1st Vermont Cavalry

1st Vermont Cavalry


    The First Vermont Cavalry Regiment lost 10 officers and 124 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 officers and 200 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.

    It is honored by monuments at Gettysburg. From the main monument: "Took part in the battles of Gettysburg, Wilderness, Yellow Tavern, Winchester, Cedar Creek, Waynesboro, Five Forks, Appomattox Station and 67 other battles and engagements. Aggregate 2297 officers and men. Killed and mortally wounded in action 102; died of disease and by accidents 123; died in Confederate prisons 172, - total 397. Total wounded in action 275."


    Organized at Burlington

    November 19

    Mustered in

    December 14

    Left State for Washington, D.C.

    December 25

    Moved to Annapolis, Md. and duty there


    March 9-10

    Moved to Washington, D. C. Attached to Banks' Division, Army of the Potomac

    March 12-13

    To Rockville, Md., and Edward's Ferry. Attached to Hatch's Cavalry Brigade, Banks' 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

    March 28

    Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va.

    April 1

    To Middletown

    April 16

    Advance up the Valley

    April 17

    Mt. Jackson

    April 27

    McGaheysville (Companies A, D and K)

    May 7

    Somerville Heights (Company B)

    May 15-June 17

    Operations in Shenandoah Valley

    May 24


    May 25


    May 25-26

    Retreat to Williamsport

    June 18-19

    Near Winchester; attached to Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Army Corps, Army of Virginia

    June 29-30

    Reconnaissance from Front Royal to Luray

    June 30

    Luray Court House

    July 12

    Culpeper Court House

    July 17


    August 2 and 13

    Orange Court House

    August 16-September 2

    Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia

    August 21-23

    Fords of the Rappahannock

    August 21

    Kelly's Ford

    September 1

    Liberty Bridge; attached to Price's Cavalry Brigade, Defenses of Washington, and 22nd Army Corps

    September 5

    Aquia Creek

    September 15

    Conrad's Ferry

    September 21

    Orange Court House

    September 22

    Ashby's Gap

    September 29

    Company L organized at St. Albans


    Duty in the Defenses of Washington

    November 8


    December 28


    December 30

    Company M organized at Burlington


    January 9

    Fairfax Court House

    February 6, 9, 13 and 14


    February 16

    Goose Creek

    February 19


    March 2


    March 17

    Herndon Station

    April 1

    Broad Run, Dranesville

    May 11, 23 and 31



    Attached to 3rd Brigade, Stahel's Cavalry Division, 22nd Army Corps

    May 30

    Near Greenwich


    Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac

    June 30

    Littleton and Hanover, Pa.

    July 2


    July 3


    The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Addison W. Preston. It brought 687 men to the field, losing 13 killed, 25 wounded and 27 missing.

    From the Slyder Field monument:_ "In the Gettysburg campaign this regiment fought Stuart's Cavalry at Hanover, Pa. June 3d, and at Hunterstown July 2d; and on this field July 3, led by Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth, who fell near this spot, charged through the First Texas Infantry and to the line of Law's Brigade, receiving the fire of five Confederate regiments and two batteries, and losing 67 men."_

    From the monument on Confederate Avenue: "At 5 p.m. July 3 the 2nd Battalion 1st Vermont Cavalry led by Major William Wells, General Farnsworth commanding the brigade riding by his side crossed Plum Run near this point charging over stone walls amid rocks and through woods till they encountered five regiments of Law's Confederate Brigade near the spot where the regimental monument stands."

    "The 1st Battalion and part of the 3rd Lt. Col. A.W. Preston commanding were ordered to the lane and struck Law's Brigade in the flank. The onset was terrific sabres and bayonets revolvers and muskets being freely used after a struggle the hill was carried by the 1st Vermont and the prisoners captured sent to the rear."

    "The three battalions united soon came under the fire of the 4th Alabama Infantry and presently of the 9th Georgia Infantry finding no exit to the south they turned to the east and charged the 15th Alabama Infantry which answered a summons to surrender by a destructive musketry fire. Those unhurt escaping mostly to the south."

    "This memorial signalizes the valor of the officers and the men of the First Vermont Cavalry who here paid to the nation the uttermost tribute of devotion."

    July 4

    Monterey Gap

    July 5

    Smithburg, Md.,

    July 6


    July 8


    July 11-13


    July 14

    Falling Water


    Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac

    August 25

    King George Court House

    September 1

    Lamb's Creek Church

    September 1-3

    Expedition to Port Conway

    September 13-17

    Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan

    September 13

    Culpeper Court House

    September 14

    Somerville Ford

    September 21-23

    Reconnaissance across the Rapidan

    September 26

    Richard's Ford

    October 9-22

    Bristoe Campaign

    October 10

    James City and Bethesda Church

    October 11

    Brandy Station and near Culpeper

    October 14 and 19


    October 17-18


    October 19

    Catlett's Station and Buckland's Mills

    November 4


    November 7-8

    Advance to the Rappahannock

    November 26-December 2

    Mine Run Campaign

    November 26

    Morton's Ford

    November 26-27

    Raccoon Ford


    February 6-7

    Demonstration on the Rapidan

    February 28-
    March 4

    Kilpatrick's Raid on Richmond

    March 1

    Fortifications of Richmond and near Atlee's

    March 2

    Old Church


    Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

    May 4

    Near Chancellorsville

    May 5

    Craig's Meeting House

    May 5-7

    Wilderness (Company M)

    May 5-6 & May 7-8

    Todd's Tavern

    May 8

    Alsop's Farm, Spotsylvania

    May 9-24

    Sheridan's Raid from Todd's Tavern to James River

    May 9

    North Anna River

    May 11

    Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern

    May 12

    Brook Church or Richmond Fortifications

    May 26-28

    Line of the Pamunkey

    May 27

    Demonstration on Little River

    May 27

    Salem Church

    May 28-31

    On line of the Totopotomoy

    May 30


    May 31

    Mechump's Creek

    May 31-June 1

    Cold Harbor

    June 1


    June 2

    Gaines' Mill and Totopotomoy

    June 3

    Haw's Shop

    June 3

    Sumner's Upper Bridge

    June 4

    Salem Church

    June 12

    White Oak Swamp

    June 13

    Riddell's Shop

    June 15

    Malvern Hill

    June 22-30

    Wilson's Raid on South Side & Danville Railroad

    June 22

    Ream's Station

    June 23

    Near Nottaway Court House

    June 23

    Black and White Station

    June 25

    Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station

    June 28-29

    Sappony Church or Stony Creek

    June 29

    Ream's Station


    Siege of Petersburg

    August 7-
    November 28

    Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign

    August 17


    August 25


    September 7

    Near Brucetown and Winchester

    September 20

    Battle of Opequan and Near Cedarville

    September 21

    Front Royal

    September 22


    September 22

    Fisher's Hill

    September 29


    October 7

    Columbia Furnace and Back Road, near Strasburg

    October 8-9

    Tom's Brook, "Woodstock Races"

    October 9

    Mount Olive

    October 19

    Battle of Cedar Creek

    November 10

    Near Kernstown

    November 12

    Newtown and Cedar Creek

    November 22

    Rude's Hill, near Mt. Jackson

    December 19-22

    Expedition to Lacy Springs

    December 21

    Lacy Springs


    February 27-
    March 25

    Sheridan's Raid

    March 2


    March 2

    Occupation of Staunton

    March 3

    Occupation of Charlottesville

    March 28-April 9

    Appomattox Campaign

    March 30-31

    Dinwiddie Court House

    April 1

    Five Forks

    April 2

    Scott's Corners

    April 3

    Namozine Church

    April 6

    Sailor's Creek

    April 8

    Appomattox Station

    April 9

    Appomattox Court House. Surrender of Lee and his army.

    April 24-29

    Expedition to Danville

    May 10-15

    March to Washington, D.C.

    May 23

    Grand Review

    June to August

    Frontier duty at Champlain, N.Y.

    November 18

    Non-Veterans mustered out

    August 9

    Regiment mustered out

      The 1st Cavalry, recruited in different parts of the state, was mustered into the U. S. service for three years, Nov. 19, 1861, at Burlington. After a few weeks in camp it left for Washington, Dec. 14, and was not in active service in the field until the spring of 1862, when, with the forces of Gen. Banks, it was engaged at Middletown, Winchester, and in the campaign which terminated in the second battle of Bull Run Aug. 30, 1862. The loss in the summer campaigns was heavy but the command was reinforced in the autumn by the addition of two new companies and many recruits. The regiment was stationed in the vicinity of Washington on various details during the winter of 1862-63 and frequent skirmishes with Mosby's guerrillas prevented any monotony. On June 28, 1863, it was assigned to the cavalry corps, Army of the Potomac, with which it served from that time. In the battle of Gettysburg it won laurels; was active in the pursuit which followed, harassing the enemy from point to point, and finally halted for the winter at Stevensburg, Va. It shared in the raid upon Richmond under Gen. Kilpatrick and when the spring campaign opened in 1864 was attached to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps. In the battle of the Wilderness the ist lost many brave officers and men. It was active in the battles which followed at Yellow Tavern and Meadow Bridge, during Sheridan's Raid on Richmond, and was also at Hanover Court House, Ashland, Haw's Shop, Bottom's Bridge, White Oak Swamp. Riddle's Shop and Malvern Hill. The regiment was ordered to join the expedition for the destruction of the Weldon and South Side Railroads, in which skirmishes and engagements resulted at Reams' Station, Nottoway Court House, Roanoke Station and Stony Creek. In August it was ordered to join Sheridan who was confronting Gen. Early in the Shenandoah Valley and arrived at Winchester on Aug. 17, in time to participate in the engagements at Winchester, Charlestown, Summit Point, Kearneysville, the Opequan, Newmarket, and Cedar Creek. The original members who had not reenlisted, were mustered out on Nov. 18, 1864. On Feb. 27, 1865, Sheridan's cavalry commenced the return to Petersburg where it arrived after a journey of three weeks. In the cavalry fight at Five Forks the 1st Vt. had a share and continued in the advance of the column through several minor affairs until the corps reached Appomattox Court House, where Gen. Lee surrendered. The regiment participated in the grand review of the armies at Washington and returned to Vermont early in June. The men whose term of service would expire prior to Oct. 1 were mustered out at Burlington and the remainder were consolidated into a battalion of six companies which served in Vermont and northern New York until Aug. 9, 1865, when they were mustered out. Col. Fox mentions the 1st Vt. Cavalry as one of the "three hundred fighting regiments," and also lists it fifth in an enumeration of nine regiments who lost over 119 men. It was, however, second to none in the number of captures it made. At the battle of Cedar Creek it won three of the eight medals awarded to the army for colors captured.

      The total strength of the regiment was 2,304 members, of whom 112 were killed or died of wounds, 114 died of disease, 159 in Confederate prisons and 7 by accident.