2nd-va-cavalry

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The Short Story...

The N-SSA 2nd Virginia Cavalry was formed with six men on September 15, 1964 in Richmond, VA. It was given seniority number 10 and participated in its first skirmish at Quantico, VA in October of 1954. During the late 50's and early 60's, the unit actively participated in skirmish and Centennial activities. New team members and a compulsory qualification system made the team truly competitive in the mid and late 60's. The team's first win was at the Mosby's Rangers regional skirmish in August of 1967. In 1969, the team won every regional skirmish they attended - 8 in all - from Georgia to Connecticut. In October of 1971, their A and B teams brought home 16 gold medals from the from the 44th National Skirmish and became the first team to claim national championships in both musket and carbine. Today, the 2nd Virginia Cavalry team carries on the tradition of their founders with strong showings in musket, carbine, pistol, mortar and cannon both as a team and as individuals. They continue to pass down the love of the sport to their junior members who participate in individual and group BB competitions. In short, the team is a diverse group of friends and family members with a commitment to the sport of sharp shooting and to the history of weaponry and the United States of America.

The Long Story...

N-SSA Teams... Then and Now

By Lon "Mickey" Kelm

Originally Published in The Skirmish Line Magazine,

In May of 1861, Thomas T. Munford was commissioned by Governor John Letcher as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 30th Regiment, Virginia Volunteers. The regiment was organized and the field officers appointed on May 8, 1861 at Lynchburg, Virginia by Colonel Jubal A. Early, mustering officer. Ten companies were enlisted for State service on various dates from May 11 - June 8, 1861.

It was the first mounted regiment organized in Virginia. On July 1, 1861 the unit was accepted into Confederate States service and ordered to report to General Beauregard at Manassas. When General J.E.B. Stuart reorganized the cavalry after the first battle of Manassas, he made his regiment the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and the 30th Regiment, Virginia Volunteers was designated the 2nd Virginia Cavalry.

The regiment served the Cause for the duration of the war as part of the Army of Northern Virginia. During the Valley campaigns and the Seven Days battles, the 2nd Virginia was assigned to Stonewall Jackson's command. Later, it was attached to Fitzhugh Lee's Division, Wickham's Brigade. To name all of the battles, skirmishes, and other actions in which the regiment was engaged is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, the 2nd Virginia actively participated in each of the ANV's major campaigns. Its service record was brilliant, particularly before its numbers were reduced by attrition and unavailable replacements.

Although the unit relished its military prowess, it equally enjoyed music. It had a regimental band - the only complete band in the cavalry corps. A New York regiment supplied the beautiful set of instruments when captured near Haymarket, Virginia. The band was generally well-mounted and added much to the regiment's spirit. In addition, Sam Sweeney, the well-known banjo-playing trooper of Stuart's cavalry and the younger brother of Joe Sweeney (claimed by many to be inventor of the banjo), was assigned to Stuart's staff from Company H, 2nd Virginia Cavalry.

At Appomattox, the 2nd, along with several other units of Confederate cavalry, broke through Custer's lines. Shortly thereafter, they learned of Lee's surrender; but rather than surrender with Lee's army, they elected to return to Lynchburg. There, on the site they had mustered in four years previously, they called roll and went home.

On September 15, 1954, the reactivated 2nd Virginia Cavalry was organized in Richmond, VA. Six men attended the first meeting and voted to adopt the name of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry in honor of John Fletcher Mason, grandfather of M.E. Mason, Jr., organizer and first team commander of the unit. It was given seniority number 10 and participated in its first skirmish at Quantico, Virginia in October, 1954.

During the late 50's and early 60's, the unit actively participated in skirmish and Centennial activities. The team became truly competitive in the mid and late 60?s with the addition of new faces and a compulsory qualification system, the team enjoyed a steady rise in performance culminating it its initial win in August, 1967 at the Mosby's Rangers regional skirmish. Their most successful year was in 1969 when they won every regional skirmish they attended - eight in all - from Georgia to Connecticut. The 2nd finally put it all together at the 44th National Skirmish in October, 1971 when its A & B teams returned home with 16 gold medals*.

In addition to its musket prowess, the 2nd has been shooting carbines as if its members were born in the saddle with them. With the recent victory at the 49th National Skirmish in the fastest time thus far recorded in national carbine competition, the 2nd became the first team to claim national championships in both musket and carbine competition, clearly propagating a grand tradition established by their forefathers.

Just a friendly reminder to you Yanks out there! Smile, speak softly and tip your hat when you see those boys of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry. They ain't never surrendered yet!

*Note: At the 44th National Skirmish, 17 members of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry won medals. 16 Golds were captured by the A & B teams of the 2nd Virginia. Mickey Keim was farmed out to the B team of the Dismal Swamp Rangers which finished 2nd among the B teams. Surely 16 golds and 1 silver won by 17 members of one team must set some kind of record!

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