Field & Staff--NCO Staff
Organized at West Meridian as a battalion November 2, 1861. Moved to Wheeling, W. Va., February 20-24, 1862, and duty there until March 27. Attached to R. R. District, Mountain Department, to April, 1862. Schenck's Brigade, Mountain Department, to June, 1862. Cavalry Brigade, 1st Army Corps, Army of Va., to September, 1862. Cavalry Brigade, 11th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to January, 1863. Defenses of Baltimore, Md. 8th Army Corps, Middle Dept., to July, 1863. Maryland Heights Division, Dept. of West Va., to October, 1863. Cavalry Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. West. Va. to January, 1864. Cavalry Reserve, 8th Army Corps, defenses of Baltimore to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac and Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to June, 1865. Cavalry Division, Dept. of Washington to August, 1865.
SERVICE.--Operations against guerrillas in Hardy County, W. Va., until May, 1862. Action at Moorefield, W. Va., April 3. March to relief of Milroy May 2-7. McDowell May 8. Franklin May 10-12. Strasburg May 24. Wosdensville May 28. Raid to Shaver River May 30. Strasburg June 1. New Market June 5. Harrisonburg June 7. Cross Keys June 8. Port Republic June 9. Movement down the valley to Madison C. H. June 10-July 28. Scout from Strasburg June 22-30 (Co. "B"). Scouting in vicinity of Madison C. H. until August. Pope's campaign in Northern Va. Aug. 16-Sept. 2. Provost duty during the Bull Run battles Aug. 27-30. Duty at Tennallytown, Fairfax C. H., Kalorama Heights and Hall's Farm until December. March to Fredericksburg, Va., and duty at Stafford C. H. until January, 1863. Kelly's Ford December 20-22, 1862. Moved to Baltimore, Md., and duty there, organizing as a regiment until March, 1864 (Cos. "A," "B," "C," "D" and "E"). Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., July 5, 1863, and duty in that vicinity until January, 1864. Skirmish at Waterford Aug. 8, 1863 (Detachment). Berryville October 18. Expedition from Charlestown to New Market November 15-18. Operations in Hampshire and Hardy Counties, W. Va., January 27-February 7, 1864. Moorefield, February 4, 1864 (Detachment). Regimental organization completed at Baltimore January, 1864, and duty there until March. Moved to Annapolis Junction March 8, thence to Brandy Station, Va., March 15. Joined brigade March 15. Rappahannock April 1. Rapidan Campaign May-June. Craig's Meeting House May 5. Todd's Tavern May 5-6. Alsop's farm, Spottsylvania, May 8. Sheridan's raid to James River May 9-24. North Anna River May 9-10. Ground Squirrel Bridge and Yellow Tavern May 11. Brook Church or fortifications of Richmond May 12. Strawberry Hill May 12. Demonstration on Little River May 26. Line of the Totopotomoy May 28-31. Mechump's Creek and Hanover C. H. May 31. Ashland June 1. Totopotomoy and Gaines' Mills June 2. Haw's Shop June 3. Cold Harbor June 3-12. Bethesda Church June 11. Long Bridge June 12. St. Mary's Church June 15. Cold Harbor June 18. Wilson's raid on south side and Danville R. R. June 20-30. Black and White Station and Nottaway C. H. June 23. Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station June 25. Sappony Church or Stony Creek June 28-29. Ream's Station June 29. Siege of Petersburg until August. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August to December. Winchester August 17. Abraham's Creek September 13. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Near Cedarville September 20. Front Royal Pike September 21. Milford September 22. Tom's Brook, "Woodstock Races," October 8-9. Battle of Cedar Creek October 10. Cedar Creek October 13. Cedar Run Church October 17. Newtown, Cedar Creek, November 12. Rude's Hill, near Mt. Jackson, November 22. Raid to Lacy Springs December 19-22. Lacy Springs December 21. Expedition from Winchester to Moorefield, W. Va., February 4-6, 1865. Sheridan's Raid February 27-March 25. Occupation of Staunton March 2. Waynesboro March 2. Charlottesville March 3. Ashland March 15. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Dinwiddie C. H. March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Namozine Church April 3. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Station April 8. Appomattox C. H., April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Expedition to Danville April 23-29. Moved to Washington, D.C., May. Grand review May 23. Provost duty at Washington until August. Mustered out August 2, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 36 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 4 Officers and 149 Enlisted men by disease. Total 193.
Upon the application of Capt. William H. Mallory, August 1st, 1861, authority was given to recruit this Squadron, to compose a part of a volunteer regiment of Cavalry, to be raised in different States, with the understanding and agreement that it was to be distinctly a Connecticut organization to be officered by the Governor of this State, and each enlisted man to be entitled to and to receive the bounties paid by this State to Connecticut volunteers, both personal and to families.
On the part of the State this agreement was faithfully carried out, but was not by other parties. Not an officer was appointed by the Governor of Connecticut after the first appointments were made.
The battalion was finally assigned toNew York, and was known as the 2d New York Cavalry (Harris Light Cavalry), was counted on the quota of that State, and the names of his commissioned officers were borne upon the register of that State, while at the same time the State of Connecticut was paying bounties to the men enlisted from the State, and for whom it received no credit from the General Government.
In many cases, owing to the want of official returns, bounties have been paid from the State treasury to the families of men after they had deserted or been discharged, in one instance the bounty having been drawn for a year after the soldier had deserted.
No official reports of the operations have been received, and the files of Muster Rolls and returns are so incomplete that a reliable history of events or summary of operations cannot be given.
The 2dNew York Cavalry is reported, by the Adjutant-General of New York, as having been mustered out on the 23d day of June, 1865.
The following was written by BVT. Brig. General Erastus Blakeslee, Late Colonel First C.V. Cavalry
THE history of this command is in some respects unique. It began active service, a battalion of four companies, fighting bushwhackers among the mountains of West Virginia in March, 1862, and ended it, a regiment of twelve companies, by escorting General Grant when he went to receive Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House in April, 1865. Meanwhile it had spent three months with its army corps within the defenses of Washington, and fourteen months, for the most part on provost duty, in Baltimore ; so that its brilliant record in the field was acquired by a fighting service of but about twenty months, seven as a battalion and thirteen as a regiment. Yet such was its exceeding activity when at the front that it was engaged with the enemy in some form over ninety times, and suffered loss at his hands in killed, wounded, or missing on over eighty different occasions. Its regimental service was in Sheridan's renowned cavalry, in the division commanded at first by Wilson and afterwards by Custer. It fought cavalry, infantry, and artillery, mounted and on foot, in the field and behind breastworks; and its captures of prisoners, wagons, guns, and flags were very considerable.
Allowing for names appearing on its rolls twice or more because of transfers from one company to another, for deserters, for rebel prisoners enlisted at Baltimore and transferred to the Northwest to fight Indians, and for others nominally but not really serving in it, a careful inspection of the rolls at the Adjutant-General's office fixes the number of persons actually doing duty in this command at 1,361. Of these, in round numbers, 100, mostly re-enlisted veterans from the original four companies, served nearly four years, 300 about three years, 100 about two years, 600 about a year and a half, and the remainder but a few months. Thirty-two of its officers and men were killed and ninety-seven wounded in battle, while of its entire number 205, or almost fifteen per cent., lost their lives in service ; and, although no part of the command was ever taken in a body, the captures from it were 304, or over twenty-two per cent, of the whole, nearly a quarter of whom perished in prison ; — forty seven in Andersonville alone ; and its casualties of every sort, so far as recorded, were 772, or over fifty-six per cent. Of its enlisted men forty-three afterward became commissioned officers, receiving in all seventy-nine commissions. Among these were three who attained the rank of Major, and ten that of Captain ; while of its officers three became brevet Brigadier-Generals, there being but three volunteers from Connecticut of a higher rank, and but fourteen others of this; and of the twelve Medals of Honor awarded by Congress to Connecticut soldiers for distinguished bravery three, or one-quarter of the whole, were awarded to members of this regiment. These figures tell a story of endurance, courage, and achievement of which the First Cavalry may well be proud. They include an unusual number of heroic personal adventures, without which the regimental history cannot be complete, but for which there is no room in this brief official record.
I I . HISTORY AS A BATTALION.
October, 1861 — December, 1862.
The Connecticut Cavalry was originally organized as a battalion of four companies, one from each congressional district in the State. , The call for it was issued October 1, 1861, and on the 23d it assembled at Camp Tyler, West Meriden, with full ranks. It remained here on drill and discipline until February 20, 1862, when, under command of Major Judson M. Lyon, it proceeded to Wheeling, Va., arriving on the 24th. March 27th it was assigned to the brigade of General Robert C. Schenck and ordered to Moorefield, Va., to fight guerillas. It was very active here, covering the ground with its scouting parties for many miles up and down the South Potomac valley, and penetrating into almost every recess of the mountains on either hand. Early in May the brigade moved up the valley, and was present on the 8th at the battle of McDowell. The battalion covered the rear of our army as it fell back, repulsing an attack by Ashby's cavalry near Franklin on the 11th. Jackson having driven Banks from Strasburgh across the Potomac, our army, under Fremont, hastened to intercept him. The "battalion led the advance over the mountains. At daylight, May 30th, it met and repulsed the enemy's cavalry at "Wardensville. June 1st, at dusk, it overtook and charged Jackson's rear at Strasburgh, and in the pursuit of him up the valley was constantly in the advance. It joined in the sharp cavalry fight near Harrisonburg, June 6th, where the rebel General Ashby was killed, and in Fremont's battle at Cross Keys, two days later. On the 9th it made a dash to save the bridge at Port Republic, but too late for success. The army now retired down the valley, and on July 10th crossed the mountains to Sperryville. About this time Major Lyon resigned and Captain Middlebrook assumed command. The battalion, now in Sigel's corps, arrived at Cedar Mountain August 9th, just at the close of the battle there, and on the 12th joined in the pursuit of Jackson to the Rapidan. "With its brigade, under Colonel Beardsley, Ninth New York, it fought through Pope's disastrous campaign and helped to cover the shattered fragments of his army on its retreat. It was now badly used up and to a large extent dismounted, and lay with its corps in camp near Washington three months, during which time it received about one hundred recruits, and was entirely refitted and remounted. In December it moved with its corps to Stafford Court House, where it remained a month, scouting and picketing, when it was ordered to Baltimore for provost duty and to be filled up to a regiment.
III . HISTORY WHILE BEING RECRUITED TO A REGIMENT.
January, 1862 — February, 1864.
During this period the headquarters of the regiment were at Camp Cheesebrough, Baltimore, Md. Major Fish was provost marshal. The secession element being strong in Maryland, the business of the office was large. Several officers from the regiment were appointed assistant marshals, and large details of its men were constantly on provost duty in the city and on provost and scouting expeditions to various parts of the State. Captain Farnsworth had charge of the camp. Under his energetic lead the men rebuilt the barracks and erected officers' quarters, paved the company streets with brick, and graded and turfed the ground between. Barns were also built, and a hospital and chapel. July 5th he was ordered with 180 men to Harper's Ferry, then occupied by the enemy. On the 14th, with forty-nine men, he attacked a rebel picket on Bolivar Heights, numbering, with their reserve, 200 or more, but his horse becoming disabled under him, he was captured with more than half of his men; the remainder withdrew, bringing several prisoners captured by them. August 7th the battalion took part in an expedition under Colonel Vinton, Sixth Michigan, which was surprised in camp at night near Waterford, Ya., and suffered considerable loss. Later, the First Connecticut, under Lieutenant Rogers, returned the compliment by surprising a rebel camp in the same region and capturing a large number of prisoners. Afterwards, with other troops, it made two expeditions to Winchester, and one in November, of fifteen days, to Harrisonburgh, meeting the enemy each time. Meanwhile, large additions were being made to the regiment. In January, 1864, its ranks were full, and Major Blakeslee, who had been on recruiting service for some time, was ordered to Baltimore to assume command. The detachment at Harper's Ferry was sent back and the recruits put under rigid drill and discipline. The regiment was mounted and fully equipped, and on March 8th, 675 strong, marched to join the Army of the Potomac.
IV . HISTORY AS A REGIMENT.
March, 1864 —August, 1865.
The regiment arrived at Stevensburg, Va., March 24th, and was assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac (Sheridan's Cavalry), with which it served until the end of the war. During the summer General Wilson commanded the division and General McIntosh the brigade. March 29th, Sergeant Fish, Company H, was wounded on picket at Grove Church. As he lay helpless on the ground the rebels brutally shot him repeatedly with his own revolver. He received twenty-one wounds and was left for dead, but lived long enough to tell the tale. May 4th the army
crossed the Rapidan. Next morning the First Connecticut, as advance guard, met Longstreet's advance at Craig's Church and opened the Wilderness battles on our left. Major Marcy, with about 200 men, reconnoitering, was cut off. As the only chance of escape, he ordered sabers drawn and a charge through the enemy. This feat was most gallantly accomplished, with the loss of about forty men. The division fell slowly back, the First Connecticut covering the rear, to Todd's Tavern, where it made a stand and checked the enemy. The terrific infantry fighting of the next two days being ended, the First Connecticut led the advance in Grant's movement toward Spottsylvania Court House, and early in the morning charged into the town, driving out the enemy there and capturing thirty-five prisoners, mostly infantry; but supports failing to come up, the division presently withdrew. That night the regiment received Spencer's and Sharp's carbines in place of the much inferior Smith's, General Wilson saying it " had earned the right to carry them." At daylight on the 9th, stripped of all incumbrances, with one feed of oats in their nose-bags and two days' hard tack and five days' salt in their haversacks, the cavalry started on Sheridan's raid to Richmond. Stuart followed, and engaged us at Beaver Dam Station on the 10th, and on the 11th at Yellow Tavern, where he was killed. On the 12th the corps, with the First Connecticut in the extreme advance nearest the city, fought nearly all day within the defenses of Richmond, withdrawing across Meadow Bridge at night with much difficulty. On the 15th it met supply steamers at Haxall's Landing on the James, and rejoined the army at Hanover Court House on the 25th. The First Connecticut lost about 150 horses used up on this raid; their riders, except as they took the places of the killed and wounded, being sent to Dismount Camp. May 31st, at dusk, the brigade charged on foot up a steep slope, driving the enemy at all points. The First Connecticut, which had been on the skirmish-line away from horses and haversacks nearly all day, remained there all night, General Mcintosh saying he " must have a regiment there that he could trust." The next day, at Ashland, while en route in the woods, the brigade was surprised by an attack in its rear. The First Connecticut had orders to support Fitz Hugh's U.S.A. mounted battery, and was the only force between it and W. H. F. Lee's cavalry division. It was a splendid prize, and Lee determined to have it. He charged furiously on the brigade pack-train in the rear of the First Connecticut, stampeding several hundred led horses and mules through the regiment, causing great confusion. But the regiment quickly rallied, and by a gallant counter-charge checked the enemy. It was a hard fight, a regiment against a division, but with seven distinct rallies in about a mile, now in line and now by counter-charge, and at a loss of about one-fifth of its men engaged, the regiment won; time was gained and the battery was saved. Among the killed was the heroic Captain Warner, shot twice before he fell and fighting to the last, and the gallant Color-Sergeant Whipple, shot dead proudly facing the foe. Lieutenant-Colonel Blakeslee being wounded in this fight, Major Marcy assumed
The division was now on the extreme right of the army, where it remained .on severe duty as rear guard during Grant's hazardous movement across the James. On June 10th, in one of its many skirmishes, the much-lamented Captain Backus was instantly killed while gallantly leading his men. His body left a short time in possession of the enemy, was stripped by them of everything but his shirt. The division, almost worn out with fatigue, crossed the James on the 17th at 1 o'clock A. M. On the 22d it started on Wilson's daring raid against the South-Side Railroad, and, without rest even to water the horses, marched for twenty-four hours by a circuitous route to Ford's Station, fourteen miles west of Petersburg. It destroyed the railroad from there westward. At Nottoway Court House a
heavy fight occurred while the First Connecticut was tearing up the track towards Danville. An attempt to destroy the great bridge across the Staunton at Roanoke Station by daylight having failed, General Wilson called for Captain Moorehouse and seventy-five men from the First Connecticut to burn it by night. They responded cheerfully,though knowing that but few probably would return alive. Fortunately, while they were preparing the combustibles, the attempt was thought so desperate that the order was revoked. The retreat across the country to Stony Creek, on the Weldon railroad, now began. The First Connecticut Cavalry distinguished itself in the unsuccessful but hotly-contested attempt to break through the enemy's lines at this point, and then covered the rear in the perilous withdrawal to Ream's Station. The enemy were met here on the 29th in heavy force. The command was in the utmost danger. Captain Whitaker of the First Connecticut Cavalry, on Wilson's staff, was dispatched to General Meade for succor. With forty men of the Third New York he dashed through the enemy's lines and reached headquarters with fourteen men and two prisoners. But it was too late. Wilson burnt his ammunition and baggage wagons, left his ambulances, spiked his guns and retreated in hot haste. The enemy pressing in on every side, turned the retreat into a rout. Color-Sergeant Hawley, First Connecticut, stripped the flag from its staff, stuffed it into his bosom under his shirt, and escaped with a wounded horse and with four bullet-holes through his blouse and one through his cap. The First Connecticut was the first regiment to make a stand against the enemy. It formed line, rallied stragglers, and holding the enemy back covered the retreat of the rest of the division. This desperate rear guard service was continued all night, and, with the fighting of the day before, cost the First Connecticut over three score men. Private Clarke, Co. A, wounded twice and captured was deliberately and repeatedly shot by the rebels while a prisoner, and with seventeen bullet-wounds in his person was left for dead, but after almost incredible hardships, survived. The command recrossed the Nottoway, and with a detour of 100 miles reached Petersburg. July 2d, utterly exhausted. The First Connecticut brought into camp but eighty-five men; the rest came straggling in for days as best they could. The expedition was gone ten days, marched 300 miles, destroyed sixty miles of railroad track with tanks, saw-mills, and depots, fought four battles and many skirmishes, rested at no place over six hours, and during the last four days not over four hours, had but little food or forage, and went for whole days and even for forty-eight hours without water under a blazing sun and with but one slight shower, not enough to lay the dust on the way. It was at the windup of such an expedition as that that the First Connecticut rallied and covered the rear, and was specially thanked by General Wilson for its services. The regiment now had a month in camp and on picket duty in the rear and on the left of our army at Petersburg, and was then ordered with its division to the Shenandoah valley. Colonel Blakeslee rejoined it en route at Washington, where it was remounted and thoroughly refitted, being fully armed with Spencer carbines.
The campaign in the valley under Sheridan was a busy one. August 16th, just after dark, while fighting dismounted, the First Connecticut was cut off and almost surrounded by a large body of infantry, many of whom were within easy speaking distance. Escape seemed impossible, but aided by the darkness and by a swamp which hindered the march of the enveloping column, it was effected at the last moment, greatly to the surprise of both friend and foe. On the 25th the regiment fought at Kearneysville, and was complimented by General McIntosh for " the handsome manner" in which it charged through the woods; and on September 14th Captain Rogers' squadron, by a rapid dash, helped to surround and capture the Eighth South Carolina Infantry with its colonel and colors. Colonel Blakeslee, still suffering from the effects of his wound, now withdrew, leaving Major Marcy again in command.
The regiment opened the battle of Winchester, September 19th, crossing the Opequan at dawn, and driving the enemy at a gallop until the first line of rebel earthworks was in sight. Then, the whole brigade in line, the First Connecticut in the center, charged magnificently up the slope, and with a yell went over the breastworks, man and horse together, capturing 100 prisoners by the way. The brigade held this position till our infantry came up, and was then put on our extreme left, where towards night the division made a grand charge against the flank of the retreating enemy, driving all before it for miles. On the 21st, at Front Royal, the division forced a passage across the Shenandoah in face of the enemy, and with one charge scattered them in wild confusion. All movements were performed at a gallop in the open fields and under the eye of the commanding general, and the First Connecticut gained the credit of being "better handled and maneuvered than any other regiment in the division." The regiment joined in the pursuit of Early to Harrisonburgh, and then, September 26th-29th, took part in Torbett's destructive raid to Staunton and Waynesboro. October 1st, Wilson was sent west, and Custer was put in command of the division. The troops now retired down the valley. October 17th found the regiment on picket at Cedar Run Church. Rosser dashed in at night with two brigades, hoping to surprise the division in camp, but though he captured Major Marcy and thirty men, was defeated in his plans through the stout resistance of the men on guard.
Concerning the renowned battle of Cedar Creek, October 19th, General Sheridan says : " I attribute the breaking up of the main line of the enemy as it was falling back, to the charge around the left flank by the cavalry under General Custer." The First Connecticut, under Captain French, led that charge, dispersing the enemy's cavalry, and with the help of reinforcements, driving it across Cedar Creek, thus opening the way for the rest of the division to the half a hundred guns, and many wagons,
prisoners, and flags that it captured, and which were as truly trophies of the First Connecticut as of any other regiment. The regiment was now for weeks constantly on the alert. November 12th, under Captain Rogers, in a reconnoissance across Cedar Creek, it had a sharp fight with Rosser, was nearly surrounded, but receiving reinforcements, drove him and returned victorious with a loss of thirty men, including Captain Rogers, wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Ives now arrived and assumed command. The winter was a hard one. November 24th a man froze to death at night in his tent. December 19th-22d the regiment, temporarily under Major Whitaker, marched with the division 120 miles in four extremely cold days, gallantly repulsed a fierce night attack in an ice-covered bivouac at Lazy Springs, and returned to camp with fifty frost-bitten men; and on February 4th-5th, fifty picked men of the regiment, with 250 others from the division, all under the same officer, then on Custer's staff, marched over the Alleghenies to within four miles of Moorefield, 140 miles in forty-eight hours, half within the enemy's lines, and capturing the noted Harry Gilmore in bed, brought him back a prisoner.
The first step towards Appomattox Court House was taken by Sheridan February 27, 1865, when, committing his winter quarters to the flames, and with bands playing and flags flying, he started on his great raid from Winchester to Petersburg via Waynesboro, which place he reached March 2d, Custer's division in the advance. Here were Early's headquarters. The enemy were strongly posted on a ridge with artillery. They must be dislodged. The First Connecticut and two other regiments were assigned to Lieutenant-Colonel Whitaker for this purpose. They were secretly put on the rebel left flank and dismounted in mud knee-deep. An ice storm prevailed and the shells crashed fearfully through the ice-covered trees. The flanking party, the First Connecticut, led by Major Goodwin, being on the right, charged with great enthusiasm; at the same time the division advanced; the enemy broke, and 1,308 prisoners, 150 wagons, eleven guns, and eighteen battle flags were ours, won wholly by Custer's division, and largely by the flank attack led by a First Connecticut officer, and fought in good part by First Connecticut men. The next day the command was at Charlottesville and marched thence eastward, working untold destruction on railroads, bridges, and canals. Near Ashland, March 14th, Longstreet attempted to intercept Sheridan, but was discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Whitaker, who, taking Captain Neville's squadron of the First Connecticut, drove the rebel skirmishers at a gallop, and uncovered their infantry. Sheridan then avoided battle by re-crossing the North Anna. In this spirited charge the squadron lost seventeen men, including the brave and genial Lieutenant Clark, who was killed. He Was one of the original battalion and universally beloved. The command was at White House March 21st and before Petersburg on the 27th.
Here Colonel Ives, who had been absent recruiting, rejoined the regiment, which, at sunrise, April 1st, was at Five Forks. There had already been.much fighting here, but without success. The brigade, dismounted, made a resolute attack, but was repulsed. Among the lost here was Captain Parmelee, one of the bravest of the brave, killed by a shell while gallantly leading his men. The battle raged fiercely. In the afternoon our lines charged twice without avail. The third time they were successful, capturing 6,000 prisoners and many guns and flags. "In this memorable battle," writes General Custer, "the First Connecticut achieved the honor of being the first to leap the enemy's breastworks, seize his cannon, and turn them on the retreating foe." The two guns thus gallantly captured by the First Connecticut were the only ones taken at that time by Custer's division. For two days they pursued the flying enemy. On the 3d, at Sweat House Creek, the division had a sharp engagement, but soon won victory. On the 7th the First Connecticut led the advance. It attacked Lee's wagon train near Harper's Farm, and routing the guard, separated; Colonel Ives with the right battalion charged a battery in the woods defended by infantry, and captured five guns with caissons, men. and horses, and two battle flags; Major Moorehouse with the left battalion went towards the head of the train, capturing men, horses, and mules, and burning wagons; but the enemy being reinforced, the regiment retired with its splendid trophies. About 3 P. M. the brigade was ordered to charge the enemy's breastworks mounted. It gallantly galloped forward, only to be terribly repulsed. Colonel Ives's horse was shot under him, and the dead of the First Connecticut lay nearest the enemy's works. At sunset
these same works were again attacked in force and 5,000 prisoners captured. On the 9th Sheridan saw that the end was near. He had cut off the enemy's way of retreat and was just advancing to a grand final charge. A flag of truce appeared asking a cessation of hostilities. Under it Lieutenant-Colonel Whitaker of the First Connecticut, Custer's chief of staff, entered the rebel lines, and with General Longstreet (acting at Lee's request), made the negotiation which stopped the fighting. Soon after, the regiment itself was detailed to escort General Grant when he went to receive Lee's surrender. These two unique events were glory enough for one day. The remaining story is short. The regiment went nearly to Danville with Sheridan, but on Johnston's surrender, marched back to Washington, where it took part in the grand review, and was found so excellent as to be selected for provost duty in the city, where it remained until August. A battalion of it was sent to Gettysburg at the laying of the corner stone of the soldiers' monument there July 4, 1865. On its muster-out it was allowed to return to its State mounted, a privilege granted to no other regiment in the service. It was discharged at New Haven, August 18, 1865, almost three years and ten months from the date of its first encampment at West Meriden. Its record is a noble one, an honor to itself and to the State that sent it out.
Reference: Connecticut Volunteer Organizations,(Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery) in the Service of the United States 1861-1865, with additional enlistments, casualties, etc, etc, and Brief Summaries, Showing the operations and service of the several regiments and batteries. Prepared from records in the Adjutant-General's Office.
C.M. INGERSOL, Adjutant-general.