“The enlisted men of these companies were mostly farmers’ sons grown up in the broad freedom of country life, and to whom such a life is as natural and congenial as that of the wild animal in the unexplored forest. These men had a dislike for the teaming throngs of the city and the regulations and restraints necessary for the government of such. They were natural horsemen, trained from early childhood to care for and manage horses to break in the untamed Colts to saddle and harness. They grew up to have no fear of horses and could ride and shoot like the cowboy of the plains.”
After the battle of Gettysburg the 22nd Pa Cavalry joined in the pursuit of Lee's army and was employed with the cavalry in holding the Shenandoah Valley until its reorganization in Feb., 1864. Early in March it proceeded to Cumberland, where it was united with the Ringgold battalion. In April 1864 700 of the men who were not yet mounted proceeded to Pleasant Valley, Md., where they received horses and equipments and engaged in drill and discipline. About the middle of June the regiment was ordered to Martinsburg, temporarily armed with muskets, and assigned to Mulligan's infantry brigade. It was engaged with Early's forces at Martinsburg, and Maryland heights early in July and on the 17th had a sharp engagement at Snicker's gap. Soon after it was finally mounted and equipped as cavalry and joined Gen. Torbert's force, engaged in Sheridan's campaign in the valley. It was active at Kernstown, where it displayed great steadiness and gallantry; fought at Opequan and Berryville; met with considerable loss at Charlestown; and at Halltown Maj. Myers was severely wounded. A detachment of the regiment had been left behind at Cumberland in April and under the command of Maj. Work had been in active service all summer, sharing in the campaign against Lynchburg, the battles of New Market and Kernstown, and aiding in the decisive defeat of McCausland's forces at Moorefield, subsequent to the burning of Chambersburg. After the union of the two detachments at Hagerstown, the regiment joined Gen. Averell's forces and was actively engaged at Martinsburg, Bunker Hill, Stephenson's depot, Darkesville and Bucklestown. On Sept. 18 it charged the enemy at Martinsburg and on the evening of the following day joined in the brilliant cavalry charge which routed the enemy at the Opequan, where the regiment captured a battery and 80 men. It was again active at the battles of Fisher's hill, Brown's gap and Weyer's cave, where the command made a determined charge which saved the entire division train. It lost severely in this action, Maj. Work and Adjt. Isenberg being among the severely wounded. It was fiercely engaged at Cedar creek, where it lost heavily, and then returned to Martinsburg, where it encamped until Dec. 20. On that date, it moved to New creek and during the winter was engaged in picket and scouting duty in the counties of Hardy, Hampshire and Pendleton, operating against roving bands of the enemy. Cos. E and F were mustered out on July 19, 1865. The remaining companies were consolidated with the 18th Pa. cavalry, on June 24, to form the 3d provisional cavalry, which was mustered out on Oct. 31, 1865, at Cumberland, Md.
My name is Paul Bolinger. I generated this website to document my journey following in the footsteps of one cavalry unit in the year 1864. That unit is the 22nd Pa Cavalry which was drawn from the area around south western Pennsylvania near my home town. In 2018 I set out to go to as many sites I could find that I could verify the 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry had been there. This amazing journey has brought me to a deeper understanding of the hardships endured by these men as they fought in horrendous conditions in brutal battles . As time permits, I will add details of the unit and of my journey in their footsteps.
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