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5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
E Troop, 4th Cavalry Regiment
"Long Knife"

The 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment was first constituted in 1855 as E Company, 1st Cavalry. In 1861, the unit was redesignated as E Company, 4th Cavalry. On 12 April 1861, the United States plunged into the Civil War. With so many units being sent east for the war the 1st Cavalry was initially kept on the frontier until militia units were raised to protect against Indian raids. On 22 June 1861, Major General George McClellan requested Company A and Company E from his former regiment to serve as his personal escort. The 2 companies saw action in the Bull Run, the Peninsula, Antietam and Fredericksburg campaigns, not rejoining the rest of the Regiment in the western theater until 1864.

After the end of the US Civil War, the Regiment moved westward as part of the expansion of the United States. On 1 April 1873, the Regiment moved to Fort Clark, Texas close to the Mexican border, to stop the cross-border raiding by the Apaches coming out of Mexico. Colonel Mackenzie was ordered by Lieutenant General Sheridan with the blessing of President Grant to ignore Mexican sovereignty and strike at the Apache/Kickapoo village at Remolino, Mexico some 55 miles south of the border. With utmost secrecy Mackenzie began training and preparations for the operation. On 17 May 1873, 6 companies of the 4th Cavalry (A,B,C,E,I,M) crossed the Rio Grande under cover of darkness and headed to Remolino. It was a difficult night march over unfamiliar terrain but by dawn they were in position and on Mackenzie's signal the 4th Cavalry charged the camp. There was some scattered resistance, but most of the warriors fled leaving their horses and families behind. The families and horse herd were rounded up and the 4th Cavalry began a grueling march back to the Rio Grande reaching Texas at dawn on 19 May 1873. During this operation the 4th Cavalry covered 160 miles in thirty-two hours fought an engagement and destroyed a hostile camp. Without their horses and their families in captivity the Indian warriors returned to their reservations in Texas.

In 1883, all Cavalry Companies in the US Army were redesignated as Cavalry Troops, with E Company, 4th Cavalry becoming E Troop, 4th Cavalry. In 1884, the 4th Cavalry was ordered to Arizona to combat the Apache. By May 1884, the Regimental headquarters was located at Fort Huachuca along with Troops B, D and I. Troop E, with the rest of the Regiment was stationed at army posts throughout the eastern half of Arizona. In May 1885, 150 Apaches led by Geronimo left the reservation and cut a wide swath of murder and robbery throughout southern Arizona as they headed for their safe haven in Mexico.

After unsuccessful efforts to bring Geronimo back to the reservation, General Miles ordered Captain Henry W. Lawton with a troop of the 4th Cavalry in pursuit. Several engagements with 4th and 10th Cavalry elements took a toll on Geronimo's band but he managed to escape back to Mexico. Eventually, Geronimo sent word he was willing to surrender. Moving into Mexico, Lawton accompanied by Lieutenant Charles Gatewood, 6th Cavalry, whom Geronimo respected and trusted, met with Geronimo on 24 August 1886. Geronimo agreed to cross back into Arizona and surrender to General Miles. Captain Lawton and Lieutenant Gatewood brought Geronimo to Skeleton Canyon, 20 miles north of the Mexican border where he formally surrendered to General Miles on 3 September 1886.

At the conclusion of the Indian Wars, the 4th Cavalry as a whole was transferred from the American Southwest to Fort Walla Walla, Washington in May 1890. For the next eight years it performed routine garrison duties.

After the seizure of Manila during the War with Spain by Admiral Dewey the call was made for American ground forces to defend the Philippines. The first regiment to be sent was the 4th Cavalry. Six troops were initially sent in August 1898 to the Philippines capital where they were immediately deployed to defend Manila from dissident elements of the Philippines Army that resented the American takeover of their islands. Fighting broke out when Filipino forces fired on US Forces. The Americans drove the Filipino insurgents from the city and began a campaign to capture the insurgent capitol of Malolos. A mix-up resulted in the 4th Cavalry's horses had been unloaded in Hawaii. Troops E, I and K were mounted on Filipino ponies and participated in the Malolos campaign. The quality horsemanship of the American Cavalryman and the versatility of the Pilipino ponies made an ideal mounted arm of decisive action in the jungles of the Philippines.

In January 1901, the 4th Cavalry Regiment as a whole was assigned pacification duties in the southern part of Luzon. On 31 September 1901, the tour of duty in the Philippines ended for the 4th Cavalry Regiment. The 4th Cavalry had participated in 119 skirmishes and battles. Upon re-deployment to the States, the Regiment's 3 squadrons were assigned to Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley, Kansas and Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, the birthplace of the regiment. In 1905, the 4th Cavalry returned once again to the Philippines and participated in the Jolo campaign on the island of Mindanao.

In 1942, the 4th Cavalry as a whole mechanized, turning in their horses for armored cars and light tanks. In 1943, the unit was redesignated as A Troop, 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, part of the 4th Cavalry Group. The 4th Cavalry's regimental headquarters had been reorganized and redesignated as the the headquarters of the 4th Cavalry Group.

At 0430 Hours on 6 June 1944, elements of Troop A, 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and Troop B, 24th Cavalry Recon Squadron landed on the St. Marcoufs. Corporal Harvey S. Olson and Private Thomas C. Killeran of Troop A, with Sergeant John S. Zanders and Corporal Melvin F. Kinzie of Troop B, each armed only with a knife, swam ashore to mark the beaches for the landing crafts. They became the first seaborne American soldiers to land on French soil on D-Day. As the troops dashed from their landing craft they were met with silence. The Germans had evacuated the islands but they did leave them heavily mined. The A Troop continued to serve in Europe until the end of the Second World War.

After the end of the Second World War, Troop A, 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was converted and redesignated on 1 May 1946 as Troop A, 4th Constabulary Squadron, 4th Constabulary Regiment, as part of US occupation forces. On 1 April 1949, the unit became Troop A, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. On 1 December 1951, it was again redesignated as Troop A, 4th Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Battalion. The unit was inactivated 1 July 1955 at Camp McCauley, Austria

As part of the reorganization of the US Army under the Combat Arms Regimental System, the 4th Cavalry became a parent regiment assigned to the Department of the Army and its subordinate elements were formed as independant squadrons. The unit was redesignated on 20 April 1959 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Cavalry and concurrently withdrawn from Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve and assigned to 103rd Infantry Division. On 18 May 1959, the unit was activated with its headquarters at Ottumwa, Iowa. The unit was inactivated on 15 March 1963 at Ottumwa, Iowa, and relieved from assignment to the 103rd Infantry Division

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, 4th Cavalry was redesignated on 3 December 1963 as Trp. E, 4th Cavalry and assigned to 205th Infantry Brigade, remaining part of the US Army Reserve. It was reactivated on 15 January 1964 at Madison, Wisconsin assigned to 205th Infantry Brigade. The Troop was inactivated on 15 June 1994 at Madison, Wisconsin and relieved from assignment to the 205th Infantry Brigade, withdrawn from Army Reserve, allotted to the Regular Army.

The unit was reactivated on 16 January 1999 as E Troop, 4th Cavalry, becoming the Brigade Reconnaissance Troop for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. In June 1999, E Troop deployed to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Kosovo as the lead element of the initial entry force. It remained there until December 1999, serving on the border between Kosovo and Serbia and as a quick reaction force, responding to incidents of violence all over the Multinational Brigade-East sector.

The elements include 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry and the 3 brigade reconnaissance troops, Troops D, E, and F served in Iraq from February 2004-2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Troop E returned to Iraq for a second tour from July 2006 until October 2007.

On 28 March 2008, E Troop, 4th Cavalry returned from Germany. The 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) at this time cased its colors in Germany and was subsequently reorganized and redesignated the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), under the Army's new modular force structure. A part of this transformation entailed the activation of full Cavalry Squadrons as part of each of the Division's reorganized modular Brigades. Previous Brigade Cavalry Troops and the Divisional Cavalry Squadron were inactivated. E Troop, 4th Cavalry's lineage and honors used as the basis for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team's cavalry squadron, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment. Concurrently, 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment was inactivated and reflagged.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:29:21 ZULU