Battle of Monterey Pass / Michigan Cavalry Brigade


Battle of Monterey Pass photo of Battle of Monterey Pass / Michigan Cavalry Brigade
During a torrential rainstorm on the night of July 4-5, 1863, the Michigan Cavalry Brigade moved to intercept the retreating Army of Northern Virginia by attacking the miles-long wagon train of the Second Corps and its cavalry escort at this location. The opposing troops collided in hand-to-hand combat in the narrow pass. The 5th Michigan Calvary, led by Colonel Russell A. Alger, future Secretary of War and Michigan Governor, charged up the eastern slope and across Red Run Creek Bridge. Although nothing was discernible a half dozen paces ahead, Union forces triumphed. By 3:00 A.M. they had taken many supplies and captured thirteen hundred Confederate prisoners.
 
 
a photo of Battle of Monterey Pass / Michigan Cavalry Brigade Michigan Cavalry Brigade
The Michigan Cavalry Brigade was formed in December 1862 of the 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan Cavalry regiments with General Joseph T. Copeland Commanding. In June 1863 the addition of the 1st Michigan Cavalry and Battery M, 2nd U.S. Artillery, completed the Brigade. On the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg, George A. Custer of Monroe assumed command with his promotion to brigadier general. On July 3, 1863, the brigade helped repulse General J.E.B. Stuarts Confederate cavalry. It fought in every major campaign of the Army of the Potomac until the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Nine brigade members received Medals of Honor for heroism during the Civil War.

Photos courtesy of Jack Dempsey

Registered Site S0726
Erected 2012

Location: 14325 Buchanan Trail East
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania County

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