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To those members of the regiment who have given their lives in the battles of their country.
FOREWORD This history is designed to give members of the regiment a brief glimpse into the background of “The Fighting Sixth.” Being brief, this work can only sketch those highlights of history in which this Regiment played a part.
A HOUSE DIVIDED
The crash of cannon a t Fort Sumter in the spring of 1861 split the Union across the middle, dividing the North and the South into two armed camps. Rightly (P wrongly, each felt that right was on i t s s i d e and that it must fight for its beliefs. Mobilization began. On 4 May 1861, president Abraham Lincoln issued the mobilization proclamation for the North, and the 6th US Cavalry was formed. Although the original name was the 3d US Cavalry, all cavalry was reorganized by Congress on 3 August 1861, and the name was changed to the 6th US Cavalry. From that time until this, the Sixth h a s been on continuous active duty, through thirty-five major campaigns and a dozen foreign countries. From August 1861 until March 1862 the Regiment recruited and trained i t s members from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. On 10 March 1862, it began i t s career, which h a s won it the title of “The Fighting Sixth,” when it took to the field i n the Centersville and Manassas area. From that date until Appamattoxand peace-the command engaged in frequent, bitter and bloody battles with the Army of the Potomac. Throughout the c i v i l War the Sixth fought under the top leaders of the North against top commanders of the South. Several times during the war the Regiment crossed sabres with General J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry, both in the attack and in the defense. On 16 June 1862, it fought a successful delaying action against the Confederate leader a t H a c k Creek when his cavalry succeeded in getting in the rear of Union forces. At the Battle of Gettysburg i n July 1863, the Sixth was
Tarchamps, and the zone assigned to the Sixth Cavalry Group was cleared quickly. Having completed its mission, and by doing so, making possible the advance of the units on its flanks, the Sixth Cavalry Group. in furtherance of the Corps plan, requested and was granted permission to advance far beyond its original objective. The Group drove on and assisted in the capture of Soniez. The outstanding action of the Sixth Cavalry Group broke the back of the German resistance in the Harlange pocket, which had held up the Corps advance for a period of 11 days. The determination and indomitable fighting spirit of these courageous officers and men exemplify the finest traditions of the Military Service.
By order of the Secretary of War:
Gen. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Chief of Staff EDWARD F. WITZEL Major General, the Adjutant General
1. For as long as each of us shall live we shall hear the unceasing praise of men and nations ringing in our ears - praise for the victory the armies of The United Nations have won, the tribute of civilization for the freedoms ourforce of arms has preserved in ancient Europe. This honor is the appreciation of the world to you, men of the 6th Cavalry Squadron. 2. You know, as I, that this acclaim was won in the blood of those whom we left on each battlefield. I shall ever remember with you: . . . The concussion and crack of our guns trying to silence the German Reply at CARLING; . . . The miserable, cold, glowing, stinking silence ofChristmas Night. 1944, at TINTANGE and BIGONVILLE; . .. The ice-lined, drift-filled foxholes in front of the little mill at BETLANGE; . . . The convergence of our tracers on German targets as we rolled across the snow into TARCHAMPS; . . . The deep drifts, steep pine forests, north and south of ESCHWEILER; . . . The appearance of those pill-boxes across the OUR RIVER and the way we eased across, covered by a mantle of fog at STOLZEMBOURG; . . . The “impregnable” SIEGFRIED LINE and our passage through it; . . . The barrages that fell on WAXWEILER as we fought in and out of the valley; and, damnit, the same thing again at LASEL; . . . The confusion of that night march to SPESSART; . . . The debacle at ANDERNACH; . . . The day we rolled across the RHEIN, the roadblocks enroute to ZOLHAUS, the dumbfounded
Germans in the valley up to PANROD, the way we got to GIESSEN and LANG GONS; . . . How we got around WERDAU and later took the place; . . . The end run around ZWICKAU to cut the Autobahn; . . , Our three columns into ADORF, and the roads that disappeared where we stopped on the CZECHOSLOVAKIAN border on VE-Day. 3. Those rewards which come to me as your Squadron Commander are the praise of men and of the United States for what you have accomplished. The reward which is mine and mine alone is the honor of having served as Commander of the Sixth Cavalry Squadron. For each round you fired; each yard you progressed; for each patient minute on each outpost; for each bold second that you attacked; for each bolt, gear, and valve you kept running; for each word or signal you sent by electric impulse through the air; each mouthful of food you provided; each drop of gasoline you brought forward; each order and report you wrote for me; each paper you processed; each letter you typed - for these things Iowe my everlasting appreciation. This I cannot express. 4. With reluctance and with a sentiment that I shall never again share with you, I leave my assignment as your Commander, and turn over my reins to the qualified hands of those who helped me through our campaign across Europe. May the blessings of God, men, and history continue to smile upon you wherever time and the nation guides the future of the Sixth Cavalry Squadron - always, DUCIT AMOR PATRIAE. SAMUEL McC Goodwin
OCCUPATlON AND REORGANIZATION
Long before V-E Day arrived, the Allies had apportioned Germa ny and Austria into four zones each and assigned one of these zones to each of the four big powers of U nited States, Great Britain, France and Soviet Russia. Military governments had been set up . and waited for long months for the end of the war, ready t o s t e p into the devastated and beaten land and return law and order. The military governmentswere to carry t h e "big stick" of occupying troops, to make certain that Germany would abandon the low road of fascism and take the high road of democracy
On 8 May 1945, when hostilities ceased, the Sixth -Cavalry Group found itself on the CzechoslovakianGerman border. As a Regular Army unit i t was selected to remain in Germany for occupation duty. S oon after hostilities ceased, two squadrons marched to Berlin for a four month period. Upon returning to Bavaria, their m a i n d u t i e s i n c l u d e d m a i n t e n a n c e o f road blocks, Imotor patrols and the guarding of various U S i n s t a l l a t i on s within their area of responsibility
Lt. Col., Cavalry
The second major reorganization of the Regiment .=a. took place on 1 May 1946 ".when it was redesignated the Sixth Constab iulary Regiment. The squadrons became the 6th and 28th Constabulary Squadrons, and were joined by the 53d Constabulary Squadron, and in June by the 13th Constabulary Squadron. The US Constabulary was desi gned t o perform the specific duties of an occupying force.
On 1 July 1946, the regiment assumed the responsibility for security along most of the U S Zone of G e r Thrty-one irty-one
many, as well as a large interior area. T h e i r main duties were to quell the Black Market, patrol borders, and police the Citizenry. Their vehicles were M-8 Armored Cars, jeeps, and motorcycles. Striped helmet and yellow scarves marked the colorful mounted parade through the streets of various cities and towns During September 1948, the Regimental Headquarters moved to Straubing, relieving the 11th Constabulary Regiment (now the 11th Armored Cavalry) for the Second t i m e (the first being a t Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in 1919).
On 20 December 1948, with the first phase of the occupation completed. the Sixth was again reorganized re-equipped, and redesignated as the 6th Armored Cavalry. Armored Cars and motorcycles gave way to light a n d m e d i u m t a n k s a n d j e e p s . S q u a d r o n s a n d Troops became Battalions and Companies. The organization and equipment became substantially the same as the regiment h a s today.
In 1949, the regiment participated in five large scale field training exercises and maneuvers. With the o u t b r e a k o f h o s t i l i t i e s i n K o r e a , t h e t e n s i o n a n d training increased. Grafenwohr, Camp de Munsingen and, Hohne became a s familiar as the home stations of Deggerndorf, Landshut, Straubing, and Regensburg.
Although faced by 172 rugged mountain miles of border to patrol, the regiment found time to a s s i s t the German People. During the terrible floods of the Danube River each spring, troops worked around the clock on mercy missions; however, regimental assistance was not limited to times of disaster. Orphanages and schools were helped materially each Christmas a s offi cers and men donated freely and wrote home for clothing and other necessities for the children. German Rifle and Shooting Clubs often listed t h e names o Sixth Cavalrymen a s members. Hunting and f fishine oarties found Germans and Americans side bv
War and hatred faded a s the years rolled by and friendships grew. O n a cold rainy day i n February 1957, a s the Sixth staged its final review before returning t o the United States, i t was presented a large silver shield by the Bavarian Government. The shield bears the inscription “To The Sixth Armored Cavalry Regiment (The Shield of Bavaria’ For I t s Outstanding Service in Bavaria, 20 , November 1948, 17 March 1957, Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner, Minister President of Bavaria.” I t symbolized the warm friendship which had arisen during the post-war years between the regiment and the people i t had helped to conquer and remained to protect. T h i s is the only known official recognition given an American unit by a state of Germany since prior to World War II. Thus t h e ("Fighting Sixth” ended i t s tour on “the easternmost outpost of democracy” a s it again exchanged duty stations for the third time with the 11th Armored Cavalry under “Operation Gyroscope”. After a n absence of almost 14 years, the regiment returned to American soil aboard the USNS Geiger and the USNS Buckner, arriving in New York late in March 1957. Fort Knox, Kentucky was t o be our new home.
ported t o begin their military training. Upon completion of their “Basic Training” they s a i l for Europe and the 11th Armored Cavalry. The words of General Pershing are still true-"The traditions of the old Army and the duties of the hour were our creed.” From garrison to combat, as the duties of the hour shall dictate, the “Fighting Sixth” will maintain the highest traditions of the Army as it h a s during the 98 y e a r s of i t s valiant history. THIS IS YOUR REGIMENT
Its first major mission a t the "Home of Armor" was t o furnish logistical support t o Reserve and Natio nal Guard Units during their summer training periods. The Second Battalion, reinforced by members of the other battalions cordoned the streets of Williamsburg, Virginia, during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain i n October 1957. Following the Queen’s visit. the troops participated in the reenactment of the Battle of Yorktown (Virginia). Some wore the white unif orms of the French while others portrayed the Colonial American Forces. T h e i r outstanding performance brought personal praise from President Eisenhower and a letter of appreciation from the Secretary of the Army. Mr. Wilber M. Brucker. The Regiment began writing a new chapter in its history in early January 1958 as 1400 young men reThirty-four
AF P-4720-O-Army-Knox- Apr 58- 10M
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