as done by members of the 9th Virginia Cavalry

Much has been written about the power held in the rebel yell but it is rare to hear such a thing at our events for some reason.  If a rebel yell is attempted it sounds more like a kind of a war whoop thing from 1950's cowboy and Indian movies.  So what was the real rebel yell meant to sound like?  Luckily we have a written account from a member of the 9th Virginia Cavalry!

James Harvie Dew, born Oct. 18, 1843 in King and Queen County enlisted in Co. H, on Feb. 20, 1862 at age 18.  He described the rebel yell as it was practiced during the Brandy Station battle on June 9, 1863, where he had his horse killed during the action.

"In an instant every voice with one accord vigorously shouted the Rebel yell, which was so often heard on the field of battle.

"Woh-whooooooooo-ey! whooooo-ey! whoooooo-ey! Woh-whoooooo-ey! whoooooo-ey!  Woh-whooooo-ey! whooooo-ey!  Woh-whoooooo-ey! who-ey!"

The best illustration of this true yell which can be given is by spelling it as above, with directions to sound the first syllable "woh" short and low, and the second “who” with a very high and prolonged note deflecting upon the third syllable "ey."


It is suggested that the troops in company C practice their yell and get proficient enough with it that it comes naturally on the event battlefield.