Monday, March 24, 2008

Organizing for Combat

On this date in 1862, Special Orders No. 90 were issued from the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac near Alexandria Seminary, Virginia. According to the orders, “the cavalry serving with the army is assigned to duty as follows.”

Two or three regiments of volunteer cavalry were assigned to each of the five corps. The rest of the cavalry, including the regular regiments, were organized into the two brigades of the Cavalry Reserve.

“The Cavalry reserve will be commanded by Brig. Gen. P. St. George Cooke, U.S. Army, and will consist of two brigades, as follows:

“First Brigade, to be commanded by Brig. Gen. W.H. Emory: Fifth U.S. Cavalry, Sixth U.S. Cavalry, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Colonel Rush.

“Second Brigade, to be commanded by Col. George A.H. Blake, First Cavalry: First U.S. Cavalry, Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Colonel Gregg, now serving with Porter’s division, Third Army Corps; Barker’s squadron of Illinois Cavalry, Captain Mann’s company of Oneida Cavalry.” (Official Records, Ser I, Vol 11, Pt III, pg 36)

Not too exciting in and of itself, but this does set up the next series of posts on the movement of the 6th US Cavalry to the Peninsula.