Author Topic: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW  (Read 6289 times)

Offline Marshal J.D.Lightning

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Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« on: April 11, 2006, 04:11:30 am »
Could someone please point me in the direction to find out where the different cavalry units served during the Indian Wars & after.

Am interested to find out where the 1st, 2nd & 3rd US Cavalry served during that period.

Thanks for your help.

Lightning
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Offline US Scout

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 05:42:26 am »
I'm sure St George can come up with a detailed order of battle, but in general cavalry regiments were scattered across the country in isolated posts - usually one or two cavalry companies (designated as troops in 1883) stationed at a small fort, typically with an infantry company as well. 

Every so often regiments were ordered to other administrative districts, divisions or departments, so it might be helpful to know a specific time frame you're interested in. 

Example: The 4th Cav was in Texas from about 1870 to 1875, then went to Oklahoma to watch over the Indian reservations.  In 1876, they were sent north to participate in the 1876 Sioux War, then around 1880 were ordered to Utah and Colorado.  In 1884 they went to Arizona, and in May 1890 to Washington (state).

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Offline St. George

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 04:35:03 pm »
They served the length and breadth of the West.

Remember - the Cavalry of the period was not organized as a Division as it is today.

Back then - it was organized into twelve Companies - formed into three Squadrons of four Companies each - comprising a Regiment.

The Regimental Staff consisted of the Colonel, 7 Officers, 6 EM, a Surgeon, 2 Assistant Surgeons and a civilian veterinarian (not carried on Staff rolls)

Each Company was authorized 4 Officers, 15 NCO's and 72 Privates.

(As an aside- the average 'big' C&WAS shoot has more Cavalry Officers than did the Frontier Army at any given time...)

1st - initially sent to the Pacific Coast in 1866 - in 1868 to Arizona against Apaches - in 1878 to Nevada, Montana and Idaho - in 1881, 4 Troops sent to Arizona - in 1884, the Regiment reunites in the Dakotas, returning to Arizona in 1892.

2d - first in Kansas in 1866 - in 1869, 1st Squadron to Montana largely against the Sioux and Cheyennes, returning in 1874 - in 1877 serving in Montana against the Nez Perce', in the Dakotas from 1880 -1883, to the Pacific Coast in 1884 - finally in Arizona and New mexico in 1890.

3d - assigned in Arkansas and Texas in 1866 - in 1867 to various posts in New Mexico and Arizona, against Apaches - in 1872 North against the Utes and Sioux, returning to Texas in 1872.

More to be found on the 'Historical Society Forum'...

Vaya,

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Offline Marshal J.D.Lightning

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 05:36:18 pm »
Thanks for your help Gentlemen, much appreciated.

I will now start looking for that book thanks River City John.

Thanks again St. George for that information that gives me the time-lines & areas that I was looking for.

US Scout, as you said St. George came through with the details for me.

Thanks again & all the best from Australia.

Lightning
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 12:08:44 am »
To: Marshall J. D. Lightning:

Sir:

I have the honor to reply to your inquiry regarding the disposition of some of the cavalry units during the Indian Wars Campaigns.

Regiments were seldom united at a single post, the possible exception being the 7th Cavalry during the ill-fated 1876 campaign.  As a rule, most posts were manned by two or three companies of the same regiment.  The regimental headquarters was often based at one of the larger posts in a department.

SOME units of the 2nd Cav and most of the 3rd Cavalry participated in the Big Horn & Yellowstone Expedition of 1876, with the southern column of the three-pronged expedition commanded by B. Gen. George Crook, commander of the Dept. of the Platte.

The 3rd Cav. was scattered around the Nebraska, southern Dakota Territories (Camp Sheridan, Camp Robinson, Sidney Barrack, NE (Union Pacific railhead for the Indian agencies and Deadwood), as well as Ft. Fetterman, and Ft. D. A. Russell (now F. E. Warren AFB).

Later, in the 1880's, when Crook was transferred back to Arizona, the 3rd went with him. ("Oh! It's Old Arizona, again, again! It's Old Arizona, again! We've all been there before, And we're going back once more! Oh, it's Old Arizona, again!")

[In the '90's and after the Turn of the Century, the 3rd was based at Ft. Carson, Colorado...and have served extremely well in pursuit of hostiles, again in the harshest of desert conditions!  They suffered quite a few casualties! :(  Still, they live to the honor of their motto, "Brave Rifles!"  Oh, did I mention, I am talking of the 1990's to date!  Of course, their "horses" are M1A2 and Bradley Fighting Vehicles...and HummVee's!  They are scheduled for transfer to Texas soon!  Godspeed!)

The 4th Cav, under Col. Ranald McKenzie, served mainly on the Southern Plains and in New Mexico and Arizona, as did the 6th and 8th Cavs.

And we must NOT forget the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th & 10th Cavalry Regiments.  Organized by Col. Benjamin Grierson (10th) and Col. Hatch (9th), they were given the cast-off equipment, horses, and the lousiest assignments.  (Until the end of Reconstruction, the 10th served in Texas, fighting both Indians and...well, lets not get into that!)  Dispite these handicaps, the Buffalo Soldiers served most honorably and well! They had the lowest dessertion rate of any of the cavalry units during the Indian Wars period!  It was the 10th that provided machine gun fire for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders!

One source, which would be quite inclusive would be National Archives' Regimental Records.

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Offline Old Top

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 02:16:15 am »
St George,

Thank you for the thumbnail sketch of the Cavalry Units, it was quite enjoyable and now has me looking for more.  Do you have the same for the Infantry and Artillary?

Old Top
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 07:31:58 am »
To: Marshall J. D. Lightning:
And we must NOT forget the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th & 10th Cavalry Regiments.  Organized by Col. Benjamin Grierson (10th) and Col. Hatch (9th), they were given the cast-off equipment, horses, and the lousiest assignments

Usually... but not always A portion of the 9th or 10th (I'd have check which) was stationed at least for a time at the "Country Club of the Plains" Ft. Robinson Nebraska.
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Offline Wavey1us

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2006, 09:35:55 am »
Let's not forget the 7th Cav.  Here are some nuggets of info from a seminar i gave last year:

BACKGROUND INFO:
- Army Act of 1866 – Post war army was to perform three missions
  -- Reconstruction of the South (1/3 )
  -- Protection of the frontier
  -- Defense of the seacoast
- 1866 – Authorized strength of roughly 54,000 (three times pre-war strength0
  -- Expanded cavalry regiments from six to ten
  -- Company strength of 64 privates
  -- Expanded infantry regiments from nineteen to forty-five
- 1867 – Peak strength of 56,815
- Army Act of 1869 – Authorized strength reduced to 37,313
- By 1874 Army numbered just over 27,000
  -- Most cuts came from stopping enlistments and “Benzine Boards”
CAVET:  Actual strength always fell at least ten percent below authorized strength (Authorized 25,000=Actual 19,000)

- 430 companies (basic tactical unit) to man 200 posts
- Common practice to detail companies out to various postings
- Reductions throughout the period affected the number of men, not the number of units
  -- Each reduction the company shrank in numbers and efficiency
- By 1881, actual enlisted strength of 120 cavalry troops averaged 58 (46 privates)
- From 1865 to 1876, troops were strung out across 2.5 million square miles
  -- East to West = St Louis – San Francisco
  -- North to South= Bismarck - San Antonio

7TH CAVALRY ORGANIZATION
- 1866 - Constituted in the Regular Army as the 7th Cavalry Regiment. (20 July)
- 1866 - Organized at Fort Riley, Kansas, Colonel Andrew J. Smith, commanding. (21 September)
- 1866 - 1871 Fort Riley, Kansas; Indian Wars. Troops "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "K", "L" & "M".
- 1871 - 1873 Custer at Elizibethtown, Kentucky. Squadrons distributed over Southern States to enforce Federal distillery tax and suppress the Klu Klux Klan activities.
  -- Hdqtrs & Troop "A" - Elizibethtown,Kentucky
  -- Troop "B" - Unionville/Spartanburg, South Carolina
  -- Troop"C" - Winnsboro South Carolina/ Rutherfordton, North Carolina
  -- Troop "D" - Chester, South Carolina
  -- Troops "E" &"M" - Spartanburg, South Carolina
  -- Troop "F" - Meridian,Mississippi/Taylor Barracks, Kentucky
  -- Troop "G" - Sumpter, South Carolina/McPherson Barracks, Georgia
  -- Troop "H" - Ash Barracks, Tenneesse/Huntsville, Alabama
  -- Troop "I" - Bagdad/Shelbyville, Kentucky
  -- Troop "K" - Yorkville, South Carolina
  -- Troop "L" - Winnsboro/Columbus, South Carolina

1873 - Fort Rice, Dakota Territory; Temporary Staging Area. Troops "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "K", "L" & "M".
1873 - 1876 Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory; Indian Wars. Troops "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "K", "L" & "M".

CAMPAIGNS:

1867 – 1868
- Over 40 engagements with Sioux, Cheyennes, Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, Arapahoes, and Dog Soldiers
  -- 27 Nov 1868 Washita
     -- 103 warriors (unknown number of women and children)
     -- 875 Indian mounts destroyed
     -- 1,000 buffalo skins
     -- Hundreds of pounds of black powder
     -- Stockpile of weapons
  -- 7th Cav:  Two officers and 19 men KIA; Three officers and 11 men were wounded
- 1869
  -- Engagements on the Saline and Solomon
  -- Escorting duties  (sortie into north Texas)
- 1871
  -- Transferred to Department of the South as adjunct to the Department of Justice, acting as posse comitatus for US Marshals
- 1873
  -- Transferred back to Northern Department (Ft Rice)
  -- Expedition for protection of engineering surveyors of the Northern Pacific Railway
  -- Engagements on the Yellowstone
- 1874 – Black Hills Expedition
   -- North Dakota, Wyoming, and South Dakota
   -- “To secure a strong foothold in the heart of Sioux country “
   -- Establish a fort near the Black Hills to control hostile Indians who were raiding frontier settlements to the south, in Nebraska
“Scientific party”
- 1874 – 6 troops ordered to Department of the Gulf (Louisiana and Alabama)
  -- Constabulary duty
- 1875 – Removing the “deadwood” from the Black Hills
- Spring 1876 – Troops in the south recalled, and the entire regiment  concentrated at Fort A. Lincoln
- 22 Jun 1876 – Depart Fort A. Lincoln





Offline Trailrider

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 11:01:14 am »
I'd have to check my records, and most of it is on microfilm, for which I'd have to go to the library, as I don't have a film reader, but I believe there were several companies of the 7th at Ft. Wallace, Kansas, in the 1867-68 timeframe.  They were stationed at the same posts in that area that had 3rd Infantry.  Lt. Fred. Beecher was A.A.Q.M of the 3rd Inf.  The troopers of the 7th thought so much of Beecher that they presented him with a 4-shot Roper shotgun (a Spencer designed gun, BTW).

Also, Co. H., 10th Cav, Capt. (Bvt Col.) Louis H. Carpenter, commanding, was stationed at Wallace, and was the first to relieve Forsyth and his scouts after the Beecher Island battle. Also, Col. Brisbane of the 2nd Cav. arrived shortly thereafter.

An interesting sidelight...  The 3rd Infantry was the ONLY non-cavalry unit west of the Mississippi armed with repeating rifles (prior to the advent of the M1873 Trapdoor Springfield single shots).  The 3rd had Spencer Repeating RIFLES, with triangular bayonet!  Seventh Cav. troopers and 10th Cav had various models of Spencer CARBINES.  Question (thusfar UNdetermined):  Did Beecher issue Forsyth's civilian scouts long arms from 7th Cav stores at Ft. Hayes and Ft. Harker?  Or did he issue 3rd Infantry RIFLES?  All the accounts written by Forsyth and several scouts mention they had "rifles".  They never once mention carbines, though it IS known they had Spencers.  Yet "everyone" assumes they were using Spencer Carbines.  Answer:  Don't know!  The Ordnance Records of Arms and Ammo in the field with the Troops has a gap in it during the 1867-1870 period!   >:( 

Hope this is of interest.
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Offline Wavey1us

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2006, 01:48:35 pm »
You will lbe surprised on what arms the 7th Cav was equipped with. 

1867
Spencer .50 & .52 cal
Remington Army .44 cal
Lt. Cavalry sabers

1871
Altered Sharps (cartridge) .52 cal
Spencer
Experimental Springfield .50 cal, Remington .50 cal, Sharps .50 cal
Colt Army (Old & New) .44 cal
Remington Army .44 cal
Smith and Wesson Nickel/Non-plated .44 cal
Lt. Cavalry sabers

1872
Spencer .50 cal
Springfield .50 cal
Remington .50 cal

1872
Sharps
Ward Burton .50 cal

1873
Remington Single barrel .50 cal

1874
1873 Colt .45 cal
Trapdoor Springfield .45 cal
   Lieutenant James Calhoun of Company L wrote in his diary on July 1, 1874: "The new Springfield arms and ammunition were issued to the command today. They seem to give great satisfaction.“

1876
1873 Colt .45 cal
Trapdoor .45 cal

Companies were bascially issued arms that were dependent on their location.  So, you had different companies in the same regiment with differnet weapons.  I bet that made the QM hair turn grey.   


Offline Marshal J.D.Lightning

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2006, 06:32:52 am »
Thank you all so much for all this information.

It is truly humbling to be in the company for such knowledgeable people that are only too willing to share their knowledge & for that I thank you all.

Thanks again & all the best from Australia.

Lightning

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Offline PVT J. Southwick

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Re: Where did the Cavalry Serve during the IW
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2006, 01:00:36 pm »
Troop K 2nd U.S> Cavalry was stationed at Fort Laramie, W.T. on several occations during the IW, If you contact Fort Laramie National Historical Site at (307)837-2221 or via the internet they can get you more information on the Cav units stationed there during their active years.

8 troopers from the 2nd Cav L Troop were involved at the Battle of the Big Hole in Montana on Aug 9-11, 1877