Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Chasing Mosby, Killing Booth: The Sixteenth New York Volunteer Cavalry

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Chasing Mosby, Killing Booth: The Sixteenth New York Volunteer Cavalry

Article excerpt

Chasing Mosby, Killing Booth: The Sixteenth New York Volunteer Cavalry. By James Carson. (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Company, 2017. Pp. viii, 255. $35.00, ISBN 978-1-4766-6329-6.)

Regimental studies have long served as a way to focus on how Civil War armies operated and coped with the changing landscape of war. A few Union and Confederate regiments gained fame during the war and continue to capture the attention of scholars and enthusiasts for moments of heroics or involvement in significant battles. In contrast, James Carson's study of the Sixteenth New York Volunteer Cavalry sheds light on a unit that experienced frequent failures throughout the war. By tracing the history of the regiment, Carson acknowledges that many military units were composed of both heroic and flawed individuals. The Sixteenth New York Cavalry's fame, however, comes from its close connection to two of the most infamous figures of the war: Confederate colonel John Singleton Mosby and presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth.

The Sixteenth New York Cavalry was organized in October 1863 as an amalgamated unit from the Washington Light Cavalry, the Twentieth Veterans Infantry, and the Sprague Light Cavalry. Because the unit formed in 1863, it consisted of both veterans and new recruits. By the middle of the war, the excitement to enlist had long evaporated, and the bounties led many throughout New York to enlist in the unit. With Mosby's Rangers continually raiding and harassing Union supplies and soldiers, the Union forces hoped more military units could defend Washington, D.C., and neutralize the threat in the Shenandoah Valley. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.