Cavalry played no part at all in the attack on Fort Sanders and little enough in the whole Siege of Knoxville. But General Joseph Wheeler’s rebel cavalry had an early role, and that’s my excuse for including this good video of a cavalry reenactor’s lecture.
Now I’ve been none too kind to reenactors here, mainly because so many of them are seriously overweight (several porky examples are in the background of the video) and therefore hardly represent the true, lean-and-often-hungry appearance of a Civil War soldier, North and South.
The cavalry reenactor of the video, however, is properly trim. He’s portraying a Union cavalry officer with a curiously Southern accent, though there were Southern Unionists, to be sure, and some of them, indeed, were from Eastern Tennessee.
The lecture contains some surprises. I had no idea, for instance, that the cavalry saber was not an edge weapon but had another use entirely. Watch the video and find out for yourself.