Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Our horses are nearly all broken down"

Today at Brandy Station: August 10, 1863

Portion of a letter written by Lt. Samuel Willliam Newman Feamster of the 14th Virginia Cavalry

"We have a pretty hard time here, we are on duty all the time 16 of our men are on Provo Guard in Culpeper CH. Gen Stuart is not willing to let us leave, I think the Brig[ade] will all soon be gone if they keep on living as they have been doing. Our horses are nearly all broken down. My horse is gotten quite poor & I got him reared [sent to the rear]. We haven’t had any fighting for a few days not since I wrote you, but we are lying close to the Yankees all the time. I would like to have another horse but it is not worth while to bring a fat horse her for the way we have to treat them they would soon be as poor as the ones we have. The order is whem our horses break down we have them to send back & take to foot."

From the Regimental History of the 14th Virginia Cavalry, by Robert Driver Jr..

It should be noted that two months prior, JEB Stuart and his cavalry were at their zenith. Now, after two months of near constant activity from Culpeper to Gettysburg and back, plus the fighting that took place on the 1st and 4th of August, the mounted arm of the Army of Northern Virginia is broken down and in serious need of refit.

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