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.
Along with the rest of the First cavalry Division, Merritt’s brigade, which included the Second Cavalry, now fell back on Boonesborough. The enemy was found advancing south on the Hagerstown road, and the regular brigade was engaged in delaying him in the vicinity of Boonesborough for several days. Here on the 7th and 8th he was driven back toward .Hagerstown. On the 9th, they drove him for about five miles until within three miles of Funkstown. On the 10th, the division was formed as a line of skirmishers with the Reserve Brigade on the right and they soon drove the enemy into Funkstown. Because of the shortage of ammunition on this day the division was finally forced to give up the position gained and it was later occupied by the infantry.
On July 14, the division was ordered to advance and it was found the enemy had evacuated their positions. They soon came in contact with the rear of Lee’s army near Falling Waters, Maryland, and Buford decided to move to the flank and get possession of the road bridge. They soon scattered the Rebels and captured much equipment and about 500 prisoners, but the bridge was cut loose and swung to the Virginia shore.
Moving down into Virginia the division reached Rectortown July 20. Here Merritt’s brigade was detached to hold Manassas Gap. On reaching this place July 21, he sent the First Cavalry forward toward Front Royal and the rest of the brigade occupied a defensive position. The Second Cavalry was later sent forward to reinforce the First and to discover the identity of the foe. After finding out that one of the Confederate corps was near the Gap, Merritt decided to attack vigorously in order to deceive the enemy into thinking the place was occupied by a strong force. In this attack he captured five officers and twenty-one enlisted men. On the 22nd he continued to skirmish with the enemy, but the latter made no attempt to capture the position. The brigade was relieved on the 23rd by French’s division of the Third Corps and marched to Orleans, where it joined the rest of the First Cavalry Division. On July 27 the regiment was at Warrenton, Virginia, and by the last of the month it was back to the Rappahannock River.