David.Gettman November 19th, 2008
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.
In May, 1863, General Pleasanton relieved General Stoneman from command of the cavalry corps and Buford, Gregg, and Duffie took over as division commanders. It was charged with outpost duty from Falmouth to Warrenton Junction. General Hooker divined Lee’s plans to invade the North and ordered General Pleasanton to make a reconnaissance to discover the intentions of any Confederate troops on the Fredericksburg-Culpeper road. Accompanied by two infantry brigades the corps moved out June 9, 1863, with orders to cross at Beverly and Kelly’s Fords and to unite at Brandy Station.
The Second Cavalry was a part of the regular brigade of Buford’s division. The regiment moved out at dawn and was soon across the Rappahannock River. Since Stuart intended to move north on this same day to screen Lee’s movements, the Confederates were massed near Beverly Ford where they came into contact at once with the Union troops. From now until five in the afternoon, the fighting was continuous.
Two battalions of the Second, one under Rodenbough and one under Canfield, were soon detached and sent to the front. This latter officer, who was the commander of Company M, the newest regiment, soon fell, pierced by a bullet. Rodenbough’s battalion was hotly engaged in dismounted action until relieved by Leoser’s battalion. During this time the entire regiment was subject to a well-directed artillery fire. Finally, orders came to charge this same artillery, which was done with much zest, causing it to limber up and gallop away. Soon after a halt was ordered, the regiment was instructed to advance with the Sixth Cavalry. Leoser’s battalion went forward as skirmishers, followed by the regiment, and were soon charged by an enemy force. Continue Reading »