ing, and giving him no time to form or consider anything but the immediate means of flight, pushing him vigorously every step with all the confidence of victory achieved, is true cavalry; while a body of men equally brave and patriotic, who halt at every picket and reconnoiter until the precious surprise is over, is not cavalry.
While rashness is a crime, boldness is not incompatible with caution, nay, is often the quintessence of prudence.
The position which the cavalry officers generally take in battle is a subject requiring immediate correction. Though highly creditable to their gallantry, it is highly derogatory to their discretion, and at direct variance with their duty. The following will be hereafter adhered to strictly:
A brigade, regiment of squadron advancing in line of battle, will have the commander in front sufficiently far to supervise and control its movements; but in columns of squadrons, platoons, fours, or twos, the brigade commander must be in a position sufficiently central to keep his brigade well in hand, and make communication to his colonels easy and intelligible.
The regimental commander will preserve such a location in his column as shall be sufficiently central to control and supervise its movements and check any wavering by prompt support; to order his squadron commanders successively to the charge, and superintend their rallying and return to action. These duties will absorb all his energies and time, and will require the active assistance of the lieutenant-colonel, major, and regimental staff.
The squadron commander will lead his squadron, keeping it together, preserving in his own person coolness and self-possession, but the quickness of an eagle. He will be assisted by the second captain and lieutenants, all striving by precept and example to insure success, remembering that in victory alone is safety and honor. The squadron commander who hesitates to lead his men whenever ordered by his colonel, is a disgrace to his commission; and men who fail or falter in a charge led by their squadron chief, will not be lost sight of in the annals of infamy and disgrace.
Should the charge be repulsed, the skirmishers on the flanks will, instead of retiring with the column, direct a concentrated fire on the advancing column of the enemy, endeavoring to hold it in check till fresh troops move up.
The ambulance corps alone will be allowed to remove the wounded, and all will bear in mind that our first duty to our wounded is to win the victory.
Should any check or confusion occur, the utmost silence will be observed in the ranks, in order that the commands of officers may be distinctly heard and quickly executed. The commands given will be few and to the point.
The major-general commanding appeals not only to the officers but to the men of division to observe the rules he has laid down for their guidance.
That individuality of action which so strongly characterizes the conduct of our troops in battle, if unguided or misdirected, can but produce confusion. But let the same idea control the mind of every man, let them apply these general principles to the incidents of battle as they arise, and success in certain.
By command of Major General J. E. B. Stuart:
H. B. McCLELLAN,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.