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hich the former told his senior that he could whip Stuart if allowed to do so. General Grant determined to give Sheridan the opportunity that he sought, and on the very day of the interview Meade directed that the cavalry be immediately concentrated and that Sheridan proceed against the Confederate cavalry. On May 9th the expedition started with a column thirteen miles long. Stuart, however, was nothing loth to try conclusions with the Federal cavalry once more. He finally overtook it on May 11th at Yellow Tavern. The Confederate horse, depleted in numbers and equipment alike, was no longer its former brilliant self, and in this engagement the Confederacy lost James B. Gordon and Stuart, the leader without a peer. Farriers of the Federal cavalry. These photographs were made at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in August, 1863, the month following the battle of Gettysburg, where the cavalry had fully demonstrated its value as an essential and efficient branch of
in name. By the end of July, the Cavalry Corps had succeeded in almost annihilating the Confederate cavalry and had accomplished the destruction of millions of dollars' worth of property useful to the Confederate Government. In all the important movements of the Army of the Potomac, the cavalry had acted as a screen, and by its hostile demonstrations against the Southern flanks and rear, had more than once forced General Lee to detach much-needed troops from his hard-pressed front. On May 11th, at Yellow Tavern, Sheridan had fought an engagement which gave him complete control of the road to Richmond and resulted in the loss to the Confederates of Generals Stuart and James B. Gordon. Merritt's brigade first entered Yellow Tavern and secured possession of the turnpike. The other Union divisions being brought up, Custer with his own brigade, supported by Chapman's brigade of Wilson's division, made a mounted charge which was brilliantly executed, followed by a dash at the Souther