The Real Horse Soldiers

Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid Through Mississippi

Timothy B. Smith

Based upon years of research and presented in gripping, fast-paced prose, this book captures the high drama and tension of the 1863 horse soldiers in a modern, comprehensive, academic study.
Publication date:
April 2020
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Illustration :
12 maps, 36 photos
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781611214284

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
Available in 6-8 weeks
ISBN : 9781611215304

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks
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Benjamin Grierson's Union cavalry thrust through Mississippi is one of the most well-known operations of the Civil War. The last serious study was published more than six decades ago. Since then other accounts have appeared, but none are deeply researched full-length studies of the raid and its more than substantial (and yet often overlooked) results. The publication of Timothy B. Smith's The Real Horse Soldiers: Benjamin Grierson's Epic 1863 Civil War Raid through Mississippi, now available in paperback, rectifies this oversight.

There were other simultaneous operations to distract Confederate attention from the real threat posed by General U. S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg in Louisiana. Grierson's operation, however, conducted with three cavalry regiments and a battery of small artillery pieces, is the most famous. For 16 days (April 17 to May 2), Grierson led Confederate pursuers on a high-stakes chase through the entire state of Mississippi, entering through the northern border with Tennessee and exiting its southern border with Louisiana. The daily rides were long, the rest stops short, and the danger as high as the tension. Ironically, the man who led the raid was a former music teacher who some say disliked horses. Throughout, he displayed outstanding leadership and cunning, destroyed railroad tracks and supplies, burned trestles and bridges, freed slaves, and created as much damage and chaos as possible.

Novelists have attempted to capture the larger-than-life cavalry raid in the popular imagination, and Hollywood reproduced the daring cavalry action in The Horse Soldiers, a 1959 major motion picture starring John Wayne and William Holden. Readers of The Real Horse Soldiers who think they know all about this cavalry operation will quickly discover just how complex and important it was, and how close it came to abject failure.

Based upon years of research and presented in gripping, fast-paced prose, Timothy B. Smith's award-winning The Real Horse Soldiers captures the high drama and tension of the 1863 horse soldiers in a modern comprehensive study.