Those Damn Horse Soldiers: True Tales of the Civil War Cavalry
Those Damn Horse Soldiers begins in 1862, when “Jeb” Stuart is entrusted with the Rebel Cavalry. In spite of perennial lack of fodder and mounts, and inferior weaponry, the Rebels have the upper hand. Behind the lines, John Hunt Morgan, “the quintessential guerrilla,” specializes in raiding train stations and tapping telephone lines. The Union horsemen are paralyzed, suffering from lack of leadership and imagination. Exasperated Union general William Tecumseh Sherman huffs, “The young bloods of the South… are brave, fine riders, bold to rashness… [They] must all be killed before we can hope for peace.” But it is not until 1863 when Philip Sheridan is named Commander of the Army of the Potomac’s cavalry that the Union begins to succeed.
George Walsh, author of other Civil War books, proceeds towards Appomattox with enlightening quotations, larger-than-life characters, and short, action-packed chapters full of gallantry, humor, tricks, and hardships. This is a very readable, highly entertaining account of a subject that has been overlooked in the Civil War bibliography. Walsh makes it a thrilling ride.