It collects information, and is also used with horse artillery on great enterprises on the enemy's communications. Having finished the reconnaissance and covering the army on the day of battle, it falls back as the two opposing sides come in contact, and awaits further orders. On the battle field it should be placed so as to suffer as little loss as possible - as a rule, in rear of the flanks. How far must depend on the formation of the ground; if shelter is to be obtained nearer the front, the better. If not, then some 2,000 yards in rear of one flank would seem advisable. Its duties are to guard the exposed flank or flanks and rear of the army, while it watches the cavalry of the enemy. If within range of artillery, it should be kept on the move from front to rear. Its strength should not be wasted or frittered away on doubtful enterprises, as it maybe required for some decisive blow, in pursuit, or in covering the retreat.

Prince Kraft, speaking of the battle of St. Privat, says: "On the 18th of August the gigantic fight of St. Privat took place. The cavalry divisions were held back in reserve, but the divisional cavalry took an active part. During the battle a squadron of hussars advanced and sent information of the enemy making a flank movement." He also says: "At Sedan the cavalry division was kept in reserve." The massing of artillery at the commencement of a battle must expose a long line with some weak spot to attack. If protected by cavalry, then probably a cavalry combat will ensue. Prince Kraft says: "The action of the masses of German cavalry at Mars-la-Tour excited wonder and admiration; they surprised the enemy's cavalry when in bivouac, they met and surrounded the hostile infantry in a threatening manner, and thus 8,000 cavalry occupied 65,000 infantry, until the Prussian infantry came up. The cavalry made no charges which could not have been successful, but carried out their task of occupying the enemy almost without loss.

"In the old days these squadrons would have charged and ridden down the infantry. The change is the result of the improvement in fire arms." During the early stages of a battle, advanced parties, under officers selected for the purpose, must be kept out from the cavalry division to watch the enemy's movements, and the information they should be able to afford should be invaluable to the general-in-chief. An engagement with the enemy's cavalry should not be sought unless they are much weaker; but should the necessity arise, the ground should be reconnoitered, and every advantage of position taken to insure success. The attack being determined on, the preparations for it should be carried out rapidly. Echelon movements have many advantages. They favor the formation of oblique lines, they also insure in a charge direct to the front the bringing up of squadron after squadron in support. The attack of Vivian's Hussar Brigade upon the French reserves at Waterloo gives a brilliant illustration of this, and has been termed by Siborne the "crisis of Waterloo." This celebrated charge, intended to be in line, became virtually a charge in echelon of squadrons in consequence of the rapid pace of the head of the column.

"The movement of cavalry must be rapid and unexpected, and bear the character of determined confidence; an effort should be made by maneuvering to come suddenly on the enemy's flank. A gentle declivity for the final charge must be sought. The rapid, vigorous, and determined charge in line on to cavalry, riding knee to knee, is what is required." The charge to be made effectual, the horses must be brought up in wind, the gallop must not be begun too early; when begun it must gradually be increased to a fast gallop, the final charge for the last sixty yards made with every horse extended. "Nothing, then, must be left undone to excite the spirit of enthusiasm, even to ferocity; then, and only then, the 'cheer' to be raised." At Waterloo the charge of the heavy brigade, the 1st and 2d Life Guards and King's Dragoon Guards, with the Blues in support, is a good example of a successful attack on cavalry. The French line of cavalry as it advanced presented an imposing appearance.

They had ascended the brow of the ridge, when a vigorous fire from Ross' Horse Artillery was opened on to them. In the next moment their trumpets sounded the charge and they rushed to the attack, and as cuirassiers approached the British squares, the Heavy Brigade dashed into them. The shock was terrific. The right of the Life Guards being thrown forward, came first into collision. The right of the French was suddenly thrown out by coming unexpectedly on to a hollow way, and as they passed it the 2d Life Guards came full speed upon them. The French cuirassiers were driven back and pursued until the English brigade came under infantry fire.

The charge of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade at Balaklava, under Gen. Scarlett, is another good example, when the Russian cavalry, receiving the British charge at a halt, were entirely overthrown. One of the greatest difficulties after the charge is to know when and how to stop, and it is then that the squadron and troop leaders, well in front of their men, must use all their efforts to carry out the ends of their commander. I think this is the time when a strong whistle carried by the commanding officer and the squadron leaders can be used with good effect. Being an unusual sound, it would attract attention. The battle being over, some of the most serious duties of cavalry commence. If the enemy is victorious, the pursuit has immediately to follow. History points out the difficulty of carrying this out. Uncertainty of the victory, or how far it can be counted on, often delays its commencement. Battles are often ended by nightfall, valuable time is lost, and the golden opportunities are past. An active cavalry leader will, however, without further orders at least, follow with his advanced parties and not lose touch of the enemy.