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.
At the beginning of the unfortunate conflict of the Civil War, our cavalry was scattered over the vast new territory in the west just acquired from Mexico and Britain. Some of it was in the great plains west of the Missouri River protecting the ever westward moving frontier settlements against Indian depredations. We have seen how the Second Dragoons was located in several different states of the frontier at this time. Like most of the regular army, this regiment began concentrating in the east. However, by the time Bull Run was fought, only one of the companies, K, had arrived at Washington. It left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 2, 1861, and went to Arlington Heights, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the capitol.
When the Army of the Potomac under McDowell moved south from Arlington to meet the Rebels, it contained only seven companies of cavalry, under Major Palmer. These were Company K, Second Dragoons, and two companies each of the First, Second and Fourth Cavalry regiments. Captain Francis C. Armstrong commanded Company K at Bull Run, but he resigned soon after the battle and later became a brigadier general in the Confederate Army.