Confederate Cavalry

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“Confederate cavalry driving stragglers and skulkers back to their duty at the Battle of Antietam. One of the greatest evils in a volunteer army is the practice of straggling. This decreases under the elevating process of discipline; but all our artists agree in declaring that they have seen nearly one-fourth of a regiment, including officers, dropping off one by one at convenient opportunities. In some cases this may have proceeded from sheer exhaustion, but generally it was for the purpose of cooking their rations, taking a nap, or for shirking a battle. Federal discipline was very lax in this respect, and more stringent regulations were imperatively demanded. The Confederate generals, whom no consideration of humanity ever restrained from making the most cruel examples, treated stragglers without mercy, and hundreds of these miserable men were cut down or shot by their own officers in their attempts to evade the stern necessity of battle. The result was that the Confederate troops very often fought with a desperation unknown in the modern warfare. Our artist, who from a hill at Antietam had a capital view of the field of battle, saw many instances in which some mounted Confederate officers rode amid a body of stragglers and drove them back into the conflict. Our sketch illustrates this peculiar mode of Southern drilling."— Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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