|The Greenbrier Cavalry formed in spring of 1861, and assigned to Jackson's Squadron of Virginia Cavalry, Major George Jackson, and was the root organization for several later companies of the 14th Virginia Cavalry. The Greenbrier Cavalry disbanded when the short enlistments expired, with many of the soldiers then re-enlisting for longer terms in the new 14th Virginia Regiment. Fighting as Mounted Riflemen, they were armed primarily with Mississippi and Enfield Rifles, for dismounted gun fighting, and had few sabers.|
|The Greenbrier Cavalry served in the west Virginia campaign of 1861 as bodyguards for General Garnett until his death at the Battle of Carrick's Ford, and afterward as bodyguard and couriers for General Robert E. Lee, until he left that department.
Known also as Jenkins Guard, these men formed a nucleus of Jenkins Cavalry Brigade, Army of Western Virginia. At the death of General Jenkins at Cloyd Mountain, "Tiger John" McClausland took command of the cavalry brigade.
|Formation: The Greenbrier Cavalry was formed for state service at Lewisburg on April 20, 1861 by William W. Gordon and Joseph Alderson. Gordon, a V.M.I. graduate and lawyer in Lewisburg was elected captain, and Alderson, a graduate of the Lewisburg Academy, was elected lieutenant. When Gordon was appointed colonel of the Twenty-seventh Virginia Infantry, Robert B. Moorman was elected captain. The company later served as guards and couriers for Colonel A.G. Jenkins. It was also General Lee’s bodyguard while Lee was camped at Huntersville and in late November was stationed to guard the junction of the Wilderness Road and the Lewisburg Turnpike.
Joseph Alderson left the company to form another company in the newly forming 36th Virginia Infantry Regiment or Second Kanawha.
The Greenbrier Cavalry quickly grew to two companies. The second company being called the Greenbrier Swifts commanded by Captain Eakles.
|Description: The Staunton Spectator reported: "This fine Company, numbering eighty... arrived at this place on Sunday evening last [May 26, 1861], bearing a beautiful banner which had been prepared and presented by the ladies of Lewisburg. It contained the Virginia coat of arms on one side, and on the other, the inscription 'God speed you.' This is one of the finest cavalry companies in the State. The soldiers are men of character and respectability, and the horses are No. 1."
During their stay in Staunton a livery stable caught fire and the newspapers commended the efforts of the company to put it out. Governor John Letcher visited the troops in Staunton and pronounced "the Greenbrier Cavalry the finest body of men and horses he had ever seen." (Staunton Spectator)
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