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All Units - Artillery - Cavalry - Engineers - Infantry - Marines - Medical - Misc - Naval
5th US Cavalry      
Company Unknown
JamesThe 5th United States Colored Cavalry was a r Sanks Brisbin - Colonel   
The 5th United States Colored Cavalry was a regiment of the United States Army organized as one of many 'Colored' units during the American Civil War. The 5th USCC was one of the more notable 'black' fighting units and it was officially organized, after its first two battles, in Kentucky in October 1864. It was commanded by Colonel James Brisbin until February 1865, when he took over the 6th US Colored Cavalry. His executive officer, Louis Henry Carpenter then commanded the regiment until March 20, 1866. The regiment was composed of ex-slaves, freedmen, and slaves. Many 'white' officers from the unit were later assigned to the famed 'Buffalo Soldiers' cavalry units. Many former USCC soldiers (later called troopers) volunteered for further service after their Civil War units were retired.

When the American Civil War began in 1861, Brisbin was a lawyer in practice.[1] He enlisted in the Pennsylvania volunteer services that April as a private. On April 26, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the mounted 2nd U.S. Dragoons.[5] He fought in the First Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia, on July 21. In this battle, Brisbin received two wounds, one in his side and the other in an arm,[6] and was praised by his superiors for his performance during the fight.[4]
On August 3, 1861, Brisbin transferred to the 1st U.S. Cavalry (previously known as the 1st Dragoons until a reorganization of the army) but then was appointed a captain in the 6th U.S. Cavalry two days later. On June 9, 1862, he fought during the action near Beverly Ford, Virginia, and was again wounded when he fell off of his horse. Exactly one year later Brisbin was brevetted to the rank of major for his conduct at Beverly Ford.[6] In 1863 he very briefly led the cavalry forces in the Federal Department of the Susquehanna,[7] and was wounded in a leg during combat near Greenbrier, Virginia, on July 26.[8]
Brisbin was promoted to colonel on March 1, 1864, and organized the 5th United States Colored Cavalry.[9] He served as the acting head of cavalry on the staff of Brig. Gen. Albert L. Lee during the Red River Campaign,[4] and was again wounded during the Battle of Mansfield in Louisiana on April 8, this time in the right foot. On December 12, 1864, Brisbin was brevetted to brigadier general in the Union Army, and seven days later was appointed a brevet lieutenant colonel in the regular army for his performance at Battle of Marion in Tennessee.[9] In 1865, he was on recruiting duty in Kentucky,[9] serving on the staff of Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Burbridge.[4] On March 13, Brisbin was brevetted to colonel in the regular army as well as brevetted major general in the Union Army, and on May 1 he was promoted to brigadier general.[9] Brisbin was mustered out of the Union Army as a volunteer on January 15, 1866.[4]
Contact Name:  P.James Brisbin
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  4/26/2013
Company E
George Prouty - Bugler   
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Contact Name:  Shawn Verdine
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  2/2/2007
Company M
Nicholas Caffrey - Musician   
Drummer Boy. Born in NYC 1848, died in Washington, DC 1901. Applied for a pension in May, 1893. Contacted National Archives in 2006. Although they verified that the pension file number is authentic; they regretted to report they could not locate his service file. After the war, he re-enlisted as a private serving from 1866-1869 and was discharged at Washington, DC.
Contact Name:  Patricia Walsh
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  4/19/2007
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