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The 6th Cavalry ("Fighting Sixth'") is a historic regiment of the United States Army that began as a regiment of cavalry in the American Civil War. It currently is organized into aviation squadrons that are assigned to several different combat aviation brigades.
6th Cavalry Regiment Wikipedia
The 6th U.S. Cavalry was organized in August 1861, where it took to the fields of the Eastern Theater as part of the Union Army of the Potomac. The regiment took part in sixteen major and minor campaigns and their related battles during the Civil War including; the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, battle of Antietam part of the Maryland Campaign, Campaign at Fredericksburg, the 1863 Second Battle of Winchester, Battle of Fairfield which were part of the Gettysburg Campaign, Chancellorsville (in Stoneman’s raid to the rear of Lee’s army), the 1864 The Wilderness, Siege of Petersburg, The Shenandoah Valley, Richmond Raid—also known as Sheridan's raid, Trevilian Station, the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House & the Battle of Cold Harbor part of the Overland Campaign and the final 1865 Appomattox Campaign.
During the Gettysburg Campaign, and overseen by larger events ongoing nearby, on 3 July 1863, Major Starr with 400 troopers dismounted his men in a field and an orchard on both sides of the road near Fairfield, Pennsylvania. Union troopers directed by their officers took up hasty defensive positions on this slight ridge. They threw back a mounted charge of the 7th Virginia Cavalry (CSA), just as Chew's Battery (CSA) unlimbered and opened fire on the Federal cavalrymen. Supported by the 6th Virginia Cavalry (CSA), the 7th Virginia charged again, clearing Starr's force off the ridge and inflicting heavy losses. Jones (CSA), outnumbering the Union forces by at least 2 to 1, pursued the retreating Federals for three miles to the Fairfield Gap, but was unable to catch his quarry.
"The fight made at Fairfield by this small regiment (6th U.S. Cavalry) against two of the crack brigades of Stuart's cavalry, which were endeavoring to get around the flank the Union army to attack the (supply) trains, was one of the most gallant in its history and no doubt helped influence the outcome the battle of Gettysburg. The efforts of these rebel brigades were frustrated and their entire strength neutralized for the day by the fierce onslaught of the small squadrons. The regiment was cut to pieces, but it fought so well that the squadrons were regarded as the advance of a large body of troops. The senior officer of those attacking CSA brigades was later adversely criticized for allowing his command to be delayed by such an inferior force. Had the regiment not made the desperate stand, the two brigades of Virginians might have caused grave injury in the Federal rear, before sufficient force could have been gathered in their front."
Private George Crawford Platt, later Sergeant, an Irish immigrant serving in Troop H, was awarded the Medal of Honor on 12 July 1895, for his actions that day at Fairfield. His citation reads, "Seized the regimental flag upon the death of the standard bearer in a hand-to-hand fight and prevented it from falling into the hands of the enemy."
His "commander," Lieutenant Carpenter, of Troop H, was one of only three officers of the 6th U.S. Cavalry to escape from the deadly melee at Fairfield. He was an eyewitness and documented Private Platt's "beyond the call of duty" behavior that day. Louis H. Carpenter was brevetted from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel for his actions that day and later during the Indian Wars he won the Medal of Honor.
After the fighting stopped in April 1865, came the Reconstruction era of the United States covering 1865 to 1871. The 6th Cavalry left Maryland, via New York and New Orleans to Texas in October 1865. On 29 November 1865, the 6th Cavalry headquarters was established in Austin where it was part of the Fifth Military District which covered Texas and Louisiana under Generals Philip Sheridan and later under Winfield Scott Hancock.
There was little or no fighting during the state of martial law imposed while the military closely supervised local government, enrolled freemen to vote, excluded former Confederate leaders from elected office for a period of time, supervised free elections, and tried to protect office holders and freedmen from violence. However the men did face a low level of civil hostility and violence during this uneasy transition period. For reports of soldiers of the 6th Cavalry killed and wounded in various incidents of 1867–68 see the article on the Fifth Military District.
On 9 September 1873 a drunken row among 6th cavalrymen in Hays Kansas resulted in two troopers being killed. During the majority of the 1870s & 1880s, the 6th Cavalry was based in the Southwest and served in the thick of the Apache Campaigns of that time period. Capt Whitside and two Troops of the 6th Cav founded Fort Huachuca (SE of Tucson) March in 1877.
An 1887 letter from Charles Winters, Troop D of the 6th Cavalry, describes a soldier's experiences during the Apache Wars in New Mexico:
I will now take and write to you a few lines, to let you know that I am yet alive, and doing well. I joint(sic) the Army in January, 86 and had a good fight with Geronimo and his Indians. I also had two hard fights, where i came very near getting killed, but i got true alright. I was made Corporal when i first enlisted, but have now got high enough to be in Charge of Troop D. 6th U.S. Cavalry and it requires a good man for to get that office, and that is more than i expected. Charley White from Cranbury came out with me and got in the same Troop with me, and I sent him with twenty more men out on a Scout after Indians and Charley was lucky enough to be shot down by Indians the first day, and only three of my men returned. I was very sorry but it could not be helped.
The Territory of New Mexico is a very nice place never no Winter and lots of Gold and Silver Mines all around but for all that it is a disagreeable place on account of so many Indians. I like it first rate and I think as soon as my five years are up I will go bak(sic) to Old New Jersey but not today. My name isn't Charley Winters no more since i shot that man at Jefferson Barracks when he tried to get away from me. My Captain at time told me to take the name of his son who died and so my name since then is Charles H. Wood. I will now close and hope that you will soon write and let me know how you are getting along. Give my best regards to all and to yourself and oblige.
My address is:
Charles H. Wood
Troop D. 6th Cavalry
Fort Stanton, New Mexico
The 6th "Cav" also took part in the Indian Wars and the 1892 Johnson County War in Wyoming. The "Fighting Sixth" sailed to Cuba during the Spanish–American War and took part in the battle for San Juan Hill alongside of Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders." (In 1900 the 6th was in the Boxer Rebellion).
The "Fighting Sixth" Cavalry was stationed at The Post at Fort Oglethorpe from 1919 to 1942. A museum has been established in the old post's parade ground honoring the era of the "horse soldier". Visit the 6th Cavalry Museum website for more information.
The 6th Cavalry, which became part of George S. Patton's Third Army during World War II, had one of the most outstanding combat records to come out of that conflict, starting in October 1943 where it embarked on the Queen Elizabeth bound for northern Ireland.
In January 1944, the 6th Cavalry Regiment was disbanded and reorganized into the 6th Cavalry Group and assigned to XV Corps. The unit spent the first part of 1944 in intense basic, small unit, and special combat training. Finally in July 1944, the unit set sail across the English Channel to land at Utah Beach (Sainte-Mère-Église, France). Throughout the latter part of World War II, the Sixth was part of most of the major campaigns, some of which included "Task Force Polk," the engagement in the Ardennes, and the Battle of the Bulge. It was also responsible for the screening and protection of the corps in the Bastogne area, defending the Our River, breaching the Siegfried Line, and the big job of crossing the Rhine River and the drive to the east.
Toward the end of hostilities, the Sixth was left with the detail of mopping up enemy stragglers to its final battle with the capture of Adorf & Markneukirchen. The Sixth Cavalry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), for its valor during World War II.
As "Patton's Household Cavalry", the regiment was tasked with observing the advances of the Third Army's troops, reporting its observations directly back to Third Army headquarters, improving General Patton's situational awareness – very much like the British GHQ Liaison Regiment did.
On 20 December 1948, the former 6th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 6th Armored Cavalry. The regiment returned to the United States from Germany in 1957 during Operation Gyroscope and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Inactivated in 1963, the regiment reactivated four years later at Fort Meade, Maryland, where it served through 31 March 1971 when the regiment was reduced to just the 1st Squadron, which departed for Fort Bliss, Texas. The 1st Squadron was inactivated there on 21 June 1973.
The lineage of the former Troop A, 6th Armored Cavalry was redesignated on 22 June 1973 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. The lineage of the former Troop B, 6th Armored Cavalry was redesignated on 1 July 1974 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated). Members of 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry, located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, were involved in testing of both the M-1 Abrams (H Company) and M-3 Bradley (E Troop) in the 1980s. The 2nd Squadron was inactivated on 30 May 1986 at Fort Knox, and then soon thereafter reactivated on 16 July 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas. Later it was assigned to the 11th Aviation Brigade of VII Corps in Germany.
In the summer of 1974, the Army decided to implement one of the recommendations of the Howze Board and created an air cavalry combat brigade. The assets of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Charles E. Canedy, were used to create the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat). 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, was transferred to the new brigade on 21 February 1975. The brigade served as a test bed for new concepts involving the employment of attack helicopters on the modern battlefield. (The 6th Cavalry Brigade's lineage is separate from the lineage of the 6th Cavalry Regiment.) Later, in the fall of 1990, two subordinate units of the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) deployed in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. One of those units was 2nd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, a Chinook battalion from Fort Hood.
On 15 December 1995 the 1st Squadron was inactivated at Fort Hood, and the 4th Squadron was also inactivated in late 1995. Thus only the 3rd Squadron remained at Fort Hood. By this time the 6th, through activations and inactivations, had long since transitioned from armor to aviation. The 1st Squadron was reactivated on July 1996 in Korea.
In February 2003 2nd and 6th Squadrons were deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The units were accompanied by their group command unit, the 11th Aviation Group, and supporting AH-64 repair unit, the 7th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, all hailing from Storck Barracks in Illesheim Germany. When units began making way into Iraq the 2nd and 6th Squadrons accompanied by several other units making up Task Force 11 flew into combat and became a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 2nd Squadron left Iraq to return to Germany and case their colors until return from the Unit Field Training Program at Ft. Hood TX, where their AH-64A Apaches were converted to AH-64D Apache models. Meanwhile in Iraq, the 6th Squadron was performing combat support and convoy safety operations until the unit received orders to return to home station in Germany. After returning to Illesheim and regaining full fighting strength the 6th Squadron received their sister squadron back into Storck Barracks. Together the 2nd and 6th Squadrons trained and began readiness to redeploy in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the Army Transformation the squadrons lost their command when the 11th Aviation Group cased its colors in June 2005, the units were absorbed by the 1st Infantry Division and redesignated, thus closing another chapter of the Fighting Sixth.
On 4 January 2005 2nd Squadron deployed from Germany to Afghanistan absorbing elements from other units to become Task Force Sabre. CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and the necessary support elements comprised the aviation task force which deployed to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
In 2005 and 2006 as a part of the Army Transformation, squadrons of the regiment were again reorganized, as the Army eliminated from its rolls those OH-58D Kiowa Warrior units designated as attack battalions in light infantry divisions. Several of these attack battalions were reflagged as squadrons of the 6th Cavalry Regiment, replacing AH-64 squadrons that were then redesignated as Armed Reconnaissance Battalions:1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry – 1st Infantry Division – Fort Riley, Kansas
2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry – 25th Infantry Division (Light) – Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry – 7th Infantry Division – Fort Lewis, Washington
6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry – 10th Mountain Division (LI) – Fort Drum, New York
In 2006, 2nd Squadron deployed with its parent unit, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Wheeler Army Airfield to Iraq. The squadron was recognized with the Order of Daedalians' 2006 Brig. Gen. Carl I. Hutton Memorial Award for their safety record in preparation for the deployment. The Squadron returned to Hawaii in 2007 having lost only one aircrew to hostile fire.
In 2007, 1st Squadron and 4th Squadron deployed to Iraq. The squadrons along with 1st Squadron's parent brigade, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, replaced 2nd Squadron and its parent brigade. 4th Squadron returned to Fort Lewis during August and September 2008. In October 2008, 1st Squadron began to return to Fort Carson, being replaced by 6th Squadron. 6th Squadron has now taken over operations in Iraq with its parent brigade, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry).1st Squadron is the Air Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. Effective 17 Feb 17, Deploy to South Korea Rotational Forces administrative under 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
2nd Squadron is the Air Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 25th Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.
3rd Squadron activated March 2015 as the first Attack-Reconnaissance Squadron of the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. It utilizes AH-64Ds and RQ-7 Shadows. The unit was reflagged from 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment.
4th Squadron is the Attack Reconnaissance Squadron of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. On 14 August 2014, 4-6 CAV cased its colors as part of the transition from OH-58Ds to AH-64s & RQ-7 Shadows. The unit that reflagged and became 4-6 CAV was 1-25th ARB. In December 2016 4-6 CAV deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherant Resolve.
6th Squadron is the Air Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 10th Mountain Division Combat Aviation Brigade, stationed at Fort Drum, New York.
Constituted 4 May 1861 in the Regular Army as the 3d Cavalry Regiment
Regiment (except Companies A & B) organized 18 June 1861 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Company A organized June–October 1861 in Maryland and the District of Columbia
Redesignated 3 August 1861 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment
Company B organized 16 August 1861 at Camp Scott, Pennsylvania
Cavalry companies officially redesignated as troops in 1883.
Assigned 15 August 1927 to the 3d Cavalry Division, and stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
A Troop consolidated 14 October 1929 with Troop D, 6th Cavalry Regiment, (organized in 1861) and consolidated unit designated as Troop A, 6th Cavalry Regiment.
Relieved 1 December 1939 from assignment to the 3rd Cavalry Division, and moved by Road March to Fort Benning, Georgia on 11 April 1940.
Regiment moved from Fort Benning by road 5 March May 1940 to Alexandria, Louisiana, and arrived on 8 May 1940.
Regiment departed Alexandria, Louisiana on 27 May 1940 via Road March, and arrived at Fort Oglethorpe 30 May 1940.
Regiment retraced their steps to Alexandria, Louisiana on 13 August 1940, and arrived 21 August 1940.
Regiment road marched to Ragley, Louisiana on 26 July 1941, and arrived on 1 October 1941.
Regiment road marched to Chester, South Carolina on 6 November 1941, and arrived 1 December 1941. Regiment immediately returned to Fort Oglethorpe.
Regiment performed its last road march as a horse cavalry unit when it left Fort Oglethorpe, and moved to Camp Blanding, Florida on 18 February 1942.
Regiment reorganized and redesignated 21 July 1942 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized. Troop B reorganized and redesignated as Troop E, 6th Cavalry, Mechanized.
Regiment moved by road march to Fort Jackson on 2 November 1942.
Regiment moved again by road march to Fort Oglethorpe on 16 April 1943.
Regiment participated in Maneuvers at Lebanon, Tennessee from 18 April 1943 to 20 June 1943, and then road marched to Fort Jackson.
Regiment staged at Camp Shanks, New York from 8 October 1943 until 12 October 1943, when they deployed from the New York Port of Embarkation for England.
Regiment arrived in Tanderagee, Northern Ireland on 18 October 1943, where they prepared to reorganize for their D-Day sssignment.
Regiment broken up 1 January 1944 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows:
Headquarters and Headquarters Troop reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1944 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Cavalry Group, Mechanized with 6th and 28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrons attached.
Group landed in France on 9 July 1944, when they were assigned to the Third Army as "Patton’s Household Cavalry".
Group was recommitted to combat near St. Avold, France on 1 December 1944
Group entered Luxembourg on 31 December 1944 to locate German forces at or near Bastogne.
Group encountered German forces between the 26th infantry Division and 35th Infantry Division in the lintage-Saar area, where it remained until 13 January 1945.
Group entered Germany on 25 February 1945 with VIII Corps, and attacked through Bauler, Waxweiler, and Lasel; mopped up along the Berlin Autobahn; and protected VIII Corps’ southern flank.
Group was located at Sonnenberg, Germany on 14 August 1945
Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Cavalry Group, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment.
Redesignated 2 February 1948 as Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment
Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Troop, 6th Constabulary Regiment converted and redesignated 20 December 1948 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Troop A, 6th Constabulary Squadron Converted and redesignated as Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Former Troop D, 6th Cavalry, concurrently withdrawn from Company A, 6th Armored Cavalry – hereafter separate lineage)
1st Squadron reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1944 as the 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Troop E, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Mechanized Reorganized and redesignated as Troop F, 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Regiment remained attached to 6th Cavalry Group, but was moved to Gilford, Northern Ireland for deployment training.
Squadron moved to England on 13 May 1944.
Squadron landed in France on 10 July 1944.
Squadron entered Luxembourg on 25 December 1944.
Squadron entered Belgium on 28 December 1944.
Squadron entered Germany on 23 February 1945.
Squadron was at Hildburghausen, Germany on 14 August 1945.
6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as the 6th Constabulary Squadron. Troop F converted and redesignated as Troop E, 6th Constabulary Squadron.
6th Constabulary Squadron, converted and redesignated 20 December 1948 as the 1st Battalion, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Troop E converted and redesignated as Company B, 6th Armored Cavalry.
2nd Squadron reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1944 as the 28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized. Squadron remained attached to the 6th Cavalry Group, and moved to Gilford, Northern Ireland for deployment training.
Squadron moved to England on 13 May 1944.
Squadron deployed to France on 10 July 1944.
Squadron entered Luxembourg on 24 December 1944, and moved on to Belgium the same day.
Squadron entered Germany on 24 February 1945
Squadron was at Sonnenberg, Germany on 14 August 1945.
28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, converted and redesignated 1 May 1946 as the 28th Constabulary Squadron.
28th Constabulary Squadron converted and redesignated on 20 December 1948 as the 2nd Battalion, 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Battalions and companies redesignated 24 June 1960 as squadrons and troops, respectively. Troop E Reorganized and redesignated as Troop B, 6th Armored Cavalry
Regiment inactivated 24 October 1963 at Fort Knox, Kentucky
Regiment activated 23 March 1967 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
Inactivated (less 1st Squadron) 31 March 1971 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
1st and 2nd Squadrons inactivated 21 June 1973 at Fort Bliss, Texas)
Regiment reorganized and redesignated 22 June 1973 as the 6th Cavalry Regiment, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. 1st Squadron redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)
2nd Squadron redesignated 1 July 1974 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Squadron, 6th Cavalry, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)
1st Squadron relieved 21 February 1975 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
Regiment withdrawn 1986 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System.
2nd Squadron inactivated 30 May 1986 at Fort Knox, Kentucky
2nd Squadron activated 16 July 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas
1st Squadron inactivated 15 December 1995 at Fort Hood, Texas
1st Squadron activated 16 July 1996 in Korea
3rd Squadron departed Fort Hood, Texas and arrived at Camp Humphreys, near Pyongtaek in Korea, July 1996. 3rd Squadron was honored by maintaining the Regimental Colors until they were deactivated.
3rd Squadron inactivated  and reflagged as the 4th Battalion, 2d Aviation Regiment in Korea
- Cold Harbor;
- Virginia 1862;
- Virginia 1863;
- Virginia 1864;
- Virginia 1865;
- Maryland 1863
War with Spain:
- Pine Ridge;
- Oklahoma 1874;
- Texas 1874;
- Arizona 1876;
- Arizona 1881;
- Arizona 1882;
- New Mexico 1882;
- Colorado 1884
China Relief Expedition:
- Streamer without inscription
- Streamer without inscription
World War I:
- Mexico 1916–1917
World War II:
- Streamer without inscription
- Northern France;
- Central Europe
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for HARLANGE POCKET
Valorous Unit Award for KUWAIT;
Army Superior Unit Award for 1996–1997;
Valorous Unit Award for Iraq (1 June 2007 – 25 August 2008) (HRC Permanent Orders 169-17 dated 18 June 2009) 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry
Meritorious Unit Commendation for Iraq (3 September 2007 – 23 November 2008) (HRC Permanent Orders 173-003 dated 22 June 2009) 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry
Meritorious Unit Commendation for service in Iraq (2008–2009) (Orders posted 30 July 2010) 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry
Army Superior Unit Award for deterrence operations against North Korea (18 October 2013 to 31 December 2013) PERMANENT ORDER 055-08, dated 24 February 2015, 4th Squadron.
Louis Henry Carpenter MOH
George S. Patton
John Connor MOH
Nicholas M. Nolan
Richard B. Paddock
John J. Pershing
George B. Selden
Samuel H. Starr commander during the Gettysburg Campaign
Samuel Whitside Grorge C Platt Medal of Honor.
- Defense of Saudi Arabia;
- Liberation and Defense of Kuwait;
- Iraq 2007–2008, 4th Squadron;
- Iraq 2007–2009, 1st Squadron;
- Iraq 2010–2011, 1st Squadron;
- Afghanistan 2013, 1st Squadron;
- Iraq 2016-2017, 4th Squadron;