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.
|October 1-23||Organized at Camp Tyler, West Meridian as a battalion of four companies|
|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 30||Raid to Shaver River|
|June 1||Overtook and charged Jackson’s rear at Strasburg|
|June 5||New Market|
Cavalry fight with Ashby’s Confederate cavalry in which he was killed.
The battalion was commanded by Captain Erastus Blakeslee.
|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.
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.|
|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.|
|November 15-18||Expedition from Charlestown to New Market|
|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.|
|May 4||Crossed the Rapidan|
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.
The division made a stand, turning back the enemy.
Led the advance into Spotsylvania Court House, briefly entering the town and capturing 35 prisoners, but was forced to withdraw when infantry support failed to show up.
The regiment was issued Spencer and Sharps carbines in place of its Smith’s carbine, General Wilson commenting that they had earned the right to carry them.
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
Beaver Dam Station
Stuart was killed in the cavalry fight here.
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|
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.”
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.
Totopotomoy and Gaines’ Mills
|June 10||Captain Backus was killed in a skirmish|
|June 12||Long Bridge|
|June 15||St. Mary’s Church|
|June 17||Crossed the James River at 1 a.m.|
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
Black and White Station and Nottaway Court House
Heavy fighting after Confederate cavalry attacked the regiment while tearing up the tracks toward Danville.
Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station
After the division failed to capture the Staunton 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.
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.
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.|
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 Confederate stand of colors at Back Creek Valley.|
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.|
|September 13||Abraham’s Creek|
|September 14||Captain Rogers’ squadron surrounded and captured most of the 8th South Carolina Infantry including its colonel and colors.|
|September 15||Colonel Blakeslee took leave of absence due to continuing problems with his wound. Major Marcy resumed command of the regiment.|
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|
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 13||Cedar Creek|
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.
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.|
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|
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|
|January 17||Lieutenant Colonel Ives was promoted to colonel.|
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 Young, marched 140 miles in 48 hours and captured legendary Confederate raider Harry Gilmore in his bed.
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|
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||
Dinwiddie C. H.
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, seize 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.
Fall of Petersburg
Engagement at Sweat House 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, capturing men and burning wagons. A mounted charge against Confederate breastworks was repulsed, where Colonel Ives’ horse was shot from under him.|
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.
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 privilege 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.|