J. E. B. Stuart
James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart was a United States Army officer from Virginia who became a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. He was known to his friends from the initials of his given names. Stuart was a cavalry commander known for his mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations. While he cultivated a cavalier image, his serious work made him the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee's army and inspired Southern morale. Stuart graduated from West Point in 1854, served in Texas and Kansas with the U. S. Army, he was a veteran of the frontier conflicts with Native Americans and the violence of Bleeding Kansas, he participated in the capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry. He resigned, when his home state of Virginia seceded, to serve in the Confederate Army, first under Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, but in important cavalry commands of the Army of Northern Virginia, playing a role in all of that army's campaigns until his death.
He established a reputation as an audacious cavalry commander and on two occasions circumnavigated the Union Army of the Potomac, bringing fame to himself and embarrassment to the North. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, he distinguished himself as a temporary commander of the wounded Stonewall Jackson's infantry corps. Stuart's most famous campaign, the Gettysburg Campaign, was flawed when his long separation from Lee's army, left Lee unaware of Union troop movements so that Lee was surprised and trapped at the Battle of Gettysburg. Stuart received significant criticism from the Southern press as well as the postbellum proponents of the Lost Cause movement. During the 1864 Overland Campaign, Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry launched an offensive to defeat Stuart, mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Stuart's widow wore black for the rest of her life in remembrance of her deceased husband. Stuart was born at Laurel Hill Farm, a plantation in Patrick County, near the border with North Carolina.
He was of Scots-Irish background. He was the youngest of the five sons to survive past early age, his great-grandfather, Major Alexander Stuart, commanded a regiment at the Battle of Guilford Court House during the American Revolutionary War. His father, Archibald Stuart, was a War of 1812 veteran, slaveholder and Democratic politician who represented Patrick County in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, served one term in the United States House of Representatives. Archibald was a cousin of Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart. Elizabeth Letcher Pannill Stuart, Jeb's mother, known as a strict religious woman with a good sense for business, ran the family farm. Stuart was educated at home by his mother and tutors until the age of twelve, when he left Laurel Hill to be educated by various teachers in Wytheville, at the home of his aunt Anne and her husband Judge James Ewell Brown at Danville, he entered Emory and Henry College when he was fifteen, attended from 1848 to 1850. During the summer of 1848, Stuart attempted to enlist in the U.
S. Army, but was rejected as underaged, he obtained an appointment in 1850 to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, from Representative Thomas Hamlet Averett, the man who had defeated his father in the 1848 election. Stuart was happy at the Academy. Although not handsome in his teen years, his classmates called him by the nickname "Beauty", which they described as his "personal comeliness in inverse ratio to the term employed." He possessed a chin "so short and retiring as positively to disfigure his otherwise fine countenance." He grew a beard after graduation and a fellow officer remarked that he was "the only man he saw that beard improved."Robert E. Lee was appointed superintendent of the academy in 1852, Stuart became a friend of the Lee family, seeing them on frequent occasions. Lee's nephew, Fitzhugh Lee arrived at the academy in 1852. In Stuart's final year, in addition to achieving the cadet rank of second captain of the corps, he was one of eight cadets designated as honorary "cavalry officers" for his skills in horsemanship.
Stuart graduated 13th in his class of 46 in 1854. He ranked tenth in his class in cavalry tactics. Although he enjoyed the civil engineering curriculum at the academy and did well in mathematics, his poor drawing skills hampered his engineering studies, he finished 29th in that discipline. A Stuart family tradition says he deliberately degraded his academic performance in his final year to avoid service in the elite, but dull, Corps of Engineers. Stuart was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant and assigned to the U. S. Regiment of Mounted Riflemen in Texas. After an arduous journey, he reached Fort Davis on January 28, 1855, was a leader for three months on scouting missions over the San Antonio to El Paso Road, he was soon transferred to the newly formed 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, where he became regimental quartermaster and commissary officer under the command of Col. Edwin V. Sumner, he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1855. In 1855, Stuart met Flora Cooke, the daughter of the commander of the 2nd U.
S. Dragoon Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke. Burke Davis described Flora as "an accomplished horsewoman, though not pretty, an effective charmer," to whom "Stuart succumbed with hardly a struggle." They became engaged in September
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea
Virginia Central Railroad
The Virginia Central Railroad was an early railroad in the U. S. state of Virginia that operated between 1850 and 1868 from Richmond westward for 206 miles to Covington. Chartered in 1836 as the Louisa Railroad by the Virginia General Assembly, the railroad began near the Richmond and Potomac Railroad's line and expanded westward to Orange County, reaching Gordonsville by 1840. In 1849, the Blue Ridge Railroad was chartered to construct a line over the Blue Ridge Mountains for the Louisa Railroad which reached the base of the Blue Ridge in 1852. After a decision from the U. S. Supreme Court, the Louisa Railroad was allowed to expand eastward from a point near Doswell to Richmond. Renamed as the Virginia Central Railroad in 1850, the railroad bypassed the under construction Blue Ridge Railroad via a temporary track built over Rockfish Gap; this connected the railroad's eastern division with its expanding line across the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley. Having reached Clifton Forge by 1857, the railroad began operating the completed Blue Ridge Railroad in 1858 and continued preparing for further expansion until the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861.
As a prime target for Federal raids by Union Cavalry, the railroad faced significant action against it during the war. Although the war left the railroad with only a fraction of its line left operable, the railroad was running over its entire pre-war length by July 1865. After the war, both longtime president Edmund Fontaine and former Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham served as president of the Virginia Central and oversaw its expansion towards Covington; the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad was formed in 1868 from the merger of the Virginia Central Railroad and the Covington and Ohio Railroad, had expanded westward to the Ohio River by 1873 after new financing from Collis P. Huntington was recruited; the new railroad expanded eastward in the 1880s via the Peninsula Subdivision to Newport News. The Chesapeake and Ohio operated for over one hundred years until it was reorganized through merger as CSX Transportation in the 1980s. Today, CSX, the Buckingham Branch Railroad still use portions of the old Virginia Central line for freight and passenger rail service.
The Virginia General Assembly passed on February 18, 1836, an act to incorporate the Louisa Railroad company to construct a rail line extending from the Richmond and Potomac Railroad westward. The railroad, as specified by the original charter, was to connect with the RF&P near Taylorsville, at what would become Hanover Junction, extend westward, passing the Louisa courthouse, to Orange County at the base of the Southwest Mountains; the Virginia Board of Public Works owned two-fifths of the total $300,000 stock sold to finance the railroad's initial construction. Construction of the Louisa Railroad began in October 1836, reaching the Louisa courthouse by 1839, by 1840 had reached Gordonsville; the railroad had been planned by its original charter to build across the Blue Ridge Mountains to Harrisonburg, but in 1839, the Commonwealth requested a survey to be conducted to determine a feasible route to Staunton by way of Charlottesville. This route, which passed over the mountains at Rockfish Gap, was chosen as a better alternative than the original plan to cross at Swift Run Gap to the north.
In 1847, the charter was modified by the Assembly to provide for the railroad's construction to the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, in 1849, the Blue Ridge Railroad was chartered to cross the mountains at Rockfish Gap to Waynesboro. Claudius Crozet was appointed Chief Engineer of the Blue Ridge Railroad, under his leadership and direction, the railroad began construction over the Blue Ridge using a series of four tunnels. Meanwhile, the Louisa Railroad had reached the Rivanna River near Charlottesville by 1850 and by 1852 had reached Mechums River, near the eastern end of the Blue Ridge Railroad. Operation of the Louisa Railroad was handled by the RF&P, beginning with the first operation of a train over Louisa Railroad tracks on December 20, 1837; this condition continued until June 1847. The eastern terminus of the Louisa Railroad was at Hanover Junction with the RF&P Railroad; the charter of that line protected it from construction of a parallel competitor, but an act by the Virginia General Assembly in 1848 authorized the extension of the Louisa Railroad easterly through Hanover and Henrico Counties to reach Richmond.
This act was protested by the RF&P for violating the earlier decree of the Assembly against a parallel competitor. The RF&P's claim was overturned by a Virginia State Court, which ruled that the Assembly retained the right to authorize construction of other railroads between Richmond and Fredericksburg, that the original charter of the RF&P only applied to the transportation of passengers; the decision of the court was appealed and reached the U. S. Supreme Court in Richmond and Potomac Railroad Company v. Louisa Railroad Company, which ruled in favor of the Louisa Railroad, upholding the state court's decision; the first president of the Louisa Railroad was Frederick Overton Harris, a native of Louisa County, who served until 1841. After Harris' term, Charles Y. Kimbrough from Louisa, served until 1845, when Edmund Fontaine was elected to office upon Kimbrough's death. Edmund Fontaine would continue to serve as president of the Louisa Railroad and its successor until after the American Civil War.
While the Blue Ridge Mountain section was being breached, the Louisa Railroad was busy building westward from the western foot of the mountains, across
Earlysville is an unincorporated community in Albemarle County, United States 9 miles north of Charlottesville. It is named for John Early, who in 1822 bought just under 1,000 acres of land that now comprise a portion of the town. Earlysville has a small central business district, with a grocery store, dentist, daycare and several retail stores; as of January 2019 there remains only a thrift store, an auto repair shop, a United States Post Office, a large number of churches. There is several small suburban developments; the bulk of the area is rural in character. The community was the original location of Michie Tavern, before its 1927 relocation adjacent to Monticello. Historic structures still located in Earlysville include Earlysville Union Church and Buck Mountain Episcopal Church; the Baroness Wendy DeVere-Austin is a writer of mystery novels, the Baron, AKA Raymond Austin is a director, producer and novelist best known in the U. S. and U. K. for his prolific work on many television programs.
Robert Llewellyn, born 1945 in Roanoke, is a professional photographer who grew up in South Boston and now lives and works in Earlysville. George Allen, former United States Senator. David M. Bailey, singer-songwriter Mark Helprin, novelist and conservative commentator. Ann Mallek, County supervisor. Earlysville Earlysville
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by branch of service. A battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry; the term was first used in Italian as battaglione no than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battaglia; the first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, the first use to mean "part of a regiment" is from 1708. A battalion is the smallest military unit capable of "limited independent operations", meaning it includes an executive, staff with a support and services unit; the battalion must have a source of re-supply to enable it to sustain operations for more than a few days. This is because a battalion's complement of ammunition, expendable weapons, rations, lubricants, replacement parts and medical supplies consists of only what the battalion's soldiers and the battalion's vehicles can carry.
In addition to sufficient personnel and equipment to conduct operations, as well as a limited administrative and logistics capability, the commander's staff coordinates and plans operations. A battalion's subordinate companies and their platoons are dependent upon the battalion headquarters for command, control and intelligence, the battalion's service and support structure; the battalion is part of a brigade, or group, depending on the branch of service. A battalion's companies are of one type, although there are exceptions such as combined arms battalions in the U. S. Army. A battalion includes a headquarters company and some sort of combat service support, combined in a combat support company; the term battalion is used in the British Army Infantry and some corps including the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, intelligence corps. It was used in the Royal Engineers, was used in the now defunct Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Pioneer Corps. Other corps use the term "regiment" instead.
An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment. It has a headquarters company, support company, three rifle companies; each company is commanded by a major, the officer commanding, with a captain or senior lieutenant as second-in-command. The HQ company contains signals, catering, administration, training and medical elements; the support company contains anti-tank, machine gun, mortar and reconnaissance platoons. Mechanised units have an attached light aid detachment of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in theatre during World War II had around 845 men, whereas, as of 2012, a British battalion had around 650 soldiers. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry regiments were reduced to a single battalion. Important figures in a battalion headquarters include: Commanding officer Second-in-command Adjutant Quartermaster Quartermaster Medical officer Administrative officer Padre Operations officer Regimental sergeant major Regimental quartermaster sergeant Regimental quartermaster sergeant Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps.
A battle group consists of an infantry battalion or armoured regiment with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the command of the battalion commander. In the Canadian Forces, most battalions are reserve units of between 100–200 soldiers that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of a half-company apiece; the nine regular force infantry battalions each contain three or four rifle companies and one or two support companies. Canadian battalions are commanded by lieutenant-colonels, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by majors; those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are: The Royal Canadian Regiment Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal 22e Régiment The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group, which includes various supporting elements such as armour, combat engineers and combat service support. An infantry battle group will be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.
In the Royal Netherlands Army, a mechanised infantry battalion consists of one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry companies, one support company
Skirmishers are light infantry or cavalry soldiers in the role of skirmishing—stationed to act as a vanguard, flank guard, or rearguard, screening a tactical position or a larger body of friendly troops from enemy advances. They are deployed in a skirmish line—an irregular open formation much more spread out in depth and breadth than a traditional line formation, their purpose is to harass the enemy—engaging them in only light or sporadic combat in order to delay their movement, disrupt their attack, or weaken their morale. Skirmishers' open formations and smaller numbers can give them superior mobility over the regular forces, allowing them to fight on more favorable terms, taking advantage of better position or terrain and withdrawing from any threat of superior enemy forces. Skirmishers can be either regular army units temporarily detached to perform skirmishing, or specialty units armed and trained for such low-level irregular warfare tactics. Light infantry, light cavalry, irregular units specialize in skirmishing.
Though critical in screening the main army from sudden enemy attacks, skirmishers are poor at taking and defending ground from heavy infantry or heavy cavalry. In modern times, following the obsolescence of such heavy troops, all infantry has become indistinguishable from skirmishers, the term has lost military meaning. A battle with only light indecisive combat is called a skirmish. In ancient warfare, skirmishers carried bows, javelins and sometimes light shields. Acting as light infantry with their light arms and minimal armour, they could run ahead of the main battle line, release a volley of arrows, sling stones, or javelins, retreat behind their main battle line before the clash of the opposing main forces; the aims of skirmishing were to disrupt enemy formations by causing casualties before the main battle, to tempt the opposing infantry into attacking prematurely, throwing their organization into disarray. Skirmishers could be used to surround opposing soldiers in the absence of friendly cavalry.
Once preliminary skirmishing was over, skirmishers participated in the main battle by shooting into the enemy formation, or joined in melée combat with daggers or short swords. Due to their mobility, skirmishers were valuable for reconnaissance in wooded or urban areas. In classical Greece, skirmishers had low status. For example, Herodotus, in his account of the Battle of Plataea of 479 BC, mentions that the Spartans fielded 35,000 armed helots to 5,000 hoplites yet there is no mention of them in his account of the fighting. Greek historians ignored them altogether, though Xenophon distinguished them explicitly from the statary troops, it was far cheaper to equip oneself as armed as opposed to a armed hoplite – indeed it was not uncommon for the armed to go into battle equipped with stones. Hence the low status of skirmishers reflected the low status of the poorer sections of society who made up skirmishers. Additionally, "hit and run" tactics contradicted the Greek ideal of heroism. Plato gives the skirmisher a voice to advocate "flight without shame," but only to denounce it as an inversion of decent values.
Skirmishers chalked up significant victories in this period, such as the Athenian defeat at the hands of the Aetolian javelin men in 426 BC and, in the same war, the Athenian victory of Sphacteria. Skirmisher infantry would gain more respect in the subsequent years as their usefulness was more recognised and as the ancient bias against them waned. Peltasts, light javelin infantry, played a vital role in the Peloponnesian War and well equipped skirmisher troops such as Thureophoroi and Thorakites would be developed to provide a strong mobile force for the Greek and Macedonian armies. Celts did not, in general, favour ranged weapons; the exceptions tended not to include the use of skirmishers. The Britons used the sling and javelin extensively, but for siege warfare, not skirmishing. Among the Gauls the bow was employed when defending a fixed position; the Celtic lack of skirmishers cost them dearly during the Gallic Invasion of Greece of 279 BC, where they found themselves helpless in the face of Aetolian skirmishing tactics.
In the Punic Wars, despite the Roman and Carthaginian armies' different organisations, skimishers had the same role in both: to screen the main armies. The Roman legions of this period had a specialised infantry class called Velites that acted as skirmish troops, engaging the enemy before the Roman heavy infantry made contact, while the Carthaginians recruited their skirmishers from native peoples across the Carthaginian Empire; the Roman army of the late republican and early imperial periods recruited foreign auxiliary troops to act as skirmishers to supplement the citizen Legions. The medieval skirmishers were armed with crossbows or longbows wielded by commoners. In the fourteenth century, although long held in disdain by Castilian heavy cavalry manned by the aristocracy, the crossbowmen contributed to the Portuguese victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota. English archers played a key role in the English victory over French heavy cavalry at Crécy. In the next century they repeated the feat at the Battle of Agincourt.
Such disasters have been seen as marking the beginning of the end of the dominance of the medieval cavalry in particular and heavy cavalry in general. The Seven Years' War and American Revolutionary War were two early conflicts in which the modern rifle began to make a significant contribution to warfare. Despite its lower rate-of-fire, its accuracy at long range offered advantages over the smoothbore musket in common use among regular armies of the time. In both t