Conversion of Cavalry Regiments

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Couvi
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Annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance. – 1919, GPO, Washington, 1920, pp. 5074-78:

Conversion of Cavalry Regiments to Field Artillery Regiments in World War I.
Has anyone else ever heard of this? There is also a minor Mexican Border connection here, too.

In addition to the 21 regiments of Regular Army Field Artillery which have been discussed, 8 regiments of Regular Cavalry were converted into Field Artillery in July, 1917. This action was due primarily to the shortage of Field Artillery. As plans for organization into divisions took form it became evident that there was a considerable surplus of Infantry, enough for at least two divisions in the Regular Army. This illustrates the disproportion existing between the Field Artillery and the Infantry in the prewar organization. Eight Cavalry Regiments were converted into Field Artillery. These were the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Cavalry. These eight regiments were those which had resulted from an expansion of the Cavalry in June, 1917, under conditions exactly similar to those governing the expansion in the Field Artillery at the same time. They had been formed as follows: {Chart}

New Regiment - Organized at: - Organized from:

Eighteenth Cavalry - Fort Ethan Allen, VT - Second Cavalry
Nineteenth Cavalry - Fort Ethan Allen, VT - Second Cavalry
Twentieth Cavalry - Fort Riley, KS - Thirteenth Cavalry
Twenty-first Cavalry - Fort Riley, KS - Thirteenth Cavalry
Twenty-second Cavalry - Chickamauga Park, GA - Eleventh Cavalry
Twenty-third Cavalry - Chickamauga Park, GA - Eleventh Cavalry
Twenty-fourth Cavalry - Fort D.A. Russell, Wyo. - First Cavalry
Twenty-fifth Cavalry - Fort D.A. Russell, Wyo. - First Cavalry

While these regiments contained a larger proportion of enlisted men with previous service than did the Field Artillery regiments, due to the fact that the regiments from which they had been formed had not been drawn on in the first expansion in 1916, this advantage was much more than offset by the fact that the previous service of this trained personnel had not been with the Field Artillery. Both officers and men completely lacked Field Artillery experience. By the time the regiments had been brought up to war strength more than two-thirds of the enlisted personnel were raw recruits. The shortage in officers was almost as serious as in the Field Artillery.

Orders directing that these eight Cavalry regiments be trained as Field Artillery were issued by the War Department on July 19, 1917. Due to the fact that the law forbade the transfer of an organization from one branch to another, they were directed to continue their organization as Cavalry regiments until the legislation necessary to legalize the conversion could be obtained from Congress. This legislation was not forthcoming until August 6, 1917. While some attempt at Field Artillery training had been made in these Cavalry regiments prior to this order, the fact that they retained their Cavalry organization, were without Field Artillery equipment of any kind, and possessed no officers with Field Artillery experience, made this training of little value except for general disciplinary purposes. The date on which they actually became Field Artillery units and commenced training as such may be taken as subsequent to the receipt of General Order 139, War Department, issued on November 1, 1917, in which their conversion into Field Artillery for the period of the war was directed under authority of the act of Congress approved August 6, 1917. The converted regiments were designated as the Seventy-sixth to the Eighty-third Field Artillery, inclusive, the Eighteenth Cavalry becoming the Seventy-sixth Field Artillery, the Nineteenth Cavalry becoming the Seventy-seventh Field Artillery, etc.

General plan of conversion, of Cavalry regiments to Field Artillery regiments.

Cavalry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Field Artillery.
Headquarters company-Headquarters company.

Troop A, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery A, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop B, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Troop C, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery B, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop D, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Troop E, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery C, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop F, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Troop G, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery D, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop H, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Troop I, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery E, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop K, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Troop L, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants - Battery F, 2 captains and 6 lieutenants
Troop M, 1 captain, 3 lieutenants-

Considering that these 8 converted Cavalry regiments were Field Artillery in August, 1917, it will be seen that at that time the Regular Army Field Artillery forces consisted of 29 separate regiments. There had been no attempt made as yet to form any organization beyond the regiment. On August 3, 1917, the War Department in General Order 101 laid down the composition of an Infantry division. Each division included a brigade of Field Artillery composed of brigade headquarters, two regiments of 3-inch or 75-mm. guns, one regiment of 6-inch or 155-mm. howitzers, and a trench mortar battery. The ammunition train, while actually an important factor in the Field Artillery, was not included in the artillery brigade, but formed part of the division trains. Later ammunition trains were organized and trained by the Field Artillery, and for all practical purposes formed a part of the Artillery brigade, although never officially designated as such.1

1 Authorized commissioned personnel, maximum strength: Cavalry regiment, 88; Light Artillery regiment, 57.

The War Department order establishing the composition of the Infantry Division was the forerunner of the higher organization of the military forces, the general plan of which was to set forth in a memorandum for the Chief of Staff from the War Plans Division, under date of September 11, 1917. This memorandum said in part:

The plan is to have in Europe 1 army of 5 corps, 30 divisions, in time for an offensive in 1918, and 2 additional armies of 5 corps each, or a total of 90 divisions, in 1919.

While this plan called for only 30 divisions immediately, 42 were organized, 8 from the Regular Army forces, 17 in the National Guard, and 17 in the National Army. This necessitated the formation of 8 Field Artillery brigades from the 29 regular Field Artillery regiments.

The units to compose the First Field Artillery brigade, the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Regiments, had been designated early in the summer of 1917, until a tentative plan of organization formulated for the First Division, and as has been previously shown, they were already on their way overseas. Organization of this brigade was effected at Valdahon, France, where it was sent for training. Its brigade headquarters was formed by transfer of officers and enlisted men from the three regiments concerned. Its trench mortar battery, designated as the first trench mortar battery, was organized in this country from five companies of Coast Artillery Corps, and joined the brigade at Valdahon in November, 1917. Its ammunition train, designated as the first ammunition train, joined at the same time. The motor section of the ammunition train had been organized at Fort Totten, N. Y., from truck companies numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4, Coast Artillery Corps, and its horsed section at Camp Baker, Tex., from personnel from the Seventh, Eighth, and Twelfth Cavalry. Thus it will be seen that units of this brigade were not concentrated until November, 1917.

While Gen. March had been assigned originally as the brigade commander, due to more important duties he never acted as such directly. Col. W. S. McNair, who commanded the Sixth Field Artillery when it arrived in France, and who was promoted to the grade of brigadier general immediately upon arrival overseas, assumed command of the three regiments on August 26, 1917. He was ordered back to the United States to take command of the National Army brigade in the latter part of September. The brigade was then without a commander until October 12, when Brig. Gen. C. A. McKinstry, an Engineer officer, was assigned. He was relieved on December 23, 1917, by Brig. Gen. C. P. Summerall, a Field Artillery man, under whom the organization of the brigade was completed. This brigade can not be considered to have begun to function as a brigade until January, 1918, only a week or two before it moved to the front as a part of the First Division.

Orders for the organization of the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Field Artillery brigades, as a part of divisions bearing the same respective numbers, were issued by the War Department at various times between September 22 and December 17, 1917. When finally organized into brigades the 29 regiments of Regular Army Field Artillery, including the eight converted Cavalry regiments, were assigned as follows:

First Field Artillery Brigade - Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Regiments.
Second Field Artillery Brigade - Seventeenth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Regiments.
Third Field Artillery Brigade - Eighteenth, Tenth, and Seventy-sixth Regiments.
Fourth Field Artillery Brigade - Thirteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventy-seventh Regiments.
Fifth Field Artillery Brigade - Twenty-first, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Regiments.
Sixth Field Artillery Brigade - Eleventh, Third, and Seventy-eighth Regiments.
Seventh Field Artillery Brigade - Eighth, Seventy-ninth, and Eightieth Regiments.
Eighth Field Artillery Brigade - Second, Eighty-first, and Eighty-third Regiments.

Unassigned to brigades, Ninth, First, Fourth, Fourteenth, and Eighty-second Regiments.

In each brigade the first-named regiment was the 155-mm., or heavy regiment, the last two being the 75-mm., or light regiments. In case of the unassigned regiments, the Fourth was mountain artillery, armed with the 2.95 howitzer, and the Eighty-second, a converted Cavalry regiment, was armed with 3-inch guns. The Eighty-second Field Artillery and the Fourth Field Artillery, less Batteries E and F, were kept in this country for duty on the Mexican border. Batteries E and F of the Fourth Field Artillery remained in the Canal Zone. Later two batteries were added to the portion of the Fourth Field Artillery in this country, completing the regimental organization, while the two batteries in the Canal Zone were organized into a battalion designated as "The Separate Battalion, Mountain Artillery." The Ninth Field Artillery, organized as a heavy regiment, and the First and Fourteenth Field Artillery, organized as light regiments, remained on duty in this country throughout the war as school troops at the Field Artillery School of Fire at Fort Sill, Okla. The dates on which the various regiments were assigned to brigades can by no means be taken as indicating when these brigades were organized and functioning as brigades. This is shown in the following tables, which give the location of the various regiments at the time they were assigned to brigades, the date on which, and the place at which, the eight brigades were separately concentrated.

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA5074 ... &q&f=false


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Thanks Couvi. It’s a very valuable information you've dug out.


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Couvi wrote:These eight regiments were those which had resulted from an expansion of the Cavalry in June, 1917, under conditions exactly similar to those governing the expansion in the Field Artillery at the same time. They had been formed as follows: {Chart}

New Regiment - Organized at: - Organized from:

Eighteenth Cavalry - Fort Ethan Allen, VT - Second Cavalry
Nineteenth Cavalry - Fort Ethan Allen, VT - Second Cavalry
Twentieth Cavalry - Fort Riley, KS - Thirteenth Cavalry
Twenty-first Cavalry - Fort Riley, KS - Thirteenth Cavalry
Twenty-second Cavalry - Chickamauga Park, GA - Eleventh Cavalry
Twenty-third Cavalry - Chickamauga Park, GA - Eleventh Cavalry
Twenty-fourth Cavalry - Fort D.A. Russell, Wyo. - First Cavalry
Twenty-fifth Cavalry - Fort D.A. Russell, Wyo. - First Cavalry
That's interesting. So before the conversion into artillery, there's an expansion of teh cavalry from the old regiments. Presumably they used cadre from the old ones to form the new ones?
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Couvi wrote:Due to the fact that the law forbade the transfer of an organization from one branch to another, they were directed to continue their organization as Cavalry regiments until the legislation necessary to legalize the conversion could be obtained from Congress. This legislation was not forthcoming until August 6, 1917.
Another curious oddity. What was the purpose of the statutory prohibition on branch conversion? Pre war strength authorization?
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I wonder where they thought they were going to use that much Cavalry! There was also too much Infantry. The structure of he Infantry divisions was very large and some of those 'square' structured units were still in that configuration in WWII. Later they went to the 'triangular' divisions that were smaller and a bit more maneuverable. The conversion of Cavalry Regiments to Field Artillery reflects the static state of WWI and the need for enormous amounts of Field Artillery.
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I thought the following extract from "History of the Thirteenth Cavalry" printed in 1925 might be of some interest.
May 18 1917, the regiment was ordered to Ft Riley, Kansas. Here the 13th was called upon to furnish the nucleus for two new regiments of Cavalry, namely the 20th and 21st, later to be designated as the 78th and 79th Field Artillery, both of these regiments seeing active service in France during the World War.
Colonel C.A. Hedekin took command of the regiment on June 20 1917, and although he found it depleted in numerical strength, due to furnishing so many men to make up the 20th and 21st Cavalry, he found no lack of the fighting spirit that has ever characterized the men of the 13th.
.

In relation to this I also have a photo album from a member of the 13th cavalry, on the opening page it reads
This is a photo album of the late Sgt McNelly, also the rightful owner. Of the 13th Cav. But later transferred to the 21st Cav. When we turned into artillery the M.G.T. combined with the Hd.Qrs. troop and formed Hd.Qrs. Co.
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Reflecting the immobility of the War, more of the continuing saga of the conversion of Cavalry units to Field Artillery units.

Annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance – 1919, GPO, Washington, page 5051: The Regular Army Field Artillery. – The fact that Cavalry regiments could not be used in Europe to the same extent as the other arms of the service permitted the conversion of certain of the Cavalry units into Field Artillery. The Eighteenth to the Twenty-fifth Cavalry Regiments, inclusive, were converted into Field Artillery under authority of General Order 139, War Department, November 1, 1917. As late as August, 1917, no attempt had been made to brigade these 29 regiments of Regular Field Artillery. General Order 101, dated August 3. 1917, laid down the composition of an Infantry division, at the same time outlining the organization of an Artillery brigade.

Annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance – 1919, GPO, Washington, pages 5109-10: Organization and Training of the National Army Field Artillery. – The problems relative to the National Army Field Artillery which confronted the office of the chief of Field Artillery upon the establishment of the latter were: first, to build up the organization of these units, which had been seriously depleted to fill up the Regular Army and National Guard units; second, to obviate the constant demands on these units for replacements; third, to supply materiel for their instruction; fourth, to train the reserve officers whose training up to this time consisted of a cursory course at a training camp; and fifth, to organize and train the brigade units themselves.

To this end replacement depots for the training of Field Artillery personnel were immediately established at Camp Jackson and Camp Zachary Taylor. These depots not only supplied troops to the depleted National Army brigades, but permitted the brigades to hold and train such of the drafted men as were assigned to the brigades directly.
Materiel was distributed to all the National Army camps on an equal basis, thus permitting rapid strides to be made in training. Reserve officers were sent to Fort Sill from all the regiments to guarantee a basic grounding in Field Artillery subjects. Specialists, such as aero observers and radio experts, were sent to special training centers.
On July 31, 1918, the following memorandum for the director of operations was published:

The Secretary of War has approved the transfer of the Cavalry regiments of the National Army numbered consecutively from the Three hundred and first to the Three hundred and fifteenth regiments, inclusive, to the Field Artillery arm National Army. You will issue the necessary Instructions for their transfer consulting the chief of Field Artillery and assigning the regiments to the Field Artillery brigades in the National Army divisions which have been authorized.

National Army Cavalry Regiments transferred to Field Artillery.

Three hundred and first Cavalry, organized into Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Field Artillery and Sixteenth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and second Cavalry, organized into Forty-eighth and Sixty-fourth Field Artillery and Twenty-ninth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and third Cavalry, organized into Fifty-second and Fifty-third Field Artillery and Eighteenth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and fourth Cavalry, organized into Forty-third and Fifty-fourth Field Artillery and Twenty-fifth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and fifth Cavalry, organized into Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Field Artillery and Fifteenth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and sixth Cavalry, organized into Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Field Artillery and Seventeenth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and seventh Cavalry, organized into Fifty-first and Fifty-fifth Field Artillery and Twenty-seventh Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and eighth Cavalry, organized into Sixty-fifth and Sixty-sixth Field Artillery and Twenty-second Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and ninth Cavalry, organized into Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Field Artillery and Nineteenth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and tenth Cavalry, organized Into Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Field Artillery and Twentieth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and eleventh Cavalry, organized into Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Field Artillery and Twenty-third Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and twelfth Cavalry, organized into Sixtieth and Sixty-first Field Artillery and Twenty-eighth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and thirteenth Cavalry, organized into Sixty-ninth and Seventieth Field Artillery and Twenty-sixth Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and fourteenth Cavalry, organized into Sixty-second and Sixty-third Field Artillery and Twenty-first Trench Mortar Battery.

Three hundred and fifteenth Cavalry, organized into Seventy-first and Seventy-second Field Artillery and Twenty-fourth Trench Mortar Battery.

NOTE. – Three hundred and sixteenth, Three hundred and seventeenth, Three hundred and eighteenth, Three hundred and nineteenth, and Three hundred and twentieth were authorized but never organized.
The commanding officers of the regiments who belong to the Regular Cavalry will be given the option by wire, of being transferred to service with regular regiments of Cavalry.

On August 2, 1918, orders were issued for this transfer. From each regiment of Cavalry two regiments of Field Artillery .were organized. Six troops of Cavalry were assigned to each regiment for the formation into six batteries, together with a proportionate part of the headquarters troop and supply troop to form the nuclei of the headquarters company and supply company of the Artillery regiments thus organized. The, machine-gun troops were organized into trench mortar batteries for assignment to brigades as needed.

These converted regiments were numbered from 43 to 73 inclusive and the trench mortar batteries from 15 to 24, inclusive. The regiments were assigned to the brigades numbered 15 to 20, inclusive, and the trench mortar batteries to the Fifteenth to Twenty-fourth brigades.

The, following table shows the stations of the Cavalry regiments thus formed and the stations at which they were, organized. It further shows the trench mortar batteries into which the machinegun troops were converted. The second table shows the brigades and trench mortar batteries organized from these regiments, for what armament they were organized, and their strength and station on November 11, 1918,

{Chart: Cavalry Regiment, Station, Strength, Destination. Note that the Machine Gun Troops were converted to Trench Mortar Batteries. Quite a change from being Cavalry}

http://books.google.com/books?ei=srIDT_ ... ce&f=false
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Couvi wrote:I wonder where they thought they were going to use that much Cavalry! There was also too much Infantry. The structure of he Infantry divisions was very large and some of those 'square' structured units were still in that configuration in WWII. Later they went to the 'triangular' divisions that were smaller and a bit more maneuverable. The conversion of Cavalry Regiments to Field Artillery reflects the static state of WWI and the need for enormous amounts of Field Artillery.
While I'm going sheerly off of memory, I think the Pershing was of the same mind that British generals had been earlier in the war (and really still were) that when the big breakthrough came, cavalry would be needed to exploit it. So the thought was that there'd be a need for a lot of cavalry at that time. The British had kept significant large cavalry formations throughout the war for the same reason.

It's tempting to be critical of that view now, but there's some evidence to suggest it was correct. The British had at least one instance in which cavalry did make some significant advances in 1918. Earlier it had been hindered from exploiting breakthroughs not because it wasn't viable, but because communicating the breakthrough to the cavalry communications had been too slow. And the Germans had not been able to exploit their 1918 breakthroughs because they lacked cavalry.

The thing that nobody saw coming was that Germany would collapse internally. Perhaps that should have been anticipated to a degree, as the Russians had in 1917. But when the German collapse came it didn't come at the front, but at home, which the Allies hadn't seen coming. So the cavalry never did see its anticipated use.
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At least some of the cavalry machine gun troops were assigned to machine gun units. Some other troops stayed mounted but were assigned to headquarters as couriers etc.
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Philip S wrote:At least some of the cavalry machine gun troops were assigned to machine gun units. Some other troops stayed mounted but were assigned to headquarters as couriers etc.
And, as we've seen elsewhere, some were assigned as cavalry troops within the divisions, sort of on the French model.
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Pat Holscher wrote:
Philip S wrote:At least some of the cavalry machine gun troops were assigned to machine gun units. Some other troops stayed mounted but were assigned to headquarters as couriers etc.
And, as we've seen elsewhere, some were assigned as cavalry troops within the divisions, sort of on the French model.
I've been looking for that thread, but haven't found it yet, but thought I'd bump that one up as it relates ton another thread.
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The organization of the 36th was thus accomplished as painlessly as possible. Perhaps the most unhappy men among the Texas Guardsmen were those of the 1st Texas Cavalry. Since the cavalry had, according to Captain Spence, always considered itself "to be the superior branch of service," it was quite a comedown for them to become artillerymen.10
http://www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.or ... chap2a.htm
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Couvi wrote:I wonder where they thought they were going to use that much Cavalry! There was also too much Infantry. The structure of he Infantry divisions was very large and some of those 'square' structured units were still in that configuration in WWII. Later they went to the 'triangular' divisions that were smaller and a bit more maneuverable. The conversion of Cavalry Regiments to Field Artillery reflects the static state of WWI and the need for enormous amounts of Field Artillery.
In pondering WWI Cavalry again, I ran across an item that indicated some states were proactive in this. Wisconsin's AG ordered the addition of new cavalry formations to their existing ones, which must have been a bit of let down as those new cavalrymen were undoubtedly converted to something else pretty quickly.
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From the Director of the 3rd Cavalry Museum:

3rd Cavalry Regiment inWWI

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment was sent to France after war was declared, but they
operated remount stations. K Troop is shown in the Order of Battle by itself.

WORLD WAR I

"It is the horse which takes the ration cart forward over shell-swept,
shell-pitted roads to the men in the line. It is the horse which likewise
takes forward the water. It is the horse, too, which transports most of the
small arms ammunition and some of the artillery shells, and it is the horse
who does this when conditions are the hardest and the weather the worst."


Stars and Stripes, 29 November 29 1918.

The 3d Cavalry Regiment sailed to England on the S.S. Northland arriving at
Liverpool on 1 November 1917.

On 5 November the Regiment sailed for Le Havre, France. Regimental Headquarters
Troop, Machine Gun Troop and 3rd Squadron moved to Bourbonne-les-Bains and
established a remount depot.

1st Squadron was sent to Bordeaux where it also established a reception depot.

2nd Squadron was sent to Gondrecourt. 2nd Squadron performed various
duties: fatigue duty at the I Corps Infantry and Artillery School at Gondrecourt;
then to the Veterinarian Hospital at Neufchateau; then to Dijon for Military Police
duty; and finally to Montiers-sur-Saulx where it also operated a remount depot.

Campaign streamers earned:
WWI Victory without inscription
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Couvi wrote:From the Director of the 3rd Cavalry Museum:

3rd Cavalry Regiment inWWI

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment was sent to France after war was declared, but they
operated remount stations. K Troop is shown in the Order of Battle by itself.

WORLD WAR I

"It is the horse which takes the ration cart forward over shell-swept,
shell-pitted roads to the men in the line. It is the horse which likewise
takes forward the water. It is the horse, too, which transports most of the
small arms ammunition and some of the artillery shells, and it is the horse
who does this when conditions are the hardest and the weather the worst."


Stars and Stripes, 29 November 29 1918.

The 3d Cavalry Regiment sailed to England on the S.S. Northland arriving at
Liverpool on 1 November 1917.

On 5 November the Regiment sailed for Le Havre, France. Regimental Headquarters
Troop, Machine Gun Troop and 3rd Squadron moved to Bourbonne-les-Bains and
established a remount depot.

1st Squadron was sent to Bordeaux where it also established a reception depot.

2nd Squadron was sent to Gondrecourt. 2nd Squadron performed various
duties: fatigue duty at the I Corps Infantry and Artillery School at Gondrecourt;
then to the Veterinarian Hospital at Neufchateau; then to Dijon for Military Police
duty; and finally to Montiers-sur-Saulx where it also operated a remount depot.

Campaign streamers earned:
WWI Victory without inscription
\

Military Police or provost duty seems to come up a fair amount in connection with cavalry sent to France. I wonder if they remained mounted as a rule in that role, or were simply available?
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I know that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment has a WWI streamer on it also. While the 3rd did the remount depots I think that the 2nd did see some action along the line.

Also on the conversion. How many of those Cavalry Regiment were All Black Regiments?
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rayarthart wrote:I know that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment has a WWI streamer on it also. While the 3rd did the remount depots I think that the 2nd did see some action along the line.

Also on the conversion. How many of those Cavalry Regiment were All Black Regiments?
The 2nd did see action in France during World War One as a cavalry regiment. I'll have to find the old thread on it, but it was mounted on French horses acquired from a veterinary hospital. It seems that at least two other regiments saw some actual service as cavalry, outside of being used to staff HQ Troops, but the details are pretty hazy.

Only the 9th and 10th were all black Regular Army cavalry regiments following the Civil War. There were never any more, or less, than that. The 9th was assigned to the Philippines during World War one, and was only recently out of duty in the Punitive Expedition. The Philippine duty makes sense for a cavalry unit, as the Philippine Insurrection didn't end so much as smoulder and there was a need for a mobile Army unit there.

The 10th spent the war on the Mexican border, with some other RA cavalry regiments. It actually fought the last US v Indian battle in history while so stationed, which was mostly a case of mistaken identity. It also did engage in combat with various Mexican elements during that period.

That might not fully answer your question, however, as I don't know if there were any all black National Guard cavalry elements of any kind in this period. I don't think so, and I don't believe that there ever were, but I don't know that for sure. There were some all black Guard units that were infantry or artillery in this period, so it isn't impossible that there were black Guard cavalry units.
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rayarthart
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If I rember, The 2nd Cavalry Divison was suppose to have Three All Black Cavalry regiments in it. I think the 29thCavalry Regiment was Black.
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rayarthart wrote:If I rember, The 2nd Cavalry Divison was suppose to have Three All Black Cavalry regiments in it. I think the 29thCavalry Regiment was Black.
That's correct. It's organization is a little confusing and changed over time, but the 27th and the 28th were both all black regiments assigned to it right towards the very end. They were only in existence very briefly, but you're right.
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