Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry
Three Years

Acton men who served in the 3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry:

David P. Muzzey, Co. G


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

The 3d Regt. Mass. Vol. Cav. was made up of four already existing units, the 1st, 2d, and 3d Unattached Companies of Massachusetts Cavalry and the 41st Regiment of Massachusetts Infantry. The 1st Company of Cavalry was raised by Capt. S. Tyler Read, and its members were mustered in mostly during September, October, and Novem­ber, 1861. The 2d Company was raised the same fall, but the muster-in of its members was not completed until the 27th of December. Its commander was Capt. James McGee. The 3d Company was raised contemporaneously with the 1st and 2d, and its organization was completed and the last of its members mustered in about the middle of December, 1861. Its commander was Capt. Henry A. Durivage. The first two of the above units were known as the 1st and 2d Companies of Mounted Rangers. The rendezvous of all three companies was Camp Chase, Lowell, Mass.

On Jany. 13, 1862, the companies sailed from Boston Harbor on the transport CON­STITUTION, and arrived at Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 12. Here they were organized into a battalion under Captain Read as acting major. These companies, act­ing most of the time independently, were stationed mostly at New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Plaquemine during the first year of their service, performing considerable outpost duty and suffering some loss.

The 41st Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in the late summer and autumn of 1862. Its first rendezvous was Camp Stanton, Lynnfield, but it was later moved to Boxford. Its companies were mustered in on various dates between Aug. 5 and Nov. 1, 1862, and Thomas E. Chickering, an accomplished officer in the Mass. Vol. Mil., and at one time commander of the New England Guards, was commissioned colonel. The regiment left for New York, Nov. 5, 1862, with orders to report for service in the Department of the Gulf.

It sailed from New York, Dec. 4, 1862, on the transport NORTH STAR, accompanied by Maj. Genl. N. P. Banks and staff, and enjoyed a pleasant passage to New Orleans. On Dec. 17, the regiment disembarked at Baton Rouge, La., where its headquarters remained until Mar. 28, 1863, when it started on the Teche expedition, marching via Brashear City to Opelousas, La., and returning thence to Berwick City, May 26, bringing in a large train of supplies and contrabands. While at Opelousas the regiment was mounted and became commonly known as the 41st Regiment Massachusetts Mounted Infantry. The entire expedition returned to Algiers, opposite New Orleans, about the last of May.

By Special Order No. 144, Department of the Gulf, dated June 17, 1863, the three companies of unattached cavalry were consolidated with the 41st Mounted Infantry to form the 3d Regt. Mass. Vol. Cav. This made a regiment of 13 companies, the 2d and 3d Unattached Companies becoming Companies "L" and "M" respectively, while the 1st Unattached Company was officially known as "Read's Company". The companies of the 41st Infantry retained their original letters from" A" to "K".

The 3d Cavalry was in front of Port Hudson during the latter days of the siege, and after the surrender, July 9, Colonel Chickering was made provost marshal of the cap­tured city. During this period the camp of the 3d Cavalry was at Plains Store on the Baton Rouge road. The regiment remained near Port Hudson until the close of the year 1863, doing scouting and outpost duty and having numerous collisions with the enemy.

Near Jackson, La., Aug. 3, a part of the regiment while on a scout lost four killed and 10 missing. Near White Plains, Nov. 9, it was engaged with loss. At Plains Store, Nov. 30, it was in conflict with the enemy, losing five killed, five wounded, and five captured.

On Jany. 5, 1864, the regiment, now commanded by Lieut. Col. Lorenzo D. Sargent, became a part of Dudley's (4th) Brigade, in Lee's Cavalry Division. It now joined the Red River expedition, advancing westward and northwestward from New Orleans along the same route taken in the Teche expedition the year previous. Passing to Opelousas and beyond, on March 20 it arrived at Alexandria, La., on the Red River. On the 21st, it assisted in the capture of Henderson's Hill about twenty-five miles beyond Alexandria on the road to Shreveport. Passing on through Natchitoches, on April 8, it was engaged with the enemy at Sabine Cross Roads about three miles from Mansfield, La., the entire Union force being defeated and driven back toward Pleasant Hill, the 3d Cavalry losing nine men killed, 73 wounded and missing, and 157 horses.

Retiring to Grand Ecore near Natchitoches, and thence via Henderson's Hill to Alex­andria, on April 29, it crossed the Red River and proceeded via Simmsport to Morganzia, La., on the Mississippi River, reaching that place May 22. At Yellow Bayou near Simms­port in an engagement, May 15 to 18, it lost two men killed and 12 wounded and 39 horses. Resting for over a month at Morganzia, on June 25, the regiment was dismounted by Spe­cial Order No. 52, Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, and again equipped as infantry. About July 3, it was sent down the Mississippi to Algiers.

The regiment having been ordered North, on the 15th of July, it embarked for Fort Monroe, and twelve days later it arrived at Old Point Comfort. The following day, July 28, the first seven companies under Lieut. Col. L. D. Sargent reported at Chain Bridge near Washington and proceeded to Monocacy where they went into camp. On Aug. 15, the remainder of the regiment arrived. It now became a part of Molineux' (2d) Brigade, Grover's (2d) Division, Emory's (19th) Corps, Army of the Shenandoah. At Winchester, Sept. 19, it was sharply engaged, losing 18 killed and nearly 90 wounded. At Fisher's Hill, Sept. 22, its loss was slight. On Oct. 19, at Cedar Creek it was engaged with a loss of six killed, 31 wounded, and nine missing. It went into camp Nov. 9 near Opequan Creek about two miles from Winchester, but on Dec. 26, it entrained for Harper's Ferry, marching thence to Remount Camp in Pleasant Valley, Md., where it began the work of preparing winter quarters.

Near the close of the year the three independent companies, "L", "M", and Read's Company, were mustered out and their places taken by two new companies enlisted for one year. Thus it was reduced to a normal cavalry regiment of 12 companies, but was still equipped as infantry until about the middle of February, 1865, when it was remounted again as cavalry, and engaged in various activities in the lower Valley until after the sur­render of Lee and the collapse of the Confederacy. About March 12, Col. Burr Porter succeeded Col. Sargent in command of the regiment.

On April 20, 1865, the 3d Cavalry started for Washington, camping at Falls Church two days later. The original members of the regiment, who had enlisted when it was the 41st Massachusetts Infantry, were mustered out May 20. The regiment then joined Sheridan's Cavalry Corps and participated in the Grand Review, May 23.

Ordered to the West, on June 14 it broke camp at Cloud's Mills and proceeded to St. Louis, Mo., and thence to Fort Leavenworth, Kan. About July 21, it was reduced to a battalion of six companies. Two days later the battalion was supplied with fresh horses and ordered to Fort Kearney, Neb. Arriving on Aug. 16, about twelve days later it was ordered back to Fort Leavenworth for muster out. Reaching this post Sept. 18, on the 28th the battalion was duly mustered out of the United States service. Returning home via Canada West the men reached Boston Oct. 5, and three days later were paid off and discharged.


Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:

    Organized as 41st Massachusetts Infantry. Designation changed to 3rd Cavalry June 17, 1863. Company "A," 33rd Massachusetts Infantry, assigned as Company "I," 2nd Battalion, Massachusetts Cavalry, assigned as Companies "L" and "M." Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 19th Army Corps, Army of the Gulf, to June, 1863. Cavalry Brigade, Dept. of the Gulf, to July, 1863. Defenses of New Orleans to August, 1863. Cavalry Brigade, District of Port Hudson, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to October, 1863. Unattached, Cavalry Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1864. 4th Brigade, Cavalry Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps. Dept. of the Gulf and Army of Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to February, 1865. Reserve Cavalry Brigade, Army of Shenandoah, to April, 1865. Defenses of Washington, D.C., 22nd Army Corps, to June, 1865. Dept. of Missouri to September, 1865.

    SERVICE.--Siege of Port Hudson, La., June 17-July 9, 1863. Duty at Port Hudson until January, 1864, scouting, outpost and patrol duty. Action at Jackson August 3. 1863. Plain's Store November 30. Ordered to New Orleans, La., January 2, 1864. Duty at Carrollton until February 29. March to Berwick and Brashear City February 29-March 10. Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Advance from Franklin to Alexandria March 14-26. Monett's Ferry and Cloutiersville March 29-30. Natchitoches March 31. Crump's Hill, Piney Woods, April 2. Bayou de Paul, Carroll's Mills, April 8. Sabine Cross Roads April 8. Pleasant Hill April 9. Natchitoches April 19. Monett's Bluff, Cane River Crossing, April 23. Hudnot's Plantation and Alexandria May 1. Mansura May 4. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Moreauville May 17. Yellow Bayou May 18. Dismounted June 25 and equipped as Infantry. Moved from Morganza to New Orleans, La., July 3; thence to Fortress Monroe, Va., and Washington, D.C., July 15-28. Moved to Monocacy, Md., July 29; thence to Harper's Ferry, W. Va., August 4, Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. At Cedar Creek until November 9. At Opequan Creek, near Winchester, until December 25. Moved to Stephenson's Landing, thence to Remount Camp, Pleasant Valley, Md., December 25-28, and duty there until February 24, 1865. Again mounted and equipped as Cavalry February 15. Moved to Opequan Creek March 8. Scout to Front Royal March 16. Scout to Woodstock April 1. Duty at Cedar Creek, Edinburg, Winchester and Berryville until April 20. Moved to Washington, D.C., April 20-22, and duty at Fall's Church until May 22. Grand Review May 23-24. Old members mustered out May 20, 1865. Company "L" mustered out December 27, 1864, and Company "M" January 31, 1865. Duty at Bladensburg and Cloud's Mills until June 14. Moved to St. Louis, Mo., June 14-20; thence to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, June 21-25. Regiment consolidated to 6 Companies July 21. March to Fort Kearney, Neb., July 27-August 16. March to Cottonwood Springs, Colo., August 23-28; thence to Fort Kearney August 29-September 1, and to Fort Leavenworth September 8-18. Mustered out September 28, 1865. Moved to Boston, Mass., September 29-October 5, and discharged October 8, 1865.

    Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 101 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 180 Enlisted men by disease. Total 288.

See also:

Ewer, James Kendall. The Third Massachusetts Cavalry in the War for the Union. Maplewood, Mass.: The Wm G.J. Perry Press, 1903

United States National Archives and Records Service. Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations - Massachusetts First Cavalry through Fourth Cavalry, First Heavy Artillery First Battalion, Heavy Artillery Second Heavy Artillery.