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[54]

Just before Sheridan came, 1864: the eighteenth Pennsylvania cavalry. This photograph shows the Eighteenth Pennsylvania in winter-quarters near Brandy Station in March, 1864, a month before the most important event in the history of the Federal cavalry — the unifying of the cavalry branch under the aggressive Sheridan. After Kilpatrick's raid on Richmond, ending the 2d of March, these troopers rested in Camp until Sheridan left for his Richmond raid on May 9th. A month in Camp is a long time for cavalry, and here one has a good opportunity to see with what rapidity and ease a trooper had learned to make himself comfortable. Barrels have been placed upon the chimneys in order to increase their draft. Light enclosures of poles have been thrown up for the horses, and fodder has been stacked up on the hill. With stumps and cross-pieces the McClellan saddles are kept out of the wet and mud. The saddles were covered with rawhide instead of leather, and were more uncomfortable when they split than an ill-fitting shoe. The troopers themselves look fairly contented, and some of them are not so lean and angular as in the days of scouting and hard riding. There is plenty of work ahead of them, however, nearer Richmond, which will quickly enable them to rid themselves of any superfluous flesh.

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Philip Henry Sheridan (2)
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