Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Steven J. Ramold, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jesse Kauffman, Ph.D.


This comparative study explores the use of cavalry by the Union armed forces and Confederate armed forces during the American Civil War. This study examines the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and Ector’s Brigade of dismounted cavalry. The examination took a look at factors including weapons and equipment, leadership, tactics and strategy, casualties, and campaign performances. This study argues that, the Michigan Cavalry Brigade was able to demonstrate the Union’s superiority over the Confederacy when compared to Ector’s Brigade. Results of the comparative study showed that the Michigan Cavalry Brigade was able to display the Union’s dominance by acquiring small arms that enabled a greater rate of fire. They were used strategically as the cavalry standard called for and demonstrated a more successful campaign experience.