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220px-A_T_A_Torbert

Major General Alfred Thomas Archimedes Torbert commanded the Union cavalry in Sheridan’s Middle Military District during the Shenandoah Valley campaign in 1864. I found this document a while back and thought today would be an appropriate day to post it.

This post is part 1 because in this document he only recommends his personal staff for brevets. It was eight days later before he recognized his subordinate commanders and officers. In fairness, those were most likely solicited from the units and took a bit longer to gather. The regular cavalry portion of that document will be posted before the end of the month.

There was apparently no statute of limitations on brevet promotions, as a couple of these go as far back as May of 1864. The entries are a bit repetitive, but I included them all as I thought it interesting just how long some of these officers were on staff away from their regiments.

Headquarters Cavalry, Middle Military Division
Winchester, Va., January 17, 1865

Lieutenant Colonel C. Kingsbury, Jr., Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Shenandoah

Colonel,
I have the honor to recommend the following named officers for promotion by brevet:

Major Wm. Russell Jr., Asst Adjt. Genl., to be Lieutenant Colonel by brevet to date from September 19, ’64 for gallant and distinguished service in the battles of Opequon Sept 19, Cedar Creek Oct. 19, ’64 and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

Captain E.H. Bailey, 1st New York Cavy, A.A.D.C., to be brevet Major to date Oct. 19, ’64 for gallant and distinguished service at the battles of Opequon Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Oct. 9, & Cedar Creek Oct. 19, ’64 and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

Captain F.G. Martindale,1st N.Y. Cavy., A.A.D.C., to brevet Major to date from October 19, ’64 for gallant and distinguished service in the battles of Opequon Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Oct. 9, Cedar Creek Oct. 19, and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

Captain J.J. Coppinger, 14th U.S. Infantry, A.A.D.C., to be brevet Major for gallant and distinguished service at the battle of Trevillian Station Va. June 11 & 12, ’64 and brevet Lieutenant Colonel for gallant and distinguished service in the battles of Opequon Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Oct. 9, Cedar Creek Oct. 19, ’64 and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

Captain C. McK. Leoser, 2d U.S. Cavy., Inspector General of Cavalry, M.M.D., to be brevet Major for gallant and distinguished service in the battles of Todd’s Tavern Va., May 9 & Yellow Tavern Va., May 11, ’64. And to be brevet Lieutenant Colonel for gallant and distinguished service in the battles of Old Church Va., May 30, Coal Harbor Va., May 31, and Trevillian Station Va., June 11 & 12, ’64.

1st Lieut. Howard H. Goldsmith, 15th New Jersey Volunteers, A.D.C. to be brevet Captain for gallant & distinguished services in the battles of Todd’s Tavern Va., May 9 and Yellow Tavern May 11, ’64. And to be brevet Major for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Opequon Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Oct. 9, Cedar Creek Va., Oct. 19, and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

1st Lieut. Robt. C. Wallace, 7th Mich. Vol. Cavy., A.A.D.C., to be brevet Captain for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Todd’s Tavern Va., May 9 and Yellow Tavern Va., May 11, ’64. And to be brevet Major for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Opequon Va., Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Va., Oct. 9, Cedar Creek Va., Oct. 19, ’64 and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

C.J. Wilson, Asst. Surgeon U.S.A. and Medical Director Cavalry M.M.D. to be brevet Captain for meritorious and distinguished services in the Department in the battles of Todd’s Tavern Va., May 9 and Yellow Tavern Va., May 11, ’64 and other engagements on the Peninsula. And to be brevet Major to date from Oct. 19, ’64 for highly meritorious and distinguished services in the Department in twelve (12) engagements in the Shenandoah Valley where the wounded were well taken of under the most trying circumstances.

1st Lieutenant C.H. Lester, 2d U.S. Cavy., A.D.C., to be brevet Captain to date from July 27, ’64 for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Todd’s Tavern Va., May 9, Yellow Tavern Va., May 11, Deep Bottom Va., July 27, ’64 and several other engagements on the Peninsula.

Captain G.B. Sanford, 1sst U.S. Cavalry, Mustering Officer, HdQrs. Cavalry, M.M.D., too be brevet Major to date from Oct. 19, ’64 for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of Opequon Sept. 19, Tom’s Creek Oct. 9, Cedar Creek Va., Oct. 19, ’64 and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

1st Lieut. J.Q. Slater, 1st N.Y. Dragoons, Chief Ambulance Officer Cavalry, to be brevet Captain from Sept. 19, ’64 for gallant & distinguished services in the battles of Winchester Seppt. 19, Cedar Creek Oct. 19, and for his excellent management of the Ambulance Depm’t in all the battles in which the cavalry has been engaged.

(signed) A.T.A. Torbert, Brevet Major General, Comdg.

Sources
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870, File T274, 1864.

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