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A Federal cavalry “detail” guarding a wagon-train, 1862 These troopers bending over their saddles in the cold autumn wind, as the wagon-train jolts along the Rappahannock bank, are one of the many “details” which dissipated the strength and impaired the efficiency of the cavalry as a distinct arm of the service during the first two years of the war. They carried revolvers, as well as their sabers and carbines, for they had to be ready for sudden attack, an ambush, a night rush, or the dash of the swift Southern raiders who helped provision the Confederate armies from Northern wagon-trains.

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