9TH VIRGINIA CAVALRY
Most of the men who fought under the colors of the 9th Cavalry were either farmers or were young enough to not yet be established in an occupation. Of the 309 men for whom a prewar occupation is known, 164 were farmers - or 53% of them. Physicians and students were the next most frequent occupations, with 33 each. There were also: 12 lawyers, 12 merchants, 12 clerks, 11 mechanics, 10 teachers, 6 carpenters, 3 sailors, and 2 or less members of ten other occupations. Twenty-three year old Ben Oliver (later killed at Boonsboro) listed his occupation as "Gentleman". Only 11 men are shown by the service records as illiterate. It is interesting to note that 5 of those 11 men deserted.
Disease caused 81 deaths in the 9th during the war, a figure about two-thirds of that for battle-caused mortality.
Ages are available for about 40% of the men who served in the 9th Cavalry. The average age at enlistment was 25.85 years and the median age was 24. These figures are very similar for most other Virginia units. Three 15 year olds were the youngest of record; A.K. Pool, R.C. Beale and L.R. Boughton. From the records of Robert Krick it is shown the last surviving veteran of the 9th Virginia Cavalry was Francis Marion Embrey, who died in 1941. However, James Fife Lumsden of company E, died on September 24, 1945
The men of the 9th Cavalry were a moderately tall lot. About 17% of them were at least 6 feet tall. Private Barnes and Thomas, at five feet one inch, were two inches shorter than anyone else whose height is on record. Six foot five inch Henry Wiatt and his half inch taller comrade Joseph Chewning cap the scale at the other end.
The record of the 9th Cavalry was bought at the cost of at least 124 fatal casualties in action. Taken together with the 81 deaths caused by disease, the fatality rate for the regiment reaches 11.3% of the 1815 men who served -- slightly more than one in every nine. During the war the regiment also suffered the loss of at least (and probably far more than) 264 men wounded in action, 266 men taken prisoner and 21 men who were both wounded and captured at the same time. The sum of those figures shows that at least 37.2% of the men who rode with the 9th Cavalry were casualties of enemy action.