|One of the earliest Confederate cavalry exploits A month before the first battle of Bull Run, the bridge at Berlin, Md., six miles below Harper's Ferry, was thoroughly destroyed in one of the first exploits of the Confederate cavalry. It was not yet organized. A few detached bands here and there — the Clarke company at the bridge over the Shenandoah River near Harper's Ferry, Ashby's company at the bridge over the Potomac River at the Point of Rocks, and Drake's company at the bridge at Brunswick — were operating along the first Confederate line of defense. But they had already begun to demonstrate their daring and effectiveness. This was the prelude to the bold rides of Stuart and Forrest, to the swift raids of Morgan and the terror-inspiring Mosby. It was acts like this that hampered the Union leaders, and detained an army between Washington and the Confederates. Not until the Union cavalry had learned to retaliate, and to meet and fight the exhausted Confederate horsemen on their own ground and in their own way, did the Union generals get complete possession of their infantry.|
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