10th Cavalry Regiment

Nickname: Porter Guard

Left the State: December 24, 1861
Consolidated with the 24th regiment of cavalry and designated 1st provisional regiment of cavalry: July 10, 1865

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.

Colonel John C. Lemmon received August 3, 1861, authority from the War Department to recruit this regiment. In September, 1861, it was turned over to the State authorities and recruiting continued by them. It was organized at Elmira, and a number of the men enlisted for the Morgan Cavalry, then disbanded, joined it. It received its numerical designation, December 12, 1861, and its companies were mustered in the service of the United States for three years, A at Syracuse, September 27, 1861, B, C, D, E, F, G and H at Elmira, December 28, 1861, I, K and L at Elmira, October 30 and 29, 1862, and M in November and December, 1862, and January, 1863. Companies I, K and L joined the regiment December 5, 1862, and Company M in February, 1863, completing- the regimental organization. At the expiration of the term of service of the first eight companies, the men entitled thereto were discharged, and the regiment continued in the service.

The companies were recruited principally: A at Syracuse, McGrawville, Victory, Jordan, Cincinnatus, Freetown, Red Creek and Cortland; B, C, D, E and F, at Elmira and Buffalo; G and H at Elmira; I at Broadalbin, Johnstown, Mayfield, Perth and North Hampton; K at Oxford, McDonough, Coventry, Greene, Sherburne, Preston and Unadilla; L at Buffalo, Cortland, Cuyler, Lyons, Persia, Pitcher, Taylor and Virgil; M at Buffalo, Freetown, Otto, Oxford, German, Niagara Falls, Pitcher, Virgil, Cortland, Lapeer and West Sparta.

The regiment (eight companies) left the State December 24, 1861, and served at Gettysburg, Pa.; from March, 1862, in the Middle Department, 8th Corps, guarding railroads; from August, 1862, in the defenses of Washington, D. C.; in Gregg's Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Potomac, all mounted, from October, 1862; in the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from February, 1863; in the 3d Brigade, 2d Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from June 14, 1863; serving, however, with the I2th Corps from June 22 to 27, 1863; in the 2d Brigade, same division, from August, 1863 ; Company K served as escort with headquarters, 2d Corps, in September, 1863; and Company M from September to December, 1863; the regiment in the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, from May 17, 1864.

July 10, 1865, the regiment, commanded by Col. Matthew H. Avery, was consolidated, company with corresponding company, with the 24th N. Y. Volunteer Cavalry at Cloud's Mills, Va., and the consolidated force received the designation, "1st Provisional Regiment N. Y. Volunteer Cavalry." The transfer was ordered June 17, 1865, but actually consummated July 10, 1865.

During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 5 officers, 71 enlisted men; of wounds received in action, 4 officers, 26 enlisted men; of disease and other causes, 1 officer, 151 enlisted men; total, 10 officers, 248 enlisted men; aggregate, 258; of whom 1 officer and 31 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers, Volume II: New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908.

Tenth Cavalry,—Cols., John C. Lemmon, William Irvine, Mathew H. Avery; Lieut. -Cols., William Irvine, M. H. Avery, Frederick L. Tremain, Benjamin F. Sceva; Majs., M. H. Avery, George W. Kennedy, James M. Reynolds, John H. Kemper, Theodore H. Weed, Martin H. Blynn, Alva D. Waters, William A. Snyder. This regiment, known also as the Porter Guard, is enumerated by Col. Fox as one of the three hundred fighting regiments of the war. It was organized at Elmira during the fall of 1861, from companies recruited in the counties of Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Fulton, Onondaga and Steuben. Cos. A, B, C, D, E, F. G and H were mustered into the U. S. service from Sept. 27 to Dec. 28, 1861, for three years; I, K and L were mustered in at Elmira on Oct. 29-30, 1862, and M in Nov. and Dec, 1862. Cos. I, K and L joined the regiment on Dec. 5, 1862, and M in Feb., 1863, completing the regimental organization. At the expiration of their term of service in the fall of 1864, the original members of the first eight companies, except veterans and recruits, were mustered out, and the regiment was retained in service until July 10, 1865, when it was consolidated with the 24th N. Y. cavalry, the consolidated force being designated as the 1st provisional regiment N. Y. cavalry. The first eight companies left the state on Dec. 24, 1861, and were stationed at Gettysburg during the remainder of the winter. In the spring and summer of 1862, it did railroad guard duty and served in the defenses of Washington, where it was mounted. It saw its first active service in the Manassas campaign of 1862, and was in Bayard's brigade at Fredericksburg. It participated in the Stoneman raid at the time of the Chancellorsville campaign, with the 1st brigade, 3d cavalry division. On June 14, 1863, it was assigned to the 3d brigade, 2nd division (Gen. D. McM. Gregg's), in which it served until the close of the war. Gen. Crook commanding the division in the final campaign of 1865. Its brigade commanders were Gens. J. I. Gregg and H. E. Davies, Jr. The regiment encountered its hardest fighting at Brandy Station in June, 1863, where it lost 6 killed, 18 wounded and 61 missing. At Middleburg its loss was 30; at Sulphur Springs, Auburn, Bristoe and Catlett's station in October, 53; at Haw's shop and Hanoverton, 42; at Trevilian Station, 21; at St. Mary's Church, 22; and at Boydton road, 17. In the final Appomattox campaign its losses aggregated 72 killed, wounded and missing. Lieut.-Col. Tremain, a brilliant young officer, died of wounds received at Hatcher's run. The following extract from the muster-out rolls of the regiment shows the sort of stuff of which the regiment was made: "Lieut. William J. Rabb (Co. D); killed at Brandy Station, by a saber-thrust through the body while lying under his horse; he would not surrender." Corp. Andrew Bringle, Corp. James L. Cary, Capt. N. D. Preston, and Sergt. Llewellyn P. Norton, were awarded medals of honor for gallantry in action by the secretary of war. The regiment lost while in service 9 ofificers and 97 men killed or died of wounds; i officer and 151 men died of disease, accident, in prison, etc., a total of 258, out of an enrollment of 2,029 ofificers and men. Among its important engagements were Leesburg, Beverly ford, Middleburg, Gettysburg, Shepherdstown, Sulphur Springs, Auburn, Bristoe Station, Morrisville, Todd's tavern, near Richmond, Haw's shop, Trevilian Station, King and Queen Court House, St. Mary's Church, Deep Bottom, Lee's mill. Reams' station. Poplar Spring Church, Boydton road. Prince George Court House, Disputanta Station, Stony Creek Station, Hatcher's run, Dinwiddie Court House, Sailor's creek and Farmville. Eleventh Cavalry.—

Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to ng.ny.nyarng.list.historians@mail.mil with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

      Anniversary and reunion of the Tenth New York cavalry association. XXV-XXXII, 1886-1893; XXXIII-XXXIV, 1894-1895; XXXV-XXXVI, 1896-1897; XLVI, 1907; L, 1911;LII,1913

      Harrison, William N. Letter, 29 November 1862.
4 pages.
Letter, 29 November 1862, from William N. Harrison (b. ca. 1837), 10th New York Cavalry Regiment, being held at Camp Parole in Annapolis, Maryland, to his cousin Frank W. Gaylord (ca. 1832-1867) of Moreland, Schuyler County, New York. Harrison describes how he was captured near Fredericksburg, Virginia and taken to Richmond for six days before being paroled, the conditions he has been enduring, and the scarcity and prices of goods in Richmond. Also included is a transcription of the letter.
Accession 40494.
Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

      Kempster, Walter. "The army of 1898 and the army of 1861, a comparison, by Walter Kempster, First Lieutenant Company D, 10th New York cavalry." MOLLUS-Wis III 353-71.

      Kempster, Walter. "The cavalry at Cedar creek, remarks on Anson's paper, written by the unanimous request of the Commandery." MOLLUS-Wis IV 369-75.

      Kempster, Walter. "The cavalry at Gettysburg." MOLLUS-Wis IV 397-432.

      Kempster, Walter. "The early days of our cavalry, in the Army of the Potomac." MOLLUS-Wis III 60-89.

      Kempster, Walter. "Major General Gouverneur K. Warren, an appreciation." MOLLUS-Wis IV 329-53.

      Kempster, Walter. "The volunteer soldier in relation to the progress of civilization. MOLLUS-Wis I 72-84.

      King John B. Civil War Letters.
Collated, transcribed and printed by Rosemary Seelt.

      Porter, Burton B. One of the people, his own story, by Burton B. Porter. [Colton, Cal.]: Published by the author [1907].

      Preston, Noble Delance. History of the Tenth regiment of cavalry, New York state volunteers, August, 1861, to August, 1865, by N. D. Preston, with an introduction by Gen. McM. Gregg. Published by the Tenth New York cavalry association. New York: D. Appleton and co., 1892.

      Tremain, Lyman. Memorial of Frederick Lyman Tremain, late Lieut. Col. of the 10th N.Y. cavalry, who was mortally wounded at the battle of Hatcher's run, Va., February 6th, and died at City Point hospital, February 8th, 1865, by his father. Albany: Van Benthuysen's print, house, 1865.

      Vinter, Thomas H. Memoirs of Thomas H. Vinter. Philadelphia: Walter H. Jenkins, 1926.

      Wiles, Clifton W. "A skirmish at Little Auburn, Va." First Maine bugle campaign II (Rockland 1892) call 10, 71-4.

      Worman, Ed. 10th New York Cavalry casualties at Sulphur Springs, VA on October 12, 1863. 2016. 5 pages.


Items in the museum collection are in bold.