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Alexandria, July 25, 1861. I overheard one of the men sitting on the door step of the house describing the charge of the Black Horse Cavalry, part of which, I believe, is Capt. Scott's Fauquier cavalry. He said they advanced in a wedge form, then opened, disclosing a battery which fired upon his regiment, and that then the cavalry charged upon the regiment, hem­ming it in on all sides; and, cutting right and left with tremendous blows, each blow powerful enough to take off a man's head. he said he never wished to see such a charge again."

-- The Richmond Daily Inquirer, quoting the Baltimore Exchange

The Black Horse was initially formed in Fauquier County in 1859 as an independent volunteer cavalry company. It was mustered into the service of the Commonwealth of Virginia in May of 1861 and subsequently became Company H of the 4th VA Cavalry. However, the name "Black Horse Troop" continued to be used. The Black Horse Cavalry was sometimes erroneously applied to Confederate cavalry as a whole, for example after First Manassas, a famous painting erroneously depects "The Black Horse" cavalry routing Zouave troops from New York when it actually was JEB Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry. The Black Horse won a reputation as fierce fighters and excellent riders that caused them to instill fear in the enemy throughout the War.

The roster of the Black Horse included a great many young men from the oldest and most established families of Fauquier County, in the heart of Virginia's horse country. Many had honed their skills for years before the War in foxhunting and at the jousting tournaments held in Fauquier Springs, and rapidly adapted those skills to the needs of cavalry in wartime.

The Black Horse troop served from First Manassas to Appomattox Court House, participating in every major battle and campaign which involved the Army of Northern Virginia and never surrendering their colors. The unit produced three brigadier generals and numerous post-war elected officials.

The 4th Virginia Cavalry was comprised of companies from Prince William, Chesterfield, Madison, Culpeper, Powhatan, Goochland, Hanover, Warren, and Buckingham counties, some of the finest sons of the “old Dominion”.

  • Historical Roster of the Black Horse:
    Roster - Index PDF file
    From The Black Horse Calvary: An Annotated Bibliographical Register of Members of the Company., by historian Lynn Hopewell (descendant of Strother Seth Jones, member of the Black Horse) (yet to be published)
  • Arms & Equipments of the Black Horse: 
    October 1863 inventory of items issued to Co. H, researched by Jim Rowe
  • Books about the Black Horse:
    Visit historian and author Lynn Hopewell's website, for information on the forthcoming publication of his history of the Black Horse.



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