1st Indiana Cavalry
This information was donated to the Warrick site by Susie Rose.
In pursuance of instructions from the War Department, orders were issued on the 10th of June, 1861, for the organization of a regiment of cavalry in the counties bordering the Ohio river, and camps of rendezvous were established at Evansville and Madison. The organization of eight companies was completed at Evansville, and mustered in on the 20th of August, 1861, with Conrad Baker as Colonel. The companies raised at Madison were assigned to the Third Cavalry, and not to the First Cavalry, as first intended, Subsequently two independent cavalry companies - those of Captains Robert R Stewart and James R Bracken - were assigned to the First Cavalry as Companies "I" and "K". The eight companies, under command of Col. Baker, left Evansville on the 21rst of August, 1861, and proceeded to St. Louis.
On arriving at that place the regiment was sent to Irontown, and on
the 12th of September three companies in command of Major Gavitt, had a
sharp skirmish with a party of rebels on Black River, twelve miles from
Irontown, in which five rebels were killed and four captured.
The following month the regiment was placed on duty in the vicinity of Pilot Knob, where it remained during the fall and winter. While campaigning in this region the First Cavalry participated in the battle of Fredericktown, on the 21st of October, and, in a charge that decided the fate of the battle, captured a piece of artillery and drove the enemy from the field, among the killed of the regiment in this engagement were Major Gavitt and Captain Highman. In the spring of 1862 the First Cavalry moved into Arkansas, and on the 7th of July fought the battle of Round Hill.
On reaching Helena it was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 2d Cavalry Division of the 13th Corps, and, with the exception of Company "C", remained on duty in Arkansas during the remainder of its term of service. For over a year it was stationed at Helena, engaging in various expeditions in every direction from that point, and during the last year of its service it was stationed at Pine Bluff. The regiment, with the exception of the recruits whose terms of service had not yet expired, were, in the latter part of August, 1864, ordered to report at Indianapolis for muster out. They reached that place on the 6th of September, and were at once discharged from service.
Company "C", which had been detached as escort to Gen. Hovey, did not rejoin the regiment until just before its departure home. This company marched with Grant's army to the rear of Vicksburg, and participated in that campaign; afterwards it joined Gen. Franklin's command in Western Louisiana, and returned to New Orleans in December, 1863, where it remained until July 7th, and then proceeded to Arkansas. The remaining recruits of the First Cavalry left behind in Arkansas, were, on the 31st of August , organized into a detachment of two companies -- "A" and "B" -- and the whole placed in command of Captain James A. Pine/ Tine, of Company "A". This detachment was stationed at Pine Bluff, and while on a scout on the 15th of September, had a severe engagement with the enemy, and was compelled to fall back, losing eight men wounded and prisoners.
On the first of January, 1865, it reported to Gen. McGinnis at the mouth of White river, Arkansas, where it remained until the 20th of March, when it was ordered to St. Charles. A party of ten while out repairing the telegraph line, wee ambushed by the enemy, and one man killed, three wounded, and six captured. On the 24th of June the detachment left Arkansas for Indianapolis, where it was finally discharged, numbering 125 men and 3 officers.
Company "I" was originally organized as an independent company at Terre Haute, and accepted for State service, for one year , on the 25th of April, 1861. On the 4th of July, 1861, it was mustered into the United States service for three years, at Indianapolis, and left immediately for Western Virginia, in command of Captain Robert R Stewart. Duringits term of service it acted as cavalry escort to Gen. Rosecrans while he commanded in Western Virginia, to Gen. Fremont while in command of the Mountain Department, and to Gen. Sigel during his connection with the Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac. During the several campaigns in Virginia it was actively engaged. This company, with the exception of a few recruits, was mustered out in August, 1864. Company "K" was also an independent company, organized and mustered into service at Indianapolis, on the 20th of June, 1861, with James R Bracken as Captain. It moved to Western Virginia in July, and was assigned to duty under Gen. Reynolds. I was present at the battle of Green Brier and Allegheny, and charged the rebel cavalry at the taking of Huntersville.
Formed into a squadron with Stewart's Company, "I" it was chosen by Gen. Fremont as his body-guard, and was with him in his Valley campaign. It was engaged in the fight at Strasburg, and skirmished twelve days with the rebel cavalry- the skirmish terminating in the battle of Cross Keys.
On being transferred to Gen. Sigel a his body-guard, it re-enforced
Banks, and participated in the battle of Cedar Mountain. It was
afterwards with Pope's army in the battles on Manassas Plains. On the
9th of November, 1862, the famous cavalry charge of Captain Dahlgren
into Fredericksburg, was made by companies "I" and "K", First Indiana
Cavalry, who alone crossed the river, and alone made the charge. After
this squadron was assigned to escort duty with Gen. Howard, of the 11th
Corps, and participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, and
subsequently the battle of Gettysburg. When the 11th Corps was ordered
West the squadron was sent to Glymount, on the lower Potomac, and
continued there doing provost duty until after the battles in the
Wilderness. It joined the Army of the Potomac at White House, and
remained on duty at the headquarters of General Meade until the 23d of
June, 1864, when (with the exception of some recruits,) it started for
Indianapolis, where the men were finally discharged. Forty-three
recruits of Company "K" remained in service under command of First
Lieutenant W.O. Hedrick, at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac
until summer of 1865, when they were ordered to Indianapolis, where they
were mustered out of the service. Companies "L" and "M," were composed
of drafted men who served but nine months from November 1, 1862.
The following men served in this regiment:
Ross/ Rofs, James
Disc. Devalls Buff, Ark on Jun 22, 1865
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