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Mumford's Cavalry at Snavely's Ford area Sharpsburg

Discussion in 'Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg' started by Bob PIckles, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Bob PIckles

    Bob PIckles Cadet

    Nov 29, 2015
    Hi, I am new to the forum (& British) so please excuse my lack of knowledge or how best to use this facility!
    For my latest novel (the first ACW one I have attempted) I need to know the composition, officers & numbers of the units of Mumford's Cavalry positioned on the right of 50th Georgia & Palmetto Sharpshooters overlooking Snavely's Ford at noon 17th Sept 1862. I don't suppose there were many left of them in this specific area by this point in the overall battle?
    Also - what part did 5th Virginia Cavalry play? I presume they were somewhere up with Stuart in Lee's Cav Brigade near Nicodemus & the artillery but the internet & "Lee's Cavalry" & other Antietam books I have has scant info on this unit's part.
    Thank you for any info or pointers to specialist books/sites on these two units' part in the battle.
    Bob Pickles, near Manchester, England
    ErnieMac and tbuckley like this.

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  3. Andrew

    Andrew Corporal

    Aug 5, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    At around 3:00 in the afternoon of the 17th, JEB Stuart led several regiments of cavalry, nine guns, and the 48th NC infantry to try to turn the Federal right flank. The 5th VA Cavalry was part of this expedition (see Tom Clemens' note 61, p. 337, in Ezra Carman's The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume II: Antietam). It's a interesting part of the battle of Antietam that doesn't get much mention. The best description I've read of it is in Joseph Harsh's Taken at the Flood, pages 407-413.

    A good resource for locating units during the battle is the Carman/Cope atlas available here: https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3842am.gcw0248000/?st=gallery

    If you look at the bottom left of the 12:00 - 12:15 PM map, it states that Munford's cavalry extended from the right of Walker's division to the mouth of the Antietam, and the brigade is shown on a hill west of Snavely's. (I'm pretty sure Walker's division was gone by this point of the day, as Lee sent them up to the Dunker Church/West Woods.)

    Listed below are the units under Munford present at Antietam, according to Harsh's Sounding the Shallows, p 50 & 88. The number of companies and officers & men present for duty (PFD) comes from Laurence Freiheit's Boots and Saddles, p 457:
    • 2nd VA Cavalry, Lt. Col. Richard Horsely Burks (12 VA) [9 companies, 408 PFD]
    • 7th VA Cavalry, Capt. Samuel B. Myers [9 companies, 474 PFD]
    • 12th VA Cavalry, Col. Asher Warterman Harmon [6 companies, 358 PFD]
    Also part of Munford's brigade, the 6th VA Cavalry was at Centreville and the 17th VA Battalion never crossed the river into Maryland.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  4. White Flint Bill

    White Flint Bill Private

    Oct 9, 2017
    Southern Virginia
    Don't y'all mean Munford, rather than Mumford?

    It doesn't answer your specific questions, but Robert Krick's essay "Defending Lee's Flank" in The Antietam Campaign, Gary Gallagher, ed. is quite good and may provide some useful information, particularly with respect to General Stuart's actions during the battle.
    Andrew likes this.
  5. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

    May 3, 2013
    The following link connects to the Antietam of the Web page concerning Robertson's Brigade (commanded by Colonel Munford) with addition links the regiments of the brigade, biographies of the unit commanders and Munford's after action report.
  6. Bob PIckles

    Bob PIckles Cadet

    Nov 29, 2015
    Thanks guys for your prompt replies & suggestions. Further to Sharpsburg - would it have been possible for a shell from Kentucky Battery overlooking Lower Bridge to have landed (accidentally) immediately to west of Sharpburg on Shepherdstown Road to destroy a wagon of citizens attempting to leave early morning 17th Sept? Again this is for my book but I do not know if the line of sight/trajectory/distance or ballistics would make this possible & you can't get this angle on google earth!
    thanks, Bob

    (I can put this on an official new post if needed but did not like to take up extra space being a 'greenhorn' to the forum)

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