The horses…had been taxed to the utmost of their strength – Part 2

[The importance of logistics – the movement of supplies or materiel – remains sadly under-appreciated. In my opinion, available studies paint in broad strokes, a wise decision as most readers/students do not care to get bogged down in excessive numbers. The books sell, the author is happy and the reader leaves with a basic sense…

Silent Sentinels

I am, temporarily, breaking the thread of the series on the Union cavalry in the Second Manassas Campaign, in order to offer a Memorial Day post, similar to last year. I will return to the cavalry in June. Just after Gen. John Buford’s August 1 fight at Brandy Station, a Northern correspondent spent a night…

The horses…had been taxed to the utmost of their strength – Part 1

In looking for a title for this series of posts, I selected words penned by Col. John Beardsley in mid-September 1862. Beardsley, commanding the cavalry brigade attached to Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel’s First Corps, Army of Virginia, prefaced his campaign report by stating, on August 10, “my cavalry was sent out to patrol the different…

“Reconnaissances by our cavalry…without cessation” Part 3

On August 3, General Pope told Halleck, with his usual healthy confidence, that he expected to take possession of Gordonsville and Charlottesville within ten days. Possibly looking for advice as to the best point at which to cross the Rapidan, Pope queried Banks regarding Barnett’s and Somerville Fords. “[Respecting] the character of Barnett’s ford on…

“Reconnaissances by our cavalry… without cessation” Part 2

On July 22, General Rufus King sent Lieut. Col. Judson Kilpatrick, with a mixed force of cavalry and infantry, including a detachment of the 14th Brooklyn, to investigate reports of a Southern force posted near Carmel Church, south of Fredericksburg. After skirmishing with the enemy for several hours on the 23rd, Kilpatrick destroyed the campsite…

George Custer Symposium Announced

I am proud to again be a part of our second George Custer Symposium.  This event will be held at and hosted by the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately the link in the announcement below will not work but you may go to the homepage of the museum and find an active…

“Reconnaissances by our cavalry…without cessation” Part 1

I do not usually offer an introduction to the stories I post on this site, but in this case, I feel an explanation is necessary. I seldom know when I start where each story will end. Rarely does the final version resemble in any sense what I set out to put on paper. Due to…

“Cavalry should …be…all ears and eyes, spurs and sabers.”

1st Massachusetts Cavalry Part 2 Thirty-three years after the uprising in the camp of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry at Readville, former officer and regimental historian, Benjamin Crowninshield believed, “the effects [of the mutiny] were never wholly eradicated from the regiment.” Indeed, a simmering tension rippled through the command as the men and officers seemed perpetually…

George Custer Symposium

Good friends Jim Hessler and Chris Army have organized a one day symposium in Gettysburg this August 3, titled George Armstrong Custer and the Indian Wars.  For $45 you get an in-depth tour of East Cavalry Field led by Jim and Chris, two of the very best Gettysburg Battlefield Guides, and three talks, one by…