1st Regiment Michigan Cavalry















The First Cavalry commenced recruiting on August 21, 1861, at Camp Lyon, near Detroit, the place of rendezvous, the organization of the Regiment being under the direction of Thornton F. Brodhead who had been appointed its Colonel. It was mustered into United States service on the 13th of September, with 1144 officers and men on its rolls. Left State for Washington, D.C., September. 29, 1861. Attached to Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Potomac, to December, 1861. Cavalry, Banks' Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. Cavalry, 1st Division, Banks' 5th Corps, to April, 1862. Hatch's Cavalry Brigade, Dept. of the Shenandoah, to June, 1862. Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. Unassigned, Alexandria, Va., September, 1862. Price's Cavalry Brigade, Military District of Washington, to February, 1863, and 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, Stahel's Cavalry Division, 22nd Army Corps, to June, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to August, 1864. Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to March, 1865, and Army of the Potomac to June, 1865. Dept. of Missouri to August, 1865. District of the Plains, Dept. of Missouri, to September, 1865. District of Dakota, Dept. of Missouri, to December, 1865, District of Utah, Dept. of Missouri, to March, 1866.

The First, while in Camp Lyon, was presented a flag from the citizens of Springwells. This flag was of blue silk, heavily fringed, with the national arms on both sides, under which, was emblazoned in gold letters "First Michigan Cavalry". On the 29th of September the Regiment left camp, under the command of Colonel Brodhead, with orders to proceed to Washington.

They lay in camp at Frederick, Maryland a considerable portion of the winter, its principal service being on the Upper Potomac River, in the Shenandoah Valley and near the Eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In February 1862, General Banks was in command of the Union troops on the Maryland side of the Potomac, the Regiment composed a part of this force. To Banks had been assigned the task of guarding the Potomac line, from Manassas Junction to Washington City. While repairing the rail line near Manassas Junction the Confederates evacuated the area, retiring to Mount Jackson, about 40 miles north of Winchester.

Banks had sent a force, under General Geary to re-occupy Harpers Ferry as the first step to establishing control over the Shenandoah Valley. The First marched with this force to Charlestown, then to Berryville, reaching that place on the 10th of March, continuing to move towards Winchester. The Confederate General Jackson, assuming the federals to be weak and extended, attacked them at Kernstown. Pressed repeatedly the Federals retreated back to the Potomac, opposite Williamsport.

The Regiment remained at Williamsport until June 12th, when it again entered Virginia, moving via Martinsburg to Front Royal, reaching there on the 16th. They soon entered on the Pope Campaign, joining that part of Pope's army then under Banks. They were engaged with the Confederates at Orange Court House, July 16th, then at Cedar Mountain on August 9th., where an engagement took place between Banks force and the superior forces of Jackson, Ewell and A.P. Hill, suffering heavily.

Moving to Centerville the Regiment was then heavily engaged at the famous battle at Manassas, or Bull Run, on the 30th. of August, loosing 7 men killed, 13 wounded, 7 captured with 106 missing, Colonel Brodhead being among the mortally wounded, who died the following 5th. of September.

After the battle of Mannassas, during the early part of 1863, the Regiment was engaged in guard duty in front of the defenses of Washington on a line extending from Edward's Ferry to the mouth of the Opequan.

This duty was most arduous and as difficult as the Regiment had been ordered to perform, requiring incessant vigilance and watchfulness. The Regiment lost thirty men during this period to repeated attacks by Mosby's Guerrillas. In February, the Confederates felt for a weakness in the federal line, probing at Opequan Creek. The Regiment sent out a detachment of 56 men to watch his movements. Seeing the small force, Stuart attacked. The detachment retired after killing 15 of Stuarts men, but with no loss to themselves.

In June, the Regiment set out in pursuit of Lee's forces, then moving north into Maryland and Pennsylvania. When the Union command was re-organized near the end of June, the Regiment was re- assigned to the Michigan Brigade, where I have thought it best to continue their history.

Prior to being assigned to the Michigan Brigade, they were engaged at:

Winchester,Va Opequan,VA
2nd.Manassas,Va Orange Court House,Va
Middletown,Va Thorofare Gap,Va
Cedar Mountain,Va Harrisonburg,VA
Strasburg,Va Greenwich,Va

SERVICE.--Operations in Loudoun County, Va., February 25-May 6, 1862. Occupation of Loudoun Heights February 27. Berryville March 6 (Detachment). Capture of Leesburg March 8. Reconnaissance to Snicker's Gap March 12. Battle of Winchester March 23. Strasburg March 27. Advance from Strasburg to Woodstock and Edenburg April 1-2. Salem and Woodstock April 1. Edenburg April 1-2. Thoroughfare Gap April 2. Greenwich April 3. Catlett's Station April 4. Warrenton April 5. Columbia Furnace April 7. White Plains April 11. Rectortown April 14. Piedmont, Mt. Jackson and New Market April 17. McGaheysville April 27. Linden May 15. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley May 15-June 17. Middletown May 24. Retreat to Williamsport May 24-26. Winchester May 25. Expedition from Gainesville June 7-8. Milford June 24. Strasburg Pike June 26. Reconnaissance to Front Royal June 29-30. Luray June 30. Culpeper Court House July 12. Orange Court House July 15. Reconnaissance to Madison Court House July 17. Reconnaissance to Orange Court House under Crawford August 2. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Reconnaissance to Orange Court House August 13, and to Louisa Court House August 16. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Fords of the Rappahannock August 21-23. Lewis Ford and Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D C., until June, 1863. Mouth of Monocacy September 5. Reconnaissance to Berryville November 28-30, 1862. Snicker's Ferry, Berryville, November 30. Expedition to Catlett's and Rappahannock Station January 8-10, 1863. Brentsville January 9. Near Union Mills February 14 (Detachment). Hanover, Pa., June 30. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Hunterstown July 2. Fairfield Gap July 4. Smithburg July 5. Hagerstown and Williamsport, Md., July 6. Boonsboro July 8. Hagerstown July 11-13. Falling Waters July 14. Ashby's Gap July 20. Battle Mountain, near Newby's Cross Roads, July 24. Barbee's Cross Roads July 25. King George Court House August 24. Expedition to Port Conway September 1-3. Lamb's Creek Church, near Port Conway, September 1. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17. Stevensburg and Pony Mountain September 13. Culpeper Court House September 13. Somerville Ford September 14-16. Reconnaissance across the Rapidan September 21-23. White's Ford September 21-22. Robertson's Ford and near Liberty Mills September 23. Bristoe Campaign October 8-22. James City October 8-9-10. Bethesda Church October 10. Near Culpeper and Brandy Station October 11. Gainesville October 14. Groveton October 17-18. Gainesville, Catlett's Station and Buckland's Mills October 19. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-October 2. Morton's Ford November 26. Raccoon Ford November 26-27. (4 new Companies organized October 13 to December 29, 1863.) Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Regiment consolidated to 8 Companies February 15, 1864. Kilpatrick's Raid on Richmond February 28-March 4. Fortifications of Richmond March 1. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River May 3-June 24. Todd's Tavern May 5-6. Wilderness May 5-7. The Furnaces and Brock Road May 6. Todd's Tavern May 7-8. Sheridan's Raid to James River May 9-24. Beaver Dam Station May 9. Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern May 11. Meadow Bridge May 12. Hanover court House May 21. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Dabney's Ferry, Hanovertown Ferry, Hanovertown and Crump's Creek May 27. Haw's Shop and Aenon Church May 28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Old Church and Mattadequin Creek May 30. Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, May 31-June 1. Sheridan's Trevillian Raid June 7-24. Trevillian Station June 11-12. Newark, or Mallory's Cross Roads, June 12. Black Creek, or Tunstall's Station, and White House, or St. Peter's Church, June 21. Jones' Bridge June 23. Demonstration north of the James River July 27-29. Deep Bottom July 27-28. Ordered to Washington, D.C., August. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Winchester and Tell Gate near White Post August 11. Cedarville, or Front Royal, August 16 and 18. Kearneysville August 23. Near Kearneysville August 25. Shephardstown August 25. Leetown and Smithfield August 28. Smithfield Crossing of the Opequan August 29. Berryville September 4. Locke's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 13. Sevier's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 15. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 21. Milford September 22. Luray September 24. Port Republic September 26-28, Mt. Crawford October 2. Luray Valley October 8. Tom's Brook October 8-9. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Near Kernstown November 11, Expedition into Loudoun and Faquier Counties November 28-December 3. Middleburg December 2. Raid to Gordonsville December 19-28. Madison Court House December 21. Liberty Mills December 22. Jack's Shop, near Gordonsville, December 23. Expedition from Edenburg to Little Fort Valley, February 13-17, 1865. Sheridan's Raid from Winchester February 27-March 25. Occupation of Staunton March 2. Waynesboro March 2. Duguidsville March 8. Hanover Court House March 15. Appomattox Court House March 28-April 9. Dinwiddie Court House March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Scott's Cross Roads April 2. Tabernacle Church, or Beaver Creek Pond, April 4. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Station April 8. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Expedition to Danville April 23-29. March to Washington May. Grand Review May 23. Moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, June 1. Powder River Expedition and operations against Indians in District of the Plains and Dakota July to November, 1865. Duty in District of Utah until March, 1866. Mustered out March 10, 1866. (Company "D" served detached as Provost Guard at Alexandria November 25, 1862, until June, 1863.) (Regiment absent on furlough December 21, 1863, to March 1, 1864. Returned to Camp Stoneman, D.C., and duty there until April, 1864.)

Total Enrollment--1364
Killed in Action--69
Died of Wounds--44
Died of Disease--150
Total Casualty Rate--19.3%

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