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Confederate States Cavalry (CSA)

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  • (CSA), John S Stewart (1845 - 1927)
    Civil War Veteran. Grave Marker: Co. M, 8th Tennessee, Cavalry. (Note: For information regarding the 9th TN during the Civil War, see link below.) _____________________________ Husband of Patie...
  • Pvt. (CSA), Thomas B. Howell (1822 - 1890)
    Inscription; Pvt., Company L 6th GA Cavalry C.S.A. Howell, Thomas BATTLE UNIT NAME: 6th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry SIDE: Confederacy COMPANY: L SOLDIER'S RANK IN: Private SOLDIER'S RANK OUT: Private A...
  • Second Lt. (CSA) Walter Alexander Montgomery (1845 - 1921)
    Walter Alexander Montgomery, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, attorney, and Confederate officer, was born in Warrenton, the son of Thomas Alexander (7 May 1818–3 Nov. 1873) and ...
  • Pvt. (CSA), John Goodwin Nesmith (1840 - 1911)
    Civil War Veteran. Inscription reads: Pvt. John Goodwin Nesmith, Co. B, 12th Alabama Cavalry, CSA. John Goodwin Nesmith was the son of Uriah Sherrell Nesmith & Malenda Killian. Husband of Ellende...
  • Pvt. (CSA), Edward Menager Irvine (1844 - 1913)
    Irvine, Edward BATTLE UNIT NAME: 4th Regiment, Alabama Cavalry (Roddy's) SIDE: Confederacy COMPANY: F SOLDIER'S RANK IN: Private SOLDIER'S RANK OUT: Private ALTERNATE NAME: E.M./Irvine FILM NUMBER: M37...

A Southerner was, on average, considered a superior horseman to his Northern counterpart, especially early in the war. Roads in the rural South were generally poor, and horses were used more for individual transportation than they were for the carriages and streetcars of the urbanized North, where many of the early Federal cavalry regiments were formed. Furthermore, Southern society was more stratified, which made the soldiers more accustomed to a hierarchy of command and were generally considered more suited to the martial lifestyle. Additionally, the strong militia tradition in the antebellum South and the requirements for local 'slave catcher' patrols led to the development of mounted units prior to 1861.

Confederate soldiers owned their horses and were compensated on a monthly basis. If a soldier's horse was sick, injured, or killed, the soldier was responsible for returning home and replacing the horse at his own expense. The general rule was that the soldier had 60 days to return with a new horse or he was forced to become an infantryman, which was considered to be an ignominious fate.

The first prominent Confederate cavalry leader was J.E.B. Stuart, who achieved success in the First Battle of Bull Run against infantry. He was a flamboyant dresser and an audacious commander, wildly popular with the Southern public for his escapades in twice encircling the Army of the Potomac. These long-range reconnaissance missions accomplished little of military value but boosted Southern morale. After Stuart's death in 1864, he was replaced by Wade Hampton, who was a more mature, and arguably more effective, commander. Another Eastern commander of note was Turner Ashby, the "Black Knight of the Confederacy", who commanded Stonewall Jackson's cavalry forces in the Valley Campaign; he was killed in battle in 1862.

In the Western Theater, the most fearless, and ruthless, cavalry commander was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who achieved spectacular results with small forces but was an ineffective subordinate to the army commanders he was supposed to support, resulting in poorly coordinated battles. Much of the same issues could be said of Forrest's counterpart in the Army of Tennessee, John Hunt Morgan. In the Eastern Theater, the Partisan Ranger John Singleton Mosby succeeded in tying down upwards of 40,000 Federal troops defending rail lines and logistical hubs with only 100-150 irregulars. In the Trans-Mississippi Theater, John S. Marmaduke and "Jo" Shelby became prominent.