only occasional reference to the forage supply,1^ - but the letters of 1862 and 1863 became more and more preoccupied with the subject.

As early as the fall of 1862, Lee pro­

posed to Stuart that the shortage of forage in the Shenan­ doah Valley dictated diminishing the amount of Cavalry operating in that area.-*-^ Although this region was re­ garded as the granary of the Confederacy, the great de­ mands made upon it by the Confederate and Federal armies which tramped back and forth soon exhausted the supply. The shortage of fodder became very acute in I863 in both the East and West.

In March of that year, the

Quartermaster of Bragg’s Army of Tennessee reported a meagre supply of grain on hand In the entire area, and it had to

l^Ul-see for example, the letter of General Wise to General Floyd, August Ul, l86l, in Official Records ... Armi'dd. Series I, Vol. V, $22. 1^ I b i d .. Vol. XIX, Pt. 2, 687.

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22k suffice for all Cavalry, Artillery, and draft animals, As a result, the Cavalry, being more free to roam, was ex­ pected to forage for itself,

Wheeler's corps was to forage

East of the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and the supply there was not expected to last more than twenty days.

Van Dorn's corps was to forage West of that

same line, but the supply there, while better than in Wheeler's area, could not be expected to last more than sixty days.-^7

These factors, of course, meant that Bragg's

Cavalry would have to keep moving constantly, whether or not it was strategically wise.

Furthermore, once the country

had been swept clear of forage, Bragg, if he wanted to keep Cavalry at all, would have either to advance, retreat, or launch his mounted troops on long foraging raids. The price of forage in the East in the spring of I 8 6 3 was very high.

Edmund Ruffin noted in his diary in

April of that year, that good hay cost twenty-five dollars

^ ^Offlcial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. 2, 7624.. ^he supply included: Tullahoma-8,000 bushels Decatur-8,000 " Bridgeport-6,000 “ Chattanooga-3,000 " Dalton— 10,000 n Athens— 10,000 " Stevenson— 4 ,0 0 0 " lJ4-7ibra.

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225

per 100 pounds at Richmond, and that, "In the Cavalry bri­ gade to which my grandson belongs, the horses have rarely had any feed but corn for some months... . Horses cannot live on grain alone, even if plentifully supplied with it."^® After the Gettysburg campaign, hardpressed Lee wrote to President Davis several times on the subject of fodder. On July 2lj., he wrote that his horses were obliged to sub­ sist chiefly on grass and that they were not thriving on the diet.^n

The hopes he entertained of getting corn were

blasted by the fact that the corn crop was maturing very slowly, and the railroads were not able to deliver grain fast enough.

On August 21]., he wrote that, "some days we get a

pound of corn per horse and some days more; some none. limit is five per day per horse.

Our

You can judge of our pros­

pects... • Nothing prevents my advancing now but the fear of killing our Artillery horses.

The Cavalry also suffer,

and I fear to set them at work."-^^ The forage problem of the Confederates, like that of the Pederals, was never solved satisfactorily— perhaps it was not physically solvable.

War being a matter of

time, space and movement, is not easily coordinated with nature*s season of productivity.

l^MS cited in footnote in Ramsdell, op. cit..

762,

I n official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 2, 301].. 1^°Ibid., Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2, 66i].-665.

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226

Relatively minor, albeit difficult, problems also afflicted the Southern Cavalry.

In July, 1863 Lee, on

several occasions, wrote to Davis that nearly half his Cav­ alry was unserviceable from a want of h o r s e s h o e s T h i s complaint does not seem to have appeared as often in Con­ federate correspondence as it did in Federal communications. For one thing, Southern Cavalrymen were more adept at caring for and shoeing their animals than were their counterparts in the Federal service.

Horseshoes, while not plentiful,

were not a rare item in the South, and the Government works at Augusta manufactured some 1 ,14.00 shoes with nails per day for several months. In reviewing the Confederate system for mounting and remounting their Cavalry, it is apparent that the initial advantage it gained by expecting each man to furnish his own horse gave way to a distinct disadvantage as the war progressed--occasioning excessive absenteeism and imposing financial hardship upon the troopers.

The better care the

Southern Cavalrymen gave their animals remained advantage­ ous, but it could not check the inroads of disease or remedy the lack of forage.

Had the Confederate Government seen fit

to assume the burden of remounting its Cavalry and setting up an adequate depot system, despite its weak resources, it

^^•Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 2, 302,"3^ ^Letter manding the works October 30, 1862, Clements Library,

from Lieutenant Colonel George Rains, com­ at Augusta, to General Thomas Jordan, in the Clinton H. Haskell Collection, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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227

could have gone far toward halting the deterioration of the Southern mounted force. The South was hampered also by an evident assumption that the Cavalry which was so successful in mounting, equip­ ping, and caring for itself in l86l could be expected to con­ tinue to do so throughout the war, and therefore, required iq-3

little assistance from the Government.

Despite the heroic

efforts of Stuart, Wheeler, Forrest, and Morgan to live up to this expectation, it was an impossible assignment, and only served to encourage depredations upon private property and a looseness of discipline from the higher to the lower echelons of the Cavalry service. Perhaps no single factor in the decline of Southern mounted superiority was as evident as the deterioration in the supply and quality of animals.

While the Federals found

a partial solution to the same problems in a Cavalry Bureau and in Governmental supervision of supply, the Confederacy was unable even to approximate a solution, and it suffered accordingly.

l53p0r testimony on this point, see Duke, Morgan’s Cavalry. 289•

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228

CnesapeaKe

Sag

MAP

^— I

h' .

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CHAPTER VI THE CAMPAIGNa OP 1861

The campaigns of l86l were, almost without exception, puny preludes to the powerful blows which were struck in 1862 and 1863, Both Pederals and Confederates were forced to ex­ pend their energies on mobilization, and only the pressure of an ignorant public opinion forced action in the field. Prom a military point of view, it would have been better for both belligerents, if the "On to Richmondl" type of cry had been ignored, but such was not the course of action pursued by the unmilitary Republics which faced each other in the spring of l86l. The opening move was made by Major General George B* McClellan, then thirty-five years of age, who enjoyed the high favor of General Scott and Governor Tod of Ohio. With an inexperienced force, two able commanders, Generals T* A. Morris and William Starke Rosecrans, were sent by McClellan across the Ohio River into Virginia late in May, l86l.

Neither the Federals, nor the Confederates under

Colonel Porterfield at Grafton, had Cavalry, and the two forces blundered into each other June 3 near Philippi, 229

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230 some thirty-five miles from Grafton.-1- That night, in the midst of a driving rain, Morris pushed his troops forward and surprised the Confederates, whose pickets had declined service in view of the inclement weather, and chased them over twenty miles to Beverly.

McClellan’s report of the af­

fair stated that had his forces been supported by a few companies of Cavalry, "it is probable that many of the enemy o would have been captured or cut to pieces."^ At Beverly, Confederate General Garnett, who was sent to assume command, split his small force of about Ij.,500 men into two bodies stationed nearly twenty miles apart.

Pegram with a small force

wasplaced on the road

to Beverly through Rich Mountain,while Garnett

with the

remainder covered the road from Philippi through Laurel Hill.

This division of force was an -unpardonable error,

and McClellan should have fallen upon each group in turn and crushed it, but having no Cavalry, he was not aware of the division.

Sure that Garnett had 10,000 men,

McClellan felt his way forward slowly.

One of his regi­

mental commanders, Colonel Lew Wallace of the Eleventh Indiana Infantry, combined his thirteen mounted pickets and pushed them forward on June 28, but the force was too

^•Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. II, &7k-» Colonel Porterfield had possessed two companies of Cavalry, but had sent them home as they were unarmed. Ibid.. 5>2. 2Ibid., 65.

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231

small to reconnolter adequately the Confederate position.^ It was over a month after Philippi that McClellan reached Garnett; the marvel is that his opportunity should have lasted so long.

Once in contact, however, McClellan by

sending a force under Rosecrans to flank Pegram*s position, crushed that Confederate force, and compelled Garnett*s command to retreat--Garnett being killed in a rearguard action. It was this victory, insignificant compared to the struggles of ensuing years but reported as a masterpiece in the Northern press of the time, which gave McClellan the reputation of being a "young Napoleon," and the reputation brought him the chief Federal command after the Battle of Bull Run.

It is of some importance to note that McClellan*s

victory in West Virginia was achieved in the almost complete absence of mounted troops.

Without mounted troops, he had

been ignorant of his opportunity for striking a divided foe, but the opportunity had waited for him.

One year later

at South Mountain and Antietam, a similar opportunity was to occur, and that time fortune did not wait his cautious grasp. While McClellan was forging a reputation, other de­ velopments took place in the East.

Toward the end of May,

Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, commanding his Confederate troops on the peninsula between the York and James rivers

3pfficlal Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 13iw

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232 in Virginia, was revealing a tendency which characterized his entire performance in the field in the ensuing year. He was getting panicky over rumors of a Federal advance and insisting upon having Cavalry on the grounds that he could not ascertain the enemy's position without mounted troops.4Lee finally suggested that some Cavalry be sent off to Magruder.^

This dispersion of force was typical of the ac­

tion of 1861, and it served no useful purpose.

Magruder^was

to commit similar errors throughout the year, and as a result, he was relieved of command.

His sole distinction was the fact

that he recognized Cavalry as the proper means for gathering information. Meanwhile, a sequence of events was occurring in the main theater of war, the focal point of which was to be /L Manassas Junction near Bull Run Creek. In the long corridor called the Shenandoah Valley, General Joseph E. Johnston with a Confederate force of some 11,000 men uneasily faced a Fed­ eral "army" of llj.,000 commanded by aged General Patterson. Some seventy miles Southeast of Winchester and not far from Washington, a Federal force of about 35#000 under General Irwin McDowell was being urged by the press, the public, and Congress to advance against General Pierre G. T. Beauregard's

^•Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 38, 37, 88Ij.. ^Ibid.. 885. ^The Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas, as the Confederates called it, has received such adequate treatment that this discussion will be confined largely to a study of Cavalry in the battle and its preliminaries.

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233

20,000 Confederates stationed in the vicinity of Manassas Junction.

Another Confederate force under General Theophilus

Holmes occupied the area to the Southeast of Manassas in the vicinity of Aquia Creek. The bulk of the Confederate Cavalry in the East was on outpost duty &r Johnston*s army in the Valley.

The of­

ficer who soon directed the affairs of that Cavalry was about five feet eleven inches tall and weighed perhaps 175 pounds. He was large boned, long in the arms and legs, short in the body.

His eyes were deep blue, and he wore a long curly

beard, some said to cover a receding chin.

He rode large,

fine Virginia thoroughbreds with names like Skylark, Lady Margaret, and Star of the East, and he looked best on a horse, his elegant uniform complete with ostrich plume, scarlet lined cape, buff gauntlets, and yellow-faced jacket.

His name

was James Ewell Brown Stuart, and he captured the imagination of the world as did no other Cavalryman in the Civil War, ex­ cept perhaps Nathan Bedford Forrest.^

?For an excellent work on Stuart, see Thomason, Jeb Stuart. For contemporary comments, see McClellan, The Life and Campaigns of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart, Commander of the Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia; Cooke, Wearing: of the Gray; Garnett, J. E. B. Stuart (Major-General| Com­ mander of the Cavalry Corps. Army of Northern Virginia, S. A. Born in Virginia, Stuart attended West Point, gradu­ ating thirteenth in a class of forty-six in l85h» He served as a subaltern in the Mounted Rifles and First Cavalry on the frontier and had taken a part in subduing John Brown. He resigned May llj., 1861 and entered Virginia service as a Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry, and in the early summer of l86l he was commissioned a Colonel of Cavalry. Cullum,

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234

Two troops of the Virginia Cavalry under Captain Turner Ashby were located at Point of Rocks, about twelve miles east of Harpers Perry, quite near the junction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

On May 21, George Deas, as an Inspector General, re­

ported to the Confederate War Department that Ashby*s men scoured the country for twenty miles around on restless reO connaissance. Since Ashby*s inexperienced squadrons were al­ ready twelve miles from their base at Harpers Ferry, their ac­ tivities were unusually bold and daring for the time.

The re­

mainder of the Cavalry with Johnston’s force was either on picket and vidette duty near Harpers Perry or else was in training.

The Inspector General found the command in good

condition, learning its duties rapidly (thanks to Stuart) and Q reasonably well armed with sabres and small-sized revolvers.7 While Johnston’s Cavalry covered his front, Patter­ son’s force had to feel its way cautiously along, for Pat­ terson had no Jeb Stuart.

In like circumstance was the other

Federal force under McDowell.

His army crossed the Potomac

River on May 24 and moved Into Virginia, and the move was vir­ tually unreconnoitered because McDowell had almost no Cavalry --his three mounted companies having crossed with the

Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U . S. Military Academy at West Point. N. Y.. from Its Establish­ ment in l8o£ to lfefoo. I. 397-396. Hereafter, cited as Cullum, Biographl cal Reg"jster... . 866

.

^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 861,

----------------------------

9Ibid.. 869.

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army.10

Fortunately for McDowell, Beauregard*s Cavalry was

virtually helpless from lack of numbers and experience, and it did not inform the Confederate commander of the Federal move.11

Beauregard learned of the change from spies and news­

paper reports. McDowell’s few Regular Army cavalrymen made occas­ sional dashes into Confederate outposts, but no regular re­ connaissances.

Many of the few troopers on hand were

utilized for courier and orderly duty.

Colonel Stone at

Rockville, Maryland, was using twelve of his twenty cav­ alrymen as a personal escort, and he asked for more mounted men.12

The occasional dashes made were regarded by McDowell

as brilliant affairs at arms, but they were productive of no information. 13

The few real reconnaissances the Federals

made were handled by the Engineers.1^As the pressure grew in Washington for an advance on Manassas, McDowell submitted his request for troops on June 1+. He wanted 12,000 Infantry, two regular batteries, and only six to eight companies of Cavalry. 19 ^ It was

•LUCaptain Brackett with Companies G and I, 2d U, S. Cavalry, and a company of District of Columbia Cavalry con­ stituted McDowell’s mounted force. See the reports of Generals Sanford, Heintzelman, and Colonel Willcox in ibid.. 39, 1+0, 1(1. 110fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 1+2. The Southern mounted force in the vicinity incldded two compa­ nies at Manassas, one at Occoquan, and one at Accotink. 12lbid., 11$, 119. -!-3see the report in ibid., 60. lij-See, for examples, ibid.. 722, 727, 732-733. 1^Ibid., 661+, Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

-

evident that mounted troops were to play little part in the expected battle. The Confederates, although weak in Cavalry in the Manassas Junction area, continued to increase their mounted 16 preponderance in the Shenandoah in June. In the last week of that month, Johnston’s Cavalry was cooperating with an In­ fantry force under Colonel Thomas J. Jackson in amusing Patterson’s Federals.17

One of the keystones in this Con­

federate combination in the Valley was Turner Ashby who had been recently recommended for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in Angus McDonald’s Cavalry regiment. thirty-two years of age at that time.

Ashby was

A small man, per­

haps five feet nine inches tall and weighing 11\.$ pounds, with his oft-described beard floating in the breeze and his dignified mein, he was considered the beau ideal of Southern chivalry.

He had commanded a mounted company in

the force gathered to crush the John Brown raid, and when the Civil War opened, he reported with his small company of militia at Harpers Ferry in April, l§6l.

Gentle,

courteous, and courageous, he led his men well on outpost duty, steadily winning the confidence of Jackson and Johnston.

1^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 90k, 95k* 17Ibid., 914-8-9^1-9. l^For information on Ashby, see Thomas, General Turner Ashby the Centaur of the South: Ashby, Life of Turner Ashby; McDonald, A History of the Laurel Brigade..."T

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On June 16, Ashby*s brother and a few men clashed with the Federals, and Ashby*s brother was killed.

Turner,

in a rage, attacked the Federals, and according to the Rebel War Clerk who heard about the incident, Ashby slew "half a dozen Yankees" with his own hand.1^

That same day, Johnston

wrote to Ashby: "Let me offer you my cordial thanks for your services, especially the last. I assure you that the knowledge that you were between me and the enemy made me sleep soundly last night, and that your presence among the troops^^nder my command would always have such an ef­ fect. Johnaton, always a proponent of Cavalry, wrote the War Department a few days later that he became more con­ vinced daily of the great value of Cavalry, compared with Infantry for service "on this frontier" £vicinity of WinOT chesterj. x He concluded by asking for another mounted regiment under such an officer as Stuart, and two days later, he asked that Stuart be promoted. Johnston*s admiration for Stuart and Ashby had been earned by brilliant work in covering the front against Pat­ terson who was fumbling his way down the Valley.

Stuart

with his First Virginia Cavalry, having a present for duty strength of only 33kt had convinced Patterson that he was TO

yJones, A Rebel War Clerk*s Diary .... I, 57. 20Cited in Thomas, General Turner Ashby The Centaur of the South. 25. 862-963.

^Official Records ... Armies, Series I. Vol. II, -----------------------

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opposed by 600 Cavalry,

??

Although the old Federal commander

had nearly all of the Second United States Cavalry, he handled it inefficiently, and never did secure information or a mounted screen, nor did he use it to brush Stuart*s troopers aside.23

Meanwhile Stuart*s men, together as a unit, solely

under his direction, kept Johnston informed of every move Patterson made.2^

Stuart, of course, also had the advantage

of operating in a friendly country and was therefore able to obtain much information from Confederate sympathizers.

Such

information led directly to the capture of an entire company of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers on one occasion.2'* Most students of the Battle of Bull Run readily recognize that it was the junction of Johnston*s and Beaure­ gard* s forces at Manassas which permitted the Confederates to win the battle.

It was Stuart who enabled Johnston to

slip away unobserved from Patterson*s front and go to Manassas.

Had Patterson been aware that Johnston had left,

nothing would have prevented him from following and falling upon the Confederate rear.

Patterson never knew because

Stuart*s aggressive screen had slowed Patterson*s advance to a walk.

Even after Stuart had withdrawn his men and entrained

22stuart*s strength report in Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II , 186. PattersorHfT'^'FnmaTeTiT"

T n lbXd.. 166.

23Ibid., 172. ^Ibid.. 969. 2%b i d . , 186.

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for Manassas, Patterson, shaken by past experiences, was re­ luctant to push forward rapidly,

Johnston's report of his

operations up through his move to Manassas, July 19, reads in part, ’’Evading him ^Patterson} by the dispositions made of the advance guard, under Colonel Stuart, the Army moved through Ashby1s Gap,,. .”26 Here then is one of the major contributions to the Confederate victory at Bull Run. While Johnston's troops were hurrying from the Shenandoah to Manassas, Beauregard was planning his attack. The plan was grandiose and fuzzy.

Beauregard had among his

own troops the Thirtieth Virginia Cavalry under Colonel Radford and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas T. Munford, and some ten odd troops of Cavalry, in all, l,li+9 men, but ac­ cording to his plan, all the Cavalry was scattered among the Infantry brigades and was given no mission.27

What

Beauregard planned to do with Johnston's Cavalry when it arrived is not known, for before Beauregard's plan had matured, McDowell and his Federals pushed reluctantly for­ ward to Bull Run— impelled by an administration which wanted a victory and a Congress which insisted on it. McDowell's army, everything considered, was not bad. Its greatest weakness in comparison with Beauregard's and

^

Official

Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. II,

2?See ibid.. 568.

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k73»

2i|0

Johnston*s forces was in the want of Cavalry,

McDowell had

a large battalion of Regular Cavalry— companies A and E of the First Cavalry, companies B, E, G, and I of the Second Cavalry, and company K of the Second Dragoons, perhaps a total of 500, but he relied upon reports of his Engineers, pO rumors, and deserters for information. 0 On July 18, McDowell pushed Tyler*s division forward against the Confederate center at Blackburn*s Ford, and Tyler was repulsed.

Further­

more, McDowell*s slow and cautious advance, due in part to lack of adequate reconnaissance and his fear of "masked bat­ teries," gave the forces under Johnston time to come up from the Valley and Holmes* men time to come up from Aquia and join Beauregard.

Even Stuart *s troopers had come by rail

to Manassas, adding some twelve companies to Beauregard*s already preponderant mounted force.^ McDowell, based on Centreville, opposite the Con­ federate center, abandoned the idea of a frontal assault by his raw troops after Tyler*s repulse, and decided instead to turn the Confederate left on the assumption that this would place him between Beauregard at Manassas and Johnston whom he supposed Patterson was still holding in the Valley. Since the Confederate left, a small brigade under Evans, rested on the Stone Bridge, it was planned to cross Bull

^ Official Records ... Annies, Series I, Vol. II, 303305, 309. ^9ibid., £69.

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21H

Run at Sudley Springs two miles above Evans.

This would put

the Federals on the Confederate left flank and also on a road leading directly to the Southern pear.

There was a '

circuitous path some ten miles long which led from near Centreville to Sudley Springs which ought to have been com­ pletely reconnoitered, but which was not.

Instead of push­

ing his Cavalry along the path, McDowell sent a few engineers and woodsmen who stopped short of the area near Sudley, but who reported the route as being practicable.

Partly due to

this poor reconnaissance work, McDowell’s turning movement was to be very slow. McDoweil now planned his battle.

The plan was not

had, although too complicated for green troops.

His gravest

error, however, was in assigning all his Cavalry to Hunter*s division which was to lead the turning movement, leaving none at all under his own control.^0 He left himself with­ out a means of covering his flanks, of covering a re-treat if necessary, or of launching a vigorous pursuit if victorious In ordering his troops forward, not one word was said of the Cavalry’s mission; from reading the order, one would never know that McDowell had any Cavalry.31 After a late start and much fumbling about, the turn­ ing movement got under way on July 21, while the center and

30see McDowell's Order of Battle in Official Records . Armies. Series I, Vol. II, 3l5« Williams, Lincoln Finds a General. I, 76, finds this arrangement of the Cavalry the most serious deficiency in McDowell's organization." 3^-See his order, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. II, 303-305.

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2J+2 left fought a not very spirited holding action.

Hunter’s

(later Porter’s) division led the turning movement, and the Federal Cavalry under Major Innis Palmer took a position on the extreme right of the Federal line as soon as contact was made.

From this point, portions were detached from time to

time to support the different batteries and to examine the ground near the Confederate left flank.3^

A body of Confed­

erate mounted men soon appeared, and Sergeant Sachs of the Second Dragoons was sent with a few men to charge; Sachs suc­ ceeded in capturing a few of the Confederates, including General George (Maryland) Stauart.^3 Between ten o ’clock in the morning and four o ’clock in the afternoon, the Federal Infantry regiments were hurled piecemeal at the Confederates until, exhausted, they were routed from the field.

Palmer’s troopers attempted to check

the retreat, and failing in that,,did the best their limited numbers permitted to cover the fugitives from pursuit.3^ Upon seeing the thin line of Palmer’s Federals, the pursuing Confederate horse hastily reined in and halted.35

Vi/hether or not the story contained in Palmer’s report

32see Palmer’s report, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. II, 393. 33lbid. 3^-Ibid..

35see Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry 217

.

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-

2l).3

is the whole truth has been questioned,but the obvious fact is that the role of the Federal Cavalry at Bull Run was completely passive. As McDowell's turning movement became apparent, Beauregard began sliding his brigades to the left, extending his left flank which he had pulled back in the face of the., Federal attack.

Stuart's troopers were on the extreme left

of the line, and had the Federal horse been more active, the two mounted bodies might have been engaged.

The rest of the

Confederate Cavalry, according to Johnston's report, was held in reserve.37

Johnston’s report also stated that the

Federals had delivered five consecutive assaults upon the Confederate left in three hours and that Stuart's 260 men were instrumental in halting every attack.3^ During one of the attacks the gray squadrons charged a regiment of gaudily uniformed New York Fire Zouaves who threatened Jackson's flank.

Stuart's report claims he drove

the Zouaves off the field. ^

Out of this incident grew the

much publicized "Charge of the Black Horse."

The original

3 % e n e r a l Wadsworth, testifying in December, l86l, asserted that the first arrivals on the field from Johnston's force had fired a volley on the Federal Cavalry "which had been withdrawn to a point of comparative safety, as they were not of much importance to us...they retired immediately, or rather stampeded in a very disorderly manner." Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the W a r , II, Iq.^.

k-77•

37official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, k-7& " 38lbid.

3$Ibid.. ii.82.

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344 Black Horse Cavalry was a.troop raised in Farquier County and later incorporated into the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, but in the Northern press, all Confederate Cavalry in the East was "Black Horse"* According to Harpers Weekly, the Zouaves had repulsed with slaughter the Black Horse described as numbering from 600 to 700 splendidly equipped men.40

According to General

Heintzelman who commanded the division to which the Zouaves belonged, the Cavalry numbered only thirty or forty of whom the Zouaves shot five or six, forcing the Confederates to flee*4^

The version given by the visiting British journal­

ist, William Howard Russell, was: "An apparition of a disorderly crowd of horsemen in front of the much-boasting Fire Zouaves of New York, threw them into confusion and flight, ... .'*42 Aside from this controversial episode, the presence of Stuart's men on the Confederate left contributed much to the stubborn resistance which wore out the Federal strength.

40Harpers Weekly. August 10, 1861, 510. ^Heintzelman1s testimony in, Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the W a r , II, 31. 42Russell, My Diary North and South, 476. I am inclined to accept Russell's rather sarcastic version as the most accurate. 43Several years after the war, General Jubal Early wrote that: "Stuart did as much towards saving the battle

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43

245 When the last Federal attack broke, and the morale of the Northern troops disintegrated, a confused Confederate pur­ suit was launched after the fleeing refugees.

Stuart followed

toward Sudley Springs and continued until his command was much reduced by sending guards back with prisoners.44

Radford's

command, which Johnston, more wise than McDowell, had re­ tained in reserve under his immediate command, was ordered to pursue the Federals across Bull Run at Ball's Ford and gain the turnpike down which the Federals were running.4^

Rad­

ford's and Munford's reports indicate a triumphal ride among trophies and cowed prisoners.

Munford reported the enemy in

wild confusion and claimed that by charging the mob at Cub Creek Bridge, he caused the Federals to abandon some ten 46 cannon* Among the other spoils the colors of the SixtyNinth New York, as well as the commander, Colonel Corcoran, were taken.

When their charges were checked by a volley

of First Manassas as any subordinate who participated in it; and yet he has never received any credit for it, ••• ." Cited in McClellan, The Life and Campaigns of Ma.1or General J. E. B. Stuart, Commander of the Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. 39-40. Hereafter, cited as McClellan,The Life ... of Stuart ... . £ee however, Johnston's enconium in Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. II, 476. ^Stuart's report in Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 482-4Q4. 4^Johnston's report, ibid.» 476-477. 4^See ibid., 533-534, 562. Radford's report says fourteen cannon were captured by the command.

1 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

246 from a nearby woods, both Radford and Munford wasted their time and men in carrying off the cannon, rather than continu­ ing the pursuit. Of the nearly 1,400 Confederate Cavalry present, only 500 were actually engaged;47 the losses were never fully re­ ported.

Stuart lost the most, and he did not make a complete

report, while the remainder of the Southern horse lost a total 4.8 of only thirteen killed and wounded. Everything considered, the Confederate mounted troops were well handled except in the pursuit, and it lacked vigor. Rarely has there been an opportunity to reap the fruits of vic­ tory as there was after Bull Run. "Our victory was as complete as

Johnston in his report said, one

gained by Infantry

andArtil

lery can be. An adequate forceof Cavalry would have made it 4.9 decisive." While the statement is true to some degree, the fault lay as much with Johnston

and

Beauregard as with num­

bers, for they had not used all

the

Cavalry available.

By July 23 Stuart had pushed to Fairfax Court House, and he reported the panic still on and passed along the news that McClellan had succeeded McDowell while Banks was to relieve Patterson in the Valley.

This was very timely in­

formation gleaned from Northern newspapers which gratuitously printed reliable nev/s for general consumption.

470fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. II, 568. 43Ibid., 569. 49Ibid., 477. 50 Ibid., 995.

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247 Within a week after Bull Run, McClellan had taken over and reported that there were less than 1,000 Federal Cavalry in the vicinity of Washington, and he set to work to 51 remedy the deficiency. Meanwhile, Beauregard still occu­ pied the Bull Run line with his Cavalry on outpost duty. Johnston was urging Davis to give him 3,000 to 4,000 Cavalry, reminding the president that with such a force at Bull Run the results would have been more satisfactory.

He continued:

"For the last two months I have had one regiment of Virginia Cavalry under Stuart, in the presence of superior forces of regular Cavalry, who have never appeared in front of their 52 55 Infantry." Davis promised him more Cavalry. All Confederate Cavalry was not so formidable, how­ ever, for a part of Colonel Jenkins* men near Dogwood, Vir­ ginia in the Kanawha District ran into an ambush and were 54 completely routed. Like Federal volunteers, raw, untrained Confederates were perfectly capable of running away. In the early Fall, McClellan pushed out a few tenta­ tive reconaissances toward Lewinsville, Virginia— usually a few companies of Cavalry heavily buckramed by Infantry and Artillery.

After one of these, Stuart reported that he

surprised and drove in confusion three regiments of Infantry,

51

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. V, 11.

53Ibid., 777. 53Ibid. 54Ibid., 835.

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eight pieces of Artillery, and "a large body of Cavalry", inflicting severe loss by riding down fugitives, but incurring none.

Actually, the Federals had only two Infantry

regiments and ninety troopers.55

McClellan's report of the

affair says the reconnaissance was well and successfully car­ ried out and lists the entire Federal loss at two killed and three wounded by shellfire.5^

Stuart was not a liar, but

apparently he could be as excited and confused in action as any one else. On the whole, McClellan's disposition of his Cavalry was very poor.

Eleven of his few companies were distributed

among seven headquarters ranging from 7/ashington to Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and later, one regiment was assigned to each CO division. McClellan's subordinates were not very adept either.

In minor actions here and there, the Cavalry was

always held in reserve and never committed, as though the com­ manding officer did not know quite what to do with it.5^

Most

of the time, the mounted troops were spread out on over­ extended picket and vidette duty. Meanwhile, the Confederate regiment of Cavalry left in the Shenandoah under McDonald and Ashby was vigorously guarding the passes.

55

A Federal advance to Bolivar, October 16,

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. V, lSl-j.82

56Ibid. , 159-172. 57 Ibid. See also, Southern Historical Society Papers, IX, 191.5Q For examples, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. V, 135. 59Ibid., 15-17.

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249 was met by Ashby, who had been given Infantry support, and the advance halted for over four hours before preponderance of numbers pushed Ashby back.

Colonel John Geary of the

Twenty Fifth Pennsylvania Infantry claimed that Ashby’s troop60 ers mutilated the Federal wounded* A few days after Ashby checked Geary at Bolivar, a Federal disaster for which McClellan blamed General Stone, occurred at Ball's Bluff on the Potomac. fair was this.

The crux of the af­

Stone and Colonel Baker pushed a small body

of troops across the river toward Leesburg and ran into a superior Confederate force which virtually destroyed the Federals by driving them into the river.

Stone had not made an

adequate reconnaissance, but he could not, for he had no Cav­ alry.

He had asked repeatedly for Cavalry in August and Sep61 tember, prior to the advance, without success. In despera­ tion, he gathered thirty-seven men of the Van Allen Cavalry and sent them ahead.

They had made contact with the Confed­

erates, but they were too few' in numbers to develop the Confederate position.



By November, the Federal Cavalry in the East had ex63 panded to the surprising number of 10,764, but it was spread

6-0 Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. V, 242248. This charge was never substantiated, end Ashby denied it vigorously. 61Ibid., 574, 592. ^ S t o n e ’s report, ibid. Neither McClellan at the time, ■nor historians since, seenfto have considered Stone’s weakness in Cavalry as one of the major factors in his disaster. In this, I think they have erred. Abstract from the Morning Report of the Army of the

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250 out among the d iv is io n s in lo t s o f from s e v e n ty -fiv e to 900 men.

The la r g e s t s in g le body was Stoneman’ s C avalry fo rc e

o f some 4 ,7 0 0 lo c a te d p a r t ly i n Washington and p a r t ly around F a ir f a x Court House. had n o th in g l i k e

The C o n fed erates, on the o th e r hand,

such numbers o f mounted tro o p s .

The Con­

fe d e r a te Army o f the Potomac had one C a v a lry b rigade (S tu ­ a r t ' s ) o f 2 ,1 9 3 men w ith some 504 more assigned to th e F i r s t Corps, w h ile th e V a lle y D i s t r i c t had 542 tro o p e rs , and the Aquia D i s t r i c t had a mere h a n d fu l.

A t most, the Southern

mounted fo rc e i n the f i e l d i n the E ast a t th is tim e numbered no more than 3 ,5 0 0 men.®^

By December, the t o t a l had increased

to b a re ly 4 ,2 9 1 .65 Although n o t r e a liz in g n o r u t i l i z i n g t h e i r n u m eric al s u p e r io r it y , the F ed erals began pushing p a tro ls o f one r e g i ­ ment o f C a v a lry , unsupported by In f a n t r y fo r a change, in to V ir g in ia l a t e i n November.66

The p ra c tic e came to a h a l t ,

however, when a sm all mounted p a t r o l o f the T h ird Pennsyl­ v a n ia was caught i n a narrow lan e n ear Vienna by a squadron o f th e F i r s t N o rth C a ro lin a and was chased a l l th e way back to camp—many men f a l l i n g o f f t h e i r horses i n the r o u t .^ 7 S t u a r t 's men were v e r y a c tiv e a g a in s t the F e d e ra l

Potomac on November 1 2 , 1861, i b i d . , 650. 6cr*y

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.*

CHAPTER X THE WAR IN TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY Events in Central Kentucky had been relatively quiet since General Thomas had defeated the Confederates under Gen­ eral Zollicoffer at Mill Springs in January--an engagement in which Wolford's First Kentucky Cavalry led the Federal van and was roughly handled.-*-

The Cavalry played no great part

in the battle, for the Federal mounted troops, of which Wol­ ford's were probably the best in the area, were an inferior lot as a group, ^ and the Confederates under Zollicoffer had few cavalrymen. In contrast, Morgan was operating from Murfreesborough, Tennessee, in March and April and was raiding toward Nashville which the Federals had occupied after the fall of Fort Donelson.

Morgan's technique included clothing his men

in Federal overcoats in order to get close to the wagon trains, and he succeeded in being a considerable nuisance.^ Occasionally, Colonel John Kennett and the Fourth Ohio caught

1-See Wolford’s report, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. VII, 100. ^See Garfield's complaint, ibid., 603, and Buell's complaint in ibid.. 611. ^Hardee's report, ibid., Vol. X, Pt. 1, 6-7. For details of Morgan's operations, see Duke, Morgan's Cavalry, 99-102. 068

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569 up with Morgan, but rarely did they seriously demage the Con­ federates. Morgan's efforts were supplemented by those of Colo­ nel John S. Scott and his First Louisiana Cavalry.

Morgan

and Scott generally operated with a small number of men, kept their destination a secret, had a system of volunteer citizen scouts, and had a civilian warning network.

They marched at

night when possible and were not averse to wearing Federal uniforms.

Morgan was sometimes supplied with a large sum of

ready cash to purchase information The Federal troop dispositions made it rather easy for Morgan and Scott to raid, for various detachments were iso' lated by the mountains in the Eastern part of Tennessee and in Northern Alabama.

Scott played upon the fears of small bodies

of troops by such tricks as spreading the word among the ne­ groes in May that Price with 15,000 men was advancing on the Yankees via Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Of course, Price was not ad­

vancing, but the word reached the Federals who belonged to General Mitchell's command, and the Federals burned their stores at Florence and evacuated the area.^

Incidents of this

kind set Buell clamoring for more Cavalry, although he did not become insistent.

His comments, however, were strongly

^In April, 1862, Bragg gave him $1,000 in specie, and Beauregard forwarded $15,000 in currency. See, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. X, Pt. 2, 437-438. ^This story is cited in Carter, A Cavalryman1s Rem­ iniscences of the Civil War, 28-29, as coming from the Mem­ phis Appeal, May 4, 1862.

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seconded by General Mitchell,6

Meanwhile, in Eastern Tennes­

see, Kirby Smith's Cavalry, largely the First Georgia and the First and Second Tennessee, was making life miserable for the Federals.

These regiments were joined by Colonel J. W. Starnes

and his Third Tennessee early in July, and Starnes was a very able cavalryman. On July 1, Buell's Army of the Ohio was spread out at Athens, Georgia, and Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama, and Buell was soon faced with a crisis in his advance on Chatta­ nooga.

Morgan, on the basis of his recent experiences, had

reorganized and trained his men in the style attributed to Old Army Indian fighting, called, ’’Maury's skirmishing tac­ tics".

The regiment was drawn up in a single rank, the flank

companies skirmishing— often on horseback, and later, on foot. The rest of the command dismounted and moved forward on the double while the flank elements were thrown forward, the entire line forming an arc, pouring in a converging fire. These tactics were much more flexible than orthodox Cavalry procedure, and although applicable to mounted or dismounted action, they were more often employed dismounted.

By their

own admission, Morgan's men more appropriately might be called

6See, Official Records .♦» Armies, Series I, Vol. X, Pt. 2, 183, 212, 372; Fry, Operations of the Army under Buell from June 10th to October 30th, 1862, and the "Buell Commission", 28, 38, 69. ^Duke, Morgan's Cavalry, 109. While Morgan did not invent these tactics, he has a good, if disputed, claim on being the first to use them well and regularly for Cavalry in the Civil War.

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Mounted Infantry than Cavalry.

Although most of them rode

fine Blue Grass thoroughbreds, they almost never used sabres.® With his new tactics, Morgan gathered together 876 men, including his own Second Kentucky and Colonel Hunt's First Partisan Rangers, and erupted in Buell's rear.

He

left Knoxville on July 4, and three days later and 104 miles farther, arrived at Sparta.

From there, he moved to Salina

on the Cumberland River and pushed to Tompkinsville where he had a short, sharp fight with Major Jordan's battalion (350 men of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry).

Morgan's column

killed or wounded thirty of Jordan's men and captured the rest.

At midnight, July 9, he was at Glasgow, Kentucky,

where he picked up arms for 200 of his men who had started unarmed. Except for occasional bushwhackers, he was greeted everywhere with enthusiasm and aid.

From Glasgow, he feinted

toward Bowling Green and then moved to Horse Cave.

At that

point, he had his telegrapher, George Ellsworth, connect the telegraph wires to a portable battery and intercept the dis­ patches sent by General Jeremiah Boyle from Louisville di­ recting efforts to capture Morgan.

Morgan's telegrapher

broke in, sending confusing reports and instructions to the various Federal detachments.9

Morgan directed Ellsworth to

®Duke, Morgan's Cavalry. 109-110. 9 See Morgan's report, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 766-7677 This was a favorite trick of Morgan’s, and some of the dispatches and taunts sent by Ellsworth were truly humorous.

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telegraph that Forrest was talcing Murfreesborough, capturing the entire garrison.

Unknown to Morgan, Forrest happened to

be doing just that.**-0 By July 10, Boyle was aware that Morgan was loose and had chopped up part of the Ninth Pennsylvania, and Boyle’s dispatches reveal that he was badly frightened.^

In the

next five days, Boyle sent troops in all directions, and Buell from Nashville was doing the same thing.

Reports came

in that Morgan had 1,000, 1,500, and up to 3,000 men.

By

July 21, Boyle was telegraphing Secretary of War Stanton that, "He [Morgan] has the best mounted force in the world". After burning the Salt River Railroad Bridge to cut off the Nashville troops pursuing from that base, Morgan moved to Lebanon where he routed 200 Home Guards.

From there, he

rode to Harrodsburg and twenty miles beyond to Lawrenceburg, and finally reached Versailles, having come 300 miles in eight days.

The men, however, virere still fresh and in good spirits. The next day, the command tore up the Kentucky Cen­

tral Railroad at a point between Lexington and Paris, fought its way through 400 P'ederals at Cynthiana to Paris, avoided the attempts of Buell’s Cavalry to encircle it, and escaped to Livingston on July 28.

Morgan had been gone twenty-four

days, travelled nearly 1,000 miles, destroyed much property,

l°See, Duke, Morgan’s Cavalry, 118. ^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 731, 732, 733, 740. 18Ibid., 749.

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paroled nearly 1,200 regular troops, and returned with 400 recruits for his own command.

His losses numbered ninety

men.13 The raid had several results.

It had cut the line

of communications of the Federal forces at Cumberland Gap; it had done severe property damage; and it prompted Buell to ask Halleck for five more regiments of Cavalry.1^

Perhaps

more significant, the raid weakened the confidence the admin­ istration had in Buell. Buell's advance on Chattanooga was further embarassed by another raid, this one under Forrest.

Forrest had a newly-

organized, faction-ridden brigade of some 1,200 half-armed men, many of whom objected to fighting under him.

He started

on July 9, accompanied by the Second Georgia and Terry's Eighth Texas, crossed the Tennessee River, rode rapidly through the narrow trough of the Sequatchie Valley and finally bivou15 acked at Altamont. The next day at McMinnville, Forrest received reinforcements, bringing his command up to 1,400 men. On July 12, while Buell was only thirty miles from Chattanooga, Forrest completed the organization of his brigade, and at 4:30 A. M., his command exploded upon the Federal gar­ rison at Murfreesborough as Morgan had inadvertently predicted. The garrison was the largest on the railroad from Nashville

xoMorgan's report, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 770. ■^These are the effects Buell reported. to Hal3.eck, ibid ♦, 734-735.

See Buell

15Ibid., 722-723.

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to Stevenson and consisted of the Third Minnesota Infantry, the Ninth Michigan Infantry, and part of the Seventh Pennsyl­ vania Cavalry.

On the day before Forrest attacked, Brigadier

General T. T. Crittenden had assumed command of the post, but he was not familiar with the terrain nor was he aware that no patrols were kept out after dark.

As a result, Forrest's

attack was a complete surprise. The First and Second Georgia were sent to attack the Third Minnesota while the Texans charged the Michigan regiment and the Cavalry.

The Texans, however, in the confusion Joined

the attack on the Minnesota regiment.

The Federals made a

hard, stubborn stand until noon when Forrest bluffed the Federal unit commanders into a surrender.

The prisoners

taken numbered about 1,200 men, and the property captured, in­ cluding wagons and artillery, was worth $250,000.

It was a

fine birthday present for Forrest who was forty-three on that day.

Forrest's own losses were never reported.

In

this, his first independent expedition as a brigade commander, Forrest had done well indeed.

He had marched sixty miles and

fought for nearly twelve hours, all in thirty hours. The raid did not end there.

In the third week of

July, Bragg determined to move the main Confederate army from Tupelo, Mississippi to the Chattanooga area, and he utilized Forrest to pave the way.

On July 18, Forrest left McMinnville

■^Forrest's report, Official Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 809-811. The reports of Critten­ den and his subordinates are found ibid., 792-809. For a clear, accurate account of the raid, see, Henry, "First With The Most" Forrest, 85-91.

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375 and within a week rode to the gates of Nashville, wrecked parts of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and drew off nearly 10,000 Federals who tried to catch him.^7

As he moved,

Federal garrisons in front of him fled, and rumors vied with counter rumors as to his whereabouts and strength.

By July

21, Forrest reached Andrew Jackson1s "Hermitage", only twelve miles from Nashville, and that afternoon, moved to within five miles of that Federal base. From there, he attacked the railroad, wrecking three bridges which spanned Mill Creek, cutting telegraph wires, and battering down stockades with his Artillery.

That night

his men rested on the Chicken Pike within sound of the pound­ ing feet of Federal General Nelson’s pursuing Infantry who marched by on the main road.

Forrest returned safely to Mc­

Minnville on July 24— at a time when Bragg's troops were pulling into the Chattanooga area,-1-8 and Buell's arrangements were delayed a week. The results of the raid were considerable.

E. Kirby

Smith said that it was Forrest's raid which delayed Buell's advance on Chattanooga— giving Bragg time to get there.

19

-*-7Jordan and Pryor, The Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. N. Forrest, and of Forrest's Cavalry, 104.

B. ’

^8For a good account of the details of the latterpart of the raid, see ibid., 104-105. -^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 734. Buell complained to Halleck that he was beset by a vastly superior Cavalry force and could not garrison every foot of the 300 miles of railroad. See, ibid., 266. By August 18, Buell was so exasperated that he offered to resign.

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376

Bragg concurred and said he was recommending Forrest for pro­ motion, and Forrest's men were convinced that he was an effi­ cient commanding officer.

Furthermore, Forrest's raid, com­

ing in conjunction with Morgan's, resulted in the Federals' calling in local garrisons from Middle Tennessee to help pro­ tect Nashville. To help solve Buell's difficulties, Halleck sent him George Thomas' division from Grant's command.

But this ad­

dition of force was temporarily offset by a new blow.

Colo­

nel Joseph Wheeler had relieved Chalmers of his Cavalry com­ mand on July 19, and with 500 men made a raid from Holly Springs, Mississippi to Bolivar and Jackson, Tennessee— seventy miles behind the Federal lines.

pQ

This was more

properly Grant's worry, but it added fuel to the flames which engulfed Buell, and it brought another figure on the scene. Wheeler was no more than five feet, five inches tall and weighed about 120 pounds.

At West Point, he was called

"Point" on the grounds that he had neither length, breadth, nor thickness, and he has often been described as a "game little banty".

He was quick, mild eyed, and bearded, and

he was surcharged with energy.

He rarely laughed, and he 21 took himself and everybody about him in earnest. At the

200fflcial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVII, Pt. 1, 23-24. ^Wheeler has been fortunate in having two excellent biographers; for information on him, see, DuBose, General Joseph Wheeler and the Army of Tennessee; Dyer, 11Fightin' Joe" Wheeler. For a partisan but informative work, see, Dodson, Campaigns of Wheeler and His Cavalry 1862-1865.

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377

age of twenty-four, he had resigned his commission as a Second Lieutenant of Dragoons in 1860 and reported for duty as a volunteer at Pensacola, Florida, in the Command of Gen­ eral Bragg.

Alabama soon appointed him Colonel of the Nine­

teenth Alabama Infantry and the appointment made Bragg furious, for Wheeler was promoted over the heads of older men of long experience in the Old Army.22 The young Colonel led his Infantry at Shiloh, and his quiet obedience, his seriousness, and his careful atten­ tion to administrative detail soon won for him Bragg's respect as well as a promotion and a Cavalry command*

Bragg knew that

his Cavalry needed discipline and a general tightening up, and he expected Wheeler to see that it was done at least in Chalmer's old brigade.

The unfortunate part of the situa­

tion lay in the fact that both Forrest and Morgan were senior to Wheeler, and Bragg soon virtually promised Forrest command • of the Cavalry.

When this new man appeared on the scene, the

complexion of events changed, and the change made trouble. By the end of July, Bragg had completed his plans. They called for Kirby Smith to cross the mountains and to

Additional material is found in Dyer, "Some Aspects of Cavalry Operations in the Army of Tennessee", in The Journal of South­ ern History, VIII, No. 2 (May, 1942), 210-225. Born at Augusta, Georgia, September 10, 1836, Wheeler was educated in Connecticut, appointed to West Point from New York, and served his military apprenticeship in New Mexico as a Lieutenant of dragoons. He had graduated from the academy thirteenth in his class. 22 Bragg to Secretary of War Benjamin,. Official Rec­ ords ... Armies. Series I, Vol. VI, 744-759.

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578

invest the Federals at Cumberland Gap from the North, while Bragg's own force was to advance into Tennessee via Sparta, thereby forcing Buell out of Tennessee.

The Confederate force

under Humphrey Marshall was to move into Kentucky from Western Virginia and operate on Buell's rear, while Van Dorn was ex­ pected to send a division to join Bragg. Buell was whistling to keep up his courage, for on July 28 he wrote Rosecrans that while swarms of Confederate Cavalry were embarassing him, there was no difficulty in keep­ ing the roads open -unless the enemy brought a considerable Infantry and Artillery force against him, and "That he cannot 23 conveniently do...". By the first of August, Buell learned otherwise.

On that date, Colonel Frank Armstrong and three

Cavalry regiments belonging to Sterling Price's army left Tupelo and struck the railroad bridges near Courtland, Alabama, and five days later, one of Buell's officers, General Robert L. McCook, was killed by irregular Cavalry.24

Two days later,

Captain Roddey with 250 men attacked and scattered a conva­ lescent train, and on August 22 Roddey captured a Federal wagon train near Trinity, Alabama— having first scattered the 25 mounted escort. Buell had been wrong.

It did not require Infantry

and Artillery to impede traffic seriously on the roads in his 23

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 2211 24Ibid., 820, 826, 839. 25Ibid♦, 841-842, 882-884.

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679

rear, and since he had tied himself rigidly to the roads, his entire campaign was faltering.

Feeling the pressure of a

dissatisfied administration, he was writing explanations reg­ ularly to Halleck.26

Bragg's efforts to drive Buell out of

Tennessee got under way on a grand scale when Morgan with about 900 men was sent on another raid toward Nashville. Morgan moved from Sparta and on August 12 captured Gallatin, Tennessee and several small garrisons in the area.

At Galla­

tin, he burned the wooden lining of an 800 foot railroad tun­ nel.27 As early as August 8, Buell was informed that Morgan was loose again, and for the next three days, he sent out frequent Cavalry reconnaissances toward Sparta to look for pQ the raiders. ° Euell's previous experiences led him to ex­ pect Forrest to erupt at any moment between Huntsville and Nashville.

To prepare for any contingency, on August 18,

Bueil placed all his Cavalry not already assigned under the command of Brigadier General Richard W. Johnson and ordered

860fficial Records ... Armies. Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 266. 27

'For details of the raid, see Duke, Morgan's Cavalry, 140-145, and Duke, "Morgan's Cavalry During the Bragg Invasion", in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, III, 26-28. See also, Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 851": ^Official Records ...» Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 293, 312-313, 316, 317.

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380

him to get Morgan.29

In addition to the Second Indiana Cav­

alry, the Fourth and Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, and the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Johnson was given Hazen's Infantry brig­ ade and a battery. On August 22, Johnson found and attacked Morgan at Gallatin and suffered a crushing and humiliating defeat in which he and 2u0 of his men were captured.

Six days later,

Bragg marched unhindered into Chattanooga, and by September 4 Morgan had joined the Confederate forces under Kirby Smith at Lexington, Kentucky.

Cavalry and maneuver were forcing Buell

out of Tennessee. While Morgan was busy, Colonel John Scott captured London, Kentucky on August 17 and on August 22 attacked and defeated parts of two regiments of Federal Cavalry and a battalion of Infantry near Richmond, Kentucky.

30

Meanwhile, Forrest was at Prestonville, Tennessee on August 17.

In writing to Forrest, Bragg said that as soon

as his own Cavalry came up, Forrest was to have command of all the Cavalry.

Until that time, he was asked to "cover our

front well with a view to the future".

He suggested that

Forrest throw his main body into the Sequatchie Valley to further disrupt communications. 29

This soon led to hard '

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 361-362. For full details of the encounter between Morgan and Johnson, see, Cist, The Army of the Cumberland, 46-47. 30

The facts on the disgraceful route of the Federal Cavalry are found in Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 1, 909. " 31Ibld.. Pt. 2, 787.

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681

feelings, for Forrest was the only Brigadier General of Cav­ alry, was experienced, and it was logical that he should have been given the chief command.

He was not, however, for Wheel­

er joined the main army at this time and was allowed to keep his own independent command leaving Forrest with the remain­ der.32 Wheeler, screening Bragg's advance, fought twenty skirmishes between August 27 and October 8 and did a magnifi­ cent job of keeping Buell in the dark.

There were no spec­

tacular charges or magnificent pitched battles, only steady scouting and efficient screening.

Buell was almost completely

uninformed of Bragg's location, and even after he found Bragg, he reported September 18 that "It is impossible to ascertain 33 with any certainty what Bragg's force is ...". Just prior to his move to Chattanooga, in June, Buell had a Cavalry force of over 3,000 men,34 and in less than four months, four regi­ ments of that force had been ruined in combat by the Confederate troopers*

33

Without efficient Cavalry, Buell had to

32For a good analysis of this relationship, see Dyer, "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler, 51-52. Wheeler's control over his own unit was apparently not strong at this time. See, Jones to Bragg, August 29, in Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 787. 330fflcial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 527. 34Ibid.. 5. 33The Sixth and Seventh Kentucky had been wrecked by Scott at Richmond, and later parts of the Third and Fourth Ohio were captured by Morgan near Lexington. Many of the other Federal units had lost heavily in that same period. See, ibid., Pt. 1. 909, 1146-1149.

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guess his adversary's location, strength, and intentions. On September 13, Bragg reached Glasgow and then took the Federal garrison of 4,000 at Munfordville, and on September 23, he shifted his force to Bardstown.

Having com­

pletely out-generailed Buell, Bragg unaccountably ruined his own campaign by dropping his advance and turning aside to install a Confederate governor for Kentucky. Buell, who had retreated by stages to Louisville, on September 29 was heavily reinforced, and he began to ad­ vance.

He had reorganized his Cavalry into two brigades under

General McCook and Colonel Zahm.®6

To bolster up the Cavalry

in the area, General Wright of the Department of the Ohio asked for Phil Sheridan to organize a new Federal Cavalry force, but the application was not approved--unfortunately for the Federals. Bragg's Cavalry force was also operating as two brig­ ades, under Forrest and Wheeler.^7 ing with Kirby Smith.

Morgan's Cavalry was serv­

On September 25, Bragg nearly ruined

his organization by a serious error.

With no explanation, he

^Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, 484• 1st Brig.— McCook: 2nd Ind., 1st Ky. (Col. Wolford), 4th Ky* (Col. Boyle), 1 bn. of 7th Pa. (Maj. Wynkoop). 2nd Brig.— Zahm: 3d Ohio (?), 4th Ohio (Maj. Rogers) 5th Ky. (7). Pt. 2

57Ibid.. Pt. 1, 824. Forrest's Brig.: 1st Ala. (Col. Allen), 2d Ga. (Col. Lawton) , 4th Tenn. (Col. Murray) , 3d Tenn. (?) , 4 cos. of J . F. Lay's reg't. Wheeler’s Brig: 3d Ga. (Col. Crawford), 1st Ky. (Col. Caldwell), 8th Tex. (Col. Wharton), Bennett's Bn.

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383

relieved Forrest of the command which the latter had built and sent him into Middle Tennessee to raise a new one.38 Although Bragg never stated his reasons for this act, they were probably two.

Forrest had reacted to Bragg's suggestion

that he move into the Sequatchie Valley by immediately moving into Buell's rear.

This was a piece of insubordination ex­

cused only by the success which attended the move.

In the

second place, when Bragg ruined his own campaign by turning aside to install a governor, Forrest was wild with rage and gave way to understandable but unwise and vehement remarks which undoubtedly got back to Bragg.

From that time on,

Bragg persisted in regarding Forrest as a mere partisan raid­ er, singularly effective, but still a partisan.

Forrest's

old command was turned over to Colonel Wharton who was an able regimental commander, but who was no Forrest. On October 8, the armies of Buell and Bragg clashed in the battle of Perryville. 67,000.

Buell had about 81,000 to Bragg's

In the battle, the Cavalry of both armies remained

rather passive.

Wheeler's command perched almost unmolested

on Bragg's left flank, and the Federal Cavalry displayed very little aggressiveness.

Bragg's handling of his army at this

stage earned for him the sobriquet of "the man with the iron heart, the iron hand, and the wooden head".39

Although the

880fficial Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 876-877. 'zg

See, Lytle, Bedford Forrest and His Critter Com­

pany, 113.

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£84

battle was a stalemate, Bragg decided to retreat to Bardstown, and his withdrawal was covered beautifully by Wheeler and Wharton although the two were scarcely on speaking terms* Wheeler felled trees across the roads to block the Federal ad­ vance and demonstrated a special talent for covering retreats. So pleased with Wheeler was Bragg that he wrote him a con­ gratulatory letter and on October 13 placed him in command of all the Cavalry with the Army.40 to materialize.

The Federal pursuit failed

Federal General A. J. Smith was furious and

offered “his kingdom for four regiments of Cavalry".4^

Bragg

continued his retreat unmolested through Harrodsburg into the Tennessee Valley. On October 30, William Starke Rosecrans, veteran of the West Virginia Campaign, First Bull Run, and the opera­ tions in Mississippi, replaced Buell in command of the Federal army, and a commission was appointed to investigate the hap­ less Buell*s ''dilatory1' efforts.

The committee reported that

the Confederate Cavalry raids against Buell's line of commun­ ications were so successful as to prevent Buell ever concentrating enough force to take Chattanooga.

A P

40

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt• 2, 940, 965. See also. DuBose. Gfeneral Joseph Wheeler and the Army of Tennessee, 101-102. The effect of this on Forrest can be imagined. 4^0ffieiai Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 633. For a description of the feeble Cavalry pursuit and the inefficiency of Wolford's regiment, see, ibid., Pt. 1, 1030-1036, 1137. 42Ibid., 9.

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585

On the first day of his command, Roseerans asked for Brigadier General Stanley to take charge of the Cavalry and 43 to improve its quality. The tall, slender Stanley was a gentlemanly soldier who was thirty-four years old.

A native

of Ohio, he had served in Texas, saving his command when Twiggs had surrendered, and he had played a prominent part in the battle of Wilson's Creek.

Not long after he joined Rose-

crans, he was made a Major General, and with his rank and his determination, he welded the Federal Cavalry into a rather respectable mounted force, but the effort required over six months.44

Roseerans was well aware of the need to combat the

Confederate mounted supremacy and anticipated the troubles to come, writing that, "Our great difficulties will come from their numerous Cavalry harassing us and cutting off forage 45 parties and trains". While Roseerans and Stanley worked to gain control of the situation, E. Kirby Smith retreated to Crab Orchard where he turned about and launched his Cavalry

43

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 655” 44Stanley was an unusually capable soldier, but he has received little attention. For information on him, see Stanley, Personal Memoirs of Major-General D. S. Stanley, U. S. A. This source is interesting and reasonably accurate, in part, but Stanley wrote very late in life and in a very bitter and sarcastic vein. For occasional items of informa­ tion, see, Gilmore, Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. 126; Fitch, Annals of the Army oi* the Cum­ berland , 199-264; Beatty, Memoirs of a Volunteer, 1861-1865, 176. 45 Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XX, Pt. 1, 44 .

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ft

586

against the Federals once again.46 Morgan circled Eastward and on October 18 thundered into Lexington, Kentucky— capturing the garrison.

From that

point he rode through Versailles, Lawrenceburg, Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Leitehfield, Morgantown to Hopkinsville, Ken­ tucky, and then retired via Springfield to Gallatin, Tennessee He had done considerable damage to the railroads in Federal hands and almost wrecked the Third and Fourth Ohio Cavalry A*i

regiments.

One effect of his raid was unlooked for.

Gov­

ernor Bobinson of Kentucky got Stanton's permission to raise two regiments of Mounted Infantry to help protect the state.

AO

In December, Morgan got Wheeler’s permission to raid Federal supplies accumulated at Hartsville, Tennesse, and on December 6 he left while Wheeler covered him by making a demon stration toward Nashville*

On December 9, Morgan fell on

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XVI, Pt. 2, 655. Smith had three brigades: 1st Brig., Brigadier General John Morgan: 2d Ky. (Col. Duke), 7th Ky. (Col. Gano) , 8th Ky. (Col. Cluke), 11th Ky. (Col. Chennault), 9th Ky. Bn. (Maj. Breckenridge), Annett1s Howitzer Battery. 2d Brig., Brigadier General John Pegram: 1st Tenn. (Col. Ashby), 3d Tenn. (Col. Starnes), Carter's Tenn. regt., 3d Confed. (Col. Howard), Huwald's Howitzer battery, White's Artillery Section. 3d Brig., Colonel John S. Scott: 1st Ga. (Col. Morrison), 1st La. (Maj. Nixon), 12th Tenn. Bn. (Maj. Adrian), 7th N. C. Bn. (Lt. Col. Folk), 16th Tenn. Bn. (Lt. Col. Ruck­ er), 4th Tenn. (Col. McKenzie), 16th Bn. Ga. Partisans (7), 3d Ky. (Lt. Col. Butler), Marshall's battery, Holmes' battery. 47Ibid.. Pt. 1, 1146-1149; Duke, Morgan's Cavalry., 204-206. 480fficial Records ... Armies.; Series III, Vol. II, 665. In this same period, Governor Blair of Michigan was organizing two more regiments of Mounted Infantry.

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087

Hartsville and captured General Ebenezer Dumont's Infantry brigade posted there to prevent Confederate Cavalry from cross­ ing the Cumberland R i v e r M o r g a n was fully confirming Rosecrans* fears, for this was one of Morgan's finest raids. Meanwhile, Forrest reappeared, this time with a new brigade, and Bragg sent him against Columbus in the raid which, with that made by Van Dorn against Holly Springs, hamstrung Grant's ‘SO

advance on Vicksburg.w

Supplementing the efforts of Forrest and Van Dorn, Morgan broke loose once again under Bragg's orders to strike Roseerans' rear.

At the height of his effectiveness, Morgan

had 4,000 well-tried men on the rare occasions when they were 51 all assembled. leaving behind all unserviceable men and horses, Morgan started on December 82, crossed the Cumberland and arrived two days later at Glasgow, brushing aside three Federal Cavalry battalions.

On the next day, he feinted toward

Munfordville, then marched through a driving rain and burned the Louisville and Nashville Railroad bridge over Bacon Creek. On December 27 at Elizabethtown, the raiders captured a Fed­ eral garrison of 600 men and spent the following day destroying a trestle eighty feet high and 500 feet long at Muldraugh and 49

Official Records ... Armies, Series I, Vol. XX, Pt. 1, 43, 44, 62-63. 50

See Chapter IX above.

^Morgan was, however, under some disfavor at Richmond for the free and easy way he appointed officers and handled administrative matters. His remissness in the latter was rem­ iniscent of Ashby.

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pss 588

the Cane Run bridge tw e n ty -e ig h t m iles from L o u is v ille .

In

a l l , Morgan destroyed 2,250 fe e t o f b rid g in g , three depots and w ater s ta tio n s ,; and many m iles o f tra c k .

CO

Avoiding large

pursuing fo rc e s , the ra id e rs returned to McMinnville s h o rtly a f t e r January 1 .

The Rebel War C lerk in Richmond on December

29 entered in his d ia r y , "Glorious Morgan".5® Bragg’ s idea o f c u ttin g Roseerans' supply lin e by using his abundant Cavalry was good, but i t was too l a t e , fo r Roseerans had alread y accumulated ample supplies.

As a r e ­

s u lt , by sending F o rre s t and Morgan on ra id s , Bragg weakened h is fo rc e , and Roseerans seized the opportunity to advance.5^ His advance was opposed by W heeler's f a i t h f u l , unspectacular, workhorse C avalry.

In la t e November and in December, Wheel­

e r 's command fought s te a d ily and co n stan tly.

Although h is men

and horses were extrem ely weary from such work, a t Bragg's requ est, Wheeler s ta rte d on December 30 in a ra id against Roseerans' r e a r .

He marched to Je ffe rs o n , w e ll behind Rose-

crans, to get a t h is wagon t r a in s .

He ran in to Starkw eather's

brigade and had to content h im self w ith burning twenty wagons, then bore to the l e f t and h it General McCook's e n tire wagon t r a in a t La Vergne and completely destroyed i t , takin g n e a rly

52These are the fig u re s c ite d in Duke, Morgan's Cav­ a l r y . 240. 53Jones, A Rebel War C le rk 's D iary . . . . I , 226. The Fed eral re a c tio n was less, e n th u s ia s tic . See, O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies. Series I I I , V o l. I I , 956. 54For a w ell-co nsid ered c ritiq u e of Bragg's use of h is Cavalry against Roseerans, see Dyer, "F ig h tin * Joe" Wheele r , 7 2 -73 .

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100 prisoners*

From th e re , he bore more to the l e f t , struck Rock Creek, doing some damage, and moved to N o le n s v ille , doing even g reater damage.

A fte r re s tin g a few hours, Wheeler and

h is men rode on, a r r iv in g on the Confederate l e f t fla n k on December 31, making th e e n tire c ir c u it o f Roseerans' army in fo r ty -e ig h t hours.

I t had been the most successful ra id

Wheeler had made, and the Rebel War C lerk went in to ecstasy over the e x p lo it. W hile Wheeler was absent, Bragg and Roseerans met in the v ic io u s b a ttle o f Murfreesborough.

Although i t was no

Federal v ic to r y , Bragg re tre a te d to S h e lb y v ille , ending the year in th a t th e a tre . The sole F ed eral Cavalry accomplishment in the region was made by B rig a d ie r General Samuel P. Carter who l e f t his rendezvous in Clay County, Kentucky w ith the Ninth Pennsyl­ vania and parts o f the Second Michigan and Seventh Ohio.

Cross

ing the Cumberland Mountains, C arter rode to B lo u n ts v ille , Tennessee where h is command destroyed a ra ilro a d bridge over 600 fe e t long.

A fte r s tr ik in g another bridge across the

Watauga R iv e r, C arter re tre a te d v ia Jo n esville to Richmond, Kentucky on January 9, 1863.

His command had tra v e lle d 470

m iles and had lo s t only ten men.56

Aside from making the Con­

fed erate a u th o ritie s somewhat uneasy, the ra id had l i t t l e

55Jones, A Rebel War C le rk 's Diary . . . . I , 229. 56See his re p o rt in O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XX, P t. 2 , 86-§2.

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390

e f f e c t , and C a rte r, despite th is c re d ita b le management, drop­ ped out o f s ig h t. The close o f the year i n the West l e f t the Confed­ e ra te Cavalry undisputably superior to the Federal mounted troops.

The Confederacy had produced b r i l l i a n t Cavalrymen

in Van Dorn, F o rre s t, Morgan, and Wheeler, w hile the Federals had been unable to come up w ith a sin gle f i r s t class Cavalry le a d e r.

Sheridan had only a b r ie f hour on mounted d uty, and

Stanley had appeared too la t e in the y e a r, as did C a rte r. Grierson had shown some promise, but Hatch, E l l i o t t , Lee, M izner, and Dickey had shown themselves, a t b es t, as only average, and t h e ir u n its had f a i l e d to meet Van Dorn's te s t . The Federals were by no means as num erically in f e r io r as they supposed, but la c k o f concentration o f the Cavalry by Grant and B u e il had made i t easy fo r Bragg and Van Dorn to impose upon them.

The p ara lyzin g ra id s sent out by the Con­

fed erate Army Commanders perhaps had deprived them o f d ir e c t Cavalry support in the b a ttle s o f Corinth and Murfreesborough, but the e ffe c t of the ra id s upon B u ell and Roseerans was im p o rta n t, and the t o t a l d e s tru c tio n was enormous.

K7

I t might

57

O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. X V I, P t. 1 , 1097. The Confederates claimed th a t the Cavalry of Bragg's army between August 27, 1862 and January 2 , 1863, in ­ f l ic t e d the fo llo w in g damage and captured the fo llo w in g mater­ ia l : A r t i l l e r y Muskets Wagons Mules K ille d Wounded 81 27,500 1,250 6,350 7,930 27,100 of which Morgan took in Kentucky in September and O ctober: 100 500 200 500 December: 2,500 50 250 100 400 and F o rre s t took in Western Tennessee in December: 4 2,000 50 250 300 700

Prisoners 25,903 2,000 2,000 1,500

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w e ll be claimed th a t these ra id s had been p rim a rily in s tru ­ mental in causing the removal o f B u e ll. A fte r a b r i l l i a n t s t a r t toward s h a tte rin g the Con­ fe d e ra te center and l e f t in the West in 1862, the Federal ad­ vance had ground to a h a lt,a n d the Confederate Cavalry had con­ trib u te d very h e a v ily toward stopping th a t advance.

I f the

Federals expected to crush the Confederacy in the West in 1863, short o f the tortuous process o f f o r t if y in g every inch o f supply l in e , they would have to develop a Cavalry capable o f d ealin g w ith the Southern tro o pers.

Even i f the estim ate is exaggerated, the Federal loss was very heavy, fo r the estim ate covers only a fo u r month per­ io d . No estim ate is given fo r the damage done by the Confed­ era te Cavalry during the o ther e ig h t months of the year. No s im ila r estim ate was prepared by Federal author­ itie s .

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CHAPTER XI CHANCELLORSVILLE AND AFTER1 On January 26, 1863, Joseph Hooker assumed command o f the Army of the Potomac.

In the eyes o f one o f his con­

tem poraries and subordinates, Carl Schurz, Hooker was a man w ith no firm moral force but was a good s o ld ie r and had the ta le n t to d isp lay h is achievement p u b lic ly in the most fa v o rable l i g h t .

p

Subsequent events proved th is evalu ation ra th e r

accu rate. Whatever the lim ita tio n s o f the f l o r i d , pleasant, but ra th e r b lu stery Major General who took up his Headquarters a t Falmouth in the e a rly spring, he did fin e things fo r the morale and o rg an izatio n of his army, and he, more than any other sin gle man, b u ilt a re a l Cavalry fo rce fo r the Army of the Potomac.

3

By the end o f January, th a t Cavalry force in ­

cluded over tw enty-four regiments and f iv e b a tte r ie s , in a l l ,

1Much reference w i l l be made in th is chapter to Bigelow, The Campaign of C h a n c e llo rs v ille which I regard as the f in e s t and most complete study o f a sin g le campaign in American m ilit a r y h is to ry . H e re a fte r, th is source is cited as Bigelow, The Campaign . . . . For other good accounts, see Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American C iv il War, 644697; Freeman, Lee’ s Lieutenants, A Study in Command, I I , 444714. ^Bancroft, ed. , Speeches, Correspondence and P o l i t i ­ c a l Papers o f Carl Schurz. 25.

3

See Chapter I I I above. 392

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13,580 present fo r duty f u l l y equipped, under the command of George Stoneman.4 The command was organized in to three d iv is io n s under Pleasanton, A v e r e ll, and Gregg, w h ile Buford commanded the Reserve B rig ad e.5

In February, Hooker u t il i z e d the force by

repeatedly sending i t out on reconnaissance and on an unsuc­ cessfu l s trik e against the Orange and Alexandria R ailroad bridge over the Rappahannock R iv e r.5 Lee’ s Army of Northern V ir g in ia confronted Hooker, as i t had Burnside, on the heights back o f Fredericksburg. Lee’ s lin e s o f supply were the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac R ailroad and the V ir g in ia C entral R a ilro a d .

A p a rt

o f h is fo rce under W. E. Jones confronted the Federals under M ilro y in the Shenandoah, w hile Imboden's Confederate force had i t s headquarters a t Staunton.

General Hampton’ s Cavalry

brigade was soon to leave the army to r e c r u it and remount. In e f f e c t , Lee had l e f t only W. H. F . (Rooney) Lee's and F it z Lee' s Cavalry brigades f o r mounted duty out of a t o t a l Cav­ a lr y strength o f 16,000 men.7 E a rly in February, a la rg e F ederal fo rc e , in clu d in g Burnside's old IX corps, l e f t Hooker and embarked on an oper­ a tio n against the Confederate coast, and Lee weakened him self 4

O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XXV, P t. 2, 15-28. 5I b i d . . 36. 6I b i d . a 45-46, 47-48, 49, 54-55. 7I b i d . . 602, 696.

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594

by sending o f f Hood’ s and P ic k e tt’ s d iv is io n s of Longstreet's corps to S u ffo lk .

Having diminished h is stren g th , Lee was

w o rrie d , fo r he needed to know ju s t how much o f Hooker’ s army Q was gone from h is f r o n t. The most obvious way to fin d out was to employ his Cavalry in a reconnaissance, and th is Lee d id . The Confederates enjoyed a considerable advantage over t h e ir r iv a ls in the area, fo r form erly i t had been c u ltiv a te d lan d; b u t, by 1863, i t was covered over w ith dense second growth threaded by innumerable paths w e ll known to the South­ erners.

The area was also populated w ith men, women, and

c h ild re n in te n s e ly lo y a l to the Confederacy who wasted no op­ p o rtu n ity to keep the Southern leaders informed o f the lo c a tio n o f every F ederal outpost.

9

In February, the F ederal fro n t was protected by the Rappahannock R iv e r which was very h ig h.

The ground la y under

a heavy snow, the roads being v i r t u a l l y impassable.

The Fed­

e r a l outposts covering the r ig h t and re a r were of e x tra stren g th , in c lu d in g an outer lin e o f Cavalry v id e tte s extending from West o f Dumfries to West o f Falmouth, w hile an inner In fa n try p ic k e t lin e of double stren gth a t some points ran p a r a lle l to and about f iv e m iles in sid e the Cavalry l i n e . In an attempt to fathom Hooker's stren g th , Lee on February 23 telegraphed F it z Lee, who was a t Culpepper Court

®Note h is an x ie ty in h is dispatches to S tu a rt in i b i d . , 624, 642. 9 See, Bigelow, The Campaign . . . , 60, on th is p o in t.

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595

House, to take h is brigade and pierce the Federal outpost lin e on the Falmouth R o a d .^ , the Skirmish a t Hartwood.11

The reconnaissance re s u lte d in F it z Lee w ith about 400 men se­

lec ted from h is F ir s t , Second, and Third V irg in ia moved on the morning o f February 24 and crossed the Rappahannock a t K e lly 's Ford, s tr ik in g the Cavalry lin e in the sector covered by Lieutenant Colonel Jones and the Third Pennsylvania Cav­ a lr y of A v e r e ll's D iv is io n .

A fte r smashing p a rt of the Third

Pennsylvania and Fourth New York, a German regiment which us­ u a lly ran away, in the v ic in it y of Hartwood Church and caus­ ing the Federals great an xiety fo r the safety o f Dumfries, F it z Lee slipped away w ith 150 prisoners and recrossed the 12 Rappahannock on February 20. Attempts by the Federals under Stoneman, Pleasanton, and A v e re ll to cut Lee o ff were comedies of e rro rs re ve alin g a m iserable la c k o f coordination and an in a b i l it y on the p art

^ O f f i c i a l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XXV, P t. 2 , 642. *^For a d e ta ile d account of the skirm ish, see, Bige­ low, The Campaign . . . . 59-74. Fitzhugh Lee, a nephew of R. E. Lee, was a V irg in ia n , had graduated from West Point in 1856, f o r t y - f i f t h in a class o f fo r ty -n in e . F it z Lee had served w ith the Second Cavalry in the West u n t i l he resigned to jo in the Confederate Cavalry in 1861. In 1862, a t the age of tw en ty-six , he was made a B rig a d ie r G eneral. For inform ation on him, see Cullum, Bio­ graphical R egister . . . . I I , 671-672; Evans, e d ., Confederate M ilit a r y H is to ry . I l l , 622-625; Freeman, R. E. Lee, A Bio­ graphy , I , 532-334; Von Borcke, Die Grosse R e ite rs c h la c t bei Brandy S tatio n am 9 J u n i, 1865, 34. 12

P t. 1 , 25.

O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XXV,

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J9Q

1 »X

o f the Federaxs to move promptly.

Even General Heintzeim an,

commander o f the D i s t r ic t o f Washington, sent out 2,000 Cav­ a lry under Colonel Wyndham towards C a t le t t 's S ta tio n to cut Lee o f f , but they were too l a t e . ^ F it z Lee and A v e re ll had been a t West Point to gether and were warm frie n d s , and A v e re ll was very i r r i t a t e d a t h is classmate's success a t Hartwood."^

Hooker was more annoyed

by the e n tire a f f a i r than was A v e r e ll.

F it z Lee's reconnais­

sance was apparently successful in showing th a t the masses o f Hooker's army were s t i l l in fro n t o f the Army of Northern V ir g in ia • As a re s u lt o f F it z Lee's r a id , Stoneman on February 88 re s p e c tfu lly pointed out th a t h is fo rce was expected to cover much too long a l in e , and l a t e r , the lin e was shorten-

^ 60.•16 S h o rtly a f t e r the Hartwood a f f a i r , Hooker v is ite d A v e r e ll, and during t h e i r t a l k , mentioned th a t he had not seen 13 See O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, S eries I , V o l. XXV, P t. 1 , 22 -24 , 25 and P t . 2 , loS-Io'SY Hooker had said th a t a Major General's commission "was s ta rin g someone in the face" i f Lee was captured, but the bribe produced no r e ­ s u lts . •^ I b i d . , 102. During the r id e , Wyndham, in a h u ff, resigned command, had the re s ig n a tio n revoked, and saw h is command worn out in a useless march over miserable roads. See i b i d . , P t. 1 , 38-40. ^ S e e , M .O .L .L .U .S ., Minnesota Commandery, Glimpses of the Nations S tru g g le , I I , 38 -44 . O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XXV, P t. 2 , 111.

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many dead cavalrymen ly in g about r e c e n tly .17

A fte r fu rth e r

discussion, he promised the incensed A v e re ll a chance f o r revenge * A v e re ll soon got his chance, fo r about March 14, Hooker ordered him to take 3,000 Cavalry and a tta c k F it z Lee's Cavalry in camp a t Culpeper and ro u t or destroy them#1® A v e re ll ordered his men to sharpen t h e ir sabres and to use them, and on March 16 he set out to cross the Rappahannock a t K e lly 's Ford.

The exp ed itio n le d to what has been c a lle d the

f i r s t purely Cavalry b a ttle of a la rg e scale East o f the M is- 19 s is s ip p i. A v e r e ll, however, made a serious e rro r before a tta c k in g , when he weakened h is fo rce by sending two regiments o ff to C a t le t t 's S ta tio n to 11observe" the enemy and p ro tect a n on -existen t supply lin e .^ ®

He sent ahead a p a rt of the

F if t h Regular and Fourth New York to seize the crossing a t K e lly ’ s Ford.

This was h is second e r r o r , fo r the Fourth New

17 Bigelow, The Campaign . . . . . 74, asserts th a t th is was not intended as a derogatory remark and th a t Hooker did not say, "Whoever saw a dead. Cavalryman", as is so o fte n asserted.

IS

I t seems to have been overlooked by most authors th a t in December, A v e re ll had proposed to Burnside th a t he be allowed to cross a t K e lly 's Ford on a s im ila r expedition# See, O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies. Series I , V o l. X X I, 895396. ' The te x t o f Hooker's order to A v e re ll has been lo s t , but i t s content is suggested in Hooker's dispatch to H a ile c k , i b i d . , V o l. XXV, P t. 2 , 139. See, a ls o , A v e r e ll's re p o rt, i b i d ... 47. 19 Bigelow, The Campaign . . . , 89. W illia m s , Lincoln Finds a G eneral. I I , 563.

PQ

See, A v e r e ll's re p o rt, O f f ic ia l Records . . . Armies, Series I , V o l. XXV, P t. 2 , 4 5 -46 .

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698

York had a re p u ta tio n f o r u n r e l ia b il i t y .

By 11:00 A. M.

on the 16 th , F it z Lee was aware th a t a larg e Federal force was approaching, and he gathered together h is fiv e V ir g in ia regim ents, a t o t a l o f 800 sabres, and prepared to oppose Aver­ e l l ' s seven regiments which included 2,200 men. Lee had posted about 130 sharpshooters, belonging to the Second and Fourth V ir g in ia , in a lig h t earthwork cover­ ed by a b a tis to defend K e lly 's Ford.

This force successfully

held up A v e r e ll's tim id van fo r an hour and a h a lf by intense carbine f i r e .

PI

Numerous attempts were made by the Federals

to charge across the one hundred yards of w ater, but success was n ot met u n t i l a f i n a l desperate rush by the F ir s t Rhode Islan d urged on by the heroic e ffo r ts of Major Chamberlain pp o f A v e r e ll's s t a f f . A fte r c le a rin g the abatis w ith axes, the Federals led by Colonel A lfre d D u ffie and his F ir s t Rhode Is la n d , charged ac ro ss .23

M cC lellan, The L ife . . . of S tu a rt . . . , 207-208 as­ se rts th a t twelve men a c tu a lly held the crossing. F it z Lee's re p o rt im p lies more. PP

4

For Chamberlain's in c re d ib le heroism, see Bigelow, The Campaign . . . , 92-94. Chamberlain, shot twice in the fa c e , in exasperation emptied h is revo lve r a t parts of the F ir s t Rhode Islan d which balked in i t s f i r s t attem pt. For a Con­ fe d e ra te eye-witness account o f the d i f f i c u l t crossing and of Chamberlain' s a c tio n s , see, D avis, "The Cavalry Combat a t K e lly 's Ford in 1863", in Journal of the United States Caval­ ry A s so cia tio n , XXV, No. 105 (January, 1915), 390-402. 23 D u ffie was a dashing French o f f ic e r , reputedly a graduate o f S aint Cyr, a veteran o f the Chasseurs d 'A friq u e and o f the Crimean War. Although a capable regim ental com­ mander, he was given to Napoleonic harangues in French-English. S te rn -lo o k in g , he resembled Louis Napoleon. See, G la zie r, Three Years in the Federal C avalry, 24; Owens, Sword and and Pen; ♦ . . , 121; New York Dalily Tribune, June 25, 1863. According to one o f the Confederates captured by the

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\s - . ,.. ^ 3 ), 218 - 255.

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Davis, George B. "The Cavalry Combat a t Brandy-Station, V a ., on June 9, 1863," in Journal of the United States Cavalry Association, XXV, No. l03CJuly, 1914), 190 - 198. •

"The Cavalry Combat a t K e lly 's Ford in 1863," in Journal of the United States Cavalry Association, XXV, No. 105(January, 1915), 390 - 402. Denison, George Taylo r. A H isto ry of Cavalry from the E a rlie s t Times w ith Lessons fo r the Future I London, 1913. Dodson, W illiam C. Campaigns of Wheeler and His Cavalry, 1862 - 1865. A tla n ta ,' 1599.----------------------- ------------------------------------DuBose, John Witherspoon. General Joseph Wheeler and the Army of Tennessee. New York, 1912. Dyer, John Percy. " F lg h tln ' Joe" Wheeler. U n iv e rs ity , 1941. '

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