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The bombardment by Confederate artillery of Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861 was the spark that finally ignited the American Civil War (1861-1865), quickly bringing thousands of eager volunteers for the Union cause. It proved especially easy to raise cavalry, since recruits naively believed that their military duties would be easier than in the infantry. This book investigates all aspects of the life and experiences of a Union trooper, covering enlistment, training, uniforms, weapons, cavalry tactics and the discrepancy between the recruit's view of swashbuckling charges and heroic hand-to-hand combat and the less glorious reality.

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