- At 10:18 PM +0000 5/31/05, email@example.com wrote:
>i submit that Selma was the greatest and most effective Cavalry raid of theGreetings:
>war.It's output would have further supplied the Confederacy if President Davis
>had escaped to continue the war in the Trans-Mississippi theater. IMHO.
Wilson's raid in April and May of 1865, part of which was the
capture of Selma, was truly the epitome of the evolution of cavalry
tactics in the war. Without any infantry at all, Wilson's cavalry
corps went off with some 12,000 veteran cavalry and formed a real
striking force all by itself. More than just a raid, it was, in fact,
a mobile army moving quickly and taking all obstacles in its path.
Utilizing a mix of mounted and dismounted tactics, it showed where
the Federal cavalry was going. It is too bad that the Confederacy was
such a hollow shell at this point, because it would have been
interesting to see what Wilson could have accomplished against a
stronger foe. Whatever Forrest's talents, he had little to work with
That said, I don't think that the fall of Selma was all that
important. Lee's army surrendered the same day, the transportation
system of the south was in ruins, morale gone, etc. Davis wouldn't
have been able to rally an army and he wouldn't have had any way to
get whatever supplies Selma produced into any forces he might have
been able to raise. Remember that you need railroads to get much
supplies out and the Mississippi was controlled by Federal gunboats.
Davis wouldn't have been able to do much in the Trans-Mississippi. I
might point out that many of the troops in that theatre were wanting
to go home by December 1864. The attitude of Parson's Texas Cavalry
brigade is pretty typical.
Dr. Laurence Dana Schiller