Cavalry of the Civil War its evolution and influence
Theo. F. Rodenbough, Brigadier-General, United States Army (Retired)
It may surprise non-military readers to learn that the United States
, unprepared as it is for war, and unmilitary as are its people, has yet become a model for the most powerful armies of Europe
, at least in one respect.
The leading generals and teachers in the art and science of war now admit that our grand struggle of 1861-65 was rich in examples of the varied use of mounted troops in the field, which are worthy of imitation.
Lieutenant-General von Pelet
-Narbonne, in a lecture before the Royal
United Service Institution of Great Britain
, emphatically maintains that “in any case one must remember that, from the days of Napoleon
until the present time, in no single campaign has cavalry exercised so vast an influence over the operations as they did in this war, wherein, of a truth, the personality of the leaders has been very striking; such men as, in the South
, the God-inspired Stuart
, and later the redoubtable Fitzhugh Lee
, and on the Northern
For a long time after our Civil War, except as to its political or commercial bearing, that conflict attracted but little attention abroad.
A great German strategist was reported to have said that “the war between the States was largely an affair of armed mobs” --a report, by the way, unverified, but which doubtless had its effect upon military students.
In the meantime other wars came to pass in succession — Austro-Prussian (1866), Franco-German
(1870), Russo-Turkish (1877), and later the Boer War
and that between Russia