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Confederate States Cavalry (CSA)

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  • Capt. Joseph Patterson Wier, (CSA) (1831 - 1864)
    the Civil War broke out, attorney/publisher Wier raised a cavalry company from Hill County, was elected Catain of that Company A of the 12th Texas Cavalry and they traveled all over Texas, Arkansas and...
  • Credit: Bobbie Carson Wilson, Source:
    Ezekiel James Hitchcock, (CSA) (1839 - 1922)
    11th Cavalry Regiment was organized with 855 men at Camp Reeves, Grayson County, Texas, in May, 1861. Some of its members were from Clarksville and Mt. Pleasant, and Bowie County. This regiment, along ...
  • Sgt. Edward C. Collins, (CSA) (1830 - 1910)
    From Edward C. Collins served as Sergeant in Company F, 4th Rgt. SC Cavalry, Confederate States Army. Honorably discharged in Rock Hill, SC April 1865. He was one of 4 brothers that served in the war...
  • Colonel Charles DeMorse (CSA) (1816 - 1887)
    Charles DeMorse (born Charles Denny Morse), editor, publisher, statesman, soldier, public official, lawyer, merchant, and farmer, was born in Leicester, Massachusetts, on January 31, 1816, the son of A...
  • Pvt. Edward Frazier Herndon, (CSA) (1847 - 1935)
    "Company E, 1st Regiment Virginia (2nd Class Militia) Reserves, Walker's Brigade, 1st Military District, Dept of Northern Virginia, C.S.A.Residence Orange County, VA.Fair complexion, dark brown hair, b...

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.