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in the Civil War
|Fourth Cavalry. Cols.. Arnold A. Rand, Francis Washburn, Horatio
Jenkins, Jr. ; Lieut.-Cols., Francis Washburn, Horatio Jenkins, Jr., Henry B. Scott;
Majs., Atherton H. Stevens, David B Keith, Louis Cabot, Moses F. Webster, Henry B. Scott,
Joseph I. Baker, Albert E. Ray, Edwin B. Staples. This regiment was organized on Feb. 12,
1864, The independent battalion Mass. cavalry, then serving in South Carolina and
originally a part of the 1st cavalry, constituted the 1st battalion. The 1st veteran
battalion, recruited in February under Lieut.-Col. Arnold A. Rand, became the 2nd
battalion, and was mustered in by the end of the month. Early in April the 3d battalion
had been filled and mustered. The regiment carried on its rolls a total of 88 officers and
1,621 enlisted men. Its losses during service were 4 officers and 22 enlisted men killed
or died of wounds; 1 officer and 92 enlisted men died by accident or disease; 1 officer
and 24 enlisted men as prisoners. The 2nd battalion under Maj. Keith, left the state on
March 20, and arrived at Hilton Head, S. C, April 1. The 3d under Maj. Cabot, with 150
recruits for the 1st battalion, left the state April 23. The 2nd battalion, with
headquarters at Hilton Head, took part in an expedition up the Ashepoo river in May. On
June 6, two companies under Capt. Morton moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and encamped there.
In the early part of Aug., the detachment formed part of an expedition up the St. John's
river to Palatka, engaging the enemy at Palatka, Magnolia and Gainesville, with a loss
during the expedition of 6 killed and 50 captured, including 3 officers. On Oct. 17, Maj.
Keith having resigned, Capt. Webster was promoted to the position. A detachment, under
Capt. Staples, took part in an expedition to St. John's island, S. C, in July, suffering a
small loss in the various skirmishes from the 2nd to the 9th. The battalion remained
stationed at Hilton Head and Jacksonville by detachments until the close of the war, but
no part of it was again heavily engaged after the battle of Gainesville. On reaching
Hilton Head, the 3d battalion was ordered to Fortress Monroe, and reported to Gen. Butler,
encamping at Newport News until May 23. It then moved to City Point, Va., and there
established headquarters. The 1st battalion, under command of Capt. Richmond, arrived from
the south on May 8, and participated in the movements of the Army of the James during the
rest of May. In June the command took part in the cavalry operations against Petersburg,
being in action at Drewry's bluff and Bermuda Hundred. Cos. E and H were on detached duty
in June at the headquarters of the 18th corps. On Aug. 15 the 1st and 3d battalions, under
command of Col. Rand, became a part of the 10th corps and took part in the operations
before Petersburg. They were so engaged until the opening of the spring campaign in 1865.
Meanwhile four companies had been detached for service with the 24th and 25th corps,
remaining on this detail until their muster out. Cos. E and H with the 25th corps were the
first troops to enter Richmond when it was evacuated on the morning of April 3. Cos. I, L
and M under Col. Washburn were at the headquarters of the Army of the James, commanded by
Gen. Ord. On April 6, 1865, this little force of 13 officers and 67 men were almost
annihilated in the effort to hold High bridge over the Appomattox, where in three
desperate charges against overwhelming odds, 8 of the officers were killed or wounded,
among the mortally wounded being the gallant Col. Washburn. After the surrender of Gen.
Lee, all the detachments of the regiment were united at Richmond and remained there on
duty during the summer and autumn. On Nov. 14, 1865, the regiment was mustered out and the
same month returned to Boston, the men being paid and finally discharged at Galloupe's
island on the 26th.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1