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.
After a brief period of rest, the Second was suddenly ordered back to the front October 11, where it joined the Army of the Potomac at Centerville on the 14th. Meade’s plan was to force a passage of the Rappahannock and attack the Confederates south of there. During the operations, the First Cavalry Division operated on the right of the army. Buford forced a passage of the Hazel River at Rixyville and thus cooperated with Sedgewick, who commanded the Fifth and Sixth Army Corps. The Regular brigade of this division under Merritt led the advance of the army and frequently engaged the cavalry and rear guard of the Rebels, especially at Culpeper and Muddy Run on November 8.
After taking position on the Rappahannock from Kelly’s Ford to Welford’s Ford, the Army of the Potomac again moved south November 26, by an advance on the enemy’s flank. General Buford, a former Second Cavalryman, was forced to go to the hospital at this time for treatment of his wounds, where he soon died. General Merritt, who was still the captain of Company C, Second Cavalry, succeeded General Buford in command of the First Division. In the Mine Run campaign from November 26 to December 2, this division guarded the trains. The Reserve Brigade, of which the Second Cavalry formed a part, moved out from camp November 26 and marched to Stevensburg, where a line of vedettes was established around the town. The next day it proceeded to Ely’s and Culpeper Fords on the Rapidan, where it protected the trains at these points. It was also given the task of guarding the fords from Germanna to the mouth of the Rapidan and Richard’s Ford. Until the brigade returned to Culpeper, Virginia, December 2, it was constantly engaged in fighting guerillas and preventing attacks upon the wagon train.