The 7th Virginia, Ashby's Cavalry
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A Short History of the 7th Virginia Cavalry with Images of Some of Its Members.

The 7th Virginia Cavalry was originally organized by Colonel Angus W. McDonald, Sr., in the early part of 1861. The regiment spent that year operating in the neighborhood of Harpers Ferry and Romney, West Virginia. However, by the spring of 1862, the 7th Virginia Cavalry, was more frequently called "Ashby's Cavalry" although he had brought only Company A, the Mountain Rangers to it in 1861. The 7th Virginia Cavalry served with Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Here they were very active. In one 28 day period they fought 32 separate actions. Jackson called Ashby one of the finest partisan officers of the war.

General Turner Ashby: One of the South's First Tragic Heros.
SCROLL DOWN or learn more about Ashby by visiting the Complete Site.

After Gen. Ashby's death in battle in 1862, the unit served under Gen. Wm. E. "Grumble" Jones' Brigade, and under Gen. Thomas L. Rosser of the Laurel Brigade. The regimental commander for most of the war was Col. Richard H. Dulany. Company A was led by Captain Daniel Cooke Hatcher.

In 1863, the 7th Virginia Cavalry took part in the famous Jones-Imboden Raid into Western Virginia, fought in the great mounted battle at Brandy Station, won a cavalry victory at Fairfield, PA in the Gettysburg Campaign, and served in the Wilderness Campaign. In 1864 they fought at Ream's Station, the "Beefsteak Raid," Trevilian Station, and Cedar Creek.

The 7th Virginia Cavalry was at Appomatox Court House in April 1865, but many, before the Confederate lines were enveloped, succeeded in breaking through and were not forced to surrender. Disbanding and going home, the men tried to return to their post-war lives. The 7th Virginia Cavalry suffered 571 casualties with 118 killed during the war.

The Following is a List of Companies that Remained Part of the 7th Va. Cav For the Entire War:

  • A - Fauquier Mountain Rangers (Captain Ashby/Hacher)(Fauquier Co.)
  • B (1st) - Howard Dragoons (Howard Co., Md.)
  • B (2nd) - Letcher Brock's Gap Rifles (Rockingham Co.)
  • C - Shenandoah Rangers ( Captains Samuel B. Myers & John E. Myers)(Shenandoah Co.)
  • D - Jordan's Co. (Captains Jordan/Coyner/Summers) (Page Co.)
  • E - Bowen's Mounted Rangers (Front Royal, Warren Co.)
  • F - Hampshire Rifleman (Hampshire Co.)
  • G - Mason Rangers (Captain Harry Gilmore)(Maryland & Loudoun Co.)
  • H (1st) - Brock's Gap Sharpshooters (Rockingham Co.)
  • H (2nd) - Shoup's Co. (Rockingham Co.)
  • I - Shand's Company(Rockingham Co.)
  • K - Miller's Company (Shenandoah Co.)

    Additionally, the 12th Virginia Cavalry and the 17th Virginia Cavalry were organized from among the overflow of recruits to the 7th immediately after Ashby's death.

  • Note: Capt. George W. Summers--- last commander of Co. D (Page Co.) 7th VA Cavalry --- joined against his father's wishes ( a loyal Union man) who wished him  to attend college up north during the impending conflict.  According to his family, he and another man in the company  later died in what is known as a Post Appomattox Tragedy----being executed by Union troops in June 1865 at Rude's Hill near New Market, VA.

Impression vs. Reality
The cavalrymen of the South generally viewed themselves as caviliers [left] -- throwbacks to the mounted royalist horsemen of the English Civil Wars. There was a modest historic and geneological linkage between the aristocracy of England and some of the "Plantation Aristocracy" of the Old South, but most southern "blue blood" was aristocratic only because the southerners thought it was so.

The reality [right] was much more sombering. Nonetheless, many southern cavalrymen grew poor in the service of their country. As Shakespeare writes in "Henry V," they sold the pasture to provide the horse. Both views proved grossly far from the truth.

Captain Harry Gilmore
Co.G, 7th Virginia Cavalry

The camera does not lie. Captain Gilmore looks every bit the cavilier. Gilmore was an unusually active and undisciplined man. He claimed to be able to shoot apples from the heads of his friends. He lite-off a crate of fireworks at Federal pickets on Christmas Eve 1862 thereby provoking an artillery bombardment of his own lines. He was accidently shot in the hip during a bar room brawl in Winchester, VA two months later. He served in Co. A for a time ultimately raising his own company which was incorporated into the 12th VA Cavalry. After the war he served as police commissioner in Baltimore and wrote a book about his Civil War activities:"Four Years in the Saddle."
Trooper Michael Bowman
Co.B, 7th Virginia Cavalry

Bowman served in the 1862 Valley Campaign and was wounded in the Wilderness in 1864. Note the large fighting knife.
Trooper Stephen Hannas
7th Virginia Cavalry

This man served in the 1862 Valley Campaign. Said to be from the 7th, but very little is known of him beyond his picture. Note the cavalry style overcoat.
Sgt. Major Harry Hatcher
Co. A, 7th Virginia Cavalry

Brother of Captain Daniel Hatcher, Harry helped to rescue the overly aggressive Ashby from four Federal soldiers who had him surrounded in April, 1862. He shot one of the men with his pistol. He received a bayonet wound at Buckton Station in May 1862. Harry Hatcher transferred to the Rangers of John S. Mosby in 1863 as a 1st Lieutenant. His tomstone reads, "Bravest of the Brave."
3rd Lt. Alfred Glascock
Co. A, 7th Virginia Cavalry

Glascock was not re-elected as lieutenant in 1862, and transferred instead to the Rangers of John S. Mosby as Captain of Co.D.
3rd Lt. Wm. Walter Buck
Co.E, 7th Virginia Cavalry

Served as Quartermaster. Buck was killed by a shot to the throat at the battle at Upperville in 1863. The Federals who buried him in a shallow grave striped his body of money, buttons, boots, and jewelry. He was described by a fellow officer as bright, intelligent, and full of zeal in the service of his country.
2nd Sgt. Joseph Riddle
Co. B, 7th Virginia Cavalry

Riddle was detailed to buy horses for the regiment and to serve in the HORSE HOSPITAL on several occasions. He provided his own horse, valued at 158 dollars in 1861,and at almost 1900 dollars in 1864. Of course, this was in inflated dollars, and it may not have been the same horse. Riddle was wounded at Ream's Station in 1864.
Lt. Col. Thomas Marshall
7th Virginia Cavalry

Served as an aid to Stonewall Jackson at Manassas in 1861 as a Captain. Appointed Lt. Colonel of the 7th Virginia Cavalry in October 1862. He had six horses shot out from under him during the war. He fought at Trevilian Station, was wounded twice (Ream's Station, Petersburg), and was killed at Nineveh in November, 1864. He was ultimately buried in the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, VA besides Turner Ashby.
A Laurel Brigade Patch Worn by the 7th Virginia Cavalry
The border and leaves are green and the background is yellow.

A flag presented to the Fauquier Mountain Rangers
Later Co.A of the 7th Virginia Cavalry