First Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry

(Attached to Twenty-Sixth Regiment, New York Cavalry, Frontier Cavalry)

One Year

Acton men who served in the 1st Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry:

Lewis W. Mather, Co. E

Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:

In the Fall of 1864, a band of daring southern refugees who had filtered over the Canadian border from Montreal to St. Albans, Vermont, made a raid on the banks of the latter city, robbed them of their contents, and, mounted on stolen horses, made good their escape into Canada.

By this act the whole northern frontier of New England and New York was greatly alarmed and excited, and, to guard against the recurrence of such a raid, a regiment of cavalry was raised in the states of Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont, this regiment being known as the Frontier Cavalry or officially as the 26th Regt. N.Y. Vol. Cav.

The first battalion to be raised consisted of five companies, "A', "B", "C", "D", and "E", recruited and organized at Camp Meigs, Readville, in the early winter of 1864. Of this battalion Burr Porter, who had rendered conspicuous service as an officer in the 40th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was commissioned major. Companies "A" and "B" were mustered into the service Dec. 30, 1864, and Companies "C", "D", and "E" on the 2nd of Jan., 1865.

For this regiment of frontier cavalry New York furnished five companies, "G", "H", "I", "K", and "L", while Vermont furnished two companies, "F" and "M".

The regiment never functioned as a unit, but the companies were scattered at different exposed points along the northern frontier from Vermont to Buffalo, N.Y.

 On Feb. 13, 1865, Major Porter was commissioned colonel of the regiment but was never mustered in as such, being soon transferred to the command of the 3d Regt. Mass. Vol. Cav. He was succeeded as major by Edward T. Bouve was had been an officer in the 32nd Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. and in the 4th Regt. Mass. Vol. Cav., and who in later years, from Dec. 16, 1899, to March 1, 1917, served as the first compiler of the Civil War records of Massachusetts.

The service of the Frontier Cavalry was without important event. The Massachusetts Battalion remained in the service until all hostilities were over and all apprehensions of danger were at an end, and on June 30, 1865, was mustered out of the United States service.

See also:

Allen, Stanton. Down in Dixie: life in a Cavalry Regiment in the War Days, from the Wilderness to Appomattox. Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1893.