December 26, 2011

Here Comes the Cavalry, Part II: The Lochiel Cavalry

Location: Camp Andrew Johnson, Jeffersonville, IN, USA
Capt. John Wise
Company F, 9th Pa. Cav.
In my post about Confederate cavalryman and raider John Hunt Morgan, I mentioned how the central division of Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Union Army of the Ohio basically lacked any, or at least any effective, cavalry to counter Morgan.  Helping to change that situation was the arrival of two Pennsylvania cavalry regiments, the 7th and 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, which had been training at Camp Curtin.  Company F of the 9th Pennsylvania (aka "Lochiel") Cavalry was recruited in Lancaster and led by the celebrated balloonist John Wise.  Its nickname, the "Old Guard Cavalry," references Lancaster County's stalwart support (i.e. the "Old Guard") for the Whig Party a generation before the Civil War. 

Although he started off slow in 1861 and 1862, one soldier, Pvt. George Unkle, corresponded regularly with the Daily Evening Express through the end of the war. His (presumably) first letter was written from Camp Andrew Johnson in Jeffersonville, Indiana, just across the river from Louisville, Kentucky.  The regiment remained there until mid-January when it was ordered to the army's front along the Green River where the 79th Pennsylvania and the rest of its division was encamped.

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