The One Greatest Ride of the Civil War...!

The Greatest Ride of the Civil War.....!!

  • CS J.E.B. Stuart: Ride around the AOP, 1862

    Votes: 42 30.0%
  • US Ben Grierson: Ride through Mississippi, 1863

    Votes: 37 26.4%
  • CS Jo Shelby: Ride through Missiouri. 1863

    Votes: 7 5.0%
  • CS Nathan Forrest: Ride through Tennessee, 1863

    Votes: 19 13.6%
  • CS John Mosby: Greenback Raid, 1863

    Votes: 6 4.3%
  • CS John Morgan: Ride to Ohio, 1863

    Votes: 16 11.4%
  • US James Wilson: Ride through Alabama, 1865

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • US Phil Sheridan: Richmond Raid, 1864

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • US A.D. Straight: Mule ride to Georgia. !863

    Votes: 2 1.4%
  • Another: I know I missed some....

    Votes: 5 3.6%

  • Total voters
    140

badger roy

Cadet
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Madison WI
Adversity becomes opportunity:Harper's Ferry,September 14 1862-The Union cavalry, realizing the inevitability of the surrender to Jackson's forces on the 'morrow, left Harper's Ferry at dark on September 14,cleared McClaws' pickets and reached Sharpsburg about midnight.Confederates were now retreating from South Mountain,forcing the Union column to continue north.The Blue troopers intercepted Longstreet's ordnance train at the Hagerstown/Williamsport road, captured may of the wagons and finished the ride about 9:30 AM on September 15 at Greencastle ,Pennsylvania.One unit,the 8th Illinois Cavalry,served at Antietam;its Colonel,Benjamin Davis,commanded 5th Brigade of Pleasonton's cavalry at Antietam.
Best regards,
badger roy
 

badger roy

Cadet
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Madison WI
Exchange between Yank & Reb following the beefsteak raid-"The boys halloed over to them and asked them if they did not want some of our coffee.Their answer was they had plenty of coffee but had more beef than they wanted.Some of our boys hurrahed for Lincoln and they wished him in that bad place the good book tells about." Corporal Albert Morse,7th Wisconsin Infantry
 

Robtweb1

2nd Lieutenant
Retired Moderator
Annual Winner
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Apr 20, 2011
Location
Grand Junction, TN
Good thread, Fish. My GGGrandpa rode with Grierson in the 6th Ill. Cav. He was injured one night during a driving rainstorm as they rode south. Don't know much of the details but apparently it was dark, storming, difficult to see, and they were in a hurry. The riders were following too close to each other in those conditions, trying to keep in sight of those ahead. One horse slipped, fell, and brought about a pile-up collision, in which he was involved. Pension records say when his horse took a tumble GGGWise broke his leg, and some ribs due to falling on his sword scabbard. That's about all I know.

It wasn't perhaps the greatest, most notable, daring ride of the war, but it was pretty awesome in scope, size, duration.



Lee

Grierson's raid was launched from my hometown, Grand Junction, TN. Grant's army was camped there and was spread out several miles in each direction, even as far away as the Mississippi border eight miles to the South. In the movie "The Horse Soldiers", Grant, Sherman, and Grierson plan the raid in a railroad car in Lagrange, which is three miles away.
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
Grierson's raid was launched from my hometown, Grand Junction, TN. Grant's army was camped there and was spread out several miles in each direction, even as far away as the Mississippi border eight miles to the South. In the movie "The Horse Soldiers", Grant, Sherman, and Grierson plan the raid in a railroad car in Lagrange, which is three miles away.

Wait....they were on a gunboat, weren't they? The opening is that door slamming open and Wayne coming down the steps in that dripping slicker. Then the next thing is Wayne explaining the raid to his officers, isn't it? (You'd think I'd have the thing memorized by now--sorry!)
 

realevergreen

Private
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
I would vote for Morgan's Christmas raid as one of the better and his Ohio as one of the worst. Disobeying orders by crossing the Ohio and losing a large number of irreplaceable cavalry and horses after Gettysburg and Vicksburg were already over added up to General Bragg being right- one of the few times ever.
 

rhp6033

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Everett, Washington
More directly on topic, I'll go with Stuart's ride due to the embarrassement it caused the Union and the morale boost it gave the Confederacy.

Grierson's raid late in the war may be a better choice due to its effectiveness, but I'll go with Stuart's due to the tone it set early in the war about the quality and confidence of both Eastern armies and their cavalry.

A lot of people lose sight of the primary objective of Stuart's raid: his ride around the AoP accurately defined the limits of the territory covered by McClellan's army, and confirmed that his right flank was "in the air". Union troops from the Mannassas area were not moving south to link up with McClellan and extend his flank. This was the confirmation Lee needed to give the go-ahead orders for his Seven Day's offensive. By riding around the AoP, instead of just testing it's right flank, it somewhat camoflauged the purpose of the raid.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
A lot of people lose sight of the primary objective of Stuart's raid: his ride around the AoP accurately defined the limits of the territory covered by McClellan's army, and confirmed that his right flank was "in the air". Union troops from the Mannassas area were not moving south to link up with McClellan and extend his flank. This was the confirmation Lee needed to give the go-ahead orders for his Seven Day's offensive. By riding around the AoP, instead of just testing it's right flank, it somewhat camoflauged the purpose of the raid.
Excellent and sensible analysis. Not only that, but continuing on instead of turning back evaded pursuit and prevented the need for a battle to get through the pursuers.
 

dvrmte

Major
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
South Carolina
Excellent and sensible analysis. Not only that, but continuing on instead of turning back evaded pursuit and prevented the need for a battle to get through the pursuers.

Stuart's ride proved the door was open for Jackson to move from the Valley and flank McClellan out of his strong position before Richmond. I voted Stuart as the intelligence he provided doomed McClellan's campaign.

By leaving his flank in the air, McClellan lost his supply base at White House Landing and the railroad leading from it. With the loss of the railroad, he lost use of his heavy guns as well. He had to change his supply base. Jackson's move from the Valley was enough for McClellan to realize this. Jackson's position on his flank and rear necessitated a move to another base.

It amazes me how a simple little move could put all the hard work and effort put forth by the AOP to waste.
 

Carronade

Captain
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
I voted for Stuart 1862; wasn't going to, but rhp6033 makes an excellent point that this "raid" significantly facilitated the operations of the main army.

By the same logic, that cavalry should help the army accomplish its fundamental objective, I nominate Sheridan's May 1864 raid as the worst, in fact a positive detriment to the overall campaign. Although the Overland campaign is associated with frontal assaults like Spotsylvania, Grant's intent was to fight a battle of maneuver, and the absence of almost all the army's cavalry was a crucial handicap.

Stuart on this occasion showed a far better understanding of his and his arm's role. He left half his horsemen with the army, even though it meant pursuing Sheridan's seven brigades with only three.

Even if there was some value in Sheridan's seeking a mano-a-mano encounter with the Confederate cavalry, he had that opportunity the morning after he set out, at Beaver Dam Station. Stuart even played into his hand, dividing his already weaker force in an attempt to cut off part of the Union column. He even sent his flanking force by the ford Sheridan expected him to use. But all Sheridan wanted to do was ride on south, towards Richmond and away from Meade.
 

Lee

Colonel
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Wade Hampton's Beefsteak raid............that thought triggered a memory about another thread speaking of ACW movies.............Alvarez Kelly...........
 

tmh10

Major
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Pipestem,WV
I voted for the Grierson raid as I think it had a purpose that was accomplished in keeping Forrest occupied while Grant made his move on a big target, that helped turn the tide of war.
 

Lee

Colonel
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
One item that sticks in my mind is that I remember reading that General Wade Hampton's men presented him with a rare Henry repeating rifle and a significant amount of cartridges captured in the "beefsteak raid." General Hampton carried the Henry rifle the rest of the war. the really odd thing is the movie Alverez Kelly" showed Confederate cavalry capturing Henry repeating rifles. It is odd seeing things like that in a movie as most of us know movies in general especially ACW movies don't often contain details like that that most ACW buffs love to learn about.
 
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