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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 “JebStuart 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.

Stuart'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 detached Stoneman with the Cavalry Corps from the main operations of the Army of

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