The 6th Cavalry ("Fighting Sixth'") is a regiment of the United States Army that began as a regiment of cavalry in the American Civil War. It currently is organized into aviation squadrons that are assigned to several different combat aviation brigades.
|6th Cavalry Regiment|
Coat of arms
|Branch||United States Army|
|Type||Cavalry (American Civil War–Vietnam War)|
Air Cavalry (Vietnam War–present)
|Motto(s)||Ducit Amor Patriae|
(Led By Love of Country)
|Engagements||American Civil War|
War with Spain
China Relief Expedition
World War II
Persian Gulf War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Shield
War in Southwest Asia
|Charles E. Canedy |
Samuel H. Starr
Distinctive Unit Insignia
U.S. Cavalry Regiments
|5th Cavalry Regiment||7th Cavalry Regiment|
The 3rd US Cavalry Regiment was organized on 3 May 1861 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was commanded by COL David Hunter, and second in command was LTC William H. Emory. The Regiment's designation was changed to the 6th U.S. Cavalry on 10 August 1861 due to a reorganization of US Cavalry regiments; the Regiment of Mounted Rifles took on the name of the 3rd Cavalry instead. The troopers were recruited from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Western New York. Arriving in Washington D.C. by company between 12 October and 23 December, the regiment joined the Union Army of the Potomac and began its training with a strength of 34 officers and 950 men. Due to supply shortages, all but one squadron was equipped as light cavalry, armed with pistols and sabers. It wasn't until 10 March that the rest of the regiment received carbines. The 6th Cavalry left winter quarters on 10 March 1862 and was assigned to General Philip St. George Cooke's command, who ordered them to make a reconnaissance of Centreville, VA, Manassas, and Bull Run. On 27 March, the regiment embarked for Fort Monroe and arrived three days later.
Upon arrival, the 6th Cavalry served as forward scouts for the Army of the Potomac's advance units throughout the Peninsular Campaign and received its baptism of fire on 5 May 1862 after the Siege of Yorktown. After pursuing General Joseph E. Johnston's force of retreating Confederates through the city, the armies met at the Battle of Williamsburg on 5 May, and the 6th Cavalry made a name for themselves when CPT Sanders executed a bold counter charge into the teeth of Confederate artillery and a superior force of horsemen and managed to drive them off. The 6th Cavalry continued to serve as scouts for the Army of the Potomac until the evacuation at Harrison's Landing, where they served as rear guards for the evacuating forces. Arriving in Alexandria, Virginia on 2 September 1862, the 6th was in near constant contact with the Confederates for three months and engaging in skirmishes such as those at Falls Church, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Middletown, and Charleston. The regiment marched to the Rappahannock River on 24 November and remained in the vicinity until the men marched on Fredericksburg, Virginia on 12 December.
During the Battle of Fredericksburg, the 6th Cavalry sent a squadron across the pontoon bridge over the Rappahannock River in order to reconnoiter the enemy positions. The Confederate's infantry line was developed, and the squadron withdrew after receiving fire from an enemy artillery battery, losing 2 men and 8 horses wounded. After reporting this information to General Ambrose Burnside, the Union commander, the regiment was withdrawn to Falmouth, Virginia, where it remained encamped until 13 April 1863. The 6th was one of the Union cavalry regiments that participated in Stoneman's 1863 raid, and during the action, LT Tupper and 10 troopers managed to capture General J. E. B. Stuart's chief quartermaster.
On 9 June 1863, the 6th Cavalry fought in the Battle of Brandy Station after crossing the Rappahannock River. During this famous engagement, the regiment charged the Confederates and lost 4 officers and 63 men killed, wounded, or captured out of 254 engaged. Charging the Confederate guns, LT Madden was hit by an exploding shell, and LT Kerin was captured when the regiment began reforming from the charge. The troopers were moved to the extreme right of the line in order to repulse a Confederate flank attack and charged into the action. Here, LT Ward was killed, and LT Stroll was wounded. LT Stroll was fired upon as he fell and the soldiers who attempted to bear him away were shot down by rebel gunfire. The 6th was to be rear guard of the retiring Union force, and, led by LT Tupper, it checked the enemy at every stop and prevented the harassment of the column. This was one of the most serious cavalry actions of the war, and the 6th lost a quarter of its troopers.
During the Gettysburg Campaign, and overseen by larger events ongoing nearby, on 3 July 1863, Major Starr with 400 troopers dismounted his men in a field and an orchard on both sides of the road near Fairfield, Pennsylvania. Union troopers directed by their officers took up hasty defensive positions on this slight ridge. They threw back a mounted charge of the 7th Virginia Cavalry (CSA), just as Chew's Battery (CSA) unlimbered and opened fire on the Federal cavalrymen. Supported by the 6th Virginia Cavalry (CSA), the 7th Virginia charged again, clearing Starr's force off the ridge and inflicting heavy losses. Jones (CSA), outnumbering the Union forces by at least 2 to 1, pursued the retreating Federals for three miles to the Fairfield Gap, but was unable to catch his quarry.
"The fight made at Fairfield by this small regiment (6th U.S. Cavalry) against two of the crack brigades of Stuart's cavalry, which were endeavoring to get around the flank the Union army to attack the (supply) trains, was one of the most gallant in its history and no doubt helped influence the outcome the battle of Gettysburg. The efforts of these rebel brigades were frustrated and their entire strength neutralized for the day by the fierce onslaught of the small squadrons. The regiment was cut to pieces, but it fought so well that the squadrons were regarded as the advance of a large body of troops. The senior officer of those attacking CSA brigades was later adversely criticized for allowing his command to be delayed by such an inferior force. Had the regiment not made the desperate stand, the two brigades of Virginians might have caused grave injury in the Federal rear, before sufficient force could have been gathered in their front."
Private George Crawford Platt, later Sergeant, an Irish immigrant serving in Troop H, was awarded the Medal of Honor on 12 July 1895, for his actions that day at Fairfield. His citation reads, "Seized the regimental flag upon the death of the standard bearer in a hand-to-hand fight and prevented it from falling into the hands of the enemy."
His "commander," Lieutenant Carpenter, of Troop H, was one of only three officers of the 6th U.S. Cavalry to escape from the deadly melee at Fairfield. He was an eyewitness and documented Private Platt's "beyond the call of duty" behavior that day. Louis H. Carpenter was brevetted from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel for his actions that day and later during the Indian Wars he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Shortly after the Battle of Fairfield, the regiment made a reconnaissance of Funkstown, Maryland on 10 July 1863, and was heavily engaged in the Battle of Funkstown losing 1 officer and 85 men killed, wounded, and missing. Arriving at Germantown, Maryland on 8 August, the 6th Cavalry replaced its tremendous casualties and trained and occasionally fought in minor battles with rebel scouts. Leaving winter quarters on 4 May 1864, the Cavalry, under General Sheridan were heavily engaged four days later in the Battle of Todd's Tavern. The 6th US Cavalry participated in several other raids and battles in 1864 under the command of General Sheridan and as a part of the Union Cavalry Corps. These battles include, the Battle of Yellow Tavern, where J. E. B Stuart was killed, the Battle of Trevilian Station, the Battle of Berryville, the Battle of Opequon, and the Battle of Cedar Creek.
On 27 February, the 6th Cavalry broke camp from its winter quarters and engaged the Confederate Army on 30 March 1865 at the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House. Here, the men of the 6th held out against repeated enemy attacks until their ammunition was exhausted, and during their withdrawal, Confederate troops captured a LT Nolan and 15 6th Cavalry troopers. On 1 April 1865, at the Battle of Five Forks, the 6th Cavalry wheeled to the right of the enemy's positions and advanced until sunset when the battle was won. The regiment then began a pursuit of the retreating enemy and participated in the Battle of Sailor's Creek, resulting in the capture of roughly 7,000 Confederate prisoners. During this battle, the 6th was ordered to capture a series of log huts. Some of the men in the ranks hesitated; they were cautious and wary of death so close to the perceived end of the war, but LT McClellan, a veteran of the antebellum Army, turned and exclaimed, "Men, let us die like soldiers!" Soon the troopers charged under heavy fire and took the log huts with the loss of three wounded.
At the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse on 9 April 1865, the 6th charged at a gallop on the enemy's left flank, but were met with a white flag of surrender. Soon after (at 4 p.m. that day), the rest of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would surrender, precipitating the end of the Confederacy and the American Civil War. According to the US Army Center of Military History, "The records of casualties during the Rebellion show seven officers killed, 53 men killed in action and 53 other deaths; 122 wounded in action and 17 by accident; 438 missing, most of these being captured at Fairfield and in other charges,—making a total of 689 enlisted men."
After the fighting stopped in April 1865, came the Reconstruction era of the United States covering 1865 to 1871. The 6th Cavalry left Maryland, via New York and New Orleans to Texas in October 1865. On 29 November 1865, the 6th Cavalry headquarters was established in Austin where it was part of the Fifth Military District which covered Texas and Louisiana under General Philip Sheridan and later under General Winfield Scott Hancock.
There was little or no fighting during the state of martial law imposed while the military closely supervised local government, enrolled freemen to vote, excluded former Confederate leaders from elected office for a period of time, supervised free elections, and tried to protect office holders and freedmen from violence. However the men did face a low level of civil hostility and violence during this uneasy transition period. For reports of soldiers of the 6th Cavalry killed and wounded in various incidents of 1867–68 see the article on the Fifth Military District. One such incident occurred on 7 March 1868, when CPL Henhold of D Troop led 13 troopers on an expedition to break up the band of ex-Confederate renegades under Robert J. Lee. The pursuit ended at Read Creek Swamp, near Sherman, TX, and the troopers killed 2 and captured 5 of the desperados.
On 12 July 1870, CPT Curwen B. McClellan led a detachment of 53 troopers on a patrol from Fort Richardson when they came into contact with a large force of 250 Kiowa warriors under Chief Kicking Bird at the Little Wichita River. 6th Cavalry historians note how the Indians charged and fought bravely at close range. Chief Kicking Bird personally killed CPL John Given with a lance thrust. Despite being outnumbered, CPT McClellan was able to retreat to safety after killing 15 Kiowa and wounding many more, and losing 2 men killed and 9 wounded.
In 1871, the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Missouri where it continued to engage Native American tribes and fought in the Red River War. On 9 September 1873 a drunken row among 6th cavalrymen in Hays, Kansas resulted in two troopers being killed. On 30 August 1874, COL Nelson A. Miles led an expedition of 6th Cavalry Troopers and 5th U.S. Infantry soldiers and engaged 600 Southern Cheyenne on the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River. Despite the Indians occupying a series of bluffs, the cavalry was rapidly deployed and charged the enemy, scattering them into the nearby canyons. The regiment was commended for its actions in the battle. While carrying dispatches on the Texas plain on the morning of 12 September 1874, 4 Troopers from I Troop, 6th Cavalry and 2 civilian scouts were encircled by 125 Kiowa warriors. PVT Smith was immediately shot and mortally wounded, and the remaining scouts and troopers found meager refuge in a Buffalo wallow where they fought off their attackers until nightfall. All the men, civilians included, received the Medal of Honor for their dogged will to survive. On 8 November, 1874, Troop D of the 6th Cavalry and Company D of the 5th U.S. Infantry attacked and destroyed Chief Grey Beard's Cheyenne village on McClellan's Fork of the Red River. Two captive settlers, Adelaide and Julia German, who had been captured on their family's journey to Colorado, were also rescued during the fight.
On 1 December, CPT Adna Chaffee led I Troop on a night attack to surprise the Indians on the North Fork of the Red River and managed to rout them and capture 70 of their mounts. The winter of 1874–75 was rough and cold on the Great Plains, and the Indians were not able to conduct their raids in such cold. There was relative peace until 6 April 1875, when M Troop engaged a band of 150 warriors near the Cheyenne Agency. 9 Cheyenne were killed and 4 Sixth Cavalry troopers were wounded. On 19 April 1875, a party of Cheyennes left the reservation heading north, and 40 Cavalrymen from H Troop under LT Austin Henely pursued them. After a rapid campaign of scouting and hard riding, the troopers caught up with the band at Sappa Creek, Kansas. The ensuing gunfight left 27 Indians dead for the loss of 2 US soldiers from H Troop. 134 Indian mounts were also captured.
In 1875, the 6th Cavalry marched south to relieve the 5th Cavalry Regiment in Arizona, and the various Troops were sent across the territory to occupy forts and patrol the area in search of hostile Apaches. On 9 January 1876, A and D Troops, posted at Fort Apache, were the first of the 6th Cavalry to engage the Apache. One Indian was killed, five were captured, and the others were driven away. In the spring and summer of 1876, the entire 6th Cavalry Regiment went into the field to move the Chiricahua onto the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. There was a small engagement on 10 April, but the majority of the Indians were moved onto reservation land. However, many of the warriors fled to the mountains and continued a guerrilla war from there. The cavalry continued to occupy forts and patrol the Arizona Territory and fought recorded engagements against the Apache on 15 August, and 5 October 1876. In January 1877, LT John A. Rucker led a detachment of Troopers from Troops H and L overtook an Apache band in the Pyramid Mountains, New Mexico on 9 January 1877. They killed 10 Indians, and captured 1, along with their entire herd, weapons and ammunition supply, stolen goods from settlers, and $1,200 in Mexican silver. Capt. Whitside and two Troops of the 6th Cav founded Fort Huachuca, SE of Tucson, in March of 1877.
On 20 August 1877, several bands of renegade Apaches crossed into Arizona from Mexico, and elements of the 6th Cavalry were deployed to stop them. After tracking the war party through rough country bereft of water, the troopers found that the trail went into the land of the San Carlos Reservation. The detachment commander sent a telegraph asking permission to enter the land, but the troopers were forced to act before a response was given. The Warm Springs Indians, or the Chíhéne, attempted a breakout from the reservation, and CPT Tupper led Troop G with elements of B, H, L, and M on a rapid pursuit. Between 9–10 September, a series of running gun battles left 12 Indians killed and 13 wounded, and the rest were returned to reservation land. Smaller encounters happened on 13 and 18 December 1877, and 7 January and 5 April 1878. While patrolling near the Mexican border, a flash flood swept away LT Henely, so LT Rucker plunged in with his horse in order to save his classmate and friend, only to be swept away himself. The death by drowning of these two officers was universally lamented by the regiment, and by the people of Arizona, who knew them well. The regiment continued to patrol the territory despite the loss of these officers, and engaged the Indians in minor battles until 1880.
While scouting in the San Andres Mountains in New Mexico on 9 April 1880, a detachment of C Troop and L Troop under CPT McClellan happened upon a squadron of Buffalo soldiers from the 9th Cavalry Regiment engaged in a losing fight with Victorio's Apaches. CPT McClellan led a charge which dispersed the Indians and relieved the 9th. After this incident, Victorio launched numerous raids, but was repelled on 7 May by E Troop under CPT Adam Kramer at the Battle of Ash Creek. Despite a dogged pursuit, Victorio escaped and continued his raids. Nearly the entire regiment was involved in constant patrolling to catch him, but the Apache Chief managed to attack the overland stage near Fort Cummings and killed the young son of CPT Madden, who was visiting from college, and planning on visiting his father for the summer.
In the summer of 1881, Troops D and E along with a company of Apache Scouts were led by General Eugene Asa Carr in the Battle of Cibecue Creek. In this battle, the Apache Scouts revolted and turned on the cavalrymen and in the fierce fight CPT Hentig along with 6 men were killed, and 2 wounded, but the Apache medicine man, Nock-ay-det-klinne, was killed as well. The troopers were forced to withdraw, but they had completed the expedition's goal. When the command returned to Fort Apache on 1 September, they found it to be under attack, and in the following Battle of Fort Apache, the Indians were driven off for the loss of three soldiers wounded. The White Mountain Apaches surrendered to the Agency shortly after. The year of 1881 was a time of hard scouting in the Arizona and New Mexico deserts and canyons, chasing elusive bands of renegade Apaches, with little reward, until April 1882.
On 28 April 1882, CPTs Tupper and Rafferty led 39 Troopers from G and M Troops, along with 45 Apache Scouts across the Mexican border to the Sierra Enmedio near the town of Los Huerigos. Here, the command discovered a band of Apache in camp, believing that they were safe from the cavalry so long as they were in Mexico. While the men moved into position, they were spotted by a small food gathering party, and the fighting commenced. The Apache chief, Loco, called out to the Apache Scouts in an attempt to get them to betray the Americans, but this angered them and they cursed him and fired faster. Having only three rounds per man remaining, CPT Tupper ordered a withdrawal where he was joined by 9 other Troops of the 6th Cavalry under COL James W. Forsyth. The Indians lost 14 warriors killed and 7 women, for the loss of 1 American killed and 2 wounded. Returning the next day, COL Forsyth found the Apache camp deserted. On 17 July 1882, Troops E, I and K of the 6th Cavalry joined with elements of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment in the Battle of Big Dry Wash. Here, they defeated Apache war leader Na-tio-tish in a pitched battle, where two 6th Cavalry officers earned the Medal of Honor; LT Frank West and LT Thomas Cruse.
Throughout the rest of 1882 and 1883, the 6th Cavalry was constantly scouting and on guard against the Chiricahua raids from south of the border. In March 1883, GEN Crook took I Troop under CPT Adna Chaffee on an expedition to the Sierra Madres in Mexico where they captured 400 hostile Apache and their chiefs. In June 1884, the 6th Cavalry exchanged stations with the 4th Cavalry Regiment in the New Mexico Territory. They had served in Arizona for nine years and had fought in countless small actions during their time there. In New Mexico, the Regiment was headquartered at Fort Bayard with the Troops spread out across the territory. In May 1885, the regiment briefly returned once more to Arizona to engage their old enemies, the Arizona Apache renegades who had broken from the reservation and fled south. The troopers pursued them 500 miles into Mexican territory and patrolled the border until July 1886, preventing these renegades from returning to raid American settlements. In the meantime, B and F Troops were detached to Colorado in pursuit of hostile Utes and engaged them on 15 July 1885. Aside from frequent scouting in Navajo country to keep peace between the civilians and Indians, the 6th Cavalry was not engaged in any large operations during this period of time.
An 1887 letter from Charles Winters, Troop D of the 6th Cavalry, describes a soldier's experiences during the Apache Wars in New Mexico:
I will now take and write to you a few lines, to let you know that I am yet alive, and doing well. I joint(sic) the Army in January, 86 and had a good fight with Geronimo and his Indians. I also had two hard fights, where i came very near getting killed, but i got true alright. I was made Corporal when i first enlisted, but have now got high enough to be in Charge of Troop D. 6th U.S. Cavalry and it requires a good man for to get that office, and that is more than i expected. Charley White from Cranbury came out with me and got in the same Troop with me, and I sent him with twenty more men out on a Scout after Indians and Charley was lucky enough to be shot down by Indians the first day, and only three of my men returned. I was very sorry but it could not be helped.
The Territory of New Mexico is a very nice place never no Winter and lots of Gold and Silver Mines all around but for all that it is a disagreeable place on account of so many Indians. I like it first rate and I think as soon as my five years are up I will go bak(sic) to Old New Jersey but not today. My name isn't Charley Winters no more since i shot that man at Jefferson Barracks when he tried to get away from me. My Captain at time told me to take the name of his son who died and so my name since then is Charles H. Wood. I will now close and hope that you will soon write and let me know how you are getting along. Give my best regards to all and to yourself and oblige.
My address is:
Charles H. Wood
Troop D. 6th Cavalry
Fort Stanton, New Mexico
Duty in the deserts of the Arizona and New Mexico Territory was broken in 1890 with the beginning of the Ghost Dance War. Troops of the 6th Cavalry were transported by rail to South Dakota in order to fight the resurgent Sioux. They arrived at Rapid City on 9 December 1890, and by 1 January 1891, the men had encamped near Wounded Knee Creek. Here, Troops F and I of 3rd Squadron were awaiting the arrival of K Troop at the assembly area when they heard gunfire on the White River. Suspecting this might be their comrades, Major Tupper sounded "boots and saddles" and galloped towards the gunfire through the snow. Captain Kerr, commanding K Troop, was seen defending his wagon train from Sioux warriors by F and I Troops from atop a bluff. Major Tupper formed a skirmish line and advanced his men toward the Indians despite their horses being exhausted. The Sioux warriors were heard to loudly taunt "Come on!" in English at the advancing troopers as they fired away. Nine Indians were killed and the rest were forced to retire to a nearby village. This was the sole engagement in which the 6th Cavalry fought during the war. They remained in the Northern Great Plains for some years longer, standing by near reservation land.
In 1889, the Johnson County War began in Powder River Country, Wyoming when cattle companies started ruthlessly persecuting alleged rustlers in the area, many of whom were innocent settlers that competed with them for land, livestock and water rights. At the "Shootout at the TA Ranch," on 13 April 1892, Troops C, D, and H were called out from Fort McKinney to quell the violence. Local ranchers and cowboys were laying siege to a ranch complex (the TA Ranch) owned by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, or WSGA. The WSGA were known to the locals as "The Invaders." Colonel J.J. Van Horn, the officer in charge of the Squadron, negotiated with Sheriff Angus to lift the siege of the ranch, and in return the Invaders were to be handed to civilian authorities. The Sixth Cavalry took possession of Frank Wolcott, a prominent member of the WSGA, and 45 other men with 45 rifles, 41 revolvers and some 5,000 rounds of ammunition, before escorting them first to Fort McKinney and then to Cheyenne, WY. While the 6th was patrolling the countryside in order to keep the peace, on 18 May 1892 cowboys from the Red Sash Ranch set fire to the Post exchange and planted a bomb in the form of gunpowder in a barracks stove. Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood, the officer who had negotiated the surrender of Geronimo and was now serving with the 6th Cavalry, was responding to the fire and was injured by a bomb blast in a barracks; his left arm was shattered, rendering him too disabled to serve in the Cavalry. The 6th was relieved of its duties in Powder River Country later that year by the 9th Cavalry.
In 1898, the Spanish–American War broke out after the USS Maine sank in Havana Harbor under mysterious circumstances. The 6th Cavalry was quickly recalled from their frontier postings and sent to camp in Florida where they awaited for transport to Cuba. After being forced to give up most of their horses and some of their men in order to fit on the ship, the 6th finally arrived in the theater of war on 24 June 1898. The 6th was commonly posted near Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders," and the men gave the US Volunteers a nickname; the "Weary Walkers," because their horses were left in Florida as well. On 1 July 1898, at the start of the Battle of San Juan Hill, the troopers were forced to lay down in a thicket of vines and bushes, making it impossible to see, while Spanish fire hurtled over them. At around 9 am, the men started forward under heavy fire and clawed their way through thick vegetation headed for the top of the hill. Advance elements of the 6th passed by US troops who had been pinned down and they began to cheer, which drew the attention of Spanish gunners, who fired grape shot into the 6th Cavalry's line. Under the covering fire of Gatling Guns, the men managed to take the heights, and settled in for renewed fighting in the morning. The men held the heights until 4 July, when a truce was initiated to exchange prisoners. The 6th Cavalry continued to fight minor battles with Spanish units and guard Spanish prisoners until the end of the war.
Upon returning home, the various 6th Cavalry troops spread out across the nation, and F Troop was even sent as far as California to guard Yosemite National Park from poachers, as the US National Park Rangers were not a powerful enough entity yet.
In 1900, the 6th Cavalry Regiment was part of the International China Relief Expedition with the objective of relieving the defenders of the Beijing Legation Quarter in Peking, China during the Boxer Rebellion. The Manchu Dynasty claimed that it could not protect Western citizens from the "Righteous and Harmonious Fists," commonly known as the Boxers, but in fact Empress Tzu Hsi was actually supporting them in order to drive out the Europeans. During the march to Peking, the 6th Cavalry acted as the expedition's scouting force and acted as pickets to protect the column from Chinese attack. Unlike in Cuba, the 6th Cavalry had their mounts for the campaign and were well suited to the cavalry role of scouting and screening. During the Battle of Peking, the 6th played a minor role but still joined in on the massive looting of the city that followed. For the individual cavalry trooper, the China Relief Expedition was an adventure in a far off land, with only minor combat.
Shortly after campaigning in China, the 6th Cavalry was sent to the Philippines to help quell the Philippine Insurrection. From 1900–1903 they conducted counter-insurgency patrols and had several minor violent encounters with Emilio Aguinaldo's rebels, but their main enemy was the tropical heat and environment. In 1903, the regiment was posted to Fort Meade, South Dakota where it spent three years in garrison. In 1907, the Moro Rebellion was heating up and the 6th Cavalry was once again sent to the Philippine Islands. The Moro people were a Muslim culture living in the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao, and they held practices unacceptable to their new American rulers including slavery. The Moros also practiced a tradition called juramentado in which a devotee attempted to kill as many Christians as possible in order to gain a place in paradise. However, they made war on themselves as much as they did with their other enemies, resulting in fractured bands. The 6th Cavalry fought several engagements against the Moros in the jungles and mountains but, as it was earlier, their main enemy was the tropical environment and its diseases.
Vic Hurley, an American author who was a member of the Philippine Constabulary, wrote the book Jungle Patrol in 1938, arguing that Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry Regiment (brother of Thomas S. Rodgers) had implemented the strategy of mass graves and pig entrails:
It was Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry who accomplished by taking advantage of religious prejudice what the bayonets and Krags had been unable to accomplish. Rodgers inaugurated a system of burying all dead juramentados in a common grave with the carcasses of slaughtered pigs. The Mohammedan religion forbids contact with pork; and this relatively simple device resulted in the withdrawal of juramentados to sections not containing a Rodgers. Other officers took up the principle, adding new refinements to make it additionally unattractive to the Moros. In some sections the Moro juramentado was beheaded after death and the head sewn inside the carcass of a pig. And so the rite of running juramentado, at least semi-religious in character, ceased to be in Sulu. The last cases of this religious mania occurred in the early decades of the century. The juramentados were replaced by the amucks. ... who were simply homicidal maniacs with no religious significance attaching to their acts.
The Mexican Revolution, which began in 1911, made security along the Mexico–United States border even less stable than it already was. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson ordered cavalry regiments sent down to the border, among which was the 6th Cavalry Regiment. The regiment patrolled the border in the rugged terrain of the American Southwest much as they had done before against the Apaches, but it was a relatively quiet period of time. However, on 9 March 1916, Pancho Villa and his banditos raided Columbus, NM, sparking the Punitive Expedition. Many months of rough riding took the cavalrymen on wild chases throughout the Mexican deserts, but they could not capture Pancho Villa, and the 6th Cavalry returned home in February 1917. The Pancho Villa Expedition marked the first time in US military history that motorized transport was used, but the cavalry still played the dominant role, as the primitive vehicles found traversing the rough terrain difficult.
The respite would not last long however, as the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allied Powers in April 1917. The 6th embarked for France to join the American Expeditionary Forces on 16 March 1918 from Hoboken, NJ, but they were primarily tasked with remount details, military police duties, or hauling artillery. When the war ended on 11 November 1918, the 6th Cavalry remained in France for several months into 1919 and continued their remount and military police duties. They returned from St. Nazaire, France 16 JUN 1919 aboard the SS Kroonland to New York City. Upon arrival, the "Fighting Sixth" Cavalry was stationed at The Post at Fort Oglethorpe, GA from 1919 until the beginning of World War II. World War I saw the combat debut of the truck, tank, and airplane. These advances in warfare were the harbinger for the end of the horse cavalry, but the 6th Cavalry Regiment would evolve with the times.
The 6th Cavalry, which became part of George S. Patton's Third Army during World War II, had one of the most outstanding combat records to come out of that conflict, starting in October 1943 where it embarked on the Queen Elizabeth bound for northern Ireland.
In January 1944, the 6th Cavalry Regiment was disbanded and reorganized into the 6th Cavalry Group and assigned to XV Corps. The unit spent the first part of 1944 in intense basic, small unit, and special combat training. Finally in July 1944, the unit set sail across the English Channel to land at Utah Beach (Sainte-Mère-Église, France). Throughout the latter part of World War II, the Sixth was part of most of the major campaigns, some of which included "Task Force Polk," the engagement in the Ardennes, and the Battle of the Bulge. It was also responsible for the screening and protection of the corps in the Bastogne area, defending the Our River, breaching the Siegfried Line, and the big job of crossing the Rhine River and the drive to the east.
Toward the end of hostilities, the Sixth was left with the detail of mopping up enemy stragglers to its final battle with the capture of Adorf & Markneukirchen. The Sixth Cavalry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), for its valor during World War II.
As "Patton's Household Cavalry", the regiment was tasked with observing the advances of the Third Army's troops, reporting its observations directly back to Third Army headquarters, improving General Patton's situational awareness – very much like the British GHQ Liaison Regiment did.
On 20 December 1948, the former 6th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 6th Armored Cavalry. The regiment returned to the United States from Germany in 1957 during Operation Gyroscope and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Inactivated in 1963, the regiment reactivated four years later at Fort Meade, Maryland, where it served through 31 March 1971 when the regiment was reduced to just the 1st Squadron, which departed for Fort Bliss, Texas. The 1st Squadron was inactivated there on 21 June 1973.
The lineage of the former Troop A, 6th Armored Cavalry was redesignated on 22 June 1973 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. The lineage of the former Troop B, 6th Armored Cavalry was redesignated on 1 July 1974 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated). Members of 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry, located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, were involved in testing of both the M-1 Abrams (H Company) and M-3 Bradley (E Troop) in the 1980s. The 2nd Squadron was inactivated on 30 May 1986 at Fort Knox, and then soon thereafter reactivated on 16 July 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas. Later it was assigned to the 11th Aviation Brigade of VII Corps in Germany.
In the summer of 1974, the Army decided to implement one of the recommendations of the Howze Board and created an air cavalry combat brigade. The assets of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Charles E. Canedy, were used to create the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat). 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, was transferred to the new brigade on 21 February 1975. The brigade served as a test bed for new concepts involving the employment of attack helicopters on the modern battlefield. (The 6th Cavalry Brigade's lineage is separate from the lineage of the 6th Cavalry Regiment.) Later, in the fall of 1990, two subordinate units of the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) deployed in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. One of those units was 2nd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, a Chinook battalion from Fort Hood.
On 15 December 1995 the 1st Squadron was inactivated at Fort Hood, and the 4th Squadron was also inactivated in late 1995. Thus only the 3rd Squadron remained at Fort Hood. By this time the 6th, through activations and inactivations, had long since transitioned from armor to aviation. The 1st Squadron was reactivated on July 1996 in Korea.
On July 16, 1986, four days after becoming the first unit to receive the AH-64A Apache helicopter, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry reactivated and reflagged as the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry. The 3-6 CAV call sign "Heavy Cav" draws on the 7-17 CAV lineage. Following the 7-17 CAV’s return from a distinguished tour in Vietnam, it became the United States Army's only Attack Helicopter Squadron with more AH-1 Cobras than any other unit. This lent itself to the name "Heavy Cav" which was subsequently adopted by 3-6 CAV as their call sign. The squadron served with distinction at Fort Hood from 1986 to 1996.
In December 1996, 3-6 CAV received orders to deploy to the Republic of Korea. Several months later, the squadron, consisting of 24 Apaches, stood ready to fight at Camp Humphreys, Korea. Assigned to the Eighth United States Army, its mission was to provide a screening force on the peninsula's Western coast. In May 2002 the unit was deactivated and reactivated at Fort Hood, TX in order to be outfitted with AH-64D. On June 15, 2006, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
In February 2003 2nd and 6th Squadrons were deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The units were accompanied by their group command unit, the 11th Aviation Group, and supporting AH-64 repair unit, the 7th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, all hailing from Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany. When units began making way into Iraq the 2nd and 6th Squadrons accompanied by several other units making up Task Force 11 flew into combat and became a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 2nd Squadron left Iraq to return to Germany and case their colors until return from the Unit Field Training Program at Ft. Hood TX, where their AH-64A Apaches were converted to AH-64D Apache models. Meanwhile in Iraq, the 6th Squadron was performing combat support and convoy safety operations until the unit received orders to return to home station in Germany. After returning to Illesheim and regaining full fighting strength the 6th Squadron received their sister squadron back into Storck Barracks. Together the 2nd and 6th Squadrons trained and began readiness to redeploy in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the Army Transformation the squadrons lost their command when the 11th Aviation Group cased its colors in June 2005, the units were absorbed by the 1st Infantry Division and redesignated, thus closing another chapter of the Fighting Sixth.
On 4 January 2005 2nd Squadron deployed from Germany to Afghanistan absorbing elements from other units to become Task Force Sabre. CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and the necessary support elements comprised the aviation task force which deployed to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
In 2005 and 2006 as a part of the Army Transformation, squadrons of the regiment were again reorganized, as the Army eliminated from its rolls those OH-58D Kiowa Warrior units designated as attack battalions in light infantry divisions. Several of these attack battalions were reflagged as squadrons of the 6th Cavalry Regiment, replacing AH-64 squadrons that were then redesignated as Armed Reconnaissance Battalions:
In 2006, 2nd Squadron deployed with its parent unit, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Wheeler Army Airfield to Iraq. The squadron was recognized with the Order of Daedalians' 2006 Brig. Gen. Carl I. Hutton Memorial Award for their safety record in preparation for the deployment. The Squadron returned to Hawaii in 2007 having lost only one aircrew to hostile fire.
In 2007, 1st Squadron and 4th Squadron deployed to Iraq. The squadrons along with 1st Squadron's parent brigade, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, replaced 2nd Squadron and its parent brigade. 4th Squadron returned to Fort Lewis during August and September 2008. In October 2008, 1st Squadron began to return to Fort Carson, being replaced by 6th Squadron. 6th Squadron has now taken over operations in Iraq with its parent brigade, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry).
From August 2015 to April 2016 3-6 CAV deployed to the Middle East in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve. The 3-6 CAV served with distinction during this deployment, to include selection as the 2015 Department of the Army LTG Ellis D. Parker Award Winner in the Combat Category and the Overall Best Aviation Battalion in the Army.
On March 16, 2015, the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas, and assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Again, 3-6 CAV led Army Aviation as the Army's first Heavy Attack Reconnaissance Squadron formed as part of the 2015 Army Aviation Restructuring Initiative. This conversion assigned three Shadow TUAS platoons to 3-6 CAV's 24 AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopters and combined the lethality and effectiveness of manned and unmanned aircraft.
The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade is a Combat Aviation Brigade of the United States Army. It is subordinate to I Corps and based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).
The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade currently consists of the following units:
16th Combat Aviation Brigade (16th CAB)
Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC)
4th Squadron (Heavy-Attack Reconnaissance), 6th Cavalry Regiment, AH-64E Apache and RQ-7 Shadow
1st Battalion (Attack), 229th Aviation Regiment, AH-64E Apache
2nd Battalion (Assault), 158th Aviation Regiment, UH-60 Black Hawk
1st Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation Regiment, UH-60, CH-47 Chinook and UH-60A+ (MEDEVAC) (supporting US Army Alaska)
46th Aviation Support Battalion (46th ASB)1st Garrison Division of Lanzhou Military Region (2nd Formation)
2nd Cavalry Division(Chinese: 骑兵第2师)(3rd formation) was formed in October 1962 from 4th and 5th Cavalry Regiment from 1st Cavalry Division, and 6th and 7th Independent Cavalry Regiment of Lanzhou Military Region.
The division was under direct control of Lanzhou Military Region. From 1962 to 1969 the division was composed of:
4th Cavalry Regiment;
5th Cavalry Regiment;
6th Cavalry Regiment;
7th Cavalry Regiment.In October 1969 7th Cavalry Regiment was detached from the division, and 2nd Independent Infantry Regiment of Gansu Provincial Military District attached, and the division was re-organized to an army division, catalogue A and renamed as 20th Army Division(Chinese: 陆军第20师), and its structure was re-organized as follows:
58th Infantry Regiment (former 2nd Independent Infantry Regiment of Gansu);
59th Infantry Regiment (former 4th Cavalry);
60th Infantry Regiment (former 5th Cavalry);
Artillery Regiment(former 6th Cavalry).The division then moved to Shizuishan, Ningxia.
In January 1983 the division was re-organized and renamed as 1st Garrison Division of Lanzhou Military Region(Chinese: 兰州军区守备第1师)(2nd formation). By then the division was composed of:
1st Garrison Regiment (former 58th Infantry);
2nd Garrison Regiment (former 59th Infantry);
3rd Garrison Regiment (former 60th Infantry);
Artillery Regiment.In October 1985 the division was disbanded. Its division HQ were converted to HQ Tank Brigade, 47th Army.2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment (Australia)
The 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment was a cavalry regiment of the Australian Army that served during the Second World War and was later converted into a commando unit. Formed at Ingleburn, New South Wales, in November 1939, it was originally raised as an armoured reconnaissance regiment attached to the 6th Division. In that role, the 2/6th saw action in the North Africa campaign and in the Middle East during 1940–41, where the regiment distinguished itself at Bardia, Tobruk and in Syria. Later, following Japan's entry into the war, the 6th Division was brought back to Australia and following a re-organisation, the regiment was converted into a cavalry commando regiment, incorporating the independent companies that had been formed at the start of the war. In late 1944, the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment was deployed to New Guinea, where it participated in one of the final Australian campaigns of the war in the Aitape–Wewak area.3rd Cavalry Division (United States)
The United States Army's 3rd Cavalry Division was created from the perceived need for additional cavalry units in the interwar period.
The 3rd Cavalry Division was largely a "paper" formation existing from 1927 to 1940. Its units were never assembled in a single location. The 3rd Cavalry Division was located in the United States and never deployed overseas. The division's shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 17 February 1928.Army Reserve Aviation Command
Army Reserve Aviation Command (ARAC) is the headquarters command for all aviation assets in the United States Army Reserve. It is a commanded by a Brigadier General and consists of approximately 5,000 Soldiers.Battle of Big Dry Wash
The Battle of Big Dry Wash was fought on July 17, 1882, between troops of the United States Army's 3rd Cavalry Regiment and 6th Cavalry Regiment and members of the White Mountain Apache tribe.The location of the battle was called "Big Dry Wash" in Major Evans' official report, but later maps called the location "Big Dry Fork", which is how it is cited in the four Medal of Honor citations that resulted from the battle.Benjamin H. Cheever Jr.
Benjamin Harrison Cheever Jr. (June 7, 1850 – October 21, 1930) was a US Army officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Indian Wars. He was born in Washington, D.C.
Cheever was appointed as second lieutenant of the 6th Cavalry Regiment in August 1876, and was promoted to first lieutenant in December 1881. He was promoted to Captain in March 1893, and served as an inspector general of US Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, serving in the Philippines. In September 1902, he was promoted to major in the 8th Cavalry Regiment, but returned to his old regiment half a year later, and continued serving until his retirement with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1910. He was later advanced to colonel on the retired listCheever died in Ventnor City, New Jersey and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.Forward Operating Base Fenty
Forward Operating Base (FOB) Fenty is a base built around Jalalabad Airport.Francisco da Silveira Pinto da Fonseca Teixeira, 1st Count of Amarante
Francisco da Silveira Pinto da Fonseca Teixeira (1 September 1763 – 27 May 1821), was the 1st Count of Amarante, who joined the Portuguese army and fought in the War of Oranges and other campaigns of the Peninsular War, as an offshoot of the Napoleonic Wars.Intervention Brigade (Portugal)
The Intervention Brigade (Portuguese: Brigada de Intervenção) or BrigInt is an infantry brigade in service with the Portuguese Army. It was created in 2006 from the Brigada de Intervenção Ligeira (Light Intervention Brigade), which was itself the heir of the former Special Forces Brigade (Brigada de Forças Especiais).James Brogan (Medal of Honor)
Edward James Brogan (1834 – October 30, 1908) was a United States Army soldier who served in the American Indian Wars. He received the Medal of Honor for his service.Brogan was born in County Donegal, Ireland, and later moved to Summit Hill, Pennsylvania. He joined the army in January 1864, and served with the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry during the American Civil War. By the time of his Medal of Honor action, he was serving as a sergeant in the 6th Cavalry Regiment.James F. Wade
James Franklin Wade (April 14, 1843 – August 23, 1921) served as a Major General of Volunteers in the United States Army during the Spanish–American War.
Wade was born in Jefferson, Ohio on April 14, 1843. His father, Senator Benjamin F. Wade, was a Radical Republican senator from Ohio during the Civil War, and a harsh critic of President Abraham Lincoln and his successor, Andrew Johnson.
James Wade commissioned a lieutenant in the 6th Cavalry Regiment (United States) from the state of Ohio on May 14, 1861, which he accepted on June 24, 1861. He performed exceptionally well at Beverly Ford on the Rappahannock River during the Battle of Brandy Station where he earned a brevet promotion to captain on June 9, 1863 for gallant and meritorious service.
Wade was appointed brevet lieutenant colonel of the 6th US Colored Cavalry on May 1, 1864 marking the start of a 23-year career commanding African-American cavalrymen. On September 19, 1864, he was promoted to colonel and commander of the regiment. He received a brevet promotion to major on December 19, 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in action at East Marion, Tennessee. Wade received further brevets to lieutenant colonel and colonel on March 13, 1865 . for meritorious service during the war, and yet another to brigadier general of volunteers on February 13, 1865 for gallant service in the campaign in southwestern Virginia.
On July 28, 1866, he was promoted to the permanent rank of major in the newly established 9th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on July 28, 1866. This was one of the "Buffalo Soldier" regiments which later became famous for their service on the frontier. Major Wade was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the 10th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on March 20, 1879.
Wade left the buffalo soldiers with his promotion to colonel of the 5th Cavalry Regiment (United States) on April 21, 1887. He served ten years as the commander of this regiment before he was promoted to brigadier general, US Army on May 26, 1897. Wade was promoted to major general of volunteers on May 4, 1898. Two days later, he assumed command of the Third Army Corps at Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia. Following the armistice in August, he became a member of the Cuban Evacuation Committee to oversee the removal of Spanish forces from Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Wade then returned to his Regular Army rank and the command of the Department of Dakota. In 1901 he was placed in command of the Department of Southern Luzon in the Philippines, and on April 13, 1903 he was promoted to the permanent rank of Major General and placed in command of the Division of the Philippines.
In 1904 he returned to the United States as commander of the Division of the Atlantic at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York City. In his final posting, he was in charge of all U.S. Army posts and activity east of the Mississippi River, serving until his retirement on April 14, 1907, after 46 years of service.John Connor (Medal of Honor)
John Connor (January 1, 1845 – February 5, 1907) was an American soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the American Indian Wars
Connor was born January 1, 1845 and after joining the United States Army from Jefferson, Texas in July 1869 was assigned to Company H, 6th Cavalry Regiment in the American Indian Wars. He participated in combat in Texas on the Wichita River on July 12, 1870, and received the Medal of Honor for what was described as "gallantry in action" there.He was promoted Sergeant the following December, and was discharged in July 1874. He re-enlisted in January 1875, joining the 2nd Artillery Regiment, and served until December 1890.He died on February 5, 1907 and is buried in the United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. His grave can be found in section K-7258.List of Kentucky Confederate Civil War units
This is a list of Kentucky Confederate Civil War Confederate units. The list of Kentucky Union Civil War units is shown separately.Northern Territory Force
Northern Territory Force was an Australian Army force responsible for protecting the Northern Territory during World War II. Most units assigned to the Northern Territory Force were based near Darwin and were responsible for defending the important naval and air bases in and around the town against a feared Japanese invasion. Northern Territory Force was briefly re-named the 12th Division in late 1942 but this was short-lived. Australian Army units were rotated through northern Australia during the war and six infantry brigades served as part of Northern Territory Force between 1942 and 1945. The formation was reduced over the course of the war as the strategic situation in the Pacific turned in the Allies' favour, although remnants remained until the end of the war. In early 1946, it was converted back to the 7th Military District.Richard B. Paddock
Richard Bolles Paddock (1859–1901) was a United States Army officer, close friend and brother-in-law to John J. Pershing, and one of the few American officers who died while on duty in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Paddock served in the American Southwest during the Apache Wars, as well as the Pine Ridge Campaign (1890–91), the Battle of San Juan Hill (1898) in Cuba during the Spanish–American War, and finally the China Relief Expedition (1900–01). Paddock served as a lieutenant and captain in the 13th Infantry Regiment, the 4th Cavalry Regiment, and the 6th Cavalry Regiment.Robert Murray Morris
Robert Murray Morris (1824–1896) was a military officer in the U. S. Army and Union Army. From 1846, he served as a U. S. Army officer in the Mexican–American War and in the antebellum western frontier of the United States in the Regiment of Mounted Rifles, renamed 3rd Cavalry Regiment in August 1861 at the start of the American Civil War. From 1863 he served as a Major in the 6th Cavalry Regiment in the Civil War and afterwards in Texas and Kansas until his retirement in 1873.Samuel Whitside
Samuel M. Whitside was a United States Cavalry officer who served from 1858 to 1902. He commanded at every level from company to department for 32 of his 43 years in service, including Army posts such a Camp Huachuca, Jefferson Barracks, and Fort Sam Houston, the Departments of Eastern Cuba and Santiago and Puerto Principe, Cuba, commanded a provisional cavalry brigade (consisting of the 10th and 5th Cavalry Regiments), a squadron in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, and a troop and platoon in the 6th Cavalry Regiment. The pinnacle of his career was serving as the commanding general of the Department of Eastern Cuba before retiring in June 1902 as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army.Most history books record three events during his career: the founding of Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the massacre at Wounded Knee, and his continued role as a battalion commander during the Pine Ridge Campaign of 1890–91. These events are arguably the most noteworthy in Whitside's four decades in the U.S. cavalry.