Category Archives: Cavalry

Colonel Albert Brackett’s Body Armor

The notion of a bullet proof vests during the Civil War is almost universally mocked. In my experience giving battlefield tours, I’ve found that kids are the only ones to ask, “did they use body armor” or “why didn’t they … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactic: How Technology Drove Change (Part Eight)

(conclusion to a series) Young Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, a member of the West Point class of 1861 who was known as Harry to his family and friends, commanded the Cavalry Corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi, … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Seven)

(part seven in a series) In the previous two installments of this series (here and here), we examined how the development of rifled muskets made Napoleonic cavalry charges obsolete, and also how repeating weapons transformed the mission of cavalry from … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Six)

(part six in a series) In the previous installment of this series, we demonstrated how the advent of rifled muskets and rifled artillery made the Napoleonic cavalry charge obsolete. Now, we will examine how the evolution of the technology employed … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Five)

(part five in a series) Having established the backdrop for the meat of this discussion, we can now examine the actual impact of technological advances upon battlefield tactics for cavalry in the Civil War.

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Four)

(part four in a series) During the early days of the Civil War, Dennis Hart Mahan’s teachings were implemented by the Union high command in particular. Gen. Winfield Scott vigorously resisted the incorporation of volunteer cavalry regiments into the Union … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Redux)

In 2014, Eric Wittenberg ran the first three parts of an eight-part series about the evolution of cavalry tactics in response to the impact of technological change. “And then I got busy with a book project, forgot about this series, … Continue reading

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The Battle of Aiken: “Why spend the effort to write a book on a battle that didn’t last very long or have many casualties?”

“Why would you spend the time and effort to write a book on a battle that only lasted a few minutes and which had minimal casualties?” I wish I had a dollar for every time that I’ve been asked that … Continue reading

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“Moulded in the form of a spread eagle”: Mosby’s Rangers, the Fourth of July, and a Dispute Over Cake

Independence Day in 1864 seemed like it could have been the last such celebration for the United States. The Presidential Election of 1864 loomed four months in the future, and a Lincoln reelection seemed very much in doubt. Jubal Early’s … Continue reading

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“What Shall Be Done with the Slave?” The 9th Illinois Cavalry and Practical Emancipation

I am frequently sidetracked when scanning through historic newspapers on a quest for specific information. What can I say, the headlines are still doing their job. Such was the case while digitally flipping through August 1862 issues of the Chicago … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Newspapers, Primary Sources, Slavery, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments