United States Regiments & Batteries > New YorkCavalry

“2nd Ira Harris Guard”

The 6th New York Cavalry Regiment lost 9 officers and 72 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 133 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg.

September 12 – December 19 Organized at New York City under special authority of the War Department, as the Ira Harris Guard.
November 20 Turned over to State of New York as 6th New York Cavalry under the command of Colonel Thomas Devin and Lieutenant Colonel Duncan McVicar.
September 12 Company A mustered in
September 27 Company B mustered in
September 28 Company D mustered in
September 29 Company C mustered in
October 3 Company E mustered in
October 24 Companies F and G mustered in
October 28 Company H mustered in
November 2 Company I mustered in
November 6 Company L mustered in
December 19 Companies K and M mustered in
December 23 Left State for York, Pa. and duty there
March Ordered to Washington, D.C.
March-July Duty in the Defenses of Washington (8 Companies) attached to Military District of Washington, D.C.

Companies D and K served detached with 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac to July, 1863

Companies F and H served detached with 4th Army Corps to August, 1863, and in the Defenses of Washington, D.C., 22nd Army Corps, to October, 1863

April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown, Va. (Companies D and K)
May 5 Battle of Williamsburg (Companies D and K)
May 31-June 1 Seven Pines or Fair Oaks (Company K)
June 24-July 1 Seven days before Richmond (Companies D, F, H and K)
June 29 Peach Orchard and Savage Station (Companies D, F, H and K)
June 30 Glendale (Companies D, F, H and K)
July 1 Malvern Hill (Companies D, F, H and K)
July 23-26 Regiment moved to Warrenton, Va.
July and August Scout and outpost duty on the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers at Barnett’s Ford, Va.
August Attached to 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
August 14 Orange Court House
August 19 Culpeper Road
August 26 Barnett’s Ford
August 30 Kelly’s Ford
September Company A detached with 6th Army Corps
September 9 Williamsburg
September 9-10 Near Hyattstown
September 12 Frederick City
September 14 South Mountain
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam
October 3 Lovettsville
October 16-17 Reconnaissance to Smithville, W. Va.
October 16 Kearneysville
October 16-17 Charlestown
October 21 Near Lovettsville, Near Wheatland
October 22 Snickersville
November 2-3 Union and Bloomfield
November 3 Ashby’s Gap, Upperville
November 7 Waterloo Bridge
December 1 Ellis Ford
December 12-15 Fredericksburg
December 11-15 Reconnaissance from Yorktown (Detachment)
December 12 Matthews County Court House
December 13 Buena Vista
December 14 Wood’s Cross Roads
December Attached to 2nd Brigade, Pleasonton’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac
January – February Companies B & C with 9th Army’s Corps
January 7-9 Expedition from Yorktown to West Point and White House (Detachment)
January 8 Pamunkey River
February Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac
April 7 Expedition to Gloucester Court House (Detachment)
April 11 Fort Magruder (Detachment)
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
April 29 Germanis and Richard’s Fords, Crook’s Run
April 30
Spottsylvania Court House (Alsop’s Field)

Lt. Colonel McVicar was killed leading the regiment in a nighttime charge to break out of being surrounded behind Confederate lines. Captain William L. Heermance took over the regiment and successfully completed the charge, although he was twice wounded and captured. Captain Heermance would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions. Captain George M. Van Buren then took command and led the regiment back to Union lines around Chancellorsville. Captain William Beardsley rejoined the regiment the next day, having become separated from the main body during the fighting in the dark, and took over as senior captain.

May 1-5 Battle of Chancellorsville
May 7 West Point (Detachment)
June 5 Warwick River
June 9
Battle of Brandy Station

The regiment was commanded by Major William E. Beardsley while Colonel Thomas Devin commanded the brigade.

June 21 Upperville
June 22 Middleburg
June 24-25 Haymarket
June 24-July 7 Dix’s Peninsula Campaign (3rd Battalion)
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Major William Elliott Beardsley while Colonel Thomas Devin commanded the brigade. It brought 407 men to the field, picketing the west side of Gettysburg on June 30 and holding back Confederate infantry until relieved by the Union First Army Corps on July 1st. It then shifted east to cover the York Road, eventually retiring to south of town near the Peach Orchard on Emmitsburg Road.

Company A was assigned to 3rd Corps HQ, Companies D & K to 2nd Corps HQ, Company L to the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Brigade, Provost Guard, and Companies F & H were at Yorktown, Virginia.

The regiment lost one man killed, three wounded and eight missing.

From the monument:

Regiment at Gettysburg. Arrived June 30, 1863. July 1st skirmished dismounted, on this line until arrival of 1st Corps and the rest of the day on right of the York Road, then retired to Cemetery Hill, one squadron being among the last Union troops in Gettysburg on that day. Bivouacked in Peach Orchard that night, and engaged enemy’s skirmishers on the morning of July 2 until relieved by troops of the 3rd Corps.Then moved to Taneytown and on the third to Westminster, from which place moved with the Division (Buford’s) in pursuit of the enemy, met and engaged them July 8th at Boonsboro, Md., holding that position.

Ju’ly 1-7 Expedition from White House to Bottom’s Bridge (3rd Battalion – Companies F & H)
July 2 Crump’s or Baltimore Cross Roads (3rd Battalion)
July 6 Williamsport
July 8 Boonsboro
July 9 Benevola or Beaver Creek, Md.
July 10-13 Funkstown
July 14 Falling Waters
July – August Company A with 22nd Army Corps
July 21-22 Manassas Gap
July 23 Wapping Heights
July 25 Barber’s Cross Roads
July 31-August 1 Kelly’s Ford
August 1-3 Brandy Station
September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
September 13 Culpeper Court House
September 14-15 Raccoon Ford
September 19 Raccoon Ford
September 21-23 Reconnaissance across the Rapidan
September 22 Jack’s Shop, Madison Court House
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 10 Raccoon and Morton’s Fords
October 11 Kelly’s Ford and Stevensburg
October 12 Brandy Station or Fleetwood
October 14 Near Bristoe Station
October 15 Oak Hill
October 17-18 Culpeper
October 24-26 Bealeton
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 8 Muddy Run
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
November 29 Parker’s Store
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan, Barnett’s Ford
February 28-
March 4
Kilpatrick’s Raid on Richmond
February 29 Near Taylorstown, Beaver Dam Station, Frederick’s Hall and South Anna Bridge
March 1 Defenses of Richmond
March 2 Aylett’s
March 3 Kings and Queens Court House
March 11 Carrollton’s Store
May-June Rapidan Campaign
May 5-7 Wilderness
May 6 Brock Road and the Furnaces
May 7-8 Todd’s Tavern
May 8 Spottsylvania
May 9-24 Sheridan’s Raid to James River
May 9-10 North Anna
May 11 Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern
May 12 Fortifications of Richmond and Meadow Bridge
May 17 Jones’ Bridge
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 27 Crump’s Creek and Hanovertown
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
May 28 Haw’s Shop
May 30 Old Church and Mattadequin Creek
May 31-June 6 Cold Harbor
May 31-June 1 Bethesda Church
June 7-24 Sheridan’s Trevillian Raid
June 11-12 Trevillian Station
June 12 Newark or Mallory’s Cross Roads
June 21 White House or St. Peter’s Church
June 21 Black Creek or Tunstall’s Station
June 23 Jones’ Bridge, Charles City Court House
June 26-July 30 Before Petersburg
July 27-28 Deep Bottom
August 7-
November 28
Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Attached to Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division.
August 10 and 13 Berryville
August 11 Tell Gate near White Post and Newtown, Front Royal
August 12 Cedar Creek
August 16 Cedarville, Guard Hill or Front Royal and Crooked Run
August 21 Charlestown
August 25 Kearneyville and near Shephardstown
August 28 Leetown and Smithfield
August 29 Smithfield Crossing Opequan
September 3 Berryville
September 13 Bunker Hill
September 15 Sevier’s Ford, Opequan Creek
September 19 Battle of Winchester
September 20 Middletown and Strasburg
September 21 Fisher’s Hill
September 23 Near Edenburg
September 23-24 Mr. Jackson
September 24 New Market
September 26-27 Port Republic
September 29 Waynesboro
October 2 Mt. Crawford
October 8-9 Tom’s Brook, “Woodstock Races”
October 14 Hupp’s Hill near Strasburg
October 19 Battle of Cedar Creek
October 20 Woodstock
November 11 Near Kernstown
November 12 Newtown
November 22 Hood’s Hill
November 28-December 3 Expedition from Winchester into Faquier and Loudoun Counties
December 19-28 Expedition to Gordonsville
December 23 Jack’s Shop near Gordonsville
January 18 Lovettsville
February 27-
March 25
Sheridan’s Raid from Winchester
March 2 Waynesboro, Occupation of Staunton
March 3 Charlottesville
March 11 Goochland Court House
March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
March 30-31 Dinwiddie Court House
April 1 Five Forks
April 2 Fall of Petersburg, Scott’s Cross Roads
April 3 Deep Creek
April 4 Tabernacle Church or Beaver Pond Creek
April 6 Sailor’s Creek
April 8 Appomattox Station
April 9 Appomattox Court House. Surrender of Lee and his army.
April 23-29 Expedition to Danville
May Moved to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 17 Consolidated with 15th New York Cavalry to form 2nd Regiment Provisional Cavalry.
August 9 Mustered out at Louisville, Ky.