4th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry (64th Volunteers)

Historical Sketch:
Cols., David Campbell, James H. Childs, James K. Kerr, George H. Covode, S. B. M. Young; Lieut-Cols., James H. Childs, James K. Kerr, William E. Doster, S. B. M. Young, George H. Covode, Alexander P. Duncan; Majs., James K. Kerr, William E. Doster, James H. Trimble, George H. Covode, William M. Biddle, S. B. M. Young, Alexander P. Duncan, James T. Peale, R. A. Robison, William B. Mays, D. C. Phillips, Robert J. Phipps, N. J. Horrell, John C. Paul. The 64th regiment of the line, known as the 4th cavalry, was recruited in Sept. and Oct., 1861, and rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, but was soon after transferred to camp in the vicinity of the soldier's home, Washington, D. C, where the men were mustered into the U. S. service for three years. Co. A was raised in Northampton county, B, E and G in Allegheny, C and D in Westmoreland and Indiana, H, I, K and L in Venango, F in Lebanon and M in Luzerne. Col. Campbell had previously commanded the 12th infantry and was an experienced militia officer. The winter at Washington was spent in perfecting the command in drill and discipline. On March 12, Col. Campbell resigned to take command of the 5th cavalry, and Lieut.-Col. Childs succeeded him. It was with difficulty the command was maintained intact as the cavalry arm of the service was not then in favor. In May, 1862, it joined McDowell's column on the Rappahannock and was assigned to McCall's division, Pa. reserves. Soon after it moved with its division by transport to the support of McClellan on the Peninsula, arriving at White House on June 24, where one battalion under Lieut.-Col. Kerr was detached and ordered to Yorktown, remaining there until the close of the Peninsular campaign. The balance of the regiment proceeded to the front, arriving in time to participate in the famous Seven Days' battles of McClellan's army. The 4th suffered a loss of a few men during the night attack by the enemy on July 31, at Harrison's landing. Moving via Williamsburg to Yorktown it was joined by Kerr's battalion and proceeded thence to Washington, but was too late to share in the second Bull Run fight. It was active at Antietam, where the regiment lost its colonel, temporarily in command of the brigade on that day. Col. Childs was succeeded in command by Lieut.-Col. Kerr. While encamped on the Potomac, near Hancock, in the early fall a battalion under Capt. Duncan, crossed the river and made a sudden descent on the headquarters of the enemy's picket reserve at Hedgesville, capturing 3 officers and 20 men and winning praise from high quarters for its dashing exploit. The regiment rode with Gen. Pleasonton in his pursuit of Stuart; was engaged in numerous skirmishes while the army moved from Harper's Ferry to Warrenton; and was part of the rear-guard when Burnside moved to Falmouth. During the battle of Fredericksburg it guarded the fords above the town on the north bank of the river. It shared in the "Mud March" in Jan., 1863, and then went into winter quarters at Potomac Creek Station. It had two squadrons engaged at the battle of Kelly's ford, the first real cavalry victory of the war. It then skirmished at Rapidan Station and Ely's ford ; was in reserve with its division at Chancellorsville ; was only lightly engaged at Brandy Station ; still as a part of the 2nd brigade, 2nd cavalry division, it embarked on the Gettysburg campaign, being engaged at Middleburg and Upperville, and arriving on the field of Gettysburg on the morning of July 2. On the 5th it engaged in the pursuit of Lee, frequently skirmishing with his rear-guard. In the campaign of maneuvres which followed the march into Virginia, it was briskly engaged at Shepherdstown and suffered a heavy loss at Jeffersonton, losing in killed, wounded and prisoners about 200 men out of 375 in action. Many of the men captured here subsequently died in Andersonville prison. It was again sharply engaged at Bristoe Station in October and had its final skirmish of the campaign at Beverly Ford. It did not share in the Mine Run campaign, being posted for 4 months along the line of the Orange & Alexandria railroad. During the winter more than two-thirds of the men reenlisted for three years, but the veteran furlough was long delayed. Detachment after detachment of raw recruits were received and when the regiment entered on the Wilderness campaign in May the 4th was a veteran regiment only in name, less than 20 of the original enlisted men being present for duty. It participated in Sheridan's raid on Richmond, in which it was active at Yellow tavern and supported King's battery in the battle inside the outer line of intrenchments before Richmond. On rejoining the army at the North Anna river its ranks were swelled by returning veterans and recruits, making it the largest regiment in the corps. It was active at Haw's shop, and was present at Cold Harbor. It saw much hard service during Sheridan's second raid, being heavily engaged at Trevilian Station and again at St. Mary's Church, where the 4th lost 87 men, and Col. Covode was mortally wounded, dying in the enemy's hands, though his body was afterward recovered by a party under Capt. Parke. Crossing the James, the 4th was almost constantly employed during the rest of the summer in skirmishing, marching and picket duty. It was engaged with Fitz Hugh Lee's cavalry at Second swamp in July, and was again engaged in August on the Jerusalem plank road. Subsequently it was in the advance upon the Boydton plank road in October, and in December at Hatcher's run it assisted in capturing a fort and 200 prisoners, 3 cannon and numerous stores. It shared in the raid on the Weldon railroad in December and went into winter quarters on its return. It took part in the engagement at Hatcher's run in Feb., 1865. In the final campaign of that year, under Lieut.-Col. Duncan, it had its full share, marching and fighting almost constantly. It suffered some loss at Dinwiddie Court House and in the action at Farmville. On the morning of Lee's surrender, Gregg's division had cut off a body of the enemy's cavalry, but further operations were stopped by the news of Lee's capitulation. The regiment returned after the surrender to Petersburg, proceeding thence to North Carolina, but soon returned to Virginia and was permanently stationed at Lynchburg, Lieut.-Col. Duncan being made provost-marshal of a district embracing nine counties. On July 1 it was mustered out at Lynchburg and soon returned to Pittsburg, where it was finally discharged. Roster:
The Roster of this unit contains the names of 4117 men.
The Union Army by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 1
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