This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 proper compliment of horse artillery was attached, and two brigades of infantry were also present in support. Casualties at Beverly's Ford, 484 killed and wounded, not including captured or missing. More hard fighting occurred at Aldie and Middleburg (June 17th and 19th), one of the passes of the mountains which screened Lee's advance into Pennsylvania, the cavalry losing in these two actions 66 killed, 177 wounded, and 161 missing; total, 401. At Gettysburg, the Cavalry Corps was still under Pleasanton's command, with Buford, Gregg and Kilpatrick as division-generals, and numbered 11,000 sabres and 27 guns. Two brigades of horse artillery--Robertson's and Tidball's, 9 batteries — were attached to the corps previous to this campaign. Cavalry fought with cavalry at Gettysburg, the fighting occurring mostly on the extreme right of the Union line. Kilpatrick had a fight, also, on the left, in which General Farnsworth was killed. The casualties in the Cavalry Corps at Gettysburg amounted to 90 killed, 352 wounded, and 199 captured or missing;1 total, 641, the heaviest loss falling on Custer's Michigan Brigade. Buford's Division had the honor of opening this historic battle, his long skirmish-line of dismounted troopers holding the enemy at bay until the First Corps arrived on the field. The Cavalry made some brilliant charges during the course of this battle, in which sabre cuts were freely exchanged. Upon the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, in April, 1864, Major-General Philip H. Sheridan was placed in command of the Cavalry Corps. The three divisions were commanded by Generals Torbert, Gregg (D. M.), and Wilson, and contained 32 regiments of cavalry, numbering 12,424, “present for duty, equipped.” This does not include the cavalry--1812 in number — attached to the Ninth Corps; nor the horse artillery which acted in conjunction with the mounted troops. The campaign of 1864 was marked by the hardest fighting and greatest loss of life which had hitherto fallen to the lot of this arm of service. Most of the time it was cavalry fighting cavalry, in large numbers, by brigades and divisions. As the men fought dismounted and with carbines, the battles closely resembled infantry engagements, and being well supplied with horse artillery there was but little difference in the character of the fighting. Among the more important of these dismounted cavalry battles in Grant's campaign, might be mentioned Todd's Tavern, May 8; Hawes' Shop, May 28; Trevilian Station, June 11; St. Mary's Church, June 24; Dinwiddie Court House, March 31; Five Forks, April 1; and Appomattox, April 9, 1865. In August, 1864, Sheridan was promoted to the command of the Army of the Shenandoah, and took with him the First and Third Cavalry Divisions — Merritt's and Wilson's. General Torbert was assigned to the command of the cavalry forces in the Shenandoah, and his two divisions were reinforced by Duffie's and Averell's Cavalry Divisions of the Army of West Virginia. The cavalry fighting in the Shenandoah was a series of brilliant affairs, interspersed with skirmishes, which cost the corps a serious loss of life. Upon Sheridan's return to Petersburg he brought back with him Devin's and Custer's Divisions, which, added to Crooks' (formerly Gregg's) Division, restored — the organization to its original formation, General Merritt being in command of the three divisions. The corps started on the final campaign of 1865 with 37 regiments of cavalry, numbering 13,820 present for duty, or about 11,000 carbines available for action. During the last ten days of the campaign — from Five Forks to Appomattox — the corps took a prominent and meritorious part in the operations which culminated in the surrender of Lee's Army. The cavalry were a conspicuous and attractive feature of the Grand Review at Washington, after the close of the war. Soon after that event, most of the regiments were mustered out of service. Among the heavy losses of the cavalry the following casualties are worthy of note; they indicate clearly the hard fighting done by this arm of the service.
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.