|A spreading section of the Federal cavalry organization in 1864: At Belle Plain Landing on the Potomac lay a chief base of supplies for Grant's armies in the spring of 1864. On April 4th Sheridan had been given charge of all the cavalry. He had found the corps much run down and the horses in poor condition. In a month he had effected a decided change for the better in the condition and morale of his ten thousand men, and was begging to be allowed to use them as an independent corps to fight the Confederate cavalry. Though they had been relieved of much of the arduous picket duty that they formerly performed, they were still considered as auxiliaries, to protect the flanks and front of the infantry. On May 7th Grant's army advanced with a view to taking Spotsylvania Court House.|
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