Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One Company’s War, Part I

As I’d mentioned previously, I discovered company histories for the 6th Cavalry submitted in 1866 as the regiment attempted to reconstruct the records of its activities during the war. I have decided to post one of the versions of one of those histories here in its entirety, spread over several posts, to illustrate one company’s wartime experience. The author of this report, Captain Samuel Whitside, started the war as an enlisted soldier and was commissioned during the war. He would later achieve the rank of general before he retired just after the Spanish-American War. The history will be posted in three segments, 1861-1862, 1863, and 1864-1865. The typos and misspellings are retained for accuracy. I hope to have Company B's roster complete before the end of the month, though I haven't yet determined how or if I should post it.

“Record of “B” Co. 6th U.S. Cavalry from its organization to the close of the war.

There are no records of the Company at present with it, except Muster Rolls, therefore hope the following will be accepted by the Gen’l Comd’g, it being all that I can possibly furnish, having served with the Co. but a few weeks.

The company “B” was organized August 16, 1861 at Camp Scott, near Pittsburg, Pa. and the following officers assigned to it viz August V. Kautz Captain, Herbert M. Enos 1st Lieut and Curwen B. McClellan 2nd Lieut.


Aug 26 Left Camp Scott for Bladensburg Md.
Aug 28 Arrived at Camp near Bladensburg, moved during the month to Washington & encamped near Capitol. Remained in Camp at latter place until March 62 when the Co with Regt was sent to Yorktown Va. Remained in Camp near Yorktown until


May 4 When the Co. with Regt left Yorktown in advance of the Army in pursuit of the enemy. Came up with them near Williamsburg Va in their works, and were present at the Battle of Wmsburg May 5.
May 7 Left Williamsburg in pursuit of the enemy, the Regt forming part of the advance under Genl Stoneman. Co’s B & H formed 1st Squadron, “the only one with carbines.” Lead the advance guard, acting as skirmishers from Wmsburg to the Chickahominy. Engaged the enemy’s rear guard at Station Mills May 9th & frequently engaged with enemy’s pickets.
May 24 Led the advance upon Mechanicsville.
May 27 Led the advance of Genl Fitz John Porter’s command. Drove the enemy’s picket on their reserve, and brought on the engagement of Hanover Court House.
May 28 A portion of the Co under Lieut Kerin burned the Central R.R. bridge across the South Anna fork of the Pamunkey.
May 29 The 1st Platoon acted with Capt Abert “Comdg 2d Squadron” and burned the Fredericksburg R.R. bridge across the South Anna. Returned with Genl Porter’s command the same day to camp on the Chickahominy. A very fatiguing march.
June 13&14 Were with the command of Genl Cooke from Camp to Tunstall Station in pursuit of Rebel Genl Stewart.
June 16 With 1st & 2nd Squadrons made a demonstration upon Ashland driving in the enemy’s pickets to that point. A trying march. Left camp at midnight and proceeded to Hanover C.H. and back same day.
June 25,26&27 Served with Regt protecting right flank of Genl Poerter’s comd.
June 28,29&30 With Genl Stoneman to the White house & from thence to Yorktown Va arriving at Fortress Monroe July 3rd.
July 7 Left Fortress Monroe for Harrison’s Landing. Arrived at Harrison’s Landing, and picketed the Charles City road the balance of the month.
Aug 4 Left Camp near Harrison’s Landing.
Aug 5 Participated in Battle of 2nd Malvern Hill.
Aug 6 While making a reconnaissance at night the enemy’s infantry fired on the Co. Lost 3 men, Corpl J. Lepper & Pvts J.F. VanZant & A. Duzette taken prisoners, while in Hospital near Coal Harbor June 24, 62 and Corpl G.W. Oby & Pvts Cruishank & E.J. Headley missing in action July 6.
Aug 19 Arrived at Yorktown Va.
Sept 3d Arrived at Alexandria Va marched to Upton Hill.
Sept 4 Marched to Tennallytown Md.
Sept 5 Marched to Dawsonville Md & picketed the Fredk City road for 4 days.
Sept 9 Marched to Poolesville.
Sept 10 Made a reconnaissance to Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Pvt Gibby wounded in arm.
Sept 11 Marched to Greenfield Mills.
Sept 12 Marched to Lickville & Point of Rocks.
Sept 13 Marched to Jefferson & picketed road to Point of Rocks for 4 days.
Sept 17 Marched to Burkettsville.
Sept 19 Marched this Rohrsville and to Sharpsburg.
Sept 21 Marched this Antietam.
Sept 23 Arrived at Harpers Ferry.
Sept 24 Made a Reconnaissance with 5 & 6th Cav’y & Robinson’s Battery towards Charlestown Va & captured several prisoners.
Sept 26 Made a Reconnaissance with “H” Co 6th Cav’y on the Leesburg road as far as Hillsboro.
Sept 27 Made a Reconnaissance with 5 & 6th Cav’y & Robinson’s Battery in the direction of Charlestown. Captured 5 prisoners.
Sept 29 Arrived at Harpers Ferry.
Oct ~ During this month the Co formed part of a Brigade under Genl Kimball, and accompanied same ina reconnaissance to Leesburg. The 1st Platoon of the Co charged this Waterford and captured 7 prisoners. Returned to Harpers Ferry and formed part of the command under Genl Pleasonton in pursuit of the Rebel Stuart. Was with Genl Hancock in a reconnaissance in force towards Charlestown, & part of the month the Co. picketed that road.
Oct 29 Marched to Purcellsville Va under Genl Pleasonton.
Nov 1 Participated in an engagement at Philamont.
Nov 2 Supported Battery “M,” 2d Artillery in a fight near Uniontown. Skirmished on foot driving the enemy about 2 miles.
Nov 3 Supported Battery “M” 2d Artillery in a running fight near Uniontown to Upperville. “Sergt Lepper wounded in arm and Pvt Murray in two first fingers on right hand.”
Nov 4 Marched to Markham Station.
Nov 5 Marched to near Barbour’s Crossroads, dismounted under fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters and 1 piece of artillery & drove the enemy’s skirmishers from the field. “Pvt Addis wounded in leg.”
Nov 6 Formed part of Brig. Under Genl Pleasonton, made a reconnaissance towards Aldie.
Nov 7 Marched thru Amosville & made a reconnaissance towards Culpeper C.H. Drove a Squadron of Cavalry, 2 pieces of Artillery & some Infantry about 3 miles. Captured 1 prisoner.
Nov 13 Marched to Waterloo Heights.
Nov 16 Marched to Warenton.
To 18 On picket near White Sulphur Springs.
Nov 19 Marched to Falmouth.
Nov 22 Reported to Genl Sumner as Escort. Balance of month encamped near Falmouth Va.
Dec 11 Under fire of the Enemy during bombardment of Fredericksburg.

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