Purnell Legion Cavalry, US
The Purnell Legion Cavalry was originally recruited as part of the Purnell Legion, and became an independent cavalry command when the Legion was disbanded and it's various contingents were dispered to the different branches of the army
The battalion consisted of three companies of cavalry. Companies A. & B. were organized at Pikesville, Maryland, September through November of 1861; Company C. in Baltimore in September of 1862. Term of enlistment was for three years.
The Purnell Legion Cavalry did not perform it's service as an organization, but as detached companies on special duty.
Company A. was sent to Maryland and Virginia's Eastern Shore, where it remained for the better part of the war. Like Smith's Independent Cavalry, Co. A.'s main mission was to intercept contraband supplies and recruits moving south. The company was temporarily assigned to St. Mary's County, and saw action at Gettysburg. The comapny mustered out on July 28, 1865.
Company B. served on special assignement throughout Maryland and Delaware, primarily searching for contraband, and served for a time in Annapolis under the immedaite direction of the Governor of Maryland.
On May 28, 1864, Company B. was dismounted and equipped as infantry. On June 7th the company was detached to the Purnell Infantry and assigned to the Army of the Potomac. The company participated in the assault on Petersburg on June 18, 1864; the Siege of Petersburg, June - October, 1864; Battle of Weldon Railroad, August 18 - 21, 1864; Battle of Poplar Springs Church, September 30, 1864; Battle of Chapel House, October 1 - 3, 1864; Battle of Peeble's Farm, October 7 - 8, 1864. The company mustered out of service on October 26, 1864. Re-enlisted veterans and new recruits were then transfered to Company C., which was subsequently transfered to the newly raised 8th Maryland Infantry.
After it's organization in September of 1862, Company C. was stationed at Camp Bradford, Maryland until February 5, 1863, when it was sent to Harper's Ferry. The company remained at the arsenal a short time before moving to Drummondtown, Virginia, then to Wilmington, Delaware. From Wilmington the company was assigned to the Purnell Infantry as dismounted infantry and participated in the same actions as Company B. noted earlier.
Killed in battle or died from wounds, seven enlisted men, died of disease twenty-four.
History provided by Gary Baker of the Association of Carroll's Sacred Trust.
See the General Sources page for items containing information on all Maryland Units.
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