“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…

“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…

Examination Boards

Officers in the Regular Army, especially veterans of the Mexican War, had “a regular’s contempt for ‘fancy volunteers.’”  Men like George McClellan denigrated untrained and undisciplined volunteer officers as the dregs of society, kicked out of “county courthouses, & low village bar rooms.”  Unyielding in his disdain, McClellan sought to double the number of officers…

Col. John Lemmon – A Colonel at War with his Men – Conclusion

The War Department order dismissing captains John Ordner, Henry Pratt, Wilkerson Paige and Layton Baldwin, along with lieutenants William Snyder, Aaron Bliss, Luther Barney, Henry Field, John Hart and Theodore Weed came down while the Cavalry Corps, including the 10th New York, was on the Stoneman Raid; the convicted officers did not learn of their…