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[116]

Federal cavalry leaving camp: the arm that dealt a final blow to the Confederacy. The well-filled bags before and behind each trooper indicate a long and hard trip in store. Both the Confederate and Federal cavalry distinguished themselves by their endurance on their arduous and brilliant raids. The amount of destruction accomplished by this arm of the service was well-nigh incalculable. Stuart, Mosby, Forrest on one side — Sheridan, Grierson, Kilpatrick on the other — each in turn upset the opponents' calculations and forced them to change their plans. It was Van Dorn's capture at Holly Springs that caused Grant's first failure against Vicksburg. It was not until after the surrender at Appomattox that Lee learned the final crushing blow — that the rations destined for his men had been captured by Sheridan. Up and down the Rappahannock the cavalry rode and scouted and fought by day and by night, sometimes saddled for sixty hours, often sleeping by regiments on the slowly moving columns of horses. It was Grierson who reported, after his ride from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge, that the Confederacy was but a hollow shell — all of its men were on the battle-line. It was Stuart who twice circled McClellan's army, on the Peninsula and in Maryland, and who caused Lincoln to recall the schoolboy game: “Three times round and out.”

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