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of Columbia Regiment Cavalry
in the Civil War
|First District of Columbia Cavalry. This regiment, known as
Baker's cavalry, was an independent organization and was originally designed for special
service in the District of Columbia, subject only to the orders of the war department. It
was commanded by Col. L. C. Baker. Eight companies were organized at Augusta, from Oct.,
1863, to March, 1864, to serve for three years, and assigned as Cos. D, F, G, H, I, K, L
and M, rendering the regiment to all intents and purposes a Maine organization. Capt.
Cloudman, whose company was the first to leave the state for Washington, was commissioned
major by the president, during the seven months' service of the regiment, which was
engaged in important service in and about Washington until May, when half of it was
ordered to Portsmouth, Va., and dismounted for a short time. The other half was assigned
to the army of Gen. Butler and participated in Gen. Kautz' cavalry raids about Petersburg,
in May and June, 1864. In July this portion participated in the engagement at Malvern
hill, and Aug. 2 crossed the Appomattox river and established headquarters at Sycamore
Church, with four companies stationed at Cox's mills, 2 miles below. The regiment was
engaged in skirmishing and doing picket duty on the Weldon & Petersburg railroad, Aug.
8-23, and on the latter date engaged and drove the Hampton legion, inflicting a severe
loss on the enemy. On the 24th, it took part in the action at Reams' station, after which
it returned to Sycamore Church, and on the 27th, by a special order of the war department,
all the Maine officers and men were transferred to the 1st Me. cavalry. They did not join
the latter regiment at once, but remained doing duty on the extreme left of the army, on a
line about 4 miles in length. On Sept. 15, the regiment was attacked simultaneously at
three points on their extended line by an overwhelming force of the enemy, and after a
heroic resistance was compelled to retreat. The loss was severe, 9 officers and over 150
privates being captured, in addition to several killed and wounded. Majs. Baker and
Cloudman were captured, and the remaining men then joined the 1st Me. cavalry, their
history from this date being identical with that regiment.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1