This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 at all; so that the Federals must have greatly outnumbered the Confederates. The losses sustained show the severity of the engagement. The Confederate loss was 530, and the Federal 936 killed and wounded. We have often heard the facetious infantryman inquire, as we filed through their camps, ‘Whoever saw a dead mule or a dead cavalryman?’ Had they been present that day their curiosity would have been fully satisfied. When war's alarm sounded, and the cry ‘to arms!’ was heard from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, these valorous knights, animated with a devotion as pure and sacred as ever nerved the heart or fired the breast of the true and tried, in the days of chivalry, turned from their peaceful pursuits, and, encouraged by the approving smiles of the fair women of the South, marshaled under the ensigns prepared by their own fair hands and presented with the injunction that living they were to defend it, or dying make it the winding sheet to enwrap them for Immortality. The history of the sacrifices of these noble spirits and their heroic struggles against superior numbers has not yet been written. It is imperative that each officer should in his turn write the history of his own command. Isolated—often by companies, regiments and brigades—they fought a thousand splendid engagements, the recital of the story of which would eclipse the deeds of Hernando Cortes, and the romance of which there is scarcely a record. Said a distinguished writer during the war, ‘How unfortunate it is that so many fine engagements of the cavalry are lost sight of in the great battles of infantry and artillery that follow.’ He was doubtless referring to the very fight we have described, or to the brilliant engagement of Fitz Lee at Todd's Tavern, where that daring and gallant commander, with Wickham's and Lomax's brigades, held back Sheridan's cavalry and a portion of the Fifth Army Corps a day and a night, until Longstreet could reach the scene of action and place his seared ranks in front of Grant's heavy colums. Ten thousand stories unchronicled on the historic page are told by comfortable hearthstones, or wherever comrades meet; stories of hardship and ever recurring dangers, where they fell—not by scores and hundreds it may be—but by twos and tens; on the outposts, in advance guards, in surprises, by the camp-fires as they slept—or
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.