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4th Massachusetts Cavalry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
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

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