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12th Illinois Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Twelfth Cavalry. Cols., Arno Voss, Hasbrouck Davis; Lieut. -Cols., Hasbrouck Davis, Thomas W. Grosvenor, Hamilton B. Dox; Majs., Francis T. Sherman, John G. Fonda, Thomas W. Grosvenor, Stephen Bronson, Hamilton B. Dox, Cephas Strong, John H. Clybourn, Andrew H. Langholz. This regiment was organized at Camp Butler in Feb., 1862, and remained there guarding Confederate prisoners until June 25, when it was mounted and was sent to Martinsburg, Va. The first time it met the enemy was after the evacuation of Winchester in September, when a scouting party came up with some Confederate cavalry, in numbers far superior to its own, but by a vigorous charge it routed them and drove them several miles, killing, wounding and capturing a considerable number. In November the regiment was called away from picket, assigned to Gen. Sigel's army, and acted as escort from Warrenton to Fredericksburg, frequently having severe brushes with scouting parties of Gen. Stuart's cavalry. While at Dumfries the enemy surprised the outpost pickets and took about 50 of the 12th Ill. and 1st Md. cavalry prisoners, when a vigorous fight ensued, which continued all day, but the enemy was finally repulsed with severe loss, having 25 or 30 killed and about 40 wounded, while the Federal loss was but 3 killed and 8 wounded. In a conflict at Tunstall's station in May, 1863, the regiment retired with a loss of 2 killed and several wounded. While en route to Gloucester point it captured 15 Confederates, destroyed a large quantity of cavalry saddles at King and Queen Court House, and a train of 18 wagons loaded with corn and provisions near Saluda. The total loss sustained by the regiment in this most remarkable raid was 2 commissioned officers and 33 enlisted men, while it brought with it 100 mules and 75 horses captured from the enemy. The regiment was present at the cavalry battles at Falling Waters, the Rapidan and Stevensburg, in all of which it acquitted itself with its usual bravery. On Nov. 20 it was relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac, and ordered home to reorganize as veterans. When ready to return to the field it was ordered to the Department of the Gulf and participated in the different engagements of the retreat of Gen. Banks down the Red river, losing a large number of men. In the early part of Nov., 1864, the 12th, with other cavalry regiments, made an expedition to Liberty, Miss., where a sharp action ensued, the Federals driving the enemy and capturing a number of prisoners, cannon and small arms. During the remainder of its career it was distributed in detachments, and was actively employed in guard and escort duty. The regiment was mustered out at Houston, Tex., on May 29, 1866, arrived at Springfield on June 14, and on the 18th it received final pay and discharge.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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