Thomas Taylor Munford

Confederate Cavalryman Thomas Taylor Munford        Brigadier-General Thomas Taylor Munford, a distinguished cavalry officer of the army of Northern Virginia, was born at the city of Richmond, in 1831, the son of Col. George Wythe Munford, for twenty-five years secretary of the commonwealth. He was graduated at the Virginia military institute in 1852, and until the outbreak of the war, was mainly engaged as a planter.

        He went into the Confederate service as lieutenant-colonel of the Thirtieth Virginia mounted infantry, organized at Lynchburg, May 8, 1861, and mustered in by Col. Jubal A. Early. This was the first mounted regiment organized in Virginia, and under the command of Col. R. C. W. Radford, was in Beauregard's army at the battle of First Manassas. Subsequently it was entitled the Second regiment of cavalry, General Stuart's regiment being numbered First, at the reorganization under Stuart, when Munford was promoted colonel of the regiment. On the field of Manassas he had commanded three squadrons composed of the Black Horse, Chesterfield, and Wise troops, the Franklin rangers, and three independent companies, and pursued the enemy further than any other command, capturing many prisoners and ten rifled guns, which he turned over to President Davis at Manassas.

        His career as a cavalry officer thus brilliantly begun continued throughout the war, and was notable for faithful service in whatever command was allotted him. In the spring of 1862, attached to Ewell's command, he skirmished in Rappahannock county, and then joined Jackson in the Valley. Upon the death of General Ashby he was recommended by Gen. R. E. Lee as his successor. In this capacity he participated in the battle of Cross Keys, and captured many prisoners at Harrisonburg.

        With his regiment he led Jackson's advance in the Chickahominy campaign, and on the day of battle at Frayser's farm, his men were the only part of the corps to cross the river and attack the Federals at White Oak-swamp. He joined Stuart's command in the Manassas campaign, leading the advance of Ewell's division, and received two saber wounds at Second Manassas. In September, assigned to the command of the brigade, he took part in the Maryland campaign, in which his men sustained the main losses of the cavalry division, fighting at Poolesville, Monocacy church, Sugar Loaf mountain, Burkittsville and Crampton's gap. At the latter pass of the South mountain, with about 8oo men, dismounted, he made a gallant defense against the advance of a Federal corps. At Sharpsburg he was actively engaged on the 17th and 18th, on Lee's right wing, guarding the lower fords of the Antietam, crossed the Potomac in the presence of the enemy, and defended the retreat from Boteler's ford. In October, when the Federal army advanced in Virginia in two columns, he was put in command of one division of the cavalry to confront Hancock's troops. Subsequently he was transferred to Fitzhugh Lee's brigade, which he commanded after Chancellorsville at Beverly's ford and Aldie. He took part in the Gettysburg campaign, the Bristoe campaign, and the cavalry operations in the spring of i864 under Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, participated in the Valley campaign with Early, and being promoted brigadier-general in November, 1864, was assigned to the command of Fitzhugh Lee's division. In this rank he made a gallant fight at Five Forks, and on the retreat from Richmond was associated with General Rosser in the defeat of the Federals at High Bridge, capturing 780 prisoners; also in the battle of April 7th, when the enemy was again defeated and Federal General Gregg was captured.

        At Appomattox, at daybreak of April 9th, he commanded the cavalry on the right of the Confederate line, in the attack, and driving the enemy from his front, moved toward Lynchburg. After the surrender of Lee he endeavored to collect the scattered Confederate bands and make a junction with Johnston's army, but after the latter command capitulated he disbanded his men late in the month of April. In his final report Gen. Fitzhugh Lee called attention to the excellent service of General Munford as a division commander. With the close of the war he retired to his home, and since then has been engaged in the management of agricultural interests in Virginia and Alabama, with his home at Lynchburg. He has served two terms as president of the board of visitors of the Virginia military institute. 

Taken from: Confederate Military History, Vol. III, pp. 639-641.

 Reminiscences of Jackson's Valley Campaign by General T.T. Munford, of the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

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