Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Myth of the Black Horse Cavalry--Pt. 4

And, as promised, here is another drawing--this time the title is "Charge of the Black Horse Cavalry Upon the Fire Zouaves At the Battle of Bull Run."

Same scene, completely different interpretation.

Here is what IS known: A small part of the 11th New York and all of Reynold's Marines, who were to the left of Ricketts's Battery on Henry Hill, were fired on by Arthur Cumming's 33rd Virginia. The fire was sudden and intense, and the Marines broke ranks and fled back down Henry Hill, followed by the Zouaves. They ran to the Sudley Road cut for protection.

There was no protection to be had. Just as the Marines and the men of the 11th NY reached the cut, 150 mounted Confederates, under the command of JEB Stuart, reached the road as well. The Zouaves initially managed to establish a firing line and got off at least one shot, referred to as a "sheet of flame" in some sources.

What happened next was terrible. According to Edwin Barrett and W. W. Blackford, both members of Stuart's Cavalry:

I could see horses rearing, sabres glistening, and revolvers flashing. . . . I leaned down in the saddle, rammed the muzzle of my carbine into the stomach of my man and pulled the trigger . . . blowing a hole as big as my arm clear through him."

The "pet lambs" were indeed slaughtered.


  1. Bull Run is a free flowing river 32.8 miles long that originates from a spring in the Bull Run Mountains of Loudon County. Loudon was a British Commander during the French and Indian War. Bull Run flows to the Occoquan River and serves as boundries between the Prince William County and Fairfax and Loudon Counties.

    Loudoun County has a Hispanic population of 5.9%.

  2. Yeah-but what was its Hispanic population in 1861???

  3. First time I have learned all of the details about First Bull Run. thanks for putting in both sides of the war. Welcome back.

  4. First Bull Run is complicated by the fact that it is FIRST. None of the information-gathering devices used in most of the War were in place, and much depends upon eye witness accounts, given to the Committee To Investigate Just WTF Happened At Bull Run, aka Committee on the Conduct of the War. When people testified, they did so to put themselves in the best possible light. So, information has to be confirmed in several places to even be considered as probably true.

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