Regimental Orders No. 1 was issued on August 15, 1861. It assigned officers to companies and directed that recruiting begin immediately in Pennsylvania, Ohio and western New York. Camp Scott was organized on the outskirts of Pittsburgh for the new regiment. On September 12th, the regiment moved its camp to Bladensburg, Maryland, where it received its mounts over the following month. On October 12th, it moved to its camp of instruction, known as Camp East of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., where it remained until the beginning of the Peninsula campaign.
Companies B, D, E, F, G, H, I and K had been organized by the time the regiment reached Washington. Company B was recruited in Pittsburgh. Company D was recruited in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Company E was recruited elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Company F was recruited in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Company G was recruited in Pittsburgh, and Company H in Philadelphia. Company I was wholly recruited in Rochester, New York, and Company K in Rochester and Columbus.
On October 15th, Lieutenant Frederick Dodge arrived from Philadelphia with enough recruits for Company A, which was organized on that date. Company M, also recruited in Pittsburgh, and the regimental band were organized on November 1st. Company C wasn’t organized until December 23rd, due to the absence of all of its assigned officers. Company L, recruited in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, was organized later and didn’t join the regiment until the following summer.
Training progressed quickly, with daily drills conducted at the squadron and regimental level by the end of October. Supplies and equipment were an issue throughout the fall, even such common items as uniform pants. The regiment was initially armed only with sabers and pistols according to the plan. The designated “flank squadron,” Companies B and H, were to be equipped with carbines, but didn’t receive them until the following February.
In addition to the daily drills, the regiment also built its own camp of instruction. When they arrived, “Camp East of the Capitol” was simply an open field near the river. By year’s end, the regiment was ensconced in quarters and stables of their own construction.