6th U.S. Cavalry

6CavRegtCOAWorking a future post on my knoxville1863 blog I was tickled to find out that Brig. Gen. William P. Sanders, for whom Knoxville’s Fort Sanders was named, was a veteran of the 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in the Virginia Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam/Sharpsburg.

I was a lieutenant-platoon commander in the 6th’s descendant unit, the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 1968-69.

We were then rumored to be headed to Vietnam to replace the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, though, in fact, most of our troops were combat veteran returnees at a time when a one-year combat tour was all that was required.

Instead, we spent most of our time training for riot control in those days of race riots, though we didn’t have to control any. Instead we guarded President Nixon’s inaugural ceremonies. The unicorn is the 6th’s shoulder patch and coat of arms.

0 responses to “6th U.S. Cavalry

  1. So it’s more than a whim that got you writing this book.

  2. Meaning my military experience? It probably played a role, though I didn’t know about the Sanders-6th Cav connection until the other day. My primary interest was having a great grandfather in the 13th Mississippi which was in the attack on the fort.

  3. Dick, you were lucky that you were not with the 6th Cavalry when the riots broke out in Washington DC, as they did in more than 100 other cities, after the assassination of Martin Luther King in April, 1968. 12 people were killed in the DC riot and more than a thousand injured. Both the DC National Guard and the Regular Army units such as the 3rd Infantry and the 6th Armored along with a couple battalions of the 82nd Airborne were used to quell the riot. Soldiers guarded the White House and set up Machine gun positions at the Capitol Bldg. It was the worse violence that Washington had seen since the disposal of the Bonus Army in 1932.

    Dick, was your tour with the 6th Armored Cavalry before or after your tour in Vietnam? What was your unit in Vietnam?
    Going back to your family history: Did your great grandfather in the 13th Mississippi survive the attack on Fort Sanders and the rest of the War?

    Dick, hope you have a good Veterans Day. I will be thinking of you and all the other Veterans, Thanks.

  4. I was in Infantry OCS at Fort Benning when Dr. King was murdered. The D.C. riots made a certain sense, though most of the rioters probably didn’t realize it, considering how hard the Kennedy administration and the FBI had worked to undercut Dr. King with wire-tapping and such. Not to mention dragging their feet on desegregation. I realize the “authorized” histories no longer mention that—sort of like the canonization of FDR and his supposed “volunteer” programs.

    My time with the 6th Cav was after OCS and before Vietnam. I was a light-infantry MACV adviser in I Corps 69-70.

    Yes, my great grandfather survived Fort Sanders and the war, though he lost a leg in the Battle of the Wilderness. I think he probably survived Fort Sanders because his company was second to last in his regiment’s attacking column, which was the second regiment in the column, so the ditch was probably full by the time he got there. Just a supposition. His muster roll says he was there, but that’s the only evidence we have for it.

  5. Les tadlock

    I was in the 6th Armored for Nixon’s inauguration. Here June 1968 to June 1969. In Vietnam year before. VA can not find any of my army doctor’s records lost. Did others get theirs lost at Fort Meade too. E-mail me if they lost your too. Need for my service connected disability claim.

    • Dick Stanley

      No, I didn’t lose any records at Fort Meade. Good luck in finding what you need.