Wednesday, July 16, 2008

From One Side to the Other

In early July 1862, the 6th US Cavalry moved from the York River side of the peninsula at Fortress Monroe to the James River side. Due to some confusion, they were initially the only regiment of regular cavalry to rejoin the army. The diary of Captain August Kautz, commanding the regiment this month, provides some insight into the move.

“July 7. --- We were turned out at 3 o’clock this morning and made arrangements to go on board transports. We got on board the Arrowsmith with my company and left about 8 o’clock. The passage was pleasant and uninterrupted, until within five or six miles of Harrison’s Landing, when we were fired into from both sides of the river by guerrillas. Some shots came very near, but no one was hurt. We got ashore immediately and were all comfortably in camp long before night. Boats that passed up before and after us were fired into by artillery from both sides of the river.” (Supplement to the Official Records, Volume 2, page 129)

From the following day’s entry: “All the squadrons arrived except the Third. It is reported that an order from the War Department has retained the balance of the cavalry at Fortress Monroe. General Emory has been relieved and assigned to Naglee’s Brigade of infantry. General Stoneman has been assigned to the command of all the cavalry in the Army of the Potomac.”

The Third Squadron, under the command of Captain Sanders of Company A, arrived on the 11th. On the 12th, Company L, commanded by Captain James S. Brisbin, finally joined the regiment from Washington.

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