9th Virginia Cavalry Company B, Roscoe, IL © Copyright 2017
The 9th Virginia Cavalry, Company B, has its origins in a volunteer militia organization first formed in Caroline County, Virginia in 1859. Company B of the 9th Virginia Cavalry was formally enlisted on May 6, 1861, and was known as the Caroline Light Dragoons. The regiment's first commander was Colonel John E. Johnston. He was succeeded by Colonel W.F. "Rooney" Lee (Robert E. Lee's son) when the regiment was reorganized in early 1862. In June of that year, Company B led General J.E.B. Stuart's infamous "Ride Around McClellan's Army of the Potomac." In October, Colonel Lee was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of a cavalry brigade. Colonel R.L.T. Beale was appointed to command the regiment. The 9th Virginia Cavalry Regiment with the Caroline Light Dragoons joined Robert E. Lee for his Seven Days Offensive (June 25 - July 1, 1862). This series of battles thwarted Major General George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign that intended to take the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. In November 1862, the 9th Virginia made a daring raid overwhelming and capturing the entire Federal force at Leedstown, VA. On December 11 & 12, 1862, the 9th Virginia supported Pelham's Artillery at Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In June 1863, the 9th Virginia held the left flank at Brandy Station, the single largest mounted cavalry battle ever fought on the American continent, some 17,000 cavalry soldiers. Brigadier General "Rooney" Lee's brigade, which included the 9th Virginia, charged the Federal right. Driving the 6th Pennsylvania from the field, the 9th Virginia Cavalry ended Federal Brigadier General John Buford's attempt to disrupt General Robert E. Lee's attempt to concentrate the Army of Northern Virginia to prepare for an invasion of the North. The 9th Virginia was again engaged in a cavalry battle With Brig. General George Armstrong Custer’s 1st Michigan Cavalry on July 3, 1863, just east of Gettysburg at the East Cavalry Field and the Rommel Farm about the same time as Pickett's fateful charge up Cemetery Ridge. On July 6, 1863, Major General J.E.B. Stuart lauded the 9th Virginia for it's "Marked Gallantry" in the charging of the Union guns at Hagerstown during the Gettysburg Campaign.
The 9th Virginia next served as skirmishers for the entire line as Manassas on October 1, 1863. On March 2, 1864, elements of the 9th Virginia sprung an ambush on 100 Federal cavalry soldiers under the command of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren (21-year-old son of Admiral John Dahlgren, USN) near Walkerton, Virginia. Colonel Dahlgren was killed and his entire command captured. On June 1, the 9th Virginia smashed the federal opposition at Ashland, Virginia. By August 14, the 9th Virginia was with Generals Chambliss and Fitzhugh Lee at White's Tavern. On August 25, the 9th Virginia distinguished itself at the Battle of Reams Station where the Confederate forces shattered Federal General Kautz and effectively ended the Wilson-Kautz Raid on the Confederate rail lines. It was said that the 9th Virginia Cavalry "covered itself all over with glory".
With the Army of Northern Virginia to the very end, the 9th Virginia Cavalry held the left flank as the 14th Virginia Cavalry made the last charge of the Confederacy at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. These brave and faithful American soldiers stood by their country and cause to the very end. It surrendered 1 officer and 26 men. The field officers were Colonels Richard L.T. Beale, John E. Johnson, William H.F. Lee, and Thomas Waller; Lieutenant Colonel Meriwether Lewis; and Major Samuel A. Swann.
9th Virginia Cavalry
Company B Unit History