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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The First District of Columbia Cavalry

 Another unit we find passing through New Kent in the winter of '63-'64 is the not particularly well known  . . .


The First District of Columbia Cavalry was originally a single battalion, raised in the District of Columbia, for special duty at the seat of government under, command of Col. L.C. Baker (provost marshal of the War Department), and familiarly known as "Baker's Mounted Rangers." To this command eight companies were added in 1863, embracing about eight hundred men enlisted in Maine, so that it became, to this extent, a Maine organization.

-History of the First Maine Cavalry, 1861-1865
Edward Parsons Tobie
Publisher    Press of Emery & Hughes, 1887


Tobie also notes that the First District of Columbia was the only large unit in the Army of the Potomac equipped with the 15-shot Henry rife, which gave the regiment, where ever it came from, tremendous firepower.

An interesting aside on Sergeant Major and author Edward Tobie of the First Maine . . .


The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major Edward Parsons Tobie, Jr., United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on March 29 - 9 April 1865, while serving with 1st Maine Cavalry, in action at Appomattox Campaign, Virginia. Though severely wounded at Sailors Creek, 6 April, and at Farmville, 7 April, Sergeant Major Tobie refused to go to the hospital, but remained with his regiment, performed the full duties of adjutant upon the wounding of that officer, and was present for duty at Appomattox.
General Orders: Date of Issue: April 1, 1898
Edward Parsons Tobie, Jr.

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