Sunday, April 29, 2007

Road to War: 2nd Cavalry

Actions on Arrival

The regiment had a great deal of work to do when they reached Carlisle Barracks. They were among the first regular army units to return to the vicinity of Washington, and as such their services were in high demand. They arrived with no horses and very little equipment, however. The efforts of the entire regiment, minus Palmer’s squadron already in Washington, were focused on equipping themselves and preparing for the field.

Two more squadrons, consisting of Companies B, E, G and I, departed for Washington as soon as they were mounted to help defend the capital. Although there were numerous officer vacancies due to resignations, they were promptly filled with new appointments. George Thomas remained in command of the regiment, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on April 25th and Colonel on May 3rd.

On May 27th, he reported the remaining two squadrons, Companies A, C, F and K, ready for service. They reported to General Patterson under Colonel Thomas’ command on June 1st to participate in operations in the vicinity of Harper’s Ferry.

The three squadrons in Washington guarded the White House and treasury buildings until May 23rd. On that date, three companies under Major Stoneman crossed the Potomac to assist in the capture of Alexandria. Company E was stationed in Alexandria, and Company I in Arlington. Company B was stationed at Fort Corcoran prior to 2ndLt Charles Tompkins’ reconnaissance to Fairfax Court House on May 31st.

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