I’ve been spending some quality time with the regimental returns of the 1st U.S. Cavalry of late. They were the only regiment not to publish a regimental history in the latter half of the 19th Century, relying on the chapter provided to The Army of the United States in 1896 for posterity. I was trying to piece together the extent of their participation in the Peninsula Campaign when I came across the following from the April 1862 monthly return:
“Companies A, B, C, F, I + K 1st Cavalry left camp near Alexandria, Va Mar. 29, ’62. Embarked in schooners and arrived at Hampton, Va about the 3rd of April ’62. Left camp April 4th and encamped on Kentucky Farm same day. Companies E + H left camp near Alexandria April 2nd and arrived at Hampton on the 4th, left camp on the 6th and joined the other companies on Kentucky Farm same day. All of the eight companies left camp on the 11th + arrived at Camp near Ship Point same day. Left Camp near Ship Point on the 24th and arrived at this camp same day.”
“This camp” meaning camp Winfield Scott, where they and the other regular cavalry regiments on the peninsula resided during the siege of Yorktown.
I had never heard of Kentucky Farm before, despite living on the peninsula for a couple of years. I checked my General Index to the O.R. — no mention. Then I used a search engine (we won’t discuss what it could mean that I checked the O.R. before a search engine) and discovered that it is still there. At over 180 acres with land worth what it is these days, they must have been quite successful over the years. But for a week in April 1862 it was host to a little over 300 members of the regular cavalry.