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 First Cavalry Division was ordered to make a reconnaissance toward Culpeper Courthouse on August 1 to determine the strength of the enemy in that vicinity. So sudden and vigorous was the assault upon Stuart’s cavalry that he barely escaped being captured with his headquarters. The reconnaissance was pushed forward to Brandy Station where a severe engagement took place in which the Second Cavalry took a prominent part in the charges and counter charges. Having accomplished the end sought after, Buford was forced to fall back when attacked by Stuart’s supporting infantry. In this series of fights the Second Cavalry lost seven killed, twenty-eight wounded, and five missing.
Merritt’s brigade was again involved in a fight at Rappahannock Station on August 5, with the Confederates as the aggressors this time. The latter, who were on a spirited reconnaissance, attacked the Union troops in their camp, but were soon repulsed and driven for three miles toward the river.
During October, 1863, the regiment turned over its horses to other units and marched to Camp Buford, Maryland, where it received new animals and a few recruits. It needed a rest badly, as it had been constantly marching and fighting for three months in one of the most severe campaigns in military history. During the greater part of this time, the command was forced to live off the country, because the rapid marches of the cavalry did not permit the supply department to keep up with the horsemen.