ONE HUNDRED YEARS WITH THE SECOND CAVALRY
By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
Capper Printing Company, Inc.
The Spanish-American War in 1898 found the Regiment in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. They were assembled in Georgia as all Regular Army units and several hundred thousand volunteers began to assemble in the southern United States. This was the first time that the entire Regiment had been together since the Civil War.
They moved to Mobile, Alabama, in preparation for movement to Cuba. Troops A, C, D, and F boarded transports with their horses, and the remainder of the Regiment moved overland to Tampa, Florida, where the rest of the forces were being assembled. Due to a lack of transports, the remainder of the Regiment did not board ships, but instead gave up its wagons to assist the movement of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” to the ships.
The four Troops that arrived in Cuba found that they were the only horse-mounted Cavalry available for the campaign. They worked primarily for General Shafter, the Commander of Troops in Cuba, doing a variety of jobs. Teddy Roosevelt observed that “the Second Cavalrymen are everywhere. All day long you see them. All night long you hear their clattering hooves.”
The Troops from the Second Calvary fought at El Caney, San Juan Hill, Aquadores, and around Santiago Cuba. Troop B was committed to the Puerto Rican campaign in July and August. In 1899, the entire Regiment began pacification duty in Cuba and remained there for three years.
George and Steve Vernon pictured, courtesy of David J. Vernon, 2d Cavalry.