American Civil War Cavalry Organization
During the American Civil War, the cavalry was organized into divisions, brigades, regiments, and troops
or companies of soldiers with horses. The sizes of these groups are summarized below. The largest cavalry battle ever fought in the Americas was the Battle of Brandy Station; it involved approximately 17,000 cavalry. (See also United
States Cavalry History and Civil War Cavalry.)
Commanded by Brigadier or Major General
Commanded by Colonel/Brigadier General
Commanded by Colonel
Normally 10 Companies
Troop or Company
Commanded by Captain
40-100 men and horses
Try our internal search engine, type, for examples: Cavalry, Cavalry
Engagement, Cavalry Charge, Cavalry Experience, Cavalry Battle, Gettysburg Cavalry, etc.
Recommended Reading: The Cavalry at Gettysburg: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations during the Civil
War's Pivotal Campaign, 9 June-14 July 1863. Description: "For cavalry and/or Gettysburg
enthusiasts, this book is a must; for other Civil War buffs, it possesses the qualities sought by students of the conflict.
. . . [It] bristles with analysis, details, judgments, personality profiles, and evaluations and combat descriptions, even
down to the squadron and company levels. The mounted operations of the campaign from organizational, strategic, and tactical
viewpoints are examined thoroughly. Continued below...
The author's graphic recountings of the Virginia fights at Brandy Station, Aldie, Middleburg,
and Upperville, the Pennsylvania encounters at Hanover, Hunterstown, Gettysburg, and Fairfield, and finally the retreat to
Virginia, are the finest this reviewer has read under a single cover. For those who enjoy the thunder of hoofbeats,
the clang of sabers, and the crack of pistols and carbines, this book has all of it. Generals and privates share the pages,
as the mounted opponents parry and thrust across hundreds of miles of territory from June 9 to July 14, 1863."-Civil War Times
Illustrated (Civil War Times Illustrated).
Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma (Hardcover) (528 pages). Description: Nathan Bedford Forrest’s
astounding military abilities, passionate temperament, and tactical ingenuity on the battlefield have earned the respect of
Civil War scholars and military leaders alike. He was a man who stirred the most extreme emotions among his followers and
his enemies, and his name continues to inspire controversy. In this comprehensive biography, Forrest is properly illuminated
as the brilliant battlefield tactician--and the only Confederate cavalry leader feared by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
Historians Eddy W. Davison and Daniel Foxx offer a detailed explanation of the Fort
Pillow "Massacre" unraveling the facts to prove that it was not indeed
a massacre. The book also discusses Forrest’s role in the Ku Klux Klan and how he came to be its first grand wizard.
Dispelling several myths, this is a study of the complete Forrest, including
his rise as a self-made millionaire in Memphis, his remarkable success leading the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, and his life
following the Civil War. Although the book is filled with vivid battle narratives, it goes beyond Forrest’s military
life to examine other aspects of this enigmatic leader—his role as husband and father, for example, and his dramatic
call for full citizenship for Black Southerners. Edwin C. Bearss, historian emeritus, National Park Service, states:
"Recommended as must reading for those who want to know Forrest and his way of war."
Recommended Reading: Civil War Cavalry & Artillery
Sabers (Swords) (Hardcover). Description: The ultimate guide to sabers of the Civil War. This huge resource
is easily the most important sword book written in decades, and is lavishly illustrated with 1,400 photographs, 60 of them
in color. An important extra feature is that it also includes all sabers from the prewar period, right back to 1833. Every
make and every known variation is covered with full history, tables and illustrations. Photographs include hundreds of close-ups
showing the small features that tell one saber apart from the others. A truly groundbreaking work. Several photos not seen.
Each photo is accompanied by a detailed description.
Recommended Reading: The
1862 U S Cavalry Tactics (Stackpole Military Classic) (Hardcover: 416 pages). Description:
Directed by the U.S. War Department in 1859 to prepare a new, revised manual for U.S. cavalry operations, then-Col. Philip
St. George Cooke produced this book after extensive research of cavalry tactics used by the advanced nations in Europe, where
he had been an observer in the Crimean War (1854-1856). Originally published in 1860, the book was revised in 1861 and 1862.
This 1862 Government Printing Office edition combines the former two-volume work into one book. Continued below...
About the Author: Colonel (later Major General) Philip St. George
Cooke (1809-1895) was a West Point Class of 1827 graduate and a thirty-year cavalry veteran. Although a Virginian, Cooke remained
in federal service during the Civil War, even though his son joined the Confederacy and his daughter was the wife of Confederate
General J. E. B. Stuart.
Small Arms at Gettysburg: Infantry and Cavalry Weapons in America's
Greatest Battle (Hardcover). Description:
The three-day battle of Gettysburg has probably been the subject
of more books and articles than any other comparable event. Surprisingly, until this work, no one has analyzed the firearms
and other individual soldier's weapons used at Gettysburg
in any great detail. The battle was a watershed, with military weapons technologies representing the past, present, and future--sabers,
smoothbores, rifles, and breechloaders--in action alongside each other, providing a unique opportunity to compare performance
and use, as well as determining how particular weapons and their deployment affected the outcome and course of the battle.
Small Arms at Gettysburg: Infantry and Cavalry Weapons in America's Greatest Battle covers all
of the individual soldier's weapons--muskets, rifle-muskets, carbines, repeaters, sharpshooter arms, revolvers, and swords--providing
a detailed examination of their history and development, technology, capabilities, and use on the field at Gettysburg. Here
we learn that the smoothbore musket, although beloved by some who carried it, sang its swan song, the rifle-musket began to
come into its own, and the repeating rifle, although tactically mishandled, gave a glimpse of future promise. This is the
story of the weapons and men who carried them into battle during three days in July 1863.
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Union Confederate Cavalry Structure Strategy and Tactics, Civil War Cavalry Battles, Casualties, Results, Mounted Units,
Regiments and Troops, Details, Gettysburg Cavalry Photograph.