Jackson's Foot Cavalry

  • American Civil War
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

While the term in not a genuine Military one, it was coined to describe Confederate General Thomas ''Stonewall'' Jackson's Virginia Brigade. It was one of The Confederate States Army's most effective asset in The Shenandoah Valley during The American Civil War (1861-1865). Although Infantry, Jackson maximized his knowledge of The Valley and tactics to create the illusion of cavalry-like (speed) movements which garnered the term ''Foot Cavalry''. The Shenandoah Valley was of crucial important to The Confederacy. Coined The South's ''Bread Basket'', it's crop and materials were of utmost importance to a struggling Confederacy. Since the start of The War in 1861, The North was well aware of the need to close The Valley to The Confederacy. It's vastness made out and out battles for control difficult at best, with most being fought Southern victories.


Confederate General Jackson (a Virginian) had been given command of a Virginia Brigade of Infantry who like him, were born and raised in The Valley. Most were well versed in the many hundred of miles of trails and roads which made travel much easier. Jackson manipulated this knowledge to give the appearance of his Forces moving with the speed of mounted cavalry. Federal Forces that attempted to move against his Forces were often surprised to find Jackson at their Rear or in ambush. Jackson placed great emphasis on ''pushing'' his soldiers to their maximum efforts, often marching as much as 35 to 50-miles each day to accomplish his feats of out flanking Federal Forces. Often, his own men survived on sparse rations with little sleep.


Jackson and his Foot Cavalry would hold dominion over The Valley until Jackson himself was mortally wounded at The Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. Dying several days after his injury, his Virginia Brigade would be diverted to fill gaps in other Virginia Units badly depleted by casualty loss. Without Jackson, The Shenandoah Valley would fall under Federal control in late 1864. Deprived of it's last major source of internal supply, the loss spelled the end of The Confederacy in 1865.