Many men from western Virginia (now West Virginia) rode horses their entire lives. When the war came, it was only natural for them to take their horses along and join the cavalry.
The state provided the Union with seven local regiments. They were the 1st through 7th West Virginia Cavalry regiments.
The 1st West Virginia Cavalry were mustered in between July 10 and November 25, 1861 at Wheeling, Clarksburg and Morgantown. They served until July of 1865. The members of the 1st WV Cavalry participated in many battles including at Sayler’s Creek, Five Forks, First Kernstown, Second Bull Run, Antietam and Gettysburg. They were also present at the surrender at Appomattox.
Parkersburg provided the cavalry troops for the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry. They were organized from September to November 1861 and were mustered out on June 30, 1865. They were present and in action at the battles of Cedar Creek, Sayler’s Creek and Five Forks.
The 3rd West Virginia Cavalry was formed in December 1861 and served through the end of June 1864. Their most famous member was Everton Conger who was one of the men who later captured John Wilkes Booth.
Parkersburg and Wheeling enlisted members of the 4th West Virginia Cavalry in the summer months of 1863. Their enlistment was for just one year. They were mustered out of service to the Union on June 23, 1864. They participated in action at Moorefield.
The 5th West Virginia Cavalry was actually formed from the 2nd West Virginia Mounted Infantry on January 26, 1864 at Charlestown, Virginia (now Charles Town, WV). They were engaged at Cloyd’s Mountain.
The 3rd West Virginia Mounted Infantry became the 6th West Virginia Cavalry on January 26m 1864 and they were sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They served until May 22, 1866.
The 8th West Virginia Mounted Infantry became the 7th West Virginia Cavalry on January 26, 1864. They were finally mustered out of service on August 1, 1865. They participated in the battle of Cloyd’s Mountain.
Although classified as West Virginia regiments, many of the members of these cavalry units were also from nearby areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
If you are interested in the Civil War, please subscribe to my posts by clicking on the “subscribe” button. Subscribing is free. You will receive an e-mail each time I post another article. Or “like” my articles on your Facebook/Twitter account.