Term Paper History

Submitted By Brandon-Borba
Words: 1489
Pages: 6

Brandon Borba
History 17A
Professor Maddock
13 May 2015
Civil War Calvary Calvary in the civil war wasn’t as popular or used during the civil war but they had their important viewings throughout the war. To begin, the Calvary on the civil war didn’t see as much action as past wars because of the advancements in technology and also they were used for more none war purposes. During the Civil War, the cavalry had five major missions: reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance screening, defensive and guarding, pursuit and harassment of defeated enemy forces, offensive actions, and long-distance raiding against enemy lines of communications, supply depots, railroads, and related targets. The Unions Calvary force started with five regular mounted regiments: the 1st and 2nd U.S. Dragoons, the 1st Mounted Rifles, and the 1st and 2nd Cavalry. These were renumbered the 1st through 5th U.S. Cavalry regiments, respectively, and a 6th was created by recruitments. By 1864, many of the units were merely cavalry in designation but dismounted infantry in operation, because although they rode horses, they dismounted and fought as infantry during battle. The Confederate army was organized into a single large division that was then divided into brigades and then accompanied by six batteries of horse artillery. Despite previous wars, there were only two preeminent mounted forces during the Civil War: Calvary and mounted infantry. Cavalry were forces that fought principally on horseback, armed with carbines, pistols, and especially sabers. Only a small percentage of Civil War forces met this definition—primarily Union mounted forces in the Eastern Theater during the first half of the war. Confederate forces in the East generally carried neither carbines nor sabers. A few Confederate regiments in the Western Theater carried shotguns, especially early in the war. The mounted infantry were forces that moved on horseback but dismounted for fighting on foot, armed principally with rifles. In the second half of the war, most of the units considered to be cavalry actually fought battles using the tactics of mounted infantry. An example of this was the celebrated "Lightning Brigade" of Col. John T. Wilder, which used horses to quickly arrive at a battlefield such as Chickamauga, but they deployed and fought using standard infantry formations and tactics. By contrast, at the Battle of Gettysburg, Federal cavalry under John Buford also dismounted to fight Confederate infantry, but they used conventional cavalry tactics, arms, and formations. There were some state units designated as dragoons in the war, but they performed as mounted infantry. Throughout the war, there were differences in the two Calvary’s; along with the advantages, disadvantages, and similarities they faced during the war. The weapons carried by Union soldiers were three Remington revolvers, two Bowie knives, and a Springfield rifle-musket (knives were usually discarded later in the war, and replaced with additional revolvers). Confederate horseman were armed with a double barrel shotgun or rifle, a D-Guard Bowie Knife, and a revolver (at short distances, the double barrel shots could hit a moving target a lot easier than a rifle or revolver could). The U.S. Army entered into the Civil War in 1861 with scarcely a cavalry force, the five regiments plus the recruitment regiment while the Confederate army was organized into one large division, divided into brigades, and accompanied by six batteries of horse artillery (usually only important soldiers of the Calvary would actually have sabers). By the end of the war, 272 cavalry regiments were formed in the Union army and 137 in the Confederate army. The Union cavalry was at a disadvantage at the start of the war because Northern soldiers had less comparative equestrian experience than their Southern counterparts, and while the roads in the rural South were generally poor, horses were used daily for individual transportation than they…