previous next

[57] cavalry horses, which were left behind in exchange for useless Dutch farm horses, was not compensated by any damage to the enemy. So, Morgan's celebrated raid across the Ohio proved disastrous to his command, without the possibility of any compensating damage to the enemy. Most of the raids undertaken by the Federal cavalry also proved disastrous to the commands engaged in them.

It is true that Stuart's raid around McClellan, when he was on the Chickahominy in 1862, resulted in obtaining valuable information for Gea. Lee, but it also served to convince McClellan of the necessity of a change of his base to James river, which for us was the most dangerous position for him to occupy. Some of Forrest's raids also, in the west, were attended with valuable results in the destruction of stores and the interruption of the enemy's lines of communication; but, as a general thing, the raids, unless when undertaken with a specific object, as for the purpose of obtaining information or the destruction f s ot of se depot of stores, or the cutting of a line of communication, ahd then with a force adequate to the purpose, were mere annoyances to the opposite side without serious damage, while the raiders came out badly worsted, at least in horse flesh; which latter was a very important consideration on our side. When undertaken merely for the purpose of harrying a particular section of country, they were too apt to degenerate into mere marauding parties, and almost always came to grief. These remarks apply equally to the partisan corps employed on our side. They annoyed without weakening the enemy, just as a spiteful insect may worry and enrage a huge bull, without doing him any serious hurt. Really they did a vast deal more damage to our own cause, by the demoralization caused in the army from a desire upon the part of many to share in the captures, which the partisan corps appropriated to their own use, which induced quite a number to desert their colors for the sake of plunder. I have been struck with the force of a remark contained in Gen. Sheridan's report of his operations in the Valley of Virginia in 1864, where,


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
H. B. McClellan (2)
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
Sheridan (1)
J. H. Morgan (1)
H. B. Lee (1)
Forrest (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (1)
1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: