Duties of a Pvt. In a Cavalry Unit

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Thanks, I was just going to ask about that. I could see potential for abuse if a man was allowed to go home for as long as it "took him" to find a new horse.

While searching for a new mount, could a trooper draw pay or rations from the government? Or did he have to support himself in addition to acquiring a horse?
Connolly, in Army of the Heartland & Autumn of Glory, documented the debilitating effect the lack of a remount system had on CSA cavalry in the Western Theater. At times, Wheeler’s command had ten dismounted men for every mounted one. The number of men who used the leave to search for a mount to just go home permanently was huge.
By contrast, the US remount system documented in the ten volume Photographic History of the Civil War, The Cavalry is an eye opener. The essays that accompany the photos were written by expert army officers. Thousands of horses moved through the enormous facilities. Not so much as a fragment of that vast organization existed in the CSA.

The Cavalry is available online.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Excellent points @Rhea Cole. The south also set up horse rehabilitation centers in the east in an attempt to systematically bring injured mounts back to health. It was poorly run and organized and many horses were placed in centers with sick horses causing wider spread of infectious disease. They finally got organized late in the war but it was too late to be effective. I also touched on the impact of those remount issues in my book. Thanks for bringing up Connolly- it was a common logistical issue that, in my opinion, significantly impacted the southern army and yet too little mention by historians.🤩
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Excellent points @Rhea Cole. The south also set up horse rehabilitation centers in the east in an attempt to systematically bring injured mounts back to health. It was poorly run and organized and many horses were placed in centers with sick horses causing wider spread of infectious disease. They finally got organized late in the war but it was too late to be effective. I also touched on the impact of those remount issues in my book. Thanks for bringing up Connolly- it was a common logistical issue that, in my opinion, significantly impacted the southern army and yet too little mention by historians.🤩
I always keep n mind that the 80 thousand men of the Army of the Cumberland were backed up by the 240,000 in the Department of the Cumberland.
 

Red Raider

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Location
Lost in Books
@jeffobryant

From Deeds of Valor (1901)

Incited by the loss of his horse Private Michael Sowers, of Company L, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, fought at Stony Creek Station, Va., December 1, 1864, with such fury and rage that he attracted general attention, and, being one of the first to storm the enemy's stronghold, became the hero of the day. "It was like this"; Private Sowers says in telling of the incident; "my regiment and the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry were marched down the public road to a distance of about 500 yards from the fort, which was built of mud and logs. Then we separated, the Sixteenth going to the right, we to the left, to make a simultaneous attack. We charged. All of a sudden my horse dropped forward on his knees to rise no more. That was the third horse killed under me within a short time, I was mad as a hornet and, resolving to make some rebels pay for this last loss, slipped off the back of the gallant little animal, took my Spencer and, running ahead of the encircling cavalry, made for the fort. Of course, I had no right to do that; but I was enraged and had but one object in view, to get even with those infernal Johnnies who were killing my horses. A lot of grape and canister came my way, but not close enough to injure me, so on I went right into the fort. I do not claim that I was the first one to enter upon rebel ground I was too excited to look about me. I do know, however, that I was one of the first, and that as soon as I was inside of the fort I emptied my gun into the rebels with telling effect. The Sixteenth Pennsylvania stormed the fort from the other side, and together we made ourselves masters of the rebel stronghold."

Private Sowers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Stoney Creek Station. His picture is my avatar.
 

Mark Neuman

Cadet
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
I always keep n mind that the 80 thousand men of the Army of the Cumberland were backed up by the 240,000 in the Department of the Cumberland.
In the last year of the war, some have attributed the Union cavalry's fire. power, from their repeating carbines, as one of the main reasons for why the North won. The Southern cavalry could not compete. Of course, by this time, the Union cavalry mostly served in the traditional dragoon fashion; i.e., as mounted infantry, who dismounted to fight, with every third man holding the horses' reins, so they wouldn't run away.
The South did have some dismounted cavalry units, which fought as infantry, but I don't know if they still carried the same firearms that may have been originally issued to them.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Southern cavalry rarely fought dismounted in the early years of the war, because they could generally drive their opponents from the field without leaving the saddle. If a CSA cavalry trooper lost his horse, he was given leave to find another. But the term of that leave was limited. If he could not find a mount in that term, he was relegated to the infantry. However, as Federal cavalry became more expert at fighting on horseback the advantage of mounted combat for the South decreased, and the Confederate horsemen fought more and more on foot. By June 1863 (Brandy Station) the two forces could be considered equal in their combat potential.

At the time, Alfred Pleasonton commanded the Federal cavalry attached to the Army of the Potomac. It was Pleasonton's cavalry that had surprised Stuart's men at Brandy Station, where troops were massing to screen Lee's Army as it headed north into Pennsylvania. The somewhat confused and indecisive character of the encounters at Aldie, Goose Creek, Middleburg, and Upperville helps to define the constant nature of cavalry warfare outside the largest battles (June 19 - 21). On 21 June (the longest day of the year), Federal cavalry, buoyed by their recent success, made a more determined effort to pierce Stuart's cavalry screen. Stuart's rear guard established artillery positions on the western ridge overlooking Goose Creek to cut off the Federal cavalry. After furious mounted fighting, Stuart withdrew his cavalry corps to take a strong defensive position in Ashby Gap, an important mountain pass. After a few short hours, Federal infantry was able to rush the western ridge and repel the Confederate artillery with support from the cavalry units crossing the bridge. The firing sputtered out with nothing gained. The following day the Federals withdrew east of Middleburg. As the cavalry skirmishing in the gap diminished, the Army of Northern Virginia safely crossed the Potomac into Maryland and headed toward Pennsylvania.

This series of sharp actions that ended at Upperville, sandwiched between the massive cavalry action at Brandy Station and the magnitude of Gettysburg, were significant at the time, but are now generally overlooked by historians. Stuart's men had fought and disengaged at Aldie and Middleburg, refusing to be drawn into a pitched battle. When considered together, the battles around Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville represent some of the largest and costliest cavalry actions of the Civil War. These vicious battles cost Stuart roughly 600 casualties and Pleasonton around 900. By comparison this 1,500 casualties equates to roughly the same losses as suffered at Brandy Station (1,403 combined casualties), which is considered the largest mounted battle of the war.

Yet Blue and Grey troopers clashed almost daily in much smaller affairs typical of mounted service, occasionally killing or wounding a man or horse. Such duty was tedious, nerve-wracking, and very hard on both men and horses. Cavalrymen faced this form of small war, or petite guerre, more often than their comrades in the infantry or artillery. Hours spent sitting picket duty on a horse in the dark, on a lonely road waiting to be attacked by a lurking enemy, fell far short of the gallant cavalry charges portrayed in the schoolbooks and romantic novels of the next century.

A cavalry officer attempted to explain to those unfamiliar with cavalry mounts the hardships suffered during cavalry service. “You have no idea of their suffering [the horses]. An officer of cavalry needs to be more horse-doctor than soldier … You are a slave to your horses, you work like a dog yourself, and you exact the most extreme care from your sergeants, and you see diseases creeping on you day by day and your horses breaking down under your eyes, and you have two resources, one to send them to the reserve camps at the rear and so strip yourself of your command, and the other to force them on until they drop and then run for luck that you will be able to steal horses to remount your men … We swipe the first horse we come to and put the dismounted man on his back.”

After Second Manassas, Generals Bayard and Buford reported that there were not five horses to the company that could be forced into a trot. (Gen.) David Gregg later noted: “With some exceptions, whatever care was given the horses, was at such times as best suited the convenience of the individual trooper, and as the horses generally stood in mud to their knees, unless their masters were prompted by exceptionally humane feelings, the intervals between feedings and watering were distressingly long. In many of the regiments … their condition was the worst possible.”[ii] At one point in this campaign, the horses of the 1st Rhode Island "were not unsaddled for one hundred and four hours; were without food for sixty-four hours; and without water thirty-seven hours." In the winter of 1862-3, with a wide rivers separating the armies and the roads two feet deep in mud, slush and water, the horses of the 1st Massachusetts, then on picket duty, remained saddled for fifteen consecutive days and nights and died by dozens of exposure and starvation.

These actions introduced new dimensions to the use of cavalry in warfare that were plain to those who were participants. Among these were the value of combined arms operations, the concept of a covering force, and the use of dismounted cavalry. Certainly these tactics had been included in the cavalry manuals of the day, but up to this point they had not been prominent among those chosen for use by cut and slash cavalry commanders.
[From my own book - don't get bent.]




https://civilwartalk.com/#_ednref1 Krepps, 34.
[ii] David M. Gregg, B&L.
Is it a fact that the Union cavalry obtained most of their mounts from Kentucky ,the state that was noted for horse breeding, or were these horses just for the officers ? Is it a fact that near the end of the war the mounts for the Confederate cavalry were not the same quality as they were at the start, underfeed and just road so hard that they cold not match the Union cavalry mounts.? Did the Union cavalry "borrow" horses from the breeders in the South and therefore the Confederate cavalry did not have the horses to replace their mounts as the war degreased for the South.? Prior to the war which cavalry officers on both sides gained experience from their duties out West ? Were Confederate cavalry POWs sent out West as a option to POW camps, or is that just the movies?
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Southern cavalry rarely fought dismounted in the early years of the war, because they could generally drive their opponents from the field without leaving the saddle. If a CSA cavalry trooper lost his horse, he was given leave to find another. But the term of that leave was limited. If he could not find a mount in that term, he was relegated to the infantry. However, as Federal cavalry became more expert at fighting on horseback the advantage of mounted combat for the South decreased, and the Confederate horsemen fought more and more on foot. By June 1863 (Brandy Station) the two forces could be considered equal in their combat potential.

At the time, Alfred Pleasonton commanded the Federal cavalry attached to the Army of the Potomac. It was Pleasonton's cavalry that had surprised Stuart's men at Brandy Station, where troops were massing to screen Lee's Army as it headed north into Pennsylvania. The somewhat confused and indecisive character of the encounters at Aldie, Goose Creek, Middleburg, and Upperville helps to define the constant nature of cavalry warfare outside the largest battles (June 19 - 21). On 21 June (the longest day of the year), Federal cavalry, buoyed by their recent success, made a more determined effort to pierce Stuart's cavalry screen. Stuart's rear guard established artillery positions on the western ridge overlooking Goose Creek to cut off the Federal cavalry. After furious mounted fighting, Stuart withdrew his cavalry corps to take a strong defensive position in Ashby Gap, an important mountain pass. After a few short hours, Federal infantry was able to rush the western ridge and repel the Confederate artillery with support from the cavalry units crossing the bridge. The firing sputtered out with nothing gained. The following day the Federals withdrew east of Middleburg. As the cavalry skirmishing in the gap diminished, the Army of Northern Virginia safely crossed the Potomac into Maryland and headed toward Pennsylvania.

This series of sharp actions that ended at Upperville, sandwiched between the massive cavalry action at Brandy Station and the magnitude of Gettysburg, were significant at the time, but are now generally overlooked by historians. Stuart's men had fought and disengaged at Aldie and Middleburg, refusing to be drawn into a pitched battle. When considered together, the battles around Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville represent some of the largest and costliest cavalry actions of the Civil War. These vicious battles cost Stuart roughly 600 casualties and Pleasonton around 900. By comparison this 1,500 casualties equates to roughly the same losses as suffered at Brandy Station (1,403 combined casualties), which is considered the largest mounted battle of the war.

Yet Blue and Grey troopers clashed almost daily in much smaller affairs typical of mounted service, occasionally killing or wounding a man or horse. Such duty was tedious, nerve-wracking, and very hard on both men and horses. Cavalrymen faced this form of small war, or petite guerre, more often than their comrades in the infantry or artillery. Hours spent sitting picket duty on a horse in the dark, on a lonely road waiting to be attacked by a lurking enemy, fell far short of the gallant cavalry charges portrayed in the schoolbooks and romantic novels of the next century.

A cavalry officer attempted to explain to those unfamiliar with cavalry mounts the hardships suffered during cavalry service. “You have no idea of their suffering [the horses]. An officer of cavalry needs to be more horse-doctor than soldier … You are a slave to your horses, you work like a dog yourself, and you exact the most extreme care from your sergeants, and you see diseases creeping on you day by day and your horses breaking down under your eyes, and you have two resources, one to send them to the reserve camps at the rear and so strip yourself of your command, and the other to force them on until they drop and then run for luck that you will be able to steal horses to remount your men … We swipe the first horse we come to and put the dismounted man on his back.”

After Second Manassas, Generals Bayard and Buford reported that there were not five horses to the company that could be forced into a trot. (Gen.) David Gregg later noted: “With some exceptions, whatever care was given the horses, was at such times as best suited the convenience of the individual trooper, and as the horses generally stood in mud to their knees, unless their masters were prompted by exceptionally humane feelings, the intervals between feedings and watering were distressingly long. In many of the regiments … their condition was the worst possible.”[ii] At one point in this campaign, the horses of the 1st Rhode Island "were not unsaddled for one hundred and four hours; were without food for sixty-four hours; and without water thirty-seven hours." In the winter of 1862-3, with a wide rivers separating the armies and the roads two feet deep in mud, slush and water, the horses of the 1st Massachusetts, then on picket duty, remained saddled for fifteen consecutive days and nights and died by dozens of exposure and starvation.

These actions introduced new dimensions to the use of cavalry in warfare that were plain to those who were participants. Among these were the value of combined arms operations, the concept of a covering force, and the use of dismounted cavalry. Certainly these tactics had been included in the cavalry manuals of the day, but up to this point they had not been prominent among those chosen for use by cut and slash cavalry commanders.
[From my own book - don't get bent.]




https://civilwartalk.com/#_ednref1 Krepps, 34.
[ii] David M. Gregg, B&L.
As to your statement on Southern cavalry rarely dismounted, was Nathan B. Forrest one of the commanders who used his cavalry in both mounted or as infantry as the situation required.? I have not read of any other commander of cavalry who would do this Union or Confederate.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
PA
Thanks, I was just going to ask about that. I could see potential for abuse if a man was allowed to go home for as long as it "took him" to find a new horse.

While searching for a new mount, could a trooper draw pay or rations from the government? Or did he have to support himself in addition to acquiring a horse?
My understanding is that he was treated as any other soldier on leave.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
PA
Is it a fact that the Union cavalry obtained most of their mounts from Kentucky ,the state that was noted for horse breeding, or were these horses just for the officers ? Is it a fact that near the end of the war the mounts for the Confederate cavalry were not the same quality as they were at the start, underfeed and just road so hard that they cold not match the Union cavalry mounts.? Did the Union cavalry "borrow" horses from the breeders in the South and therefore the Confederate cavalry did not have the horses to replace their mounts as the war degreased for the South.? Prior to the war which cavalry officers on both sides gained experience from their duties out West ? Were Confederate cavalry POWs sent out West as a option to POW camps, or is that just the movies?
I have not seen any sources for the majority of horse coming from Kentucky.
In July 1863, the Cavalry Bureau was reorganized to systematize and regulate the purchase and supply of horses to the Federal cavalry. The Secretary of War directed the bureau's new chief, Major Gen. George Stoneman, to establish six cavalry depots including one near Washington. Stoneman selected Young's farm at Giesboro Point (MD) as the most suitable site due to its flat terrain and easy access to river transportation. The army quickly built wharves along the property's Potomac shoreline, 32 stables, buildings, and other necessary infrastructure. The South had no parallel facilities for remounts or horse care. In fact, no comparable cavalry depot in the world matched the scale of Giesboro. The Depot was designed to hold up to 30,000 horses, although the largest number present at any one time was about 21,000. The installation's veterinary hospital had stalls for treating 2,500 invalid horses. The unprecedented concentration of horses did contribute to communicable equine disease outbreaks, however, and more than 17,000 horses were lost to disease between January 1864 and April 1865.
 
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nc native

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Location
NC Piedmont
I reviewed a few more roster cards for members of the 4th NC Cavalry and saw where one private was reimbursed for a horse that was killed in action. His horse must have been a nice one, he received $ 800.00 for it. Was this a common practice?
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
PA
As to your statement on Southern cavalry rarely dismounted, was Nathan B. Forrest one of the commanders who used his cavalry in both mounted or as infantry as the situation required.? I have not read of any other commander of cavalry who would do this Union or Confederate.
Forrest deployed his forces as if they were a legion -- mounted, dismounted, and horse artillery -- a format used in the AmRev. The treatise New American Tactics (by John Watts De Peyster, a brigadier general of the NY State Militia at the onset of the Civil War) was a series of articles published during the war in The Army and Navy Journal that advocated making the dismounted skirmish line the new line of battle, which was considered revolutionary at the time. Such tactics were put into practice by generals including John Buford at Gettysburg, Thomas Rosser at Aldie, Custer at Hunterstown, both Custer and Hampton at Trevelian Station, and they were later adopted world wide. Much of the cavalry fighting at Gettysburg was dismounted -- especially the 5th Michigan of Custer's command and the troopers under Buford who began the battle. {Custer’s Civil War Cavalry: Forged by Fire, United By Will}
The largest "all cavalry" battle of the war was Trevelian Station, yet most of the combats were dismounted. Hampton had on hand about 4700 cavalry and several batteries of horse artillery with which to oppose the Federals. Wade Hampton had begun his career at Bull Run (1861) as the commander of his own legion. The Hampton Legion had 1000 armed and uniformed men arranged in ten companies of infantry, one of mounted scouts, five of cavalry, and a six-gun battery of artillery. The command of the CSA cavalry corps devolved upon Hampton (with the death of Sturat) during the flagging days of inevitable defeat, but he never lost an encounter while in command. {To Bend the Bow of Ulysses: Wade Hampton’s Southern Cavalry}
In 1864, Hampton managed to cut Sheridan's line-of-march and reach the area of Trevelian Station on June 10, one day before Sheridan. In his first exercise of anything like true corps command, Hampton inflicted a crushing defeat on the Federal cavalry leader. With the benefit of the protection afforded by a railroad embankment, he had dismounted Butler's entire brigade and placed them in an advantageous position. A large proportion of Butler's men were armed with accurate, long range Enfield Rifles instead of the common cavalry carbines. Although the Federals were carrying repeating arms, they were at a distinct disadvantage against entrenched troops. Hampton came close to losing his baggage train and horses to General Custer's men on June 11. Hampton's dismounted cavalry and General Rosser's mounted Laurel Brigade then surrounded and almost bagged Custer himself.
While Brandy Station had involved more mounted troops (people actually on horseback), the Battle at Trevelian Station involved only cavalry and has been described as the civil war's greatest and bloodiest all cavalry battle and the most decisive cavalry fight that ever occurred on this continent. It should be noted, however, that most of the cavalry involved, Northern and Southern, was dismounted and that the horse artillery was also present.
 
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Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Forrest deployed his forces as if they were a legion -- mounted, dismounted, and horse artillery -- a format used in the AmRev. The treatise New American Tactics (by John Watts De Peyster, a brigadier general of the NY State Militia at the onset of the Civil War) was a series of articles published during the war in The Army and Navy Journal that advocated making the dismounted skirmish line the new line of battle, which was considered revolutionary at the time. Such tactics were put into practice by generals including John Buford at Gettysburg, Thomas Rosser at Aldie, Custer at Hunterstown, both Custer and Hampton at Trevelian Station, and they were later adopted world wide. Much of the cavalry fighting at Gettysburg was dismounted -- especially the 5th Michigan of Custer's command and the troopers under Buford who began the battle. {Custer’s Civil War Cavalry: Forged by Fire, United By Will}
The largest "all cavalry" battle of the war was Trevelian Station, yet most of the combats were dismounted. Hampton had on hand about 4700 cavalry and several batteries of horse artillery with which to oppose the Federals. Wade Hampton had begun his career at Bull Run (1861) as the commander of his own legion. The Hampton Legion had 1000 armed and uniformed men arranged in ten companies of infantry, one of mounted scouts, five of cavalry, and a six-gun battery of artillery. The command of the CSA cavalry corps devolved upon Hampton (with the death of Sturat) during the flagging days of inevitable defeat, but he never lost an encounter while in command. {To Bend the Bow of Ulysses: Wade Hampton’s Southern Cavalry}
In 1864, Hampton managed to cut Sheridan's line-of-march and reach the area of Trevelian Station on June 10, one day before Sheridan. In his first exercise of anything like true corps command, Hampton inflicted a crushing defeat on the Federal cavalry leader. With the benefit of the protection afforded by a railroad embankment, he had dismounted Butler's entire brigade and placed them in an advantageous position. A large proportion of Butler's men were armed with accurate, long range Enfield Rifles instead of the common cavalry carbines. Although the Federals were carrying repeating arms, they were at a distinct disadvantage against entrenched troops. Hampton came close to losing his baggage train and horses to General Custer's men on June 11. Hampton's dismounted cavalry and General Rosser's mounted Laurel Brigade then surrounded and almost bagged Custer himself.
While Brandy Station had involved more mounted troops (people actually on horseback), the Battle at Trevelian Station involved only cavalry and has been described as the civil war's greatest and bloodiest all cavalry battle and the most decisive cavalry fight that ever occurred on this continent. It should be noted, however, that most of the cavalry involved, Northern and Southern, was dismounted and that the horse artillery was also present.
EXCELLENT! I would like to add that Hampton was not trained in military affairs yet in my opinion he was as or more capable than Stuart. Yet Stuarts persona propelled him to the upper echelon in CW generals. By the time Hampton took command of the CS cavalry they were a fraction of the one that started in 1861.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
PA
I am a big fan of Wade Hampton and consider him to be one of the most underrated officers of the war. He was always in the shadow of JEB Stuart, but also always the second in command of the Cavalry Corps.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
As to your statement on Southern cavalry rarely dismounted, was Nathan B. Forrest one of the commanders who used his cavalry in both mounted or as infantry as the situation required.?
Here are some quotes from Action Reports from the OR's for the Battle of Collierville, 11 Oct 1863. I struggle to determine if the use of the work "charge" refers to a mounted or a dismounted attack. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish.
This was a rather small battle with small unit action. The size of the Confederate attacking force was 2,500 to 3,000 cavalrymen. These are quotes from Confederate regimental commanders describing different events or by different commanders.


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“It is but simple justice to the men and officers of the Third Mississippi to state that there was not a moment delayed in dismounting, nor a gun fired except a few shots from the right company, by whose immediate flank Colonel Hovis was repulsed, until they had advanced in splendid order 150 yards, which brought them under the heavy fire of the enemy to within 200 yards of their position, where the command “commence firing” was given, and executed with such coolness and accuracy as the enemy could not longer withstand. A few more volleys, at a slow but steady advance, and the charge was given, which utterly routed the enemy, fleeing for their very lives through woods and camp in every possible direction, when the rout was completed, and five stand of colors then in our possession attested the fact, the men having double-quicked for nearly a mile in pursuit.

I dispatched to Colonel McGuirk for cavalry, but from some cause it did not reach him in time, and none could be had until the horse-holders were ordered to lead to the front, a distance of about a mile, when the command was
mounted, moved forward, scouring the woods to Wolf River Bottom, but without any further success, the enemy, as I was afterward led to believe, having turned off to the left and west of town, seeking refuge in their fortifications.”[ Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page ?]

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{Edited}
This OR was written by the commander of the Union 7th Illinois Cavalry.

“Preceding the attack there had been skirmishing on the infantry pickets south of the station for an hour, of which we had received no intimation. We were accidentally informed of the approach of the enemy, when disposition was immediately made to receive him with our camp force of about 200 men, consisting of men off duty on account of sickness, detail, being dismounted, unarmed, &c. Our line was scarcely formed when the pickets from the east were hastily driven in, and immediately the enemy was attacking. We received his attack(Confederate Cavalry) with a line of dismounted men, which gallantly repulsing him, was itself repulsed in turn by his reserves, and after a few minutes further contest, and receiving an attack from formations on both flanks of our position, against which we had no reserve to use, we found ourselves compelled to retire from under a cross-fire, becoming intolerable, and rendering further contest on the ground hopeless. We accordingly withdrew, skirmishing through the camp toward the Wolf {River}, sacrificing it in the belief that the preservation of the command had become a duty paramount to all others. A portion of the enemy pursued us to the river, picking up disabled and dismounted men who had been unable to regain their horses, and a portion remained to fire and pillage the camp, which they did in fine style.” [Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 1, page 88]

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Colonel McCulloch reported his actions as follows:

“On the morning of the, 11th the regiment moved with the rest of the cavalry to Collierville. My command was ordered to form upon the left, fronting the railroad, sending out pickets and scouting parties upon the left flank.

At 11 a.m. an order was received from Lieutenant-Colonel Duckworth, commanding detachment of which my regiment was part of, to move forward and attack the right wing of the enemy. On account of the many and different details made from the regiment it had, when dismounted and formed in line, but 65 effective men; yet, according to orders, they moved forward at the double-quick to the position assigned them, and engaged the Thirteenth Regulars, U. S. Infantry, 580 strong, drawn up in three parallel lines of skirmishers. Pressing forward, they drove the enemy from the timber to a nursery on an elevated position, where the action was severely contested, the enemy being supported by the Sixty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. The order to charge was given, and with a yell they rushed forward under a heavy fire from the enemy and a raking fire from the fortifications, drove them from their position across the railroad to the depot, assisting in the capture of the train of cars, and then fell back in good order, bringing off our dead and wounded, notwithstanding the ambulances belonging to the regiment had been pressed by other officers for the use of their own commands."

Col. Duckworth’s report fills in a few facts omitted from Col. McCulloch’s report.

“I then ordered Colonel McCulloch to move with his command to the north side of the railroad and occupy that portion of the field northwest of the main fort, to push his skirmishers as far forward as possible, and at the sound of the bugle to charge the depot house in concert with the Seventh Tennessee. At the proper (time) I ordered the charge. The two regiments dashed gallantly forward in the face of a heavy fire, killing, wounding, and capturing a considerable number of the enemy and driving the balance into the works.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 776)

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Col. Barksdale describes his men as advanced dismounted and charged through the camp on foot. His reports explains the delay in pursuing the Union troops of the camp after they were routed.

My intention was to charge their camp and take them while in confusion, but when within 75 yards of camp the enemy opened a scattering fire. My men stopped to fire and ruined everything. I immediately ordered the regiment to dismount and charge on foot, which was done, I am proud to say in gallant style. The enemy made a short resistance and fled, closely pursued by the men of both regiments, capturing a good many prisoners, but I am not able to say how many were captured by my regiment, as the prisoners captured by both regiments were sent off together. I was ordered by the colonel commanding to burn the camp and property that could not be got away (a large amount), which was executed. (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 773)
 
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Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Here are some quotes from Action Reports from the OR's for the Battle of Collierville, 11 Oct 1863. I struggle to determine if the use of the work "charge" refers to a mounted or a dismounted attack. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish.
This was a rather small battle with small unit action. The size of the Confederate attacking force was 2,500 to 3,000 cavalrymen.


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

“It is but simple justice to the men and officers of the Third Mississippi to state that there was not a moment delayed in dismounting, nor a gun fired except a few shots from the right company, by whose immediate flank Colonel Hovis was repulsed, until they had advanced in splendid order 150 yards, which brought them under the heavy fire of the enemy to within 200 yards of their position, where the command “commence firing” was given, and executed with such coolness and accuracy as the enemy could not longer withstand. A few more volleys, at a slow but steady advance, and the charge was given, which utterly routed the enemy, fleeing for their very lives through woods and camp in every possible direction, when the rout was completed, and five stand of colors then in our possession attested the fact, the men having double-quicked for nearly a mile in pursuit.

I dispatched to Colonel McGuirk for cavalry, but from some cause it did not reach him in time, and none could be had until the horse-holders were ordered to lead to the front, a distance of about a mile, when the command was
mounted, moved forward, scouring the woods to Wolf River Bottom, but without any further success, the enemy, as I was afterward led to believe, having turned off to the left and west of town, seeking refuge in their fortifications.”[ Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page ?]

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“Preceding the attack there had been skirmishing on the infantry pickets south of the station for an hour, of which we had received no intimation. We were accidentally informed of the approach of the enemy, when disposition was immediately made to receive him with our camp force of about 200 men, consisting of men off duty on account of sickness, detail, being dismounted, unarmed, &c. Our line was scarcely formed when the pickets from the east were hastily driven in, and immediately the enemy was attacking. We received his attack with a line of dismounted men, which gallantly repulsing him, was itself repulsed in turn by his reserves, and after a few minutes further contest, and receiving an attack from formations on both flanks of our position, against which we had no reserve to use, we found ourselves compelled to retire from under a cross-fire, becoming intolerable, and rendering further contest on the ground hopeless. We accordingly withdrew, skirmishing through the camp toward the Wolf {River}, sacrificing it in the belief that the preservation of the command had become a duty paramount to all others. A portion of the enemy pursued us to the river, picking up disabled and dismounted men who had been unable to regain their horses, and a portion remained to fire and pillage the camp, which they did in fine style.” [Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 1, page 88]

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Colonel McCulloch reported his actions as follows:

“On the morning of the, 11th the regiment moved with the rest of the cavalry to Collierville. My command was ordered to form upon the left, fronting the railroad, sending out pickets and scouting parties upon the left flank.

At 11 a.m. an order was received from Lieutenant-Colonel Duckworth, commanding detachment of which my regiment was part of, to move forward and attack the right wing of the enemy. On account of the many and different details made from the regiment it had, when dismounted and formed in line, but 65 effective men; yet, according to orders, they moved forward at the double-quick to the position assigned them, and engaged the Thirteenth Regulars, U. S. Infantry, 580 strong, drawn up in three parallel lines of skirmishers. Pressing forward, they drove the enemy from the timber to a nursery on an elevated position, where the action was severely contested, the enemy being supported by the Sixty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. The order to charge was given, and with a yell they rushed forward under a heavy fire from the enemy and a raking fire from the fortifications, drove them from their position across the railroad to the depot, assisting in the capture of the train of cars, and then fell back in good order, bringing off our dead and wounded, notwithstanding the ambulances belonging to the regiment had been pressed by other officers for the use of their own commands.

Col. Duckworth’s report fills in a few facts omitted from Col. McCulloch’s report.

“I then ordered Colonel McCulloch to move with his command (except his picket) to the north side of the railroad and occupy that portion of the field northwest of the main fort, to push his skirmishers as far forward as possible, and at the sound of the bugle to charge the depot house in concert with the Seventh Tennessee. At the proper [time] I ordered the [COLOR=rgb(184, 49, 47)]charge[/COLOR]. The [B]two regiments dashed gallantly forward[/B] in the face of a heavy fire, killing, wounding, and capturing a considerable number of the enemy and driving the balance into the works.”[Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 776] [SIZE=2][COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%[/COLOR][/SIZE] [COLOR=rgb(41, 105, 176)]Col. Barksdale describes his men as advanced [U]dismounted [/U]and [U]charged [/U]through the camp [U]on foot[/U]. His reports explains the delay in pursuing the Union troops of the camp after they were routed.[/COLOR] My intention was to [COLOR=rgb(184, 49, 47)]charge [/COLOR]their camp and take them while in confusion, but when within 75 yards of camp the enemy opened a scattering fire. My men stopped to fire and ruined everything. I immediately ordered the regiment to [B]dismount and [COLOR=rgb(184, 49, 47)]charge [/COLOR]on foot[/B], which was done, I am proud to say in gallant style. The enemy made a short resistance and fled, closely pursued by the men of both regiments, capturing a good many prisoners, but I am not able to say how many were captured by my regiment, as the prisoners captured by both regiments were sent off together. I was ordered by the colonel commanding to burn the camp and property that could not be got away (a large amount), which was executed.”[[SIZE=3]Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 773[/SIZE]][/time]
Awesome research and reporting. Thank you!
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
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Location
Boonville, MO.
Here are some quotes from Action Reports from the OR's for the Battle of Collierville, 11 Oct 1863. I struggle to determine if the use of the work "charge" refers to a mounted or a dismounted attack. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish.
This was a rather small battle with small unit action. The size of the Confederate attacking force was 2,500 to 3,000 cavalrymen. These are quotes from Confederate regimental commanders describing different events or by different commanders.


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“It is but simple justice to the men and officers of the Third Mississippi to state that there was not a moment delayed in dismounting, nor a gun fired except a few shots from the right company, by whose immediate flank Colonel Hovis was repulsed, until they had advanced in splendid order 150 yards, which brought them under the heavy fire of the enemy to within 200 yards of their position, where the command “commence firing” was given, and executed with such coolness and accuracy as the enemy could not longer withstand. A few more volleys, at a slow but steady advance, and the charge was given, which utterly routed the enemy, fleeing for their very lives through woods and camp in every possible direction, when the rout was completed, and five stand of colors then in our possession attested the fact, the men having double-quicked for nearly a mile in pursuit.

I dispatched to Colonel McGuirk for cavalry, but from some cause it did not reach him in time, and none could be had until the horse-holders were ordered to lead to the front, a distance of about a mile, when the command was
mounted, moved forward, scouring the woods to Wolf River Bottom, but without any further success, the enemy, as I was afterward led to believe, having turned off to the left and west of town, seeking refuge in their fortifications.”[ Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page ?]

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
{Edited}
This OR was written by the commander of the Union 7th Illinois Cavalry.

“Preceding the attack there had been skirmishing on the infantry pickets south of the station for an hour, of which we had received no intimation. We were accidentally informed of the approach of the enemy, when disposition was immediately made to receive him with our camp force of about 200 men, consisting of men off duty on account of sickness, detail, being dismounted, unarmed, &c. Our line was scarcely formed when the pickets from the east were hastily driven in, and immediately the enemy was attacking. We received his attack(Confederate Cavalry) with a line of dismounted men, which gallantly repulsing him, was itself repulsed in turn by his reserves, and after a few minutes further contest, and receiving an attack from formations on both flanks of our position, against which we had no reserve to use, we found ourselves compelled to retire from under a cross-fire, becoming intolerable, and rendering further contest on the ground hopeless. We accordingly withdrew, skirmishing through the camp toward the Wolf {River}, sacrificing it in the belief that the preservation of the command had become a duty paramount to all others. A portion of the enemy pursued us to the river, picking up disabled and dismounted men who had been unable to regain their horses, and a portion remained to fire and pillage the camp, which they did in fine style.” [Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 52, Part 1, page 88]

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Colonel McCulloch reported his actions as follows:

“On the morning of the, 11th the regiment moved with the rest of the cavalry to Collierville. My command was ordered to form upon the left, fronting the railroad, sending out pickets and scouting parties upon the left flank.

At 11 a.m. an order was received from Lieutenant-Colonel Duckworth, commanding detachment of which my regiment was part of, to move forward and attack the right wing of the enemy. On account of the many and different details made from the regiment it had, when dismounted and formed in line, but 65 effective men; yet, according to orders, they moved forward at the double-quick to the position assigned them, and engaged the Thirteenth Regulars, U. S. Infantry, 580 strong, drawn up in three parallel lines of skirmishers. Pressing forward, they drove the enemy from the timber to a nursery on an elevated position, where the action was severely contested, the enemy being supported by the Sixty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. The order to charge was given, and with a yell they rushed forward under a heavy fire from the enemy and a raking fire from the fortifications, drove them from their position across the railroad to the depot, assisting in the capture of the train of cars, and then fell back in good order, bringing off our dead and wounded, notwithstanding the ambulances belonging to the regiment had been pressed by other officers for the use of their own commands."

Col. Duckworth’s report fills in a few facts omitted from Col. McCulloch’s report.

“I then ordered Colonel McCulloch to move with his command to the north side of the railroad and occupy that portion of the field northwest of the main fort, to push his skirmishers as far forward as possible, and at the sound of the bugle to charge the depot house in concert with the Seventh Tennessee. At the proper (time) I ordered the charge. The two regiments dashed gallantly forward in the face of a heavy fire, killing, wounding, and capturing a considerable number of the enemy and driving the balance into the works.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 776)

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Col. Barksdale describes his men as advanced dismounted and charged through the camp on foot. His reports explains the delay in pursuing the Union troops of the camp after they were routed.

My intention was to charge their camp and take them while in confusion, but when within 75 yards of camp the enemy opened a scattering fire. My men stopped to fire and ruined everything. I immediately ordered the regiment to dismount and charge on foot, which was done, I am proud to say in gallant style. The enemy made a short resistance and fled, closely pursued by the men of both regiments, capturing a good many prisoners, but I am not able to say how many were captured by my regiment, as the prisoners captured by both regiments were sent off together. I was ordered by the colonel commanding to burn the camp and property that could not be got away (a large amount), which was executed. (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 30, Part 2, page 773)
It's interesting how things come together.
My GG Grandfather was a private in the 7th Ill. Cav. and took part in this fight. Col. McCulloch was from the town I live in, Boonville, Mo., and is buried about two blocks from my house.

I seem to remember from the file of my GG Grandfather's service records that when he joined the 7Th in Oct. of 1861, (at the age of 16), that he brought his horse with him and received extra pay for the animals upkeep.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
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Location
Collierville, TN
It's interesting how things come together.
My GG Grandfather was a private in the 7th Ill. Cav. and took part in this fight. Col. McCulloch was from the town I live in, Boonville, Mo., and is buried about two blocks from my house.
Not all of the regiment was at Collierville on that day. The colonel and several companies were absent. They were again present at the 2d battle on 3rd November.
Have we Messaged before?
{Edited to add Answer}
Oh. I had message a newcomer with username Eric who had an ancestor in the 7th Illinois Cav.

I forget where Colonel Robert McCulloch is buried. At one time, Find-a-grave had the photos of Colonel McCulloch and his cousin Lt-Col. Robert A. McCulloch switched.
 
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Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Not all of the regiment was at Collierville on that day. The colonel and several companies were absent. They were again present at the 2d battle on 3rd November.
Have we Messaged before?


I forget where Colonel Robert McCulloch is buried. At one time, Find-a-grave had the photos of Colonel McCulloch and his cousin Lt-Col. Robert A. McCulloch switched.
We have.

Col. "Black Bob" McCulloch is buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Boonville, Mo. His cousin, Lt. Col. "White Bob" McCulloch is buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery in Pisgah, Mo. about 10 miles south of Boonville, and both places are in Cooper Co. Mo.

later edit; note that many of the men who served in the 2nd Mo. Cav were also from Cooper County, MO. and had been serving under and with the McCulloch's since the First Battle of Boonville, Mo., June, 1861 when they were part of the Mo. State Guard
 
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