This gripping study offers key insights into the tactics, leadership, combat performance, and subsequent reputations of Union and Confederate mounted units fighting in three pivotal cavalry actions of the Civil War - Second Bull Run/Manassas (1862), Buckland Mills (1863), and Tom's Brook (1864). During the intense, sprawling conflict that was the Civil War, both Union and Confederate forces fielded substantial numbers of cavalry, which carried out the crucial tasks of reconnaissance, raiding, and conveying messages. The perception was that cavalry's effectiveness on the battlefield would be drastically reduced in this age of improved mass infantry firepower. This book demonstrates how cavalry's lethal combination of mobility and dismounted firepower meant it was still very much a force to be reckoned with in battle. It also charts the swing in the qualitative difference of the cavalry forces fielded by the two sides as the war progressed, as the enormous initial superiority enjoyed by Confederate cavalry was gradually eroded, through the Union's outstanding improvements in training and tactics, and the bold and enterprising leadership of men such as Philip Sheridan.
Featuring full-color artwork, specially drawn maps, and archive illustrations.