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.
On May 10, the Second Dragoons returned to Point Isabel as an escort to General Taylor, who left Colonel Twiggs in command at the fort on the Rio Grande, now called Fort Brown after Major Brown who was killed there in the bombardment. They returned the next day to find that Captain Thornton and his men had been released by the Mexicans. After the battle of Resaca de la Palma the American troops failed to pursue the Mexicans across the river and capture Matamoras. However, General Taylor made preparations to take the city, and notified General Arista to surrender. That officer fled to the south on May 18 with the remnants of his army. Captain Ker, of the Second Dragoons, took first possession of the city and raised the American flag. Lieutenant George Stevens, Company K, and one man were drowned while crossing with Captain Ker.
On May 19, an expedition under Colonel Garland, consisting of the Second Dragoons and two companies of Texas Rangers, was sent out to follow and observe the retreating Mexicans. Colonel Twiggs did not command his regiment, as he was made provost marshal at Matamoras. The expedition followed the enemy for sixty miles, having had a skirmish with them at night in which two of the men were wounded. On account of the shortage of water in this desert country and the jaded condition of the horses, they returned to Matamoras on May 22.
During the summer the regiment remained in rest camps most of the time at Point Isabel, or on the Palo Alto battlefield, or near Matamoras. Companies F, H, and K were made inactive in June for the purpose of recruiting, and the personnel transferred to Companies B, C, and D. A detachment of 111 recruits for the regiment arrived at Point Isabel by boat from New York, July 23, and established camp there. During the summer Companies A, G, and I went on scouting expeditions for Indians to the west of San Antonio and Austin, Texas. On one of these they crossed the Rio Grande in the Big Bend, near Presidio, in pursuit of Indians. On July 30, Colonel Twiggs became a brigadier general and Lieutenant Colonel Harney became the second colonel of the regiment, while Major Fauntleroy became lieutenant colonel, and Edwin V. Sumner of the First Dragoons became major.