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Confederate States Cavalry (CSA)

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  • Pvt.(CSA), Tate Randolph Driesbach (1838 - 1865)
    Member of the 7 Alabama Cav. Died of pneumonia while a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Franklin Co, Ohio. Buried at Forest Cemetery in the Olds' family plot by his aunt Maria Driesbach Olds. The date fo...
  • Pvt.(CSA), John Bingaman Colhoun (1832 - 1871)
    Name: John B Colhoun Rank at enlistment: Private State Served: Mississippi Service Record: Enlisted in Company A, Mississippi Jeff. Davis Legion Cavalry Battalion.
  • Pvt. (CSA), Robert Mountjoy (1828 - 1891)
    Robert Mountjoy served in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War as a Private in Company A, 9th Virginia Cavalry. He enlisted on April 21, 1861 in Stafford County, Virginia and mustered in ...
  • Pvt.(CSA), Enoch Eagle, Jr. (1855 - 1945)
    Name: Enoch Eagle Rank at enlistment: Private State Served: Virginia Service Record: Enlisted in Company C, Virginia 46th Militia Infantry Regiment. Sources: Index to Compiled Confederate Military ...
  • Colonel (CSA), Nicholas Nichols Cox (1837 - 1912)
    U.S. Congressman. He graduated from Lebanon Law School in 1858, was admitted to the bar and commenced to practice law at Linden, Tennessee. During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel in command of th...

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.