Men of the 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry
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The 1st Connecticut Cavalry was composed of some fine fellows.
Of the twelve Congressional Medals of Honor awarded to Connecticut troops from all branches of the service four went to men from the 1st Connecticut Cavalry. To see more about them scroll down.


Company A of the 1st CT was one of the most active mounted Federal units of the Civil War. Its battle record includes 90 actions in the Virginia theater of the war.(see the bottom of the page)

The State of Connecticut originally authorized six cavalry regiments. The State's first cavalry regiment was organized as a battalion under Mjr. J.W. Lyon in Sept. 1861. It became a full regiment under Col. Wm. S. Fish in November and was fighting bushwackers in western Virginia in March, 1862. The 1st served with Gen. Sheridan in Wilson's Brigade and later in Custer's Brigade.

In the winter of 1862-1863 the regiment moved to Baltimore, Md. to be reorganized and was serving there during the Gettysburg Campaign. It moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., July 5, 1863, and did duty skirmishing with the southern cavalry in that vicinity until January, 1864. Col. Erastus Blakeslee became the regimental commander. The regiment served in Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign form August to December. It fought at Cedar Creek, Reams's Station, Five Forks, Yellow Tavern, and Sailor's Creek. It was the 1st CT that escorted Gen. Grant to receive Lee's surrender at Appomatox. The 1st suffered 772 casualties during the war. This was 56% of its strength attesting to its active campaigning.

The regiment lost during active service 4 Officers and 36 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 4 Officers and 149 Enlisted men by disease. A total of 193 lost their lives to all causes.

Medal of Honor Winner: Captain Edward Washburn Whitaker of the 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry.
He earned the Medal of Honor while serving as Captain, Co. E, at Reams Station, VA, June 29, 1864. While acting as an aide he voluntarily carried dispatches General Meade, forcing his way with a single troop of Cavalry, through an Infantry division of the enemy in the most distinguished manner, though he lost half his escort.

Whitaker was also Chief of Staff to General Custer and bore the flag of truce at Appomattox. He was breveted Brigadier General of Volunteers for war service. He died on July 30, 1922.

Capture of the Enemy Flag: Three 1st Cavalry Medal of Honor Recipients

AARON S. LANFARE, 1st Lt, Company B.
At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865.
Citation: Capture of flag of 11th Florida Infantry(C.S.A.).

CHARLES H. MARSH, Private, Company D.
At Back Creek Valley, Va., 31 July 1864.
Citation: Capture of flag and its bearer.

EDWIN M. NEVILLE, Captain, Company C.
At Sailors Creek, Va., 6 April 1865.
Citation: Capture of an enemy flag.

One of Ours: Wounded and Captured in Battle
Corporal Frank Huntley (1848-1872)
Co. E, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry.
  • Purple Heart
  • POW Medal
  • Civil War Medal
    Huntley was captured on 14 July, 1863 at Bolivar Heights, Virginia. He was paroled on 16 April, 1864, and was wounded at Farmville, Virginia on 3 April, 1865.
  • A Group of Early Volunteers to the 1st Connecticut Cavalry

    All the men who fought in the first year of the war were volunteers. These nine men were from Fairfield, CT. The third man standing from the left has been identified as John B. Morehouse who enlisted as a private in October 1861 and was mustered out as a Major in August 1865. Morehouse was one of only 100 of the 1300 men in the regiment to serve for the entire four years of the war. He was twice wounded and was mentioned in dispatches as an outstanding officer. The unit was given the honor of escorting General Grant to the surrender meeting with Lee at Appomatax in 1865.

    A Brief Unit History

    --Operations against guerrillas in Hardy County, W. Va., until May, 1862.
  • Action at Moorefield, W. Va., April 3.
  • March to relief of Milroy May 2-7.
  • McDowell May 8.
  • Franklin May 10-12.
  • Strasburg May 24.
  • Wosdensville May 28.
    --Raid to Shaver River May 30.
  • Strasburg June 1.
  • New Market June 5.
  • Harrisonburg June 7.
  • Cross Keys June 8.
  • Port Republic June 9.
    --Movement down the valley to Madison C. H. June 10-July 28.
  • Scout from Strasburg June 22-30 (Co. "B").
  • Scouting in vicinity of Madison C. H.
    --Pope's campaign in Northern Va. Aug. 16-Sept. 2.
  • Provost duty during the Second Bull Run battles Aug. 27-30.
    --Duty at Tennallytown, Fairfax C. H., Kalorama Heights and Hall's Farm until December.
    --March to Fredericksburg, Va., and duty at Stafford C. H. until January, 1863.
  • Kelly's Ford December 20-22, 1862.
    --Moved to Baltimore, Md.,reorganizing the regiment (Five Companies. "A," "B," "C," "D" and "E").
    --Moved to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., July 5, 1863, and duty in that vicinity until January, 1864.
  • Skirmish at Waterford Aug. 8, 1863 (Detachment).
  • Berryville October 18.
  • Expedition from Charlestown to New Market November 15-18.
    --Operations in Hampshire and Hardy Counties, W. Va., January 27-February 7, 1864.
  • Moorefield, February 4, 1864 (Detachment).
    --Regimental reorganization at Baltimore from January - March, 1864.
    --Moved to Annapolis Junction March 8.
    --Joined brigade at Brandy Station, VA, March 15.
  • Rappahannock April 1.
    --Rapidan Campaign May-June.
  • Craig's Meeting House May 5.
  • Todd's Tavern May 5-6.
  • Alsop's farm, Spottsylvania, May 8.
  • Sheridan's raid to James River May 9-24.
  • North Anna River May 9-10.
  • Ground Squirrel Bridge and Yellow Tavern May 11.
  • Brook Church or fortifications of Richmond May 12.
  • Strawberry Hill May 12.
  • Demonstration on Little River May 26.
  • Line of the Totopotomoy May 28-31.
  • Mechump's Creek and Hanover C. H. May 31.
  • Ashland June 1.
  • Totopotomoy and Gaines' Mills June 2.
  • Haw's Shop June 3.
  • Cold Harbor June 3-12.
  • Bethesda Church June 11.
  • Long Bridge June 12.
  • St. Mary's Church June 15.
  • Cold Harbor June 18.
    --Wilson's raid on south side and Danville R. R. June 20-30.
  • Black and White Station and Nottaway C. H. June 23.
  • Staunton Bridge or Roanoke Station June 25.
  • Sappony Church or Stony Creek June 28-29.
  • Ream's Station June 29.
    --Siege lines of Petersburg until August.
    --Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August to December.
  • Winchester August 17.
  • Abraham's Creek September 13.
  • Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19.
  • Near Cedarville September 20.
  • Front Royal Pike September 21.
  • Milford September 22.
  • Tom's Brook, "Woodstock Races," October 8-9.
  • Battle of Cedar Creek October 10.
  • Cedar Creek October 13.
  • Cedar Run Church October 17.
  • Newtown, Cedar Creek, November 12.
  • Rude's Hill, near Mt. Jackson, November 22.
  • Raid to Lacy Springs December 19-22.
    --Expedition from Winchester to Moorefield, W. Va., February 4-6, 1865.
    --Sheridan's Raid February 27-March 25.
  • Occupation of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Charlottesville March 3.
  • Ashland March 15.
    --Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.
  • Dinwiddie C. H. March 30-31.
  • Five Forks April 1. Fa
  • l of Petersburg April 2.
  • Namozine Church April 3.
  • Sailor's Creek April 6.
  • Appomattox Station April 8.
  • Appomattox C. H., April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army.
    --Expedition to Danville April 23-29.
    --Moved to Washington, D.C., May.
  • Grand review May 23.
  • Provost duty at Washington until August.

    Mustered out of service on August 2, 1865.
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