Federal raids and expeditions in the East
Charles D. Rhodes, Captain, General Staff, United States Army
Cavalry operations known as raids, were a distinct product of the Civil War
, and although many other tactical and strategical lessons have since been deduced by European
experts from this great war, it was the raid which first excited comment abroad and created interest, as something new in the handling of mounted men.
As early as June, 1862, General “Jeb
had demonstrated to both armies the possibilities of independent operations by well-mounted cavalry boldly handled by a resourceful leader, when, with twelve hundred Confederate troopers, he rode entirely around the Federal
army on the Peninsula of Virginia
And again, in October of the same year, his raid into Pennsylvania
proved that good cavalry can move with impunity through a well-supplied hostile country.
This raid had the effect of causing consternation in the National
capital, and of drawing off many Federal troops for the protection of Washington
's successful raids caused some modification of the previous short-sighted policy of always attaching Union cavalry to infantry commands, and although until Sheridan
's time, the raids made by the Federal
cavalry in the East
were not remarkably successful and the time for their initiation not well chosen, the Federal
cavalry constantly increased in powers of mobility and independence of action.
Early in 1863, General Hooker
with the Cavalry Corps from the main operations of the Army of