Cavalry Raids Destroyed the Confederacy. How & Why Did That Happen?

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
This brings me to another topic that interests me, when these raids had infantry attached to them, did they pick the best and fastest marchers for the job? I remember the Stonewall brigade being called "foot cavalry." During the Napoleonic Wars I think they called they "light infantry." I imagine they had lighter weapons, lighter loads, and maybe better shoes for long walks, lol.
Wheeler's dismounted men were not attached to his cavalry during raids. I was not as clear as I should have been. The majority of Wheeler's men were wandering the countryside looking for mounts. This was often a euphemism for going AOWL. Cavalrymen would bring in almost anything on four legs to avoid being reassigned to the infantry.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
@Rhea Cole In your post #30 above you mention that Wheeler 's cavalry is armed only with pistols. I found that surprising but I know from nothin about western civil war stuff. Was Confederate cavalry in the West normally this poorly equipped, do you know?

John
I was a bit too cryptic, a chronic condition in this format. What I meant was that the melee was between pistol toting Confederates & saber wielding Cumberlanders. Both were armed with a carbine of some kind, but that is not a cavalry v cavalry melee weapon. I should have made that point better in the post.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
@Rhea Cole Like you I have seen that Zouave regiments were drilled to march and maneuver faster than regular regiments. However have you ever seen a source that remarks on it actually being done on a civil war battlefield?

I have searched for an instance of Zouaves doing this and never found one. Just curious to know if anyone else had.

John
I would like to see that, too. I believe it was a species of the doctrine of elan that slaughtered so many French soldiers in the fall of 1814.
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
That would have to be Longstreet's failure to recapture Suffolk, Virginia in April 1863, when Longstreet and part of his Corps was on detached assignment from the ANV. Aside from that, Longstreet's other successful objectives were to provide food and forage and to protect Richmond's flank.
Longstreet's missions were to remove his troops from the strained supply railroad system north of Petersburg, cover the collection of forage, cover the removal of some 20 miles of track from the Seaboard & Roanoke RR to use in maintaining Lee's supply line and to build the Piedmont RR (also part of that supply line), and, if possible without meaningful loss, recapture Suffolk. The last objective was minor and meaningless since no one expected to leave troops there to protect the town from recapture, if the Confederates took it. Longstreet's forces never had the strength to capture the town, as would be the case again in Knoxville, but he tried anyway.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
A writer would have to trace the size and efficacy of Confederate Cavalry after March 1863. At that time Farragut occupied the confluence of the Red and Mississippi Rivers and very little material crossed over from west to east thereafter.
These numbers were available by 1864, but the reality supporting the numbers was durable.
1600218934169.png


What had happened? Missouri was rapidly occupied as soon as the shooting started, 361K horses. Kentucky never seriously attempted to secede, 355K horses. Texas was cutoff from the rest of the Confederacy, 325K horses. Virginia was divided and some of the small towns east of the mountains were also occupied by the US, another 40,000 horses. Tennessee was mainly occupied by the US starting in December of 1862, and that occupation was complete by September 1863, 296K horses.
One would trace how US cavalry gained more freedom of action, fighting equivalency with the Confederate cavalry, and gained an almost unopposed advantage by April of 1865. The Confederacy, I suspect, simply ran out of mounts.

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atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
After our local boys shot Ulric Dahlgren out of his saddle the US cavalry came back with a vengeance on the county, they left one building standing at the courthouse village.
 

gjpratt

Corporal
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
@Rhea Cole I appreciate very much your getting back to me. I have become interested in the whole Minty's sabre brigade thing. I look forward to reading further on these fascinating, to me any way, events. The libraries here are closed, so I will be forced to restrain my enthusiasm for the present, ****!

Thanks, John

@Cavalier. Eric Wittenberg's new book on the Tullahoma Campaign has a very good and comprehensive discussion of Minty's saber brigade and its action around Shelbyville. Until I read this book, I only had very superficial knowledge of Minty and his brigade. I was so impressed by Minty I went out on the internet looking for more information on Minty and his brigade. What I found was both interesting and revealing. Eric's website has a long post on Minty post-War.........
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
@gjpratt As it happens I recently acquired that book and the first thing I did was search out Mr. Wittenberg's remarks on Minty and his saber brigade. I enjoyed it very much! Minty has become another favorite of mine. Not sure his wife would concur however. But I'm interested in his military virtues, not his love life.

John
 

gjpratt

Corporal
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
@gjpratt As it happens I recently acquired that book and the first thing I did was search out Mr. Wittenberg's remarks on Minty and his saber brigade. I enjoyed it very much! Minty has become another favorite of mine. Not sure his wife would concur however. But I'm interested in his military virtues, not his love life.

John
Which wife?

:biggrin:
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
@gjpratt That would be his first one. If I remember correctly his personal life seemed like a soap opera. I wasn't totally into his romantic affairs but your question had piqued my curiosity in that regard. I will check into that some more. Thanks!

John
 
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