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[361] hundred. Even at Chancellorsville, when a large number had returned from horse details, they only numbered fifteen hundred.

Then the lack of arms and equipments placed the cavalry at great disadvantage. These men had to furnish their own saddles and bridles at the beginning of the war. The English roundtree saddle, pleasant and useful at home, soon made soreback horses, and the horrors and discomforts of a soreback horse cannot be described here. After a while the government provided a saddle that helped the soreback horse very much, but many an old cavalryman remembers to this day how sore he was made by these saddles. Had the Federals been compelled to use such, the pension rolls would be much larger to-day, from ‘injuries received in the service.’ The question of arms was even more serious. At first many companies were armed with shot guns, and some counties had supplied their volunteer companies with good pistols, but many regiments were without these, even. Some North Carolina regiments were armed with Enfield rifles. An old Confederate carbine or sabre, such as were first issued to the cavalry, would be a curiosity now. They were soon thrown away, for our men ‘borrowed’ their arms and equipments from the Federal troopers. They began this exercise early in the war, and pursued it industriously until nearly every company was well supplied. Along in 1864, Sheridan's people protested against this business, and it became more difficult to pursue it with success. But the work had been accomplished, and on many well fought fields these Southern men from South Carolina and North Carolina and Virginia, met the brave mounted infantry of Sheridan's command with arms and ammunition and saddles and bridles, and often horses, that were rich trophies of battle.

The student of history to-day is astonished to find so little bearing on the numerous splendid fights participated in by the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the observation applies with equal force to the operations of the commands under Forrest and Morgan and Wheeler further South. With the exception of McClellan's Life of Stuart and the Campaigns of General Forrest, by Jordan and Pryor, you will find nothing of importance in the Congressional Library at Washington, and the records of the War Department are meagre from the fact that no reports were made by the regimental and brigade commanders of many engagements, while the minor conflicts—of almost every-day occurrence—were only subjects for discussion around the camp-fires, and furnished material for letters to the soldier's family and friends. How many readers of

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Sheridan (2)
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