The regiment - the come up

*HISTORICAL NOTE: When a regiment was "drafted" during the Revolutionary War, the Officers, NCOs, and Musicians were sent back to Britain to recruit and rebuild the regiment. The private soldiers stayed in America and were distributed as replacements to the regiments that remained to continue in the war.

The 8th Cavalry Regiment was constituted 28 July 1866 and was organized as a regiment on 21 September 1866 at Camp Reynolds, Angel Island, California. The enlisted soldiers were "composed chiefly of men enlisted on the Pacific Coast, and included many of the class styled 'Forty-niners'; men who had worked months or years in the mines and were typical specimens of the roving order of citizens. Many of them were wild characters who enlisted in the same spirit of adventure which led them to the frontier, and typically had difficulty in adapting themselves to the conformity of a military life." Many desertions followed, the number reaching 41% by the end of 1867.[1] The officers assigned to the regiment were all veterans of the Civil War. John Irvin Gregg was its first colonel, with Thomas Devin as lieutenant colonel; both had been generals of volunteers and commanded cavalry divisions during the war. The Eighth Cavalry would serve on the frontier throughout the late 19th century. The 8th was actively engaged in trying to control various Native American tribes and bands in Nevada , Oregon , Arizona , New Mexico and Texas in the Indian Wars between 1867 and 1888. Two years after the capture of Geronimo , they were transferred to South Dakota , Montana and North Dakota where they participated in several actions.

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Robbie Gow
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