39th VA Cav Bn: Lee’s Body Guards: The 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry



in Virginia Regimental Histories

LeesBodyGuards39thVaCavBnHardy2019Unit: 39th Virginia Cavalry Battalion

Unit Affiliation: Provost, ANV

Title: Lee’s Body Guards: The 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry

Author: Michael C. Hardy

SOPO’s Take: Michael C. Hardy adds another volume to his already impressive list of Civil War books, and yet another volume to his collection of Confederate unit histories.  The 39th Virginia Cavalry Battalion was part of the Army of Northern Virginia’s provost guard during the Siege of Petersburg, and as such it does not have a typical unit history. The unit was formed specifically “to serve as scouts, couriers, and guides for General Robert E. Lee.” Often, they also escorted Union prisoners to the rear.  There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of material out there on this rather unique unit, but Michael Hardy found most of it judging by the bibliography.  The unit history takes up about 93 pages, while a roster makes up the last half of the book.

Book Summary/Review:

    SOPO Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

      Publisher: The History Press

      Publication Date: 2019

      ISBN-13: 978-1-4671-4150-5

      Links to Read/Buy:

      1. Lee’s Body Guards: The 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Google Books)
      2. Lee’s Body Guards: The 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Amazon.com)


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      { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

      Bryce A. Suderow August 13, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Can you tell me their activities during the siege of Petersburg and the appomattox campaign?


      Brett Schulte August 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm


      They were never in a pitched battle. Typically they ran messages for General Lee, collected and guarded prisoners, and performed the usual duties of a provost guard. Some men were detached to the Valley too to serve with Early and perform the same duties.


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