Remounts – The Life Blood of the Cavalry – Caught in Traffic

General Robert E. Lee began moving his army out of the lines near the Rappahannock River on June 3.  His counterpart, General Joseph Hooker, must have considered the necessity of moving his army shortly thereafter, though exactly when he did so remains a bit of a mystery.  Rather than going after Lee and bringing him…

A Medal of Honor at Waterloo Bridge

My wife and I spent a very pleasant afternoon recently at our favorite vineyard, Winding Road Cellars, on Leeds Manor Road in Markham. On the way home, as we passed through the historic hamlets of Hume and Orleans, we noticed multiple signs announcing the local effort to Save the Historic Waterloo Bridge. There was a time,…

a terrible hand-to-hand fight ensued

Maj. Gen. John Pope, commanding the Army of Virginia, certainly thought the gods of war were smiling on him as the sun broke over the horizon on the morning of August 30, 1862. Most of the intelligence Pope was receiving indicated the Army of Northern Virginia was retreating. Overly confident, Pope not only made little effort…

The Bravest of the Brave – Part 1

Wilson Vanatta (aka Vannatta) was born in Steubenville, Ohio, just across Ohio River from, what is today, West Virginia, and only ten miles from the Pennsylvania line. Vanatta enlisted in the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry on August 26, 1861. He was a farmer, 22 years of age, five feet, ten inches tall, with a fair complexion and brown eyes and…