The South had a history of fine horsemanship long before the Civil War; many calvarymen rode to war on horses they had bred, raised and trained themselves. Once in the war, both men and horses faced the cannon fire, privation and discouragement with remarkable valor.
During the first years of the Civil War, the Confederate cavalry was so dangerous and terrifying that Union troops called them the "Black Horse." The duties of cavalry units - to cover the army's flanks and prevent the enemy turning them, to scatter enemy lines and to demoralize enemy ground troops -were carried out with a dashing but deadly efficiency by the gray-clad Confederate cavalry.
In the middle of battle, cavlarymen had to trust their horses a great deal. The riders would be busy, first with firing carbines and revolvers and as they entered close combat, with wielding their sabers. "Saber Charge" captures the grim bravery of the Confederate cavalry, men and horses alike.
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