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
The 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 Appomattox", April 9, 1865, prior to Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Captain Edwin E. Bouldin of Co. B is quoted giving a most fitting epitaph to the 14th Virginia Cavalry:
"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.
April 30 – Joined Army of North Virginia
June 2, 3 – Skirmished with Federal pickets between Woodstock and Winchester
June 11 – Engagement at Middletown
June 13 – Engagement at Winchester
June 14 - Engagement at White Post, Bunker Hill , and Martinsburg
June 16 – Took Chambersburg with little difficulty
June 28 – Skirmished with Union Cavalry before entering Mechanicsburg
July1 – Ordered to Gettysburg
July 2 – Ordered to extreme right of Confederate line. Col. Jensen wounded by canon shell. Colonel Cochran took over command
July 3 – Ordered to Rummel’s barn, dismounted and issued 10 rounds per man!
July 6 – Covering Confederate retreat reached Hagerstown
July 7 – Engaged near Sharpsburg , routing the Union Cavalry there Col. Feamster wrote “This was a Cavalry fight with some 6 to 8 thousand on a side.”
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
June 2 – Engaged Gen Crook’s Union forces outside of Covington , after heavy skirmishing were forced back.
June 10 – Running engagement with Gen Averill’s Cavalry
June 11-13 – Constant picket duty and skirmishing, no rest for the 14th…
June 18 – Engagement near Lynchburg
June 20 – Flanked Union position near Hanging Rock and captured 12 pieces of artillery numerous wagons and 35 prisoners
July 4 – Captured North Mountain Depot
July 7 – Engagement at Hagerstown
July 9 – Battle of Monocacy
July 13 – Skirmish at Rockville
July 14 – Skirmish at Edward’s Ferry
July 18 – Skirmish with union cavalry at Ashby’s Gap
July 19 – Skirmish at Berry ’s Ferry
July 20 – Battle at Winchester
July 24 – Gen Early attached a larger Federal army at Kernstown, routed it, the 14th chased the Federal troops to the Potomac , capturing many prisoners, wagons and horses
July 30 – Captured the town of Chambersburg , demanded ransom of $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in Federal greenbacks. Town refused and the town was torched.
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
August 28 – Skirmishes at Smithtown
August 29 – Skirmishes at Opequon
August 30 – Skirmishes at Brucetown
September 1 – Skirmishes at Opequon, again
September 5 – Skirmish at Stephen’s Depot
September 10 – 2 skirmishes, Big Spring and Darkesville
September 12 – Skirmish at Darkesville again
September 19 – North of Winchester, faces Sheridan ’s army, 2 brigades of cavalry Averell’s and Merritt’s, eventually pushed back
September 21 – Engaged at Front Royal
September 22 – Engaged at Milford
September 24 – Engaged at Luray
September 26 – Engaged at Port Republic
September 29 – Engaged at Waynesboro
October 9 – Engaged at Tom’s Brook
October 10 – Engaged at Woodstock
October 11 – Cedar Creek
October 25, 26 – Repulsed Union cavalry at Milford
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!
Oct 28 – Part of the 14th was sent to Rappahannock County to escort a wagon train to Earl’s army.
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.
Nov 22 – Skirmish near Fort Royal
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.
Dec 21 – Marched to Liberty Mills
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
Jan 15 – Marched brigade back across the Blue Ridge and furloughed men for 60 days
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.
April 1 – Engaged by heavy Union forces, infantry and cavalry at Five Forks
April 3 – Stopped at Namozine Church to cook and feed horses, but Union forces kept pushing them on, skirmishes lasted for several days
April 6 – Engagements at Amelia Springs, Jetersville, Deatonville, High Bridge
April 7 – Farmville
April 8 – Passed through village of Appomattox Courthouse
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, April 9, Lee surrendered the Army of North Virginia to Grant