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…

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…

Quartermasters Battling Regulations, Rivers and Ice

In my last post I examined Lt. Col. William LeDuc’s efforts to keep the XI Corps supplied with food, forage and ammunition in mid-December 1862.  With his teamsters struggling valiantly to keep their wagons and animals moving along the mud-choked roads through Fairfax and Prince William Counties, LeDuc sought an alternative avenue by which to…