Primary Source Material
on the Soldiers and the Battles
Home The Armies The Soldiers The Battles Civilians Articles
If this website has been useful to you, please consider making a Donation.

Your support will help keep this website free for everyone, and will allow us to do more research. Thank you for your support!

3rd Wisconsin Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History

Third Wisconsin Cavalry. — Cols., William A. Barstow, Thomas Derry; Lieut. - Cols., Richard H. White, Elias A. Calkins, David S. Vittam, Theodore Conkey; Majs., Elias A. Calkins, Thomas Derry, Lorenzo B. Reed, Benjamin S. Henning, William Culbertson, John C. Schroeling, James B. Pond. This regiment was organized at Camp Barstow, Janesville, and was mustered in at various dates from Nov. 30, 1861, to Jan. 31, 1862. It left the state March 26, 1862, for St. Louis, and 12 men were killed and 28 injured in a railway accident near Chicago while en route. The regiment was sent to Leavenworth May 22, Col. Barstow being appointed provost marshal-general of Kansas. Cos. C, F, I and M were ordered to Fort Scott June 12, under the command of Maj. Henning, who took charge of the post. Bushwhackers and roving bands of guerrillas were speedily driven from that vicinity which was an outpost. Co. I was sent to Carthage, Mo., to protect loyalists, disperse guerrillas and keep watch on the enemy, and Co. C went to Trading Post for similar duty. Upon learning that a large force of the enemy was concentrating near Montevallo, Mo., Co. I was ordered to march from Carthage to meet forces from Fort Scott in an attack. Reaching the point in advance of the troops from Fort Scott, Co. I, under Capt. Conkey, charged through the camp of the enemy, 2,000 strong, and pushed on, but missed Col. Barstow, who was leading the approaching troops by another road. The company proceeded to Montevallo, where it engaged in a skirmish, and then started for Fort Scott, but was attacked by a greatly superior body of the enemy and escaped with a loss of 4 men captured. Cos. F. and I accompanied an expedition in pursuit of the enemy in August and Co. I had the front at Taberville, being especially mentioned for gallantry in the official report. Cos. C and F were detached in September and employed until Jan., 1863, in scout and train guard duty, Cos. I and M replacing them at the fort. C and G made a part of the garrison until July. In the assignment in June of the previous year, Co. D was sent to Atchison, Co. G to Shawnee, Co. L to Aubrey, Cos. B and H to post duty at Fort Leavenworth, and Cos. A, E and K to provost duty in the city of Leavenworth. The last three were also engaged in scouting expeditions through the border counties of Missouri and on Sept. 13, six companies were attached to the 1st brigade, Army of Missouri and sent to Indian creek in southwest Missouri. They took part in the battles of Cane Hill and Prairie Grove, were ordered to Fort Scott the following June, and reached there July 5. On May 30 Cos. B, G, H, I and M, while on escort duty, repulsed 1,500 Texans and Indians with heavy loss to the enemy, and in June, as part of an escort of 1,000 men, they defeated a greatly superior force, driving it 50 miles across the country. Arriving at Fort Blunt, their destination, these companies were attached to the 3d brigade, Army of the Frontier, and took part in the battle of Honey Springs. They were engaged in scouting and skirmishing most of the summer and fall, were joined at Van Buren, Ark., in October by Cos. E and K and the detachment routed a superior force at Waldron. The following day it put a large force of Indians to flight and it defeated a force of 1,000 in the Mulberry mountains in November. These seven companies were stationed at Van Buren from Nov., 1863, to Feb., 1864, on escort and guard duty. Co. I, while serving as escort to Gen. Blunt in Oct., 1863, was attacked by 500 of Quantrill's band. It made a gallant resistance, which secured the safety of the commanding general, but it was compelled to retreat with a loss of 22 killed, and 4 wounded, the most serious loss any company in the regiment sustained. In Jan., 1864, three-fourths of the regiment reenlisted and after a furlough were sent to Benton barracks. The regiment was ordered to Memphis in July and sent to Devall's Bluff, Ark. It engaged in picket duty and scouting service in the vicinity of Huntersville and Little Rock most of the time until Aug. 28. A detachment under Maj. Derry, with other mounted troops, numbering 800 in all, routed a body of 1,200 cavalry, and 145 men under Maj. Derry took part in an expedition to Fort Smith in September. The remaining companies were stationed at various points in Missouri, except Co. M. which was sent to Pawnee, Kan. Most of the regiment remained near Little Rock during the winter, engaged in scout, guard, patrol and skirmish duty. The regiment was reorganized April 19, 1865, and that part which was stationed at Little Rock was consolidated into Cos. A, B, C, D and E, this battalion leaving for St. Louis on April 21. From there it went to Springfield, Mo., for post duty, and was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Sept. 8, 1865. The remaining companies performed the usual scout, guard and forage duty during the summer, F, H, I and K being mustered out Sept. 29, and G and L Oct. 27 and 23 respectively. The original strength of the regiment was 1,186. Gain by recruits, 962; substitutes, 18; veteran reenlistments, 357; total, 2,523. Loss by death, 215; missing, 9; desertion, 126; transfer, 64; discharge, 418; mustered out, 1,691.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 4

Whats New
About Us

Copyright 2010 by
A Division of