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[25]

American lancers — the sixth Pennsylvania Few people have heard that there was an American regiment of lancers in 1861-1863. Colonel Richard Rush's regiment, the Sixth Pennsylvania, attempted to fight in this European fashion during the great conflict in which so much was discovered about the art of war. The Pennsylvanians carried the lance from December, 1861, until May, 1863, when it was discarded for the carbine, as being unsuited to the wooded country of Virginia through which the command operated. The regiment was organized in Philadelphia by Colonel Richard H. Rush, August to October, 1861, and was composed of the best blood in that aristocratic city. The usual armament of Federal volunteer cavalry regiments at the outset of the war consisted of a saber and a revolver. At least two squadrons, consisting of four troops of from eighty-two to a hundred men, were armed with rifles and carbines. Later, all cavalry regiments were supplied with single-shot carbines, the decreased length and weight of the shorter arm being a decided advantage to a soldier on horseback.

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