04 September 2011 by Published in: General musings 2 comments

The following poem about the June 9, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station appeared in the Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States, Vol. 49, July-August 1911, page 142. It was originally published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat,, date unknown.

The Cavalry Veteran

This sabre-cut on my forehead scored?
I picked it up at Beverly Ford
The day we turned “Jeb” Stuart’s flank
And hurled him from the river bank.
It was parry and thrust with a hearty will
As we fought for the guns on Fleetwood Hill,
While over the fields and through the pines
Backward and forward surged the lines;
Twelve thousand men in a frenzied fray;
Charge and rally and mad melee —
Oh, the crash and roar as the squadrons met,
The cheers and yells — I can hear them yet!
But we’d forced the fords, so our work was done,
And we galloped away ere set of sun.

With thanks to Clark B. “Bud” Hall for sharing this with me. Good stuff.

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  1. Mike Rosen, M.D.
    Tue 27th Sep 2011 at 6:24 am

    Great poem! Thanks for making it available to a devotee of Civil War Cavalry operations, can never get enough detailed historical accounts of Union cavalry operations. In addition, the term “saber cut” is always intriguing to to a collector of sabers and period surgical instruments.
    Thank you for posting this piece of “historically” related creative writing..

    Mon 08th Feb 2016 at 2:05 am

    Pleasenton’s round about strategy doomed his effort. He may have swept J.E.B from the field had he thrown his entire force of 4,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry across Beverly Ford. Instead, an observer might believe that he intended to attack Richmond, as infantry and cavalry crossed the Rappahannock 15 miles to the southeast and promptly became lost. So be it.

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