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Command Ops Battles From The Bulge Crack



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.[2] 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 reconnaissance in Virginia of Centreville, Manassas Junction, 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. The regiment experienced combat for the first time 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. In this battle CPT Sanders executed a counter charge into 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 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, Sugarloaf Mountain (Maryland), Middletown, and Charleston. The regiment marched to the Rappahannock River on 24 November and remained in the vicinity until the men marched on Fredericksburg on 12 December.




Command Ops Battles From The Bulge Crack



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, 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.


"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."[4]


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.[5] 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.[2] 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 Major General Philip Sheridan were heavily engaged four days later in the Battle of Todd's Tavern in Todd's Tavern, Virginia. The 6th US Cavalry participated in several other raids and battles in Virginia 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 in Richmond, where J. E. B Stuart was killed, the Battle of Trevilian Station in Louisa County, the Battle of Berryville in Clarke County, the Battle of Opequon near Winchester, and the Battle of Cedar Creek in Frederick County, Shenandoah County and Warren County.[2]


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.[12] 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.[12] 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.


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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2]


One squadron would fulfill the duties of the AIS, while the other, in conjunction with the associated parts of the AIS squadron not needed for that role (the tank company and assault gun troop), would serve as a security force for the Army headquarters and "hip pocket" reserve for the Army Commander.[17] The two Squadrons would rotate duties on a 21-day cycle, with a reconnaissance Troop being assigned to every Corps HQ, and platoons detached for every Division. When necessary, Sections (typically 2 Jeeps with an M8 Greyhound) could be detached down to the Regimental level.[18] These detachments all reported to the Squadron operations center, which directly reported up to Third Army HQ, speeding up information flow to the Army level. During Operation Cobra in 1944, the 28th SQDN (supplemented by B TRP, 6th SQDN) provided 15 detachments spread out across the 4 Corps and 11 Divisions in the Third Army, and an additional detachment to provide command and control for AIS nodes in the Brittany Peninsula. The standard time for an AIS message to go from battlefield to Army headquarters averaged two hours, twenty minutes, while the conventional channels took eight to nine hours.[18]


While continuing to provide reconnaissance and security for Third Army units during the Brittany Campaign, on 27 August 1944 A TRP, 28th SQDN was dispatched South to reconnoiter the Loire River from Orléans to Saumur, a distance of 100 miles. The Troop successfully completed this mission in two days, and ensured that all bridges over the river were destroyed so no German counterattack could drive into the Third Army's southern flank. Although Third Army operations covered some 475 miles at the beginning of September 1944, the 6th Cavalry moved information so quickly to Army HQ that GEN Patton was afforded an unprecedented amount of flexibility and battlefield awareness. On 5 September, LTC James H. Polk was replaced by COL Edward Fickett to command the 6th Cavalry, and LTC Polk would go on to command the 3rd MCG. On 18 September, GEN Patton ordered the creation of a Task Force consisting of the assault gun Troops (E/6th and E/28th SQDNs) and the tank Company of the 6th SQDN (F CO), with minor supporting elements to assist TF Polk in operations along the Moselle River. During these operations, the tanks and assault guns provided fire support and gained valuable combat experience until 30 September.[18]


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