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OhioatPerryville

2nd & 4th US Cavalry - Info?

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Does anyone have any info on the two U.S. Regular cavalry companies that were at Donelson?  They only receive a mention in the order of battle in Tim Smith's book, no mention of them at all in Starr's cavalry trilogy, and Bradley's book on the U.S. Regulars in the west covers only infantry.

Any info (commanders, unit strengths, after action reports, etc.) would be appreciated.  I do not own the O.R. for the Henry-Donelson campaign, and I doubt if they receive any mention in the O.R. being that there were only two companies (according to the Blue & Gray 2011 issue).

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Darryl

Attached below is the link to the complete online version of OR (Army) and OR (Navy), both collections of Civil War reports/communication provided as part of "Making of America" program, associated with Cornell University. [Being over 100 years since publication, none of the OR records have copyright restrictions.] The Battle of Fort Donelson reports are in "War of the Rebellion: Union and Confederate Armies" [enter], then scroll down to Volume VII (vol.7, ch.17) [enter].

One nice feature of this collection: once you have selected a volume to view, the Search Box at top allows you to search for single word (such as cavalry) and every occurrence of that word in the volume is listed with a brief description, allowing access to its exact position in the volume.

IRT your question about the 2nd US Cavalry Co.C and 4th US Cavalry Co.I in Volume 7 mention is made on page 167 [graph of US Grant's troop strength at Fort Donelson]; page 172 [McClernand's report indicating "two companies of US cavalry were used for reconnaissance on the morning of the 13th"]; and page 240 [Lew Wallace's report, identifying two members of 4th US Cavalry used as orderlies.] The overall commander of the combined US Cavalry companies (Squadron) -- Lieutenant James Powell -- does not have a report included in Volume 7. Based on reports from other battles, I would surmise that elements of the US Cavalry at Fort Donelson were used as orderlies (confirmed by Lew Wallace), reconnaissance (confirmed by John McClernand), picket duty (support of infantry), and dispatch riders (relaying messages between General Grant and his Division Commanders).

Cheers

Ozzy

 

References:   http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moawar/  OR (Army) and OR (Navy) from "Making of America"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Donelson_Union_order_of_battle   wikipedia Fort Donelson Union OOB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Cavalry_Regiment_(United_States)  wikipedia 2nd US Cavalry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Cavalry_Regiment_(United_States)   wikipedia 4th US Cavalry

 

 

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Just an update...

Part of the problem with attempting to track Federal cavalry units during the Civil War revolves around the "breaking up of regiments" into two-company squadrons and four-company battalions, and sending those smaller units to far flung locations. Simultaneously (in 1861), components of one Cavalry Regiment was in vicinity Washington, D.C... and in New Mexico... and with General Lyons in Missouri.

Another problem: during the course of 1850's many Federal cavalry regiments were re-numbered. Then at the start of the Secession Crisis (and continuing through end of 1861) these units were re-numbered again... which introduces the two U.S. cavalry companies present at Fort Donelson. Those same two cavalry companies were present at Battle of Wilson's Creek in August 1861 (see OR volume 3 page 89 report of Captain Eugene Carr for 4th U.S. Cavalry, Co.I and page 90 for report of Lieutenant Charles Farrand for 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Co.C). But at Wilson's Creek, the 4th U.S. Cavalry fought as the 1st U.S. Cavalry; and the 2nd U.S. Cavalry fought as the 2nd U.S. Dragoons. Once the name/number changes are taken into consideration, much information IRT these cavalry units can be found online (although the bias towards Eastern Theatre operations is obvious on many sites.)

Ozzy

 

References:  http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moawar/   OR (Army) volume 3 Battle of Wilson's Creek pp.88-91

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson's_Creek_Union_order_of_battle   Wilson's Creek Union OOB

http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UUR0002RC01   2nd US Cav at NPS

http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UUR0004RC   4th US Cav at NPS

http://www.2cr.army.mil/info/History/2SCR History 20 Jan 2011.pdf   History of the 2nd Dragoons

 

 

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Mona

The 2nd Illinois Cavalry was also assigned to McClernand. And of all the cavalry at Fort Donelson, Mudd's 2nd Illinois had arguably the most important -- and under-reported -- role: fighting off an attempt by Colonel Forrest to delay the Federal redeploy of troops from Fort Henry to the vicinity of Fort Donelson, on February 12th. Fortunately, McClernand disregarded Grant's orders and moved his Division east several hours earlier than he was supposed to; and unfortunately (for Forrest) the Confederate cavalry was under orders from acting-commander, General Buckner, to "observe, but do not bring on a general engagement."  Mentioned in "The History of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry, Company A" [chapter on Major Mudd] and in writings of N.B. Forrest; and in General McClernand's Fort Donelson report... and hardly anywhere else.

Thanks for reminding me of their story.

Ozzy

Reference:  http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com/index.php?/topic/1834-ever-hear-of-major-mudd/#comment-12427  Cavalry fight Feb 12th 1862

 

 

 

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Darryl

Although not helpful for Fort Donelson, Lieutenant James Powell of the 18th U.S. Infantry, commanding the combined force of Cavalry (2nd U. S. Cav and 4th U. S. Cav) did provide a written report for the actions of his Squadron at Shiloh [OR 10 part 1 Report No.33 page 169.]

http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;q1=Hurlbut;node=waro0010%3A2;view=image;seq=187;size=100;page=root

 

Ozzy

 

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Darryl

I've run across a reference you may find helpful:  From Everglade to Canyon with the 2nd Dragoons (2nd U.S. Cavalry) 1836 - 1875 compiled by Theo. F. Rodenbough, New York: Van Nostrand Publishers (1875).  In particular, the "Fifth Period of Service (Civil War)" beginning page 231 - 248. On page 238 the 2nd U.S. Cav Co.C is recorded at Paducah (scouting and escort duty) prior to Fort Henry; and recorded at Fort Henry (under command of Lieutenant J.H. Powell) on February 9th 1862. Skirmishes in vicinity of Fort Donelson are recorded for Feb10 and 12; and the cavalry is recorded at Nashville on February 28th. There are also individual military records for officers of the 2nd Cavalry, beginning page 436.

Will continue looking for information IRT the 4th U.S. Cavalry...

Ozzy

http://archive.org/stream/fromevergladetoc00rode#page/436/mode/2up   Everglade to Canyon (1875) at archive.org

 

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Found this to be intersting read...not Shiloh related but took note of one of the Lt Col. early was Daniel Boone's son-Nathan-

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Mona

Thanks for having a look at "From Everglades to Canyons" and finding the biography of Daniel Boone's son, Nathan, serving with the 2nd Dragoons. Your discovery encouraged me to take another look at the book; these are some of the noted alumni of 2nd U.S. Cavalry (from perhaps one hundred biographies available, to be found pages 436-498): 

  • William J. Hardee           at Shiloh as BGen, Confederate Third Corps
  • Thomas John Wood      at Shiloh as BGen, Buell's Sixth Division
  • Henry Sibley                   invented the Sibley Tent (in use at Pittsburg Landing)
  • Richard Anderson         commanded Confederate forces during October 1861 Battle of Santa Rosa Island, Florida. Many of the men and officers under his command went on to fight at Shiloh (including James Chalmers, John K. Jackson and Patton Anderson.)
  • Ebenezer Gay               at Shiloh
  • John Villepigue              noted Confederate officer
  • Ely S. Parker                   Aide-de-camp to General Grant (present at Surrender at Appomattox)
  • Ben Hardin Helm            Confederate Colonel who sent "that telegram" to General Albert Sidney Johnston (but received by General Beauregard) providing intelligence that "Buell was heading south on the afternoon of April 6th, away from Pittsburg Landing"
  • Rufus Ingalls                   helped defend Federal-held Fort Pickens against Richard Anderson and Braxton Bragg

Just a few of the interesting connections...

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://archive.org/stream/fromevergladetoc00rode#page/438/mode/2up

 

 

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Darryl

Had a look through the Papers of U.S. Grant (available online courtesy of U.S. Grant Presidential Library and Mississippi State University) and in Volume 4 found the following:

  • page 155     US Grant to CF Smith (Feb 6th 1862)  "Send cavalry to reconnoiter."
  • p.194            Grant to McClernand (Feb 11)  "Smith can take two companies of 2nd Cav and two of regulars..."
  • p.195            McClernand report (Feb11)  "Two companies of Regular Cavalry are now here."
  • p.198            John Rawlins Special Field Orders No.7 (Feb 12) "Two companies of Regular Cavalry C & I of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division return to Fort Henry and report to General Lew Wallace."
  • p.255            CF Smith to US Grant via John Rawlins (Feb 18) "Companies C & I of the 2nd & 4th Regular Cavalry respectively... belonged to my Division at Paducah and at Fort Henry, in General Wallace's brigade; I request to know if I am still to consider them as attached to my command. These cavalry companies are still here..." [The 2nd U.S. Cavalry Co.C (and perhaps the 4th Cav Co.I) were soon on their way east, and arrived at Nashville before the end of the month -- "Everglade to Canyon" page 241]

 Cheers

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/USG_volume/id/17403/rec/1 

 

 

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In the OR volume 7 (Fort Henry and Fort Donelson) is to be found the earliest mention of the Squadron of United States Cavalry: on pages 66-7 in the report of General Lew Wallace of January 1st 1862, "under sanction of General C.F. Smith (dated 28 Dec 1861), 130 men of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry, Companies I and C Regular Cavalry and seventy men of Thielmann's Dragoons, I left Paducah for Mayfield...

Also in volume 7, page 167 - nominal list, including Cavalry C and I... page 172 - Cavalry C & I mentioned... page 433 - in John Morgan's scout of Nashville on 26-27 February 1862, "Federal cavalry is scouring the city" ...and on page 434 (dated February 24) "Federal cavalry entered Nashville on a steamer."

Cheers

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;q1=cavalry;rgn=full text;idno=waro0007;didno=waro0007;node=waro0007%3A2;view=image;seq=449;page=root;size=100

OR volume 7

 

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