The Cavelry During the Civil War

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About the Cavalry during the Civil War

The role of cavalry at the beginning of the Civil War was very limited. The horsemen from both armies were initially limited of patrolling, scouting, guarding supply trains, railroads, and providing escort to generals. The supply train were used for supply the troops in battle with ammo, food, water, and weapons during the time. The southern troopers were commanded by general J.E.B. Stuart had the grandest reputation of being the best horsemen, ready to ride in a raid at a moment notice or rush to the front to battle just as the tide was beginning to turn.

Soldiering on horseback was a hard life with plenty of danger. The cavalry military role was dramatically changed by 1863 and armies were making use of their horse soldiers in more combat situations. Cavalry divisions were utilized by commanders as advance scouts as a mobile fighting force. These strategies were culminated in the largest cavalry battle of the war fought on June 9, 1863 at Brandy station, Virginia. Brandy station was the opening clash of the Gettysburg Campaign.

Cavalry in the Battle of Gettysburg

The Union troopers of General John Buford's Division opened the battle of Gettysburg against the Confederate infantry of General Heth's Division on July 1st. The Cavalrymen were limited by their numbers and the moderate range carbine rifles they carried, but were able to defer then the Confederate skirmishers for a few hours until Union infantry arrived. From Gettysburg on, Cavalry would never be the same.
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