Lee’s Body Guards: The 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry
They considered themselves “Lee’s Body Guard,” cavalrymen specifically recruited to serve as scouts, couriers and guides for General Robert E. Lee. Though their battle experiences might pale compared to those of soldiers under J.E.B. Stuart and Wade Hampton, the men of the 39th Virginia served crucial roles in the Confederate army. From the fields of Second Manassas to Appomattox Court House, they were privy to the inner workings of the Confederate high command. They were also firsthand witnesses to the army’s victories and triumphs and to its tragedies and trials, from losing Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville to losing the opportunity to win the war at Gettysburg. Award-winning author Michael C. Hardy chronicles the experiences of this unique group of Confederate cavalrymen.