Sunday, May 27, 2007

5th Cavalry at Hanover Court House – May 27th

Two squadrons of the 5th US Cavalry were active at the battle of Hanover Court House on May 27, 1862 --- one before and during the battle and one following it. For those interested in the battle in depth, I recommend Michael Hardy’s excellent work on the battle, found here.

Prior to the battle, Captain Abraham K. Arnold’s squadron of Companies I and K, were sent to reconnoiter the road from Hanover Court House to Ashland. They found the Confederates advancing in force and returned to the Union main body without pursuit. Upon their return, they were ordered to take position on the left side of the Union line of battle. Arnold later moved his squadron to the right following enemy attacks to his front and left. His squadron was under fire throughout the battle, losing two men and several horses. Privates Leo Hentz and James Lason of Company I were killed, and four horses were wounded in Company K. The squadron took nine prisoners during the battle.

Following the repulse of the attacking Confederates, Captain William B. Royall’s squadron of Companies C and A was ordered forward as far as possible on the main road leading from the battlefield to Hanover Court House. The squadron proceeded about a mile past the courthouse, capturing five prisoners, before waiting for the rest of the regiment to arrive. After they were joined by the regiment, they were deployed to the right side of the road as skirmishers. A short time after the advance resumed, they discovered a large body of Confederate infantry in a wheat field. They quickly surrounded and captured 73 men, including a major, two captains and a lieutenant.

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