SIXTH CAVALRY
 

The Sixth Regiment of Cavalry was organized at Grand Rapids, under authority granted to Hon. F. W. Kellogg, by the War Department, sanctioned by the Governor. It was rapidly filled and mustered into service on the 13th of October, its rolls carrying the names of 1,229 officers and men. It left its rendezvous on the 10th December, 1863, taking the route to Washington, fully mounted and equipped, but not armed. It was placed in the army of the Potomac. Its list of officers was as follows:

Name Rank Name Rank

George Gray Colonel Russel A. Alger Lieutenant Colonel
Thaddens Foote Major Elijah D. Waters Major
Simon D. Brown Major Daniel G. Weare Surgeon
David C. Spalding Ass’t Surgeon Hiram F. Hale Adjutant
Charles H. Patten Qr. Master Jacob Chapman Commissary
Stephen S. Greely Chaplain Henry E. Thompson Captain
Peter A. Weber Captain Wesley Armstrong Captain
David G Royce Captain James H. Kidd Captain
Henry L. Wise Captain George A. Drew Captain
John Torrey Captain Charles W. Deane Captain
John T. Andrews Captain John M. Pratt Captain
William Hyser Captain Warren C. Comstock 1st Lieutenant
Edward Potter 1st Lieutenant Seymour Stripman 1st Lieutenant
Edward L. Craw 1st Lieutenant Don Carlos Batcheldor 1st Lieutenant
Harrison N. Throop 1st Lieutenant James H. Lobdell 1st Lieutenant
Robert A. Moore 1st Lieutenant Peter Cramer 1st Lieutenant
Phillip G. Corey 1st Lieutenant Harvey H. Vinton 1st Lieutenant
Wesley A. Green 1st Lieutenant Joshua W. Mann 1st Lieutenant
Walter B. Anderson 1st Lieutenant Daniel Duesler 1st Lieutenant
Frank Burr 1st Lieutenant Henry A. Stetson 1st Lieutenant
L. Briggs Eldredge 1st Lieutenant Isaac Lamoreaux 1st Lieutenant
Hiram F Beals 1st Lieutenant Manning D. Birge 1st Lieutenant
Stephen H. Ballard 2d Lieutenant Charles E. Bolza 2d Lieutenant
William Creary 2d Lieutenant Horace B. Rogers 2d Lieutenant
Angelo T. Tower 2d Lieutenant Don G. Lovell 2d Lieutenant
William Hull 2d Lieutenant Horace H. Richards 2d Lieutenant
John S. Joslyn 2d Lieutenant Lewis H. Jordan 2d Lieutenant
James Mather 2d Lieutenant B. Franklin Rockafellow 2d Lieutenant
Thomas J. Sheers 2d Lieutenant Edward L. Tucker 2d Lieutenant
Frank Sylvester 2d Lieutenant Henry D. Fields 2d Lieutenant
Arthur Wood 2d Lieutenant Wm. W. Van Antwerp 2d Lieutenant
Daniel West 2d Lieutenant Thomas J. Parker 2d Lieutenant
Aaron Rowe 2d Lieutenant James P. Rexford Sup. 2d Lieutenant
Cyrus H. Fountain Sup. 2d Lieutenant Levi Grithin Sup. 2d Lieutenant
George Landon Sup 2d Lieutenant

 

With the exception of a skirmish with Wade Hampton’s division of Cavalry at Stevenburg, Va., in the early part of November, and several demonstrations on the enemy’s lines on the Rapidan at "Raccoon," "Summerville" and "Morton’s" Fords, in which the regiment participated, no active duty was assigned to the Sixth Cavalry from the 1st of November, 1863, to the latter part of February, 1864. On the 28th February, leaving camp at Stevensburg, it started on the cavalry raid to Richmond, under General Kilpatrick. Its Division being attacked near Meehanicsville on the night of the 2d of March, it was obliged to retire, a portion of the Sixth Cavalry forming a part of the rear guard. Having succeeded in joining the forces at New Kent C. H., the regiment moved down the Peninsula, and embarking on transports, proceeded to Alexandria, whence it returned to its brigade was transferred to the 1st Cavalry Division, and during the ensuing campaign was known as the 1st Brigade of that Division. The camp was moved to Culpepper, where, on the 3d of May, companies M. and I., which had been operating in the Shenandoah during the past year, rejoined the regiment. On the 6th, near Chancellorsville, the command became engaged, the enemy making desperate efforts to drive it from its position without success, the rebels being repulsed at all points and finally driven from the field in great disorder. On the 7th the regiment was engaged in skirmishing. On the 8th, the entire corps was massed, and in the morning of the 9th, under General Sheridan, started on the raid to the rear of the rebel army, the 1st Brigada being in the advance. Arriving at Beaver Dam Station, the command captured three trains laden with supplies and two locomotives. In addition to these a large amount of stores. A considerable number of arms and tents were captured. After supplying the command, the remaining property, valued at several millions of dollars, was destroyed. A portion of the Virginia Central R.R. track was also torn up. On the 11th, the brigade participated in the engagement with the enemy’s cavalry at Yellow Tavern, where the latter were routed and driven from the field. On the 12th the regiment dismounted, and crossed on the ties of the railroad bridge in the face of a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and assisted in driving the enemy from their works at Meadow Bridge. The next day the command marched to Bottom’s Bridge, whence on the 14th, it proceed to Malvern Hill and opened communications with out forces on the James River. On the 17th, the command started on its return to the army. At Hanover Court House it destroyed trestle bridges, a portion of the railroad track and telegraph line, and captured commissary stores, rejoining the Division at the White House on the 21st, where it crossed the Pamunky. On the 25th, the command joined the army of the Potomac at Chesterfield Station. On the 26th the regiment marched with the brigade to the enemy, routing them with a heavy loss. The brigade marched on the 28th to Hawes’ Shop, and thence down the Richmond road, where finding our cavalry engaged, the command participated in the action. The Sixth took part in a decisive charge on the enemy’s lines, driving the rebels from their position and compelling them to leave the ground strewn with their dead and wounded. The loss of the regiment was very severe. Out of 140 men engaged, one-fourth were killed or wounded in less than teen minutes. The battle was fought in thick woods with the men dismounted. Engaging in the raid of Sheridan’s forces toward Gordonsville, the regiment on the 11th of June participated in the battle of Trevillian’s Station, charging the enemy repeatedly and capturing many prisoners, most of whom, however, were recaptured. From the time it crossed the James, June 28th, the loss of the regiment was 29 killed, 60 wounded and 64 missing, a total of 153. On the 3d of Qaugust the Sixth embarked to Halltown, where it arrived on the 10th. On the morning of the 11th, the regiment marched beyond Opequan Creek, towards Winchester. A battalion of the regiment became engaged and repelled a charge of the enemy, saving a Union battery from capture. On the 15th the command moved to Cedarville, and on the following day one battalion participated in the repulse of rebel infantry and cavalry that had attacked in force the camp of the 1st Division near Front Royal. In a charge this battalion captured a number of prisoners. On the 25th, the regiment participated in the engagement at Kearneysville and Shepardstown. Being cut off from the main, body and nearly surrounded by the enemy, the command retired across the Potomac, whence it returned to the South side of the river via Harper’s Ferry. From the 25th of August to the 15th of September, the regiment was actively employed. It took part in the engagements at "Leetown" and "Smithfield," made several; reconnaissance in which the enemy were encountered, served as General Sheridan’s escort, engaged in the pursuit of Mosby’s guerrillas, and participated in all the marches and countermarches that occurred during this period of the Shennandoad campaign. On the 19th of September, the Sixth, at Sever’s Ford, on Opequan Creek, charged across an open space in the face of a galling fire from the enemy. Who were strongly posted behind breastworks. Driving the enemy, before it, the regiment moved to near Winchester, where it participated in several charges on the rebel infantry and cavalry; assisted in breaking their lines and in capturing prisoners, artillery and rebel colors. Of the former the regiment captured more than its entire number engaged. From the 19th to the 23d, the Sixth was engaged in the pursuit of the enemy. On the 24th, it came upon Wickham’s brigade of rebel cavalry in the Luray Valley, charged and assisted in routing them. On the 26th, the regiment crossed the Shenandoah at Fort Republic and skirmished with the enemy, but finding them in force, withdrew. It remained in the vicinity of Port Republic, Cross Keyes and Mt. Crawford until the 6th of October, when it fell back with our troops to to Timbersville, on the 7th to Woodstock, and on the 8th to Fisher’s Hill. The enemy keeping up an annoying pursuit, the Sixth, supported by the Seventh (Mich.) Cavalry, turned upon the enemy and drove them upon the run back to Woodstock. The regiment was also engaged in action on the 9th, charging and routing the force opposed to it. Going into camp at Cedar Creek, it remained there, with the exception of a reconnaissance to Front Royal on the 15th, until the battle of Middletown (or Cedar Creek) on the 19th of October. In this action, the regiment participated. Having repelled the rebel attacks, it charged and broke their lines, capturing many prisoners and a stand of colors. The rebel infantry opposed to it were routed. The regiment took part in the pursuit to Woodstock, but returned to Cedar Creek, where it was encamped October 31st, 1864. The regiment is (1864) in 1st Division Cavalry Corps, Middle Military Division, and is commanded by Col. James H. Kidd.

On November 1st, 1864, this regiment was with the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Shenandoah, and lay at Camp Russell, near Winchester, Va., making preparations to go into winter quarters, and was engaged in the usual picket service, and in scouting, until the 27th of February, 1865, when it formed part of the force with which General Sheridan made his movement against General Early’s army, and on the rebel communications in the direction of Gordonsville and Richmond, and at that date moved with the cavalry corps towards Staunton; and on the 8th of March the regiment participated in an engagement with a part of the rebel cavalry under General Rosser, near Louisa Court House, and assisted in routing it, and in capturing the town, in which a large amount of property was destroyed, including the railroad depot, with rolling stock and telegraph office. It also participated in taking up the track and destroying the railroad property on the line of the Lynchburg and Gordonsville railroad, and in the destruction of the locks, aqueducts and mills on the line of the James River Canal. The command having reached White House Landing March 19th, in time to take part in the final battles of the Army of the Potomac, soon after, with the cavalry corps, took position on the left of the line of that army, and on the 30th the regiment became engaged with the rebel cavalry, and assisted in driving them within their works at Five Forks. It was also engaged with the enemy at the same point on the 31st, and on April 1st; and on the 2d, at the South Side Railroad; and on the 4th, at Duck Pond Mills; on the 6th, at the battle of the Ridges, or Sailor’s Creek; and on the 8th and 9th, at Appomattox Court House. After the surrender of Lee, the rebel General Pickett, who was taken prisoner in one of these engagements, spoke of a charge made by this regiment, which he witnessed, as being the "bravest he ever had seen." After Lee’s surrender, the regiment moved with the cavalry corps to Petersburg, Va., and then made an expedition into North Carolina; from thence it marched via Petersburg and Richmond to Washington D.C., and on the 23dof May participated in the review of the Army of the Potomac. Immediately thereafter, with the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, it was ordered West, and proceeded by rail via Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and Ohio and Mississippi Rivers by steamer, to St. Louis, and thence by steamer via the Missouri River, to Fort Leavenworth. At that point it received orders to cross the plains, which produced much justifiable dissatisfaction in the command; but the regiment recollecting its noble record, and adhering to it former high degree of discipline, and faithful observance of orders, and keeping in view the honor of its State, commenced its march across the Plains, and marched to Fort Kearney, thence to Julesburg, and from there to Fort Laramie; at that point the regiment was divided into detachments by order of General Connor; one to constitute a part of the "Left Column Powder River Expedition," one to remain at Fort Laramie, and the other to escort a train to the Black Hills. The Powder River detachment, on reaching that point, found that the Indians, which it had been sent in search of, had managed to escape, and while there it built a fort, known as Fort Reno. On that expedition, Captain O. F. Cole, of Co. "G." lost his life; having heedlessly strayed a long way from the column, he was surprised by Indians, and shot to death with arrows. From this point a small detachment of the command was sent to guard a train to Virginia City, Montana, and falling in with a large war party of Arrappahoe Indians, became surrounded by them, and were "corralled" for twelve days, but finally succeeded in getting intelligence of their condition to General Connor, when reinforcements were sent to their relief. Sergeant Hall, of Company "L." and Private Evans, of Company "F." having volunteered, succeeded in carrying the intelligence referred to, a distance of fifty miles, through a wild and to them unknown country, swarming with hostile Indians, and thereby saved the detachment. On the 17th of September, on orders issued by Major General Dodge, the men of the regiment whose term consolidated with the First Michigan Cavalry, and the regiment was then ordered to Fort Leavenworth, and was there mustered out of service on the 24th of November, 1865, when it proceeded to Michigan, arriving on the 30th of November at Jackson, when it was paid off and disbanded.

BATTLLES AND SKIIRMISHES

LOCATION DATE LOCATION DATE
Hanover, Va. June 30,1863 Hawes’ Shop, Va. May 28, 1864
Huntertown, Pa. July 2, 1863 Baltimore X Roads, Va. May 29, 1864
Gettysburg, Pa. July 3, 1863 Cold Harbor, Va. May 20-June1,1864
Monterey, Md. July 4,1863 Trevillian Station, Va. June 11,12,1864
Cavetown, Md. July 5, 1863 Cold Harbor, Va. July 21, 1864
Smithtown, Md. July 6, 1863 Winchester, Va. April 11, 1864
Boonsboro, Md. July 6, 1863 Front Royal, Va. Aug. 16, 1864
Hagerstown, Md. July 6, 1863 Leetown, Va. Aug. 25, 1864
Williamsport, Md. July 6, 1863 Shephardstown, Va Aug. 26, 1864
Boonsboro, Md. July 8, 1863 Smithfield, Va. Aug. 29, 1864
Hagerstown, Md. July 10,1863 Berryville, Va. Sept. 3, 1864
Williamsport,Md. July 10,1863 Summit, Va. Sept. 4, 1864
Falling Waters, Md July 14, 1863 Opequan, Va. Sept. 19,1864
Snicker’s Gap, Va. July 19, 1863 Winchester, Va. Sept. 19, 1864
Kelly’s Ford, Va. Sept. 13, 1863 Lurav, Va. Sept. 24, 1864
Culpepper Court House, Va. Sept. 14, 1863 Port Republic, Va. Sept. 26, 27,28, 1864
Raccoon Ford, Va. Sept. 16, 1863 Mount Crawford, Va. Oct. 2, 1864
White’s Ford, Va. Sept. 21, 1863 Woodstock, Va. Oct. 9, 1864
Jack’s Shop, Va. Sept. 26, 1863 Cedar Creek, Va. Oct. 19, 1864
James City, Va. Oct. 12, 1863 Madison Court House, Va. Dec. 24, 1864
Brandy Station, Va Oct. 13, 1863 Five Forks, V a. Mar 30-31-Apr1,65
Buckland’s Mills, Va. Oct. 19, 1863 Louisa Court House, Va. March 8, 1865
Stevensburg, Va. Nov. 19,1863 South Side R.R. Va April 2, 1865
Morton’s Ford, Va. Nov. 26, 1863 Duck Pond Mills,Va. April 4, 1865
Richmond, Va. March 1, 1864 Ridge, or Sailor’s Creek, Va. April 6, 1865
Wilderness, Va. May 6,7, 1864 Appomattox Court House, Va. April 9, 1865
Beaver Dam Station, Va. May 9, 1864 Little Maramie D.Ter. Aug. 6, 1865
Yellow Tavern, Va May 10,11,1864 Meadow Bridge,Va. May 12, 1864
Hanover, Va. May 27, 1864

Transcriber: Barb Jones
Created: 2 June 2010
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/Everett1878/6thcav.html