United States Regiments & Batteries > Connecticut


The 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry Regiment lost 4 officers and 36 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and 4 officers and 149 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. Three hundred four were captured, of whom 89 died in prison.

1861
October 1-23 Organized at Camp Tyler, West Meridian as a battalion of four companies
1862
February 20-24 Moved to Wheeling, W. Va. under the command of Major Judson M. Lyon
March Operations against guerrillas in Hardy County, W. Va. attached to R. R. District, Mountain Department
March 27 Attached to Schenck’s Brigade, Mountain Department
April 3 Action with guerillas at Moorefield, W. Va.
May 2-7 March to relief of Milroy
May 8 McDowell
May 10-12 Franklin
May 24 Strasburg
May 28 Wardensville
May 30 Raid to Shaver River
June 1 Overtook and charged Jackson’s rear at Strasburg
June 5 New Market
June 6
Battle of Harrisonburg

Cavalry fight with Ashby’s Confederate cavalry in which he was killed.

June 8
Cross Keys

The battalion was commanded by Captain Erastus Blakeslee.

June 9
Port Republic
June 10-July 28 Movement down the valley to Madison C. H.
June 16 Assigned to Cavalry Brigade, 1st Army Corps, Army of Virginia.
June 22-30 Scout from Strasburg (Company B)
July Scouting in vicinity of Madison C. H.
July 10 Crossed the mountains to Sperryville.
Late July Major Lyon resigned. Captain Middlebrook took command of the battalion
Aug. 16-Sept. 2
Pope’s campaign in Northern Va.
August 9
Cedar Mountain

Arrived at the close of the battle

August 12 Joined pursuit of Jackson to the Rapidan
August 15 Captain William S. Fish of Company C was promoted to major.
Aug. 27-30 Provost duty during the Bull Run battles
September Duty at Tennallytown, Fairfax C. H., Kalorama Heights and Hall’s Farm. Attached to Cavalry Brigade, 11th Army Corps, Army Potomac. Refitted and remounted during this time, and received 100 recruits.
December March to Fredericksburg, Va., and duty at Stafford C. H.
December 20-22 Kelly’s Ford
1863
January Moved to Baltimore, Md., and duty there. Assigned to Defenses of Baltimore, Md. 8th Army Corps, Middle Dept (Compaines A, B, C, D and E). Captain Farnsworth oversaw the construction of barracks, barns and a chapel at Camp Cheesebrough.
January 16 Major Fish was appointed Provost Marshal of the Middle Department, 8th Corps.
March 21 Major Fish was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
July 5 Captain Farnsworth ordered with 180 men to Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. and assigned to Maryland Heights Division, Dept. of West Va.
July 14 Captain Farnsworth and 49 men attacked a Confederate picket on Bolivar Heights of over 400 men. Captain Farnsworth and over half the detachment were captured
August 8 Skirmish at Waterford (Detachment)
October Assigned to Cavalry Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. West. Va.
October 18 Berryville
November 15-18 Expedition from Charlestown to New Market



1864
January 1 The attachment at Harpers Ferry rejoined the regiment at Baltimore. Regimental organization was completed and it was assigned to the Cavalry Reserve, 8th Army Corps, Defenses of Baltimore. Lieutenant Colonel Fish was promoted to colonel and Captain Brayton Ives of the 5th connecticut Infantry was promoted to major of the 1st Connecticut Cavalry.
January 24 Colonel Fish was arrested and imprisoned for “using false accounts and vouchers”. He would be convicted and cashiered, but was pardoned in 1864 and after the war would be cleared and restored to full rank with back pay when his case was examined by President Johnson. Major Blakeslee, who had been on recruiting duty, assumed command of the regiment.
February 4 Moorefield (Detachment)
March 8 Moved to Annapolis Junction with 675 men, fully mounted and equipped.
March 15 Joined 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac at Brandy Station, Va.
March 24 Arrived Stevensburg, Virginia
March 29 Sergeant Fish of Company H was wounded on picket duty at Grove Church. While lying wounded he was shot 21 times with his own revolver and left for dead, but lived long enough to tell his story.
April 1 Rappahannock
May-June Rapidan Campaign
May 4 Crossed the Rapidan
May 5
Craig’s Meeting House

Met and engaged Longstreet’s advance. Major Marcy and 200 men were cut off and fought their way back in a saber charge, losing 40 men. Fell back with the division to Todd’s Tavern.

May 5-6
Todd’s Tavern

The division made a stand, turning back the enemy.

May 8
Alsop’s farm, Spotsylvania

Led the advance into Spotsylvania Court House, briefly entering the town and capturing 35 prisoners, but was forced to withdraw when inafntry support failed to show up.

The regiment was issued Specer and Sharps carbines in place of its Smith’s carbine, General Wilson commenting that they had earned the right to cary them.

May 9-24
Sheridan’s raid to Richmond

“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…” -Connecticut Military Department website

May 10
Beaver Dam Station
May 11
Yellow Tavern

Stuart was killed in the cavalry fight here.

May 12
Brook Church or Fortifications of Richmond, Strawberry Hill

The regiment was in the lead for much of the way in the advance into the fortifications around Richmond, After fighting all day, Sheridan withdrew with some difficulty across Meadow Bridge,

May 15 Met with supply steamers at Haxall’s Landing on the James River.
May 25 Rejoined the Army of the Potomac. The regiment lost about 150 horses on the raid; their riders were sent to the Dismount Camp.
May 26 Demonstration on Little River
May 28-31 Line of the Totopotomoy
May 31
Mechump’s Creek and Hanover Court House

The brigade made a successful dismounted charge up a steep hillside. The regiment was left there all night, Brigadier General McIntosh commenting that he “needed a regiment there that he could trust.”

June 1
Ashland

The regiment supported Fitzhugh’s Battery in a series of fights against overwhelming odds when W.H.F. Lee’s Confederate cavalry division attacked the rear of the brigade. After the pack train stampeded through the regiment it launched a counter-charge that checked the enemy. Repeated rallies and counter-charges held off the attackers and saved the battery, although the regiment lost about 20% of its men. Captain Warner and Color-sergeant Whipple were killed and Lieutenant Colonel Blakeslee was wounded. Major Marcy took over command.

June 2 Totopotomoy and Gaines’ Mills
June 3 Haw’s Shop
June 3-12 Cold Harbor
June 10 Captain Backus was killed in a skirmish
June 11 Bethesda Church
June 12 Long Bridge
June 15 St. Mary’s Church
June 17 Crossed the James River at 1 a.m.
June 18 Cold Harbor
June 22-30
Wilson’s raid on south side and Danville R. R.

“The regiment marched 300 miles in ten days, destroying 60 miles of railroad track, fighting four battles and many skirmishes, and stopping nowhere for more than four hours.” -Connecticut Military Department website

June 23
Black and White Station and Nottaway Court House

Heavy fighting after Confederate cavalry attacked the regiment while tearing up the tracks toward Danville.

June 25
Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station

After the division failed to capture the Ataunton Bridge 75 men of the regiment were ordered on a nightime raid to burn the bridge. The raid, virtually a suicide attack, was called off at the last minute.

June 28-29
Sappony Church or Stony Creek

After the division failed to break through Confederate lines the regiment covered the rear on the retreat to Ream’s Station, where Union infantry would supposedly be waiting.

June 29
Ream’s Station

The Union infantry had been forced to withdraw from Ream’s Station, and the cavalry were in danger of being surrounded and destroyed. Captain Edward Whitaker of Company E earned the Medal of Honor carrying dispatches for General Meade through an enemy division, losing half his escort of a single troop of cavalry.

With no hope of reinforcements, General Wilson burned his wagons and ammunition and spiked his artillery. When the retreat became a rout Color-sergeant Hawley stripped the flag from its staff and wrapped it around himself. The regiment covered the retreat of the division through the night, losing sixty men. Private Clark of Company A was twice wounded and taken prisoner and was then tortured by his Confederate captors, being shot 17 more times before being left for dead, but surviving to make his way back to the army.

July 2 Eighty-five men of the regiment reached the army after a 100 mile detour. More would straggle in over the next several days.
July
Siege of Petersburg

The regiment rested from the raid and was refitted, remounted, and entirely armed with Spencer carbines.

July 31 Private Charles Marsh of Company D earned the Medal of Honor for capturing a Confederat stand of colors at Back Creek Valley.
August
Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Assigned to the Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division. Colonel Blakeslee rejoined the regiment at Washington as it was moving north.

August 17 The regiment was fighting dismounted near Winchester in a swamp after dark when they were surrounded by a large force of Confederate infantry. The darkness helped the regiment to escape.
August 25 Kearneysville
September 13 Abraham’s Creek
Septembe 14 Captain Rogers’ squadron surrounded and captured most of the 8th South Carolina Infantry including its colonel and colors.
Septembe 15 Colonel Blakeslee took leave of absence due to continuing problems with his wound. Major Marcy resumed command of the regiment.
September 19
Third Battle of Winchester (Opequan)

The 1st Connecticut Cavalry crossed the Opequon at dawn, charging uphill at a gallop in the middle of the brigade line to take the Confederate earthworks, capturing 100 prisoners. Holding the breastworks until relieved by infantry, the regiment was moved to the extreme flank. At the close of battle at the end of the day the regiment took part in a charge against the Confederate flank which led to the collapse of the Confederate position and a miles-long pursuit of the fugitives.

September 20 Near Cedarville
September 21
Front Royal Pike

Forced a crossing of the Shenandoah River, scattering the Confederate defenders.

September 22 Milford. Pursuit of Early’s army to Harrisburg.
September 26-29 Raid on Staunton and Waynesboro
October 1 Major General George A. Custer took command of the division.
October 8-9
Tom’s Brook, “Woodstock Races”
October 13 Cedar Creek
October 17 Cedar Run Church

Major Marcy and 30 men were captured while on picket duty in a surprise night attack by two Confederate cavalry divisions under Brigadier General Rosser. Rosser had hoped to capture Custer’s entire command, but the resistance put up by Marcy and his men alerted the camp and allowed them to drive off the attacking Confederates. Captain French took over command of the regiment.

October 19
Battle of Cedar Creek

Commanded by Captain Edwin French, took part in Custer’s charge on the right flank that broke the Confederate position at the end of the day and took a leading role in the pursuit that helped destroy the Confederate army.

November 1 Major Ives was promoted to lieutenant colonel and arrived to take command.
November 12
Newtown, Cedar Creek

Commanded by Captain Rogers in a fight with Rosser’s cavalry. Captain Rogers was wounded and 30 men were casualties.

November 22 Rude’s Hill, near Mt. Jackson
November 24 An enlisted man froze to death in his tent during the night
December 19-22
Raid to Lacy Springs

Commanded by Major Whitaker, the regiment marched 120 miles in four days, returning to camp with 50 men frost-bitten.

December 21 Lacy Springs
1865
January 17 Lieutenant Colonel Ives was promoted to colonel.
February 4-6
Expedition from Winchester to Moorefield, W. Va.

The raid of 300 picked men, 50 from the 1st Connecticut, under Sheridan’s Chief of Scouts Major Henry Youmg, marched 140 miles in 48 hours and captured legendary Confederate raider Harry Gilmore in his bed.

February 27-
March 25
Sheridan’s Raid 
March 2
Battle of Waynesboro

Commanded by Major Godwin, the regiment took part in a flank attack in an ice storm that broke the small Confederate army and captured over 1300 prisoners, 11 guns and 18 stands of colors.

March 3 Marched to Charlottesville
March 15
Ashland

Lieutenant Clark was killed and 16 other men became casualties in a charge against Longstreet’s skirmishers.

March 21 At White House
March 27 Joined the Army of the Potomac near Petersburg. Colonel Ives rejoined the regiment, having been detached recruiting.
March 28-April 9
Appomattox Campaign
March 30-31 Dinwiddie C. H.
April 1
Battle of Five Forks

Captain Parmalee was killed in a dismounted attack that captured two guns. General Custer praised the First Connecticut Cavalry for “being the first to leap the enemy’s breatsworks, sieze his cannon, and turn them on the retreating foe.” The destruction of Pickett’s Confederate force started the collapse of the Petersburg defenses and the retreat to Appomattox.

April 2 Fall of Petersburg
April 3
Namozine Church

Engagement at Sweat House Creek

April 6
Sailor’s Creek

Captain Edwin M. Neville of Company C and Lieutenant Aaron Lanfare of Company B earned the Medal of Honor for capturing two stands of Confederate colors, Lanfare that of the 11th Florida Infantry Regiment

April 7 The regiment attacked Lee’s wagons near Harper’s Farm. Colonel Ives led one battalion in a charge against a battery that captured five guns and two stands of colors, while Major Moorhouse with another battalion attacked the head of the column, capturig men and burning wagons. A mounted charge against Confederate breastworks was repulsed, where Colonel Ives’ horse was shot from under him.
April 8
Appomattox Station
April 9
Appomattox Court House

Surrender of Lee and his army.

Lieutenant Colonel Whitaker, acting as General Custer’s Chief of Staff, met with General Longstreet to arrange the negotiations for the cease fire. Then the regiment was detailed to escort General Grant to receive Lee’s surrender.

April 23-29 Expedition to Danville
May Moved to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand review
June Provost duty at Washington assigned to Cavalry Division, Dept. of Washington
July 4 One battalion of the regiment was sent to Gettysburg for the laying of the cornestone of the Soldier’s National Monument.
August 2 Mustered out. The regiment was granted the priviledge of returning home mounted, given to no other regiment.
August 18 Discharged at New Haven under the command of Colonel Brayton Ives, who was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General for gallantry at the battles of Ream’s Station, Five Forks and Sailor’s Creek.