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.
Regimental Headquarters, Band, and Companies B, E, and H left Fort Crittenden (Camp Floyd), Utah, July 27, 1861, en route to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After a march of over two months, during which time they had very little knowledge of the stirring events in the East, they arrived at that post October 6. Taking a train to Washington, D.C., they reached Cantonment Holt October 19. Companies A, D, and F joined them there in December, and as Company K was already there, seven of the ten companies were assembled as a unit. At the end of the year 1861 Company C was at Paducah, Kentucky, Company G at Fort Craig, New Mexico, and Company I at Fort Garland, Colorado.
After the battle of Wilson’s Creek Company C was transferred to St. Louis August 30. From here it proceeded to Paducah, Kentucky, and was assigned to the command of Brigadier General Charles F. Smith of McClernand’s Division along with one company of the Fourth Cavalry. At this place it was engaged in scouting and escort duty until February 5, 1862, when operations against Forts Henry and Donelson, Tennessee, were begun under Grant. During this time the cavalry was opposed to Forrest, the famous Southern cavalry leader. Fort Henry was captured without much struggle and the army moved on to Donelson. While on reconnaissance duty near Fort Donelson Company C had a skirmish with the enemy February 10 and another on the 12th. Arriving at that place, the army soon bottled up the Confederates, causing the surrender of the entire garrison except the cavalry. The company then marched south with the army to Nashville, Tennessee.