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Confederate States Cavalry (CSA)

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    Lieut John Montgomery, CSA (1834 - 1906)
    John served during the Civil War 1861-1865 under General Price in the 12th Missouri Cavalry ( 1862 - 1865 ) as a 1st Lieutenant. The 12th Cavalry Regiment formerly the Jackson County Cavalry was assign...
  • Lewis Riffe, Civil War Veteran (CSA) (c.1847 - 1875)
    Lewis Rife, Civil War Confederate Veteran - Balfour's Company, Virginia Mounted Riflemen 1847–1875 BIRTH 1847 • Tazewell, Virginia, USA DEATH 10 NOV 1875 • Buchanan County, Virginia, USA
  • Wikipedia Commons
    William H McNiel (1822 - 1863)
    Biography William H. McNeil was born in 1821 in North Carolina, United States. His parents were John McNeil and Rachel McNeil . William married Sarah Ann McNeil Billings on March 10, 1843 in Wilkes, ...
  • 3rd Lieut. (CSA) Addison "Attie" Bailey Christian (1827 - 1863)
    purch. 2 parcels in 1869 McDowell County 100 + 150 acres ; see Sims index page 821 of 867 Rebecca is Addison's first cousin Co C. 34th VA Cav. made 3rd Lt. on June 19th, 1862 Capt. William Straton'...
  • Gustave Dreyling, Sr. (CSA) (1834 - 1902)
    From Houston Time The Dreyling family came to Texas with the immigration of Gustave Dreyling, Sr., born in Werxhausen, Hannover in the Rhineland Palatinate. He left Bremen in May 1856 and ...

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.