4th Cavalry Regiment
Organizational Legacy
"Prepared and Loyal"

  " Riders For The Flag"  
Composed For The 4th Cavalry Regiment
John Phillip Sousa (1927)

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4th US Cavalry Regiment In Formation at Fort Mead, SD - 17 July 1909

Regimental Distinctive Unit Insignia


The 1st Cavalry Division, a major subordinate command of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps, is a 19,000 soldier, heavy armored division stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. As one of the two "on-call" heavy contingency force divisions of the Army, the First Team has an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice. The following narratives, divided in timeline eras of major operational missions, describes the threat environment, tactical conditions, evolution of equipment technology and the strategic methodology employed by one of its subordinate units, the 4th Cavalry Regiment, to contribute to the successful missions and enhancement of the warring organization of the 1st Cavalry Division.

The early history of the organic units assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division was closely tied to the movement of people and trade along the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. These routes, a result of perceived "manifest destiny", extended the western domain of the United States into the far reaches of a largely unsettled territory. More and more wagon trains, loaded with settlers, rolling west were being attacked by Indians.

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Map Of The Western Frontier Regions
By the 1830's it had become apparent that the rapidly expanding frontier demanded highly mobile troops capable of covering the vast unpopulated areas of the rugged terrain of the west, tracking down and pursue the Indians beyond their usual haunts. The roots of the 1st Cavalry Division are found in an answer to those who advocated a mounted military force for speed and mobility, yet trained and properly equipped to fight dismounted as well as mounted. In 02 March 1833, the First US Regiment of Dragoons was constituted in the Regular Army and subsequently on 04 March, the Regiment was organized at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.

At the end of the Mexican War in 1848, the US Army had only three mounted regiments, the 1st Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons, and the Regiment of Mounted Rifleman to protect settlers moving westward. In 1855, Congress, realizing the number of mounted Soldiers was not enough, authorized the raising of two more regiments, the 1st Cavalry and the 2nd Cavalry. The 1st Cavalry Regiment (later redesignated as the 4th Cavalry Regiment on 03 August, 1861) was constituted on 03 March 1855 and organized at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on 26 March 1855 under the command of Colonel Edwin Voss Sumner. Upon completion of the organization of the regiment in August 1855, the 1st (now the 4th) Cavalry was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Its mission was two-fold; to maintain law and order in the Kansas Territory between pro and anti-slavery factions and to protect the settlers from attacks by the Cheyenne Indians. It later became one of the most effective units of the Army against Indians on the Texas frontier.

The military aptitude of the original twenty-eight officers selected for the 1st (now the 4th) Cavalry was conclusively proven as the Civil War split many of their allegiances, when twenty-two of them became general officers in either the Union or Confederate armies. Among them were Captain George B. McClellan, (Major General, Commander, Army of the Potomac and the inventor of the famed McClellan saddle), and 2nd Lieutenant James E.B. (Jeb) Stuart, (Major General, CSA, Commander of the Confederate Cavalry Corps). Later, in 1961, when Colonel Robert E. Lee assumed command of the 1st (now the 4th) Cavalry he had to resign his commission a month later to lead the Confederate States Army in the Civil War.

In 1866, soon after the end of the Civil war, Congress initiated additional legislature to expand the number of cavalry regiments. The sound of the bugle and the cry of "Charge" sent the thundering hooves of the US Cavalry troopers, many who had former service in the Civil War, to oversee and protect the western bound settlers in an era when Indians roamed the western frontier and pioneering settlers clung to their land with determination. The 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 10th Cavalry Regiments (all eventually subordinate maneuvering units of the 1st Cavalry Division) clashed with the Sioux, Comanche, Arapaho, Apache and the Indian Nations during the Indian Wars.

On 22 January 1921 the 1st Cavalry Division was constituted in the US Regular Army. On 13 September 1921, with the initiation of the National Defense Act, the 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated at Ft. Bliss, TX and Major General Robert Lee Howze, a Texas native from Rusk County and seasoned veteran of then Frontier Indian Wars, Spanish American War, Philippines Insurrection, Mexican Expedition, World War I and recipient of the Medal of Honor, was selected as its first Division Commander.

It was not until 15 October, 1957, when the 4th Cavalry Regiment joined with the 1st Cavalry Division as the 2nd Battle Group, 4th Cavalry, (an element) of the Pentomic Division in ceremonies held in Tonggu, Korea when the colors of the 24th Infantry Division were retired and replaced by those of the 1st Cavalry Division. The mission, at that time, was to support and help defend Korea against the aggression of the Communist Doctrine that was spreading throughout the Peninsula of Korea.

As of today, the 4th Cavalry Regiment is currently represented by the following active Units:

The above listing of 4th Cavalry Regiment active units and their brigade assignments is at its best - may be inaccurate. Visitor submissions of updated linage data is encouraged.

This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 4th Cavalry Regiment, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 154 year history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:

Table of Contents

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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 05 Apr '12 SpellChecked