CSBS-181920D Set of 3 Dismounted Confederate Cavalrymen, Army of Northern Virginia
The Battle of Brandy Station, also called the Battle of Fleetwood Hill, was the largest predominantly cavalry engagement of the American Civil War, as well as the largest ever to take place on American soil. It was fought on June 9th, 1863, around Brandy Station, Virginia at the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign by the Union cavalry under Maj.Gen. Alfred Pleasonton against Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s Confederate cavalry.After an all day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Gen. Robert E. Lee’s infantry camped near Culpeper. This battle marked the end of the Confederate cavalry’s dominance in the East. From this point in the war the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence.The Battle saw nine thousand Union cavalrymen and three thousand Union infantry clash with ten thousand Confederate horsemen. The fighting lasted for roughly twelve hours and covered dozens of square miles.
Cavalry had learned to fight mounted and dismounted, in effect becoming dragoons.
Cavalry, normally did not now participate in battles, operating instead in front of and on the edges of armies. They could be scouts, raiders, escorts for wagon trains and mounted generals. The glory years of the horse soldier were almost over. In less than a hundred years they would be replaced by aircraft, motorized and mechanized units.