10th Cavalry Regiment
Historical Missions
"Ready And Forward"

Barracks - Ft. Leavenworth, KS
On 30 September 1866 Colonel Benjamen H. Grierson, assigned to the Military Division of the Mississippi under General Sherman. arrived at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to organize the 10th Cavalry Regiment. Grierson had fewer potential recruits in Kansas causing him to go the big cities on the East coast in his search for troopers. During the planning and completion of the organization for the initial eight companies, the compliment of regimental field and staff officers was largely incomplete, being composed of the following: Colonel, B. H. Grierson; Lieutenant-Colonel, J. W. Davidson; Majors, J. W. Forsyth and M. H. Kidd; Chaplain, W. M. Grimes; Adjutant, H. E. Alvord.

By 18 February 1867, "A" Company was organized. Following the organization of "B" and "C" Company, the regiment relocated to Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory. The remainder of the companies, "D" through "H" were organized by 21 July.

The dates of organization, Company Commanders and color of mounts for these new companies of the 10th Cavalry Regiment were:

"A" Company Organized 18 Feb 1867 Cpt. Nicholas Nolan Bay
"B" Company Organized 01 Apr 1867 Cpt. J. B. Vande Wiele Bay
"C" Company Organized 15 May 1867 Cpt. Edward Byrne Bay
"D" Company Organized 01 Jun 1867 Cpt. J. W. Walsh Bay
"E" Company Organized 15 Jun 1867 Cpt. G. T. Robinson Bay
"F" Company Organized 21 Jun 1867 Cpt. G. A. Armes Gray
"G" Company Organized 05 Jul 1867 Cpt. H. T. Davis Bay
"H" Company Organized 21 Jul 1867 Cpt. L. H. Carpenter Black

Following organization, the troops are posted at Ft. Hays, Ft. Harker, and other points along the Smokey River, Kansas, on the line of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, then in course of construction. They had been put in the field for the protection of the railroad as fast as they were organized.

The first engagement in which any part of the regiment participated occurred a few days before the regimental headquarters left Ft. Leavenworth. "F" Troop, under Captain Armes, numbering 34 men and two officers, fought a party of 300 Indians near Saline River, 40 miles northeast of Ft. Hays. The engagement lasted six hours and resulted in the troops being forced to retreat. On the 21 July, forty men of "F" Company, together with 90 men of the 18th Kansas Volunteers, engaged about 500 Indians northeast of Ft. Hays. During its last month at Ft. Leavenworth the regiment lost heavily from disease, caused in the main by a cholera epidemic.

Fort Riley, Kansas
On 06 August, 1867, the headquarters of the regiment relocated from Ft. Leavenworth for Ft. Riley, Kansas, where they were established a new center of operations. The troops were about evenly distributed between Kansas and Indian Territory and were employed in the perfection of their drill and discipline, and in the protection of the Union Pacific Railroad and exposed settlements. While at Ft. Riley, the remainder of the Companies, "I", "K", "L" and "M" were organized while the Regiment was stationed at Ft. Riley.

The dates of organization, Company Commanders and color of mounts for these last four companies of the 10th Cavalry Regiment were:

"I" Company Organized 15 Aug 1867 Cpt. G. W. Graham Gray
"K" Company Organized 01 Sep 1867 Cpt. C. G. Cox Gray
"L" Company Organized 21 Sep 1867 Cpt. R. Gray Sorrel
"M" Company Organized 15 Oct 1867 Cpt. H. E. Alvord Mixed

On 17 April 1868 the Headquarters of the regiment relocated to Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory. At this time General Sheridan was in the field directing military operations. The 10th participated in the winter campaign of General Sherman against the Arapahos, Comanches and ended with the destruction of the band of Cheyenne Indians led by Black Kettle, the worst lot of Indians in the territory. Units of the 10th prevented the Cheyenne from fleeing to the northwest, thus allowing Custer and the 7th Cavalry to defeat them at the decisive battle near Ft. Cobb, Indian Territory.

The 1868-69 winter campaign on the Great Plains was a successful one, and as a result, the entire 10th Cavalry was moved into Indian Territory early in 1869. In January 1869, several companies of the 10th arrived at the site on Medicine Bluff Creek and began constructing temporary shelters. The new post was named Camp Wichita and regimental headquarters was transferred there on 31 March. Permanent construction began shortly thereafter, and in August the camp was renamed Ft. Sill. By that time, the regiment was divided between Ft. Sill and Camp Supply, six companies at each post. For the next 6 years, the 10th Cavalry remained in Indian Territory, acting as "an army of occupation" among the various Native American tribes removed to the reservations. The Buffalo Soldiers were charged with keeping Native Americans on the reservations, and keeping whites out. Various companies were stationed at Ft. Dodge, Ft. Gibson, Ft. Arbuckle, Ft. Sill, and Camp Supply, and at the Cheyenne Indian Agency in accomplishing these duties.

"K" Co, 10th Cavalry In Pursuit
On the 11 June, Camp Supply was alarmed by a party of Comanches charging through it, shooting and yelling, with the object of stampeding the horses on the picket line, and they succeeded in stampeding a few. These were pursued by "A", "I", "L" and "K" Companies, 10th Cavalry, and "B", "E" and "F" Companies, 3rd Infantry. The Indians turned on their pursuers and attacked them, wounding three soldiers and killing two horses. Six Indians were killed and ten wounded.

In 17 April 1875, the 10th Cavalry moved its headquarters to Ft. Concho in west Texas. Other companies were assigned to various forts throughout the area. In Texas, the mission of the regiment was to protect mail and travel routes, control Indian movements, provide protection from Mexican revolutionaries and outlaws, and to gain a knowledge of the areas terrain. The regiment proved highly successful in completing their mission. The 10th scouted 34,420 miles of uncharted terrain, opened more than 300 miles of new roads, and laid over 200 miles of telegraph lines. The scouting activities took the troops through some of the harshest and most desolate terrain in the nation. These excursions allowed the preparation of excellent maps detailing scarce water holes, mountain passes, and grazing areas that would later allow for settlement of the area. These feats were accomplished while having to be constantly on the alert for hit-and-run raids from the Apaches.

The 10th Cavalry played an important role in the 1879-80 campaign against Chief Victorio and his renegade band of Apaches. Victorio and his followers escaped from their New Mexico reservation and wreaked havoc throughout the southwest on their way to Mexico. The 10th Cavalry attempted to prevent Victorio's return to the US, and particularly prevented him entering New Mexico where he could cause additional problems with the Apaches still on the reservations.

The campaign called for the biggest military concentration ever assembled in the Trans-Pecos area. Six troops of the 10th Cavalry were assigned to patrol the area from the Van Horn Mountains west to the Quitman Mountains, and north to the Sierra Diablo and Delaware Mountains. Encounters with the Indians usually resulted in skirmishes, however the 10th engaged in major confrontations at Tinaja de las Palmas (a water hole south of Sierra Blanca) and at Rattlesnake Springs (north of Van Horn). These two engagements halted Victorio and forced him to retreat to Mexico. Although Victorio and his band were not captured, the campaign conducted by the 10th was successful in preventing them from reaching New Mexico. The 10th's efforts at containment exhausted the Apaches. Soon after they crossed the border, Victorio and many of his warriors were killed by Mexican troops on 14 October 1880.

Crossing the Gilla River, AZ
In the spring of 1885 the regiment moved from the Department of Texas to the Department of Arizona, marching along the Southern Pacific Railroad. When the column took up its march from Ft. Davis, it comprised eleven troops and the band. At Camp Rice it was joined by "I" Troop, and from this point to Bowie Station, Arizona, the twelve troops continued together. They had never been together before and never have been since. At Bowie the troops separated to go to their several stations. The Headquarters Troops moved out to Ft. Apache, AZ territory, arriving on 20f May. The Geronimo campaign had just commenced, and on 19 May a battalion formed of "D", "E", "H" and "K" Troops was sent out from Ft. Grant in search of hostile indians.

10th Cavalry at Ft. Bayard, NM
They marched to Ft. Bayard, NM, and through the Mogollon Mountains, but saw nothing of them. The greater part of the regiment was in the field during the whole campaign. Several of the officers, anxious to be where there was most to be done, had themselves detached from their troops to do duty with Indian scouts at the front which led to a long, hard chase of Geronimo and his surrender. After Geronimo had surrendered, "H" Troop followed, engaged and ran down in handsome style, the remnants of his band led by Chief Mangus, who was still defying the Government of the United States.

Without debate, African American regiments served with distinction in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. especially in combat. The nickname "Buffalo Soldiers," bestowed upon the black cavalrymen by the Native Americans, attests to their valor in battle. Since the buffalo was a sacred animal to the Native Americans, they would not bestow its name on the soldiers unless they were worthy adversaries.

10th Cavalry Outpost in Montana
In 1891, after twenty years of service in some of the most undesirable posts in the southwest, the regiment was transferred north to the icy tundra of the Department of Dakota. The regiment arrived at their station, Ft. Custer, MT, in the midst of a blizzard. Regimental headquarters was established at Ft. Custer while troops were dispersed at Ft. Assinniboine, MT, Ft.Keogh, MT, Ft. Buford, ND, and Ft. Leavenworth, KS.

When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, the 10th Cavalry Regiment was recalled from its outlying posts and assignments. Within a matter of days the Regiment was assembled at Ft. Assinniboine, Montana. Moving by rail, the first stop of the regiment was in Wisconsin where they received flags and flowers from well wishers.

The Army had arranged for two mobilization centers; Tampa, Florida, and Chickamauga Park, Georgia. Through these two camps would pass 65,000 regular soldiers headed south. While the Army was preparing its invasion force the 10th Cavalry regiment was expanded. The cavalry regiments sent to Cuba consisted of two squadrons of approximately 400 men. As the regiment expanded, logistical difficulties were experienced. New recruits to the unit took time to equip and then it was weeks before these new troopers had all of their personal and weapons gear.

The men of the 10th Cavalry regiment waited in Lakeland Florida prior to their departure for Cuba. In preparation for war training days where started at 0500 hours and ended at 1845 hours. During the training period the average trooper accumulated a kit consisting of: a blanket, shelter half, poncho, extra clothes, food and utensils, cartridge belt and 125 rounds, canteen, weapon and haversack. His uniform consisted of flannel shirts, canvas over blouse, high leather boots with gaiters and a campaign hat.

The Army had given V Corps, under General Shafter, the task of invading Cuba. Shafter had gained a reputation as a fighter during the Indian wars. However, Shafter had become obese and in no physical condition to engage in a serious military campaign. Shafter made the transition from the small army of the frontier to the large army of the invasion badly. He was totally unprepared for the logistics of moving an army overseas. Transport was so poorly organized that food supplies had to be reduced to make room for 20 pieces of artillery. Trains operated without clear cargo manifests making it impossible to determine which supplies were on which trains. All of which had to wait for the single line of track that went to the port at Tampa. It was a matter of luck that the troopers of the 10th Cavalry rode from Lakeland to the pier at Tampa in fancy railroad coaches with ice water.

The Advanced Guard Sails for Cuba
As the 10th Cavalry regiment embarked, approximately a third of the troopers stayed behind to tend the horses and equipment. Most of the horses would stay behind as there was insufficient room on the transports. Personnel were placed on transport 21 Leona; artillery, baggage and rations were placed on transport 7, Comal. On 14 June 1898 the advance guard sailed for Cuba in a convoy of 36 transports, the battleship Helena, and several gunboats. On 15 June at 2345 hours, the convoy was met off the Dry Tortugas, by other escort vessels and continued on toward Cuba.

The troopers of the 10th Cavalry who stayed in Florida did not necessarily stay out of combat. A detachment composed of 50 members of "A", "H", and "M" Troops were sent to resupply insurgents in Cuba island. The mission involved landing Americans, as well as 375 Cuban soldiers, 65 mules and packs, rations, clothing, and ammunition. Similar missions would be executed throughout the war.

On 21 June, a small convoy sailed with the transports Florida, Fanita and gunboat Peoria, under the command of Lt. Johnson. On 29 June a landing at Cienfuegos was attempted but repulsed by the Spanish. The next day the convoy moved down the coast to Tayabacoa. The Cuban commander General Nunez sent 300 Cubans and 28 Americans ashore, under cover fire from the Peoria. The Spanish responded quickly and engaged this force heavily. The Cuban/American force was cut off by the Spanish who were only kept at bay by the Peoria's off shore artillery. Neither side was willing to let go of what it had. The Spanish kept the original force pinned down and repulsed four rescue attempts by the Cubans from the ships.

The situation of the landing party looked hopeless. There was however, one last hope. five troopers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment volunteered to attempt a rescue. Prior to this action none of these soldiers were considered exceptional. Moving under cover of darkness. the long boat was slowly lowered into the water and the oars were carefully pulled through the water so as to reduce noise.

"The party of five regulars", made it to shore and located the survivors in the landing party. Shortly thereafter the Spanish detected the rescue party. The rescue party worked quickly and was able to retrieve all survivors and wounded amidst a hail of Spanish fire.

What awaited the invading army at Cuba was no novice force. The Spanish Army made effective use of cover and concealment. Their fortifications consisted of rifle pits, entrenchments, earthworks, barbed wire fences, and block houses; that included inter-dependent units known as Fortins. The Spanish Army under Generals Linares and Weyeler was battle hardened from fighting Cuban insurgents. The individual Spanish soldier was better equipped than his American counter part. He wore a light weight blouse and trousers, straw hat, and rope soled shoes. The Spanish soldier used the Mauser, a smokeless powder, rifle and short bayonet. This weapon was superior to the US rifles in service at the time.

V Corps Lands At Daiquiri, Cuba
On 22 June, V Corps landed at Daiquiri 15 miles east of Santiago harbor. As a diversion to the landing, Cuban General Garcia had insurgents attack a village some three miles west of Santiago. Daiquiri was defended by some 300 troops of the 1st Talavera Peninsular Battalion who fled upon the opening volley of naval cover fire, despite their advantages of defense and terrain.

The debarkation process was slow. Troops had to use portholes in order to get to the landing boats. This was made even more difficult by the fact that every soldier was carrying his entire kit on his back. Most of the troops landed in long boats. The sea was rough and caused two men of the 10th Cavalry to fall into harbor waters. Despite a rescue attempt, two troopers drowned becoming the first causalities of the campaign. The horses which made the trip suffered badly during debarkation. Most were thrown overboard, many of which tried to swim out to sea. A few of the horses were saved when a quick thinking bugler sounded "Right Wheel", which made several of the horses turn toward shore. Owing to a lack of horses the 10th Cavalry regiment was dismounted, acting in a similar capacity as infantry. Once ashore many of the troopers threw away equipment they thought was unnecessary like blankets and ponchos.

On 23 June, 2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, V Corps, which was the commanding unit of the , 1st, 10th and 1st Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Rider) Regiments, established its headquarters at Siboney. The Corps Cavalry Brigade moved towards the ridge at Las Guasimas in order to conduct a reconnaissance. Through Cuban intelligence, it was found that the ridge was defended by the Spanish Brigadier General Rubin who commanded one echelon of seven companies comprised of approximately 1,500 infantrymen and artillerymen with two artillery guns, well fortified and positioned to fight a delaying action. The 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry along with the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, followed a northern route to the ridge, while the 1st Volunteer Cavalry followed a southern route.

On 24 June at 0300 hours, the troopers of the 10th Cavalry held a silent reveille. After a quick breakfast of hard tack, bacon, and coffee, they began their deployment at 0600 hours. The path taken by the units of Brigadier General Joseph W. Wheeler was through dense jungle, and all three units emerged from the treeline at about the same time facing the main blockhouse at Las Guasimas. General Rubin had already placed scouts forward of his position. These scouts had allowed US forces to pass them, signaling that the enemy was approaching by using bird calls.

Engagement at Las Guasimas
At 0730 hours, contact with the enemy was made. In the battle of Las Guasimas "A" Troop was deployed left of the 1st Cavalry Regiment and parallel to the hill. While moving forward the troop received fire, and linked up with the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, known throughout the United States as the "Rough Riders". At 0745 hours. the order to lock and load weapons was given. A charge was made and the Spanish were overrun. The engagement was short, but nevertheless, it was a clear-cut victory that raised the confidence among American troops. The men of the 10th Cavalry regiment would have less than a week before they would be in the thick of the battle that would determine the outcome of the campaign.

With the Spaniards extricated from Las Guasimas, the Army moved northwest toward Santiago, and six days later, settling on the outskirts of a plain, just below San Juan Heights. The total Spanish force in Santiago under General Linares was 6,000: 4,000 regulars, 1,000 volunteers, and 1,000 marines and sailors from the ships. Of the 6,000 troops, 600 or thereabouts were at El Caney, and 900 in the forts at the mouth of the harbor. As the Army advanced, the Spaniards were busy positioning themselves on three strategic hills: San Juan, El Pozo (named Kettle Hill by Americans because of a sugar refinery on top, which resembled a kettle from afar) and El Caney which formed the outer defenses of the capital city. The capture of these hills was crucial to the continuance of the invasion of Santiago.

Enemy Positions Before The Battle
Positioned high above the plain, with deep entrenchments, breastworks, barbed wire, and an open field of fire, the Spaniards were in an ideal defensive position. At El Caney, the defenders had the added protection of four wooden blockhouses, a stone church, and fort. The major assault on San Juan Hill was to be made by the Second Cavalry Brigade composed of the 1st, 10th and 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiments, and a detachment of the 10th Cavalry with four Hotchkiss guns. Different elements of the American Army began moving toward Santiago as early as 30 June.

Within an hour and a half all of the attacking infantry units were in position for the assault. As the cavalry units took positions on the far right of the line, Spanish fire was rained down on the American positions all along the line. The 10th Cavalry Regiment actively engaged the enemy at a range of 600 yards with its detachment of Hotchkiss guns which were placed 100 yards past the San Juan river, aimed against the blockhouse and entrenchments.

Rally On The Flags Boys!
It was during the general charge, when all units lost cohesion and became one large force, that moved to the heights of San Juan. The 10th Cavalry gained an unusual distinction during this charge. The regimental color bearer, Sergeant George Berry, saw the color bearer of 3rd Cavalry Regiment go down. He ran forward, retrieved the colors of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and continued his advance. Upon reaching the summit he planted the flags and cried "Rally on the flags boys!". In history of the Army, he is the only man to carry two standards through a battle to victory. Needless to say, the victory of the battle was not without a loss for the 10th Cavalry; seven men killed in action and sixty-nine wounded

While Roosevelt and his highly political volunteers of the "Rough Riders" got more press attention, the 10th Cavalry commanded by Col. John J. Pershing was instrumental in taking San Juan Hill. Many white officers refused to command black units thinking it would hurt their careers. Col. Pershing was given the nickname "Black Jack" because of his loyalty to the 10th and its troopers. It could hardly have hurt his career since he went on to command the American Expeditionary Forces in France in WW I and became the most famous American general of the first half of this century.

US Army Victors on Kettle Hill - 03 July, 1898

On 03 July 1898, after the battle of "San Juan Hill(s), the US Army victors of the Battle of Kittle Hill - Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders take a "breather" at the top of the hill which they had captured, following a long uphill campaign. Left to right is the 3rd US Cavalry, the 1st Volunteer Cavalry (Col. Theodore Roosevelt center) and the 10th US Cavalry. (from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.).

Officers outside the regiment praised the 10th Cavalry troopers as "doing as well as any soldiers could possibly do. They were among the deadliest fighters of the war." By the end of the war, the 10th Cavalry Regiment had in its ranks five Medal of Honor recipients, and 26 members of the unit received Certificates of Merit. Theodore Roosevelt said of the 10th Cavalry "...brave men worthy of respect, I don't think any Rough Rider will ever forget the tie that binds us to the 10th cavalry." The men of the 10th Cavalry soon returned to duty in Cuba as part of the occupying forces under General Wood.

On 04 January 1899 the United States announced that it was taking possession of the Philippine Islands which had become a protectorate as a result of the Spanish-American War. This action caused the Filipino Leader, Emilio Aquinaldo, to revolt against American rule. In an attempt to accomplish their goal of independence in an alternate manner, the Filipinos set on a campaign of guerrilla operations. Elements of the 10th Cavalry were subsequently transferred to the Philippines Islands. By 15 April 1901, "E", "F", "G" and "H" Troops of the 10th had arrived. Over 70,000 American forces, including cavalry units of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and eventually the 12th regiments, were assigned to the theater. Most of the fighting was over by March 1901, allowing the units to return to the States.

NCOs at Ft. Robinson, NE
By 01 August 1902 the 10th Cavalry elements returned to the States and were stationed at Ft. Robinson, NE until 05 Mar 1907, at which time, the entire regiment returned to Manila, PI. for another two year tour. In 1909 the regiment returned to the States and were garrisoned at Ft. Ethan Allen, VT until December 1913 when the regiment was relocated back to the southwest to Ft. Huachucha, AZ.

On the morning of 09 March 1916, the regiment was alerted that Poncho Villa had attacked Columbus, NM, burned half the town, and killed several civilians and soldiers. Orders. directing the 10th Cavalry Regiment to set out at once to join the forces of the Punitive Expedition Campaign that were staging at Culberson's Ranch, located in the southwest corner of New Mexico, were issued. By evening, "A" though "K" Troops and the Machine Gun Troop, fully equipped for the field, departed Ft. Huachuca.

10th Cavalry Regimental Band
As part of the tradition practiced in the Indian Wars, the band played as the troops marched off the post. "L" Troop marched from Fort Apache and "M" Troop traveled from Nogales, Arizona, by train. On the first night the main column from Huachuca made camp at Hereford, AZ, twenty-five miles from the fort. The next morning they set out to pick up those of their regiment stationed along the border at Naco, AZ.

Passing through Douglas, AZ and Slaughter's Ranch, the regiment reached Culberson's Ranch on 13 March. Amazingly, all of the forces assigned to the Punitive Expedition were assembled along the border in just five days. "Black Jack" Pershing had been selected for the assignment of leading the campaign into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa who had expanded his operations of rustling cattle, robbing banks and killing into the United States. The invasion force was composed of two main columns. The western column, designated as the Second Cavalry Brigade, staged from Culberson's Ranch and was made up of the 7th and 10th Cavalry regiments and "B" Battery, 6th Field Artillery attached. Pershing himself commanded this column, which numbered 16 officers and 1,501 men.

Pershing Reviewing The Troops
he eastern column was made up of two Brigades that staged at a base in Columbus, NM. The first element, the First Provisional Cavalry Brigade, consisted of the 11th and 13th Cavalry Regiments, with "C" Battery, 6th Field Artillery attached. The second element, the First Provisional Infantry Brigade, consisted of the 6th and 16th Infantry regiments and support units: "E" and "H" Companies, 2nd Battalion Engineers; Ambulance Company No. 7, Field Hospital No. 7. Signal Corps detachments, First Aero Squadron; and No. 1 and 2 Wagon Companies.

On 15 and 16 March, the two columns crossed into Mexico and converged on the city of Colonia Dublan in Chihuahua, Mexico. This marked the beginning of a year-long adventure that would be filled with hard marching, some singular military triumphs, and the loss of some brave comrades. The mission of chasing Villa proved to be one of the toughest assignments given to the 10th Cavalry. Finding Pancho Villa was like trying to catch a rat in a cornfield. Villa always seemed to stay ahead of the Army and avoid capture.

Position cursor on selected function, "Click" and "Hold".
Punitive Expedition Route
The American troops were operating in the domain of Pancho Villa where many of the peasants held pro-Villa sympathies. The Mexican government officers likewise questioned the right of Americans to be there. Even though American officers carried and distributed a proclamation by Mexican Secretary of War, Obregon, extending a vague permission to operate in Mexico, almost no Mexican official believed the expedition to have any legitimate right to be maneuvering through their territory.

The leaders of the United Stares soon lost interest in the Mexican Campaign and focused their attention to Europe, where World War I was raging. However because the Europeans had been unable to find a suitable mission for the Cavalry troops which were already in the theater, the 10th Cavalry spent the war in the United States.

Following World War I, the 10th Cavalry began a set of assignments leading to spending the next twelve years performing routine training and garrison duty along the Arizona-Mexico border. On 13 September 1921, with the initiation of the National Defense Act, the 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Upon the formal activation of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 10th Cavalry Regiments was among the first regiments assigned to the new division. On 18 December 1922, the 10th Cavalry Regiment was relieved from assignment and replaced by the 5th Cavalry Regiment.

On 24 March 1923 the 10th Cavalry Regiment was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division, remaining until 15 August 1927 when it was relieved from the 2nd Cavalry Division and immediately assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Division.

In July 1937, initiating the second stage of expansion, Japan launched a major invasion of northern and central China. After a costly resistance, the ill-prepared Chinese armies were forced back from eastern China and in December 1937 the Nationalist capital, Nanking, was subjected to an orgy of rape and destruction. At this time the rest of the world remained neutral, and some western countries, including the US, were still selling scrap materials to Japan, which were converted into armaments for use in additional expansion plans. Further, Nazi Germany had annexed Austria and was now threatening to seize Czechoslovakia.

From 1931 to 1941, the 1st Squadron of the 10th Cavalry served at Ft. Leavenworth, KS as essential support troops for the Command and General Staff College. These units became efficient in riding and marksmanship, winning many competitions while fulfilling their duties as service troops for the cavalry school at Ft. Riley, Kansas while other elements of the regiment were detailed to various stations in Virginia, and New York.

The winds of war and mutual agreements continued to swirl. On 23 August 1939, in the presence of Stalin, the Foreign Minister of Germany, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and the Commissar of Foreign Affairs of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Vyacheslav Molotov, signed the Russo-German Pact. The pact, a complete surprise to France and England, was not only a non-aggression pact, but also contained a secret protocol providing for the division of Eastern Europe between the spheres of influence German and Soviet. This mutual agreement was a marked contrast in the ideology of Hitler, who from the beginning of his political life, had declared the destruction of Communism as one of his primary objectives.

German Storm Troopers In Warsaw
On 01 September 1939, 1.8 million German troops invaded Poland on three fronts; East Prussia in the north, Germany in the west and Slovakia in the south. The Germans employed exceptional rapid maneuver or "blitzkrieg", or lightning war, coupled with the bombing of towns and refugees, that had never been seen before by the world. This operational practice allowed the Germans to capture much territory early in the war. Both, Great Britain and France attempted to intervene and warned Hitler of the grave consequences of his actions. When Hitler ignored their warnings, they declared war against Germany on 03 September 1939. This set the stage for an eventual worldwide conflagration involving the two hemispheres. The Polish army, with a million men but little modern equipment, soon fell prey to the blitzkrieg and was defeated in a little over a month.

In the meantime, isolationist politics remained strong in Congress. In spite of this, major priorities were placed on building up the industrial capacity to supply equipment to the Allies in Europe. In the summer of 1940, the United States began preparations for war. As part of the nation's overall defense plans, the Army was assigned the task of safeguarding the continental United States against invasion. Preparations focused on protecting the country against naval bombardment, air raids, and assault by ground forces. The Army also coordinated civil defense plans, and guarded vital non-military installations - public works and utilities - whose continued operation was essential to the war effort.

More evidence of the global nature of the war began to materialize when on 27 September 1940, in Berlin, the governments of Germany, Italy and Japan signed a Three-Power Pact. They agreed to stand by and cooperate with one another in regard to their efforts in greater East Asia and regions of Europe respectively. Their prime purpose was to ostensible establish and maintain a new order destined to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned. Additionally the pact was not to impact any previous political agreements which existed, such as that between Germany and the USSR.

In the wake of the German military successes, the Unites States accelerated preparations for its own buildup of all military forces to wartime strengths. As part of the Protective Mobilization Plan, the 2nd Cavalry Division was reserved for activation at Fort Riley, KS. In October 1940, the first activations of elements for the Division was initiated with the organization of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade and the assignment of the 2nd and 14th as its cavalry regiments. In further preparation, on 10 October 1940, the 10th Cavalry Regiment was relieved from the 3rd Cavalry Division and provisionally assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division. The overall mobilization of the country represented a transitional phase which blended the increased manpower with the growing industrial output of material and weapons.

10th Cavalry At Ft. Riley, KS
In February 1941 the 4th Cavalry Brigade, commanded by General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., was activated with the 9th and 10th as its cavalry regiments. The units were split between Fort Riley and Camp Funston, KS, neither post having adequate facilities for the division's horse cavalry. Personnel shortages continued and divisional elements were activated using provisional assets.

In March 1941. over 300 selective service men were assigned to the 10th Cavalry. In April the regiment reached its full strength of over 1300 men and over 1200 horses. The regiment consisted of Headquarters and Service Troop, Special Weapons Troop, Machine Gun Troop, Headquarters Detachment, 1st and 2nd Squadrons, Medical Detachment, and "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", and "G" Troops

On 01 April, 1941, the 2nd Cavalry Division was activated at Ft. Riley, KS. Combat elements consisted of the 3rd Brigade, composed of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Ft. Riley and the 14th Cavalry Regiment from Ft. Des Moines, IA, the 4th Brigade, composed of the 9th Cavalry from Ft. Riley and Ft. Myer, VA, 10th Cavalry from West Point, NY and Ft Leavenworth, KS, the Division Artillery composed of the 3rd Field Artillery Battalion from Ft. Riley and the 16th Field Artillery Battalion from Ft Myer, VA, along with other support units of the 9th Engineer Battalion from Ft. Riley, 24th Ordnance and 110th Quartermaster.

In late August the 10th Cavalry Regiment participated with the 2nd Cavalry Division in the Second Army Maneuvers as a component of the Red Forces facing the VII Corps' Blue Army. Given the task of capturing Arkansas and Louisiana, the training mission of the 2nd Division ended on 09 September with divisional elements located at Chatham, Louisiana. During the next week the Division became part of the Second Army's Red Force, now challenging the Blue Force of the Third Army. The first goal of Second Army was to defeat and remove the Blue Forces from southern Louisiana, and then to keep the enemy from capturing Shreveport, LA. At the close of these maneuvers the 2nd Cavalry Division returned to Kansas, having stopped the Blue Forces still forty miles from the city.

Returning to Ft. Riley and Camp Funston, KS, the 10th became involved in another set of field training maneuvers. Operation, "PRACTICE BLITZKRIEG" was based in Kansas and ended with the capture of Topeka, KS. and surrender of the state by the governor. The Army's plan for increasing the strength of the 10th Cavalry and the field training was well timed for the events to come which came about as a result of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on 07 December 1941.

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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Revised 31 Jan '12 SpellChecked