The Gettysburg Campaign is usually considered to be the bellwether campaign of the American Civil War. Many critical events occurred during the Campaign, but few were more important than the maturation of the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. Until the spring of 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia’s mounted arm literally rode rings around its Union counterpart. In February 1863, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, the newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac, ordered the consolidation of the army’s mounted forces into a single corps for the first time. Those cohesive mounted forces, under competent leadership, could now face their Confederate counterparts on something approaching even terms.