14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment History
Excerpts from "14th Virginia Cavalry" by Robert J Driver, Jr.
The 14th Cavalry Regiment consisted of 2209 members over the 4 years, Company's A-N, with only 34 members actually surrendering at Appomattox! Most did not surrender with Lee, but went home to surrender later.
The origins of the 14th Virginia Cavalry began with the formation of four independent companies of cavalry in various parts of the Old Dominion (before West Virginia seceded from Virginia). They were:
Churchville Cavalry - from Churchville, Augusta County, Captain Frank Sterrett commanding
Second Rockbridge Dragoons - Mustered into service April 1861, Captain John R. McNutt commanding
Charlotte Cavalry - Charlotte Court House - Mustered into service April 1861, Captain John G. Smith commanding
The Valley Cavalry - Mustered into service at Churchville May 15, 1862, Captain William A. Lackey commanding
On September 5, 1862 by Special Order Number 208, Adjutant & Inspector General's Office the 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment was organized.
Brigade Commander - General Albert Jenkins
Regimental Commander - Colonel Charles E. Thorburn
Lt Colonel - R. Augustus Bailey
Adjutant - Lt Breckinridge C Bouldin
Quartermaster - Captain Richard T. Crouch
Commissary of Subsistence - Captian Theodore B. Fitzhugh
Regiment was very active throughout the the war. There
were many skirmishes, but two engagements stand out from the rest, and they were
the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3 1863, and what was to be known as "The Final Cavalry Charge at
April 9, 1865, prior to Lee's surrender of the Army of
"It gives me the greatest pleasure to testify to the gallantry of the men and officers of our old company [and regiment] in many hard-fought battles. Even when hope was gone, and all looked dark, they were willing to do their duty as soldiers, and led one of the most desperate charges ever made, with such spirit as to overcome every obstacle."
14th Virginia Cavalry Engagements
November 25, 26 1862, - Lewis Mill, Greenbrier Co. Federal Cavalry routed Companies C, H, I, M, N.
30 – Joined Army of
2, 3 – Skirmished with Federal pickets between
11 – Engagement at
13 – Engagement at
14 - Engagement at White Post,
June 16 – Took Chambersburg with little difficulty
June 28 – Skirmished with Union Cavalry before entering Mechanicsburg
– Ordered to
2 – Ordered to extreme right of Confederate line.
July 3 – Ordered to Rummel’s barn, dismounted and issued 10 rounds per man!
6 – Covering Confederate retreat reached
7 – Engaged near
July 10 – Engaged two miles outside of Boonsboro
July 17 – Engaged near Shepherdstown
Nov 6 – Battle of Droop Mountain, engaged Union forces of General Averall,
At the end of 1863 found the 14th attached to Echoles’ Brigade with only 16 officers and 172 men present for duty and 280 absent on leave or tending horses in rear.
April 20 – After winter quarters an inspection report shows the 14th Regiment at 36 officers, 576 men present and 855 present and absent.
May 9 – Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain, 14th not engaged but lost Gen Jenkins who died of wounds
May 18 – Brigadier General John McCausland promoted to brigade commander
2 – Engaged Gen Crook’s Union forces outside of
June 10 – Running engagement with Gen Averill’s Cavalry
June 11-13 – Constant picket duty and skirmishing, no rest for the 14th…
18 – Engagement near
June 20 – Flanked Union position near Hanging Rock and captured 12 pieces of artillery numerous wagons and 35 prisoners
4 – Captured
7 – Engagement at
July 9 – Battle of Monocacy
13 – Skirmish at
July 14 – Skirmish at Edward’s Ferry
July 18 – Skirmish with union cavalry at Ashby’s Gap
19 – Skirmish at
20 – Battle at
24 – Gen Early attached a larger Federal army at Kernstown, routed it, the 14th
chased the Federal troops to the
30 – Captured the town of
August 4 – Attacked Union forces at New Creek, but withdrew
August 7 – 3 miles north of Moorfield, while brigade is camped they were surprised by Averell’s Cavalry, the brigade lost many Troopers
August 13 – Skirmishing while protecting the right flank of Early’s army
August 15 – Engaged near Fisher’s Hill, pushing back Federal troops as they burned barns, hay stacks and mills
August 19, 20 – 2 days of skirmishing around Stephenson’s Depot
August 25 – Skirmishes at Kearneyville
August 26 – Skirmishes at Leetown
28 – Skirmishes at
August 29 – Skirmishes at Opequon
August 30 – Skirmishes at Brucetown
September 1 – Skirmishes at Opequon, again
September 5 – Skirmish at Stephen’s Depot
10 – 2 skirmishes,
September 12 – Skirmish at Darkesville again
19 – North of Winchester, faces
September 21 – Engaged at Front Royal
22 – Engaged at
September 24 – Engaged at Luray
26 – Engaged at
29 – Engaged at
October 9 – Engaged at Tom’s Brook
10 – Engaged at
October 11 – Cedar Creek
25, 26 – Repulsed Union cavalry at
An Inspection report showed the 14th with 16 officers and 259 present for duty, 5 men present sick, 12 men absent on detail,10 officers and 74 men absent as prisoners of war, 2 officers and 26 men dismounted and 22 men sick in hospital. The report also shows 302 horses serviceable, and 14 sick ones. The 14th was twice as large as the 16th, 17th, or 22nd regiments of the brigade!
28 – Part of the 14th was sent to
Nov 10 – Returned to rejoin the brigade at Front Royal
Nov 12 – Engaged at Cedarville, twice repulsed Union forces, then charged in a counterattack driving the Union forces back 2 miles, but were then attacked and overrun.
22 – Skirmish near
Nov 24 – Went into Winter quarters near Little Washington but had to move a lot due to low forage for the horses and themselves
Dec 14 – Marched 8 miles in deep mud and snow to Madison Courthouse
The 14ths muster roll shows 71 Officers, 730 men present for duty
Dec 20 – Marched 14 miles through knee deep snow to new camp at between Wolftown and Stanardsville.
21 – Marched to
Dec 22 – On picket duty at Barnett’s Ford where they were engaged by Union cavalry under General ATA Torbert. Pushed back to Gordonsville were they were able to stop the advance with infantry support.
Jan 3 – Camp moved to near Earlysville. Absenteeism becoming more serious – 6 out of 10 do not report back in
15 – Marched brigade back across the
During the winter the 14th was transferred to General Richard Beale’s brigade
14th rendezvoused with new brigade near Stony Creek Station
March 17 – Picket duty 4 miles from Stony Creek
March 23 – Found time for horse races!
March 28 – Ordered to Dinwiddie Court House
March 31 – Were engaged by Union forces and helped repel the Union advance
Captain Bouldin, recently exchanged, rejoined the regiment, Col Cochran turned over the command to him stating he was sick and unfit for duty.
1 – Engaged by heavy Union forces, infantry and cavalry at
3 – Stopped at
6 – Engagements at Amelia Springs, Jetersville, Deatonville,
April 7 – Farmville
8 – Passed through
April 9 – Captain Bouldin ordered to take two cannons on a rise supported by infantry.
They charged the cannon with the color guard in front. They took the cannons with pistols, just as the colors were planted on the cannon they were attacked by a regiment of Union cavalry. Since pistols were empty they drew sabers and charged the Union cavalry and engaged them in hand to hand combat driving them back, capturing many prisoners including a Major Moore!
They were once again harassed by infantry and charged them again driving them back past their camps were the Union infantry were just preparing their breakfasts…
James Wilson, the color bearer was fatally wounded during the taking of the cannons, where he said “It is hard to die now just as the war is over” The regimental colors were furled and leaning against the tree later to be picked up by the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry after the battle.
After turning over the prisoners and cannon they found out that -
A little before 4pm,
A little before 4pm,April 9, Lee surrendered the Army of North Virginia to Grant
Regiments Strength and Attrition
The Regiment was organized on September 5, 1862 as follows:
Company A - "White's Mounted Riflemen" commanded by Captain Mooreman B. White and were primarily from Greenbrier County.
Company B - "Charlotte Cavalry", commanded by Captain Edwin E. Bouldin, from Charlotte
Company C - "Valley Cavalry or Rangers", commanded by Captain William A. Lackey, from Augusta and Highland counties.
Company D - "Jenkins Guards", not officially mustered into service till Oct 1, 1862. Captain Robert B. Moorman, from Greenbrier County.
Company E - Captain Absalom Knott's company, from Calhoun County.
Company F (1st) - Captain James B Morgan's Company, from Boone County. Transferred to the 36 Battalion Virginia Cavalry May-June 1863.
Company F (2nd) - Captain William T Smith's Company from Montgomery and Roanoke Counties. Formed May 11,1863 to replace the original Company F.
Company G - "Border Rangers", Captain Waller R Preston, from Montgomery and Roanoke Counties.
Company H - "Second Rockbridge Dragoons", Captain John A. Gibson, from Rockbridge County.
Company I - "Churchville Cavalry", Captain James A. Cochran, from Augusta County.
Company K - "Greenbrier Swifts or Greenbrier Cavalry #2", Captain Benjamin F. Eakle, from Greenbrier County.
Company L - Captain John T. Bland, from Braxton and Nicholas Counties. Transferred to the 17th Virginia Cavalry as Company I on January 28,1863.
Company M - "Braxton Dragoons", Captain Clinton B. Duffield. Transferred to the 36 Battalon Cavalry as Company B on February 5, 1863.
Company N - "Night Hawk Rangers", Captain James S.A. Crawford, from Roane, Jackson, Wirt, and Wood Counties. Reassigned as Company F 17th Virginia Cavalry on January 28, 1863.
The survivors of the 14th made their way back home to pick up the pieces of their lives. Some, from the western countries (Western Virginia), found their reception intolerable and migrated to the west or to other counties where former Confederates felt more secure.
Informal reunions were held over the years. The first reunion of the entire regiment was held in Staunton on August 28 1895. Reunions were held every year, and at the1898 reunion 60 of the ex-cavalrymen attended, in 1899 only 40 members attended. Death and old age was taking a toll on these gallant men.
The last survivor of the regiment, James M. Cannaday of Floyd County, lived to see the Second World War completed, dying on November 29 1947.
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