Sunday, January 9, 2011

5th US Massachusetts Colored Cavalry

Sample Document from Military Service Record
of soldier Ebenzer Ackley of the 5th US Mass Colored Cavalry

On this day January 9th 1864

The 5th US Colored Cavalry was organized

The 5th US Massachusetts Colored Cavalry was organized on this day in 1864.  

(This was the only Cavalry unit from Massachuetts, and it was an entirely black unit.)

History of the regiment: Organized at Camp Meigs, Readville Mass. 1st Battalion moved to Washington, D. C., May 5-8, 1864. At Camp Stoneman, Giesboro Point, Md., May 8-12. On May 12th the unit  dismounted and moved to Camp Casey, near Fort Albany, on May 12. The 2nd Battalion moved to Washington May 6-8, and to Camp Casey May 9. The 3rd Battalion moved to Washington May 8-10, and to Camp Casey May 11. 

Regiment moved to Fortress Monroe, Va., thence to City Point, Va., May 13-16. Attached to Rand's Provisional Brigade, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, May, 1864. Hinks' Colored Division, 18th Army Corps, to June, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 18th Army Corps, to July, 1864. Point Lookout, Md., District of St. Mary's, 22nd Army Corps, to March, 1865. Unattached, 25th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to June, 1865. Dept. of Texas to October, 1865.

SERVICE.-Duty at City Point, Va., as Infantry till June 16, 1864. Before Petersburg June 16-19. Siege of Petersburg June 16-28. Moved to Point Lookout, Md., June 30, and duty there guarding prisoners till March, 1865. Ordered to the field and duty near Richmond, March; near Petersburg, April; near City Point, May, and at Camp Lincoln till June 16. Ordered to Texas and duty at Clarksville till October. Mustered out October 31, 1865.

Source: Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick Dyer

Headstone of one of the members of the 5th Mass Colored Cavalry
Image rests on the website of Bennie J. McRae
Thomas Brooks is buried in Yorktown, Virginia at the National Cemetery


  1. I look forward to reading your stories!
    Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. Good to see this history! I was looking at a pension application last week for someone from Virginia who served with this unit so I really appreciate this background.