The 3rd Regiment Cavalry, also known as the 3rd United States Colored Cavalry, was organized and mustered into service during 1863 and 1864, primarily in the southeastern states like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. These soldiers faced discrimination, limited resources, and harsh conditions during their training.
The regiment was originally formed in October 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi as the 1st Mississippi Cavalry Regiment (African Descent). The unit soon began taking part in expeditions near Vicksburg. In February–March 1864, the regiment saw action at Yazoo City. After being renamed the 3rd U.S. Colored Cavalry in March 1864, the regiment continued to participate in raids, including the Yazoo City expedition in May. In December 1864, the unit took part in a successful raid led by Benjamin Grierson during which the Battle of Egypt Station and other actions were fought. The regiment operated near Memphis, Tennessee, until April 1865, after which it returned to Vicksburg for occupation duties. The soldiers were mustered out of federal service in January 1866.
Major Edwin Main
Attached to 1st Brigade, United States Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Miss.
Dept. of the Tennessee, to April, 1864.
Winslow's Cavalry Brigade, District of Vicksburg, to December, 1864.
3rd Brigade, Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee, to January, 1865.
Unattached Cavalry, District of West Tennessee to June, 1865.
1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee, to January, 1866.