1st US Cavalry

1st United States Cavalry, Company A

History of the First U.S. Cavalry

During the months of November and December 1861, the First Dragoons Regiment was re-designated the First U.S. Cavalry, less companies D and G, and was transferred from the Pacific Coast to Washington, D.C., where it arrived at Camp Sprague toward the end of January 1862.

1861 to 1865

By an act of Congress on August 3, 1861, the First Regiment of the First Dragoons became the First United States Cavalry. This act renumbered all the current cavalry regiments. The ten companies of the First Cavalry were along the Pacific Coast at the time, missing the first battle of Bull Run. From November 1861, to January 1862, eight companies were concentrated around the defense of Washington, D.C., at Camp Sprague.

Regimental strength as of February, 1862 showed a strength of 424 members, 48 of them on sick call. Companies D and G were stationed at San Christoval, New Mexico, where they participated in battles in the New Mexico area. Two more companies were authorized in each cavalry regiment, making a total of twelve companies in each regiment.

Colonel B.S. Beal was retired February 15, 1862 and was succeeded by Colonel George A.H. Blake. William N. Grier of the Second U.S. Cavalry became Lieutenant Colonel of the First U.S. Cavalry to take Colonel Blake's position. The regiment, under the command of Lt. Colonel Grier, was attached to the second brigade cavalry reserve with Colonel Blake commanding the brigade.

The First U.S. Cavalry was assigned to the Army of the Potomac for most of the Civil War, finally joining General Philip H. Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah in his sweep of the valley in 1864. They rejoined the Army of the Potomac when Sheridan returned to the Army of the Potomac in March 1865.

If you are interested in joining the 1st US Cavalry, or would like more information about this reenacting unit, please contact Sgt. Kit Barlow


Moore Park

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