Virginia Cavalry began the war as a group of
independent companies of horse from the Shenandoah Valley,
organized into a regiment by J.E.B. Stuart, who later became a
Major General. It consisted initially of 12 companies (A - M), and completed organization July 16,
One of the most famous Confederate cavalry regiments, the 1st Virginia was led by such intrepid leaders as J.E.B. Stuart, "Fitz" Lee, and "Grumble" Jones.
The 1st distinguished itself in in
many actions, including but not limited to, the Shenandoah Valley in 1861, at Bull Run, in Stuart's ride around McClellan, at Catlett's Station, Brandy Station, Kelly's Ford, Gettysburg, the Buckland "Races", Todd's Tavern, Spotsylvania Court House, Yellow Tavern, Haw's Shop, Nance's Shop, Cold Harbor, Reams' Station, Front Royal, Winchester, Waynesboro, Five Forks, and Appomattox Court House.
The regiment fought in over two hundred battles and skirmishes. From its ranks sprang such renowned cavalry leaders as John Singleton
Mosby ( later to become the leader of Mosby's partisan rangers), Ridgely Brown, and Gustavus W. Dorsey.
Despite heavy casualties, the 1st maintained its high morale and elan to the bitter end.
Escaping at Appomattox Court House, the regiment marched on to Lynchburg before disbanding on April 11, 1865.