Curtis Carpenter and Dean Barber resurrected the 1st Alabama Cavalry, Company C, United States Volunteers in the summer of 1992. Their mission was to rescue and keep high the reputation and standards of a Civil War cavalry skirmisher and keep the memories of the brave men of the 1st Alabama alive for future generations. We believe that the Alabama Unionists have never been fairly or accurately portrayed, either in the history books or on the reenactment field. We want to tell their story and by doing so, honor their memory.
We fight using the tactics of the Civil War cavalry skirmisher. We fight on our feet, as cavalrymen did most of the time, with carbine and pistol. We do not ride horses, for reasons of economy rather than ability. Cavalry skirmishers fought with their horses protected and out of sight of the enemy line, usually in the next wood behind them. Thus it is not wrong to portray cavalry fighting without horses; it is in fact absolutely correct.
We fight without much of the impedimenta that infantry are loaded down with. Our tactics and our breech-loading carbines mean we can outrun, outflank, outfight and outgun infantry foes several times our size. We so cooperate with mounted cavalry units and artillery units to portray a wholly authentic picture of Civil War cavalry fighting. As cavalry skirmishers, we are usually the first into a fight and the last to leave.
The 1st Alabama Cavalry, Company C, United States Volunteers is just that -- FEDERAL CAVALRY SKIRMISHERS. On any reenactment field today, and particularly in the South, there is often an overabundance of Confederates and far too few Federals. Being outnumbered on the field, we get to fight longer and harder wearing blue coats-- and we are scrappers.