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Cavalry to guard the district of Columbia. Between June and December, 1863, just at the time that the Giesboro remount depot was established, four companies of the First District of Columbia Cavalry (A, B, C, and D) were organized. These commands were assigned to special service in the District of Columbia, subject only to the orders of the War Department. The thousands of mounts at Giesboro were not many miles from the track of the Confederate raiders, and presented a tempting prize to them. But early in 1864 the “District” cavalry were ordered away to southeastern Virginia, where they served with Kautz's cavalry division in the Army of the James, during the Petersburg and Appomattox campaigns. Colonel Lafayette C. Baker, in command of this cavalry, reported an encounter with Mosby, to whose depredations their organization was chiefly due, on October 22, 1863: “Sir: This morning about ten o'clock a detachment of my battalion, under command of Major E. J. Conger, and a detachment of the California battalion, under command of Captain Eigenbrodt, encountered a squad of Mosby's men some three miles this side of Fairfax Court House and near the Little River turnpike. One of Mosby's men (named Charles Mason) was shot and instantly killed. The celebrated guerrillas, Jack Barns, Ed. Stratton, and Bill Harover, were captured and forwarded to the Old Capitol Prison. These men state that they were looking for Government horses and sutlers' wagons. None of our force were injured.” Colonel Baker was in the Federal Secret Service, and used these cavalrymen as his police. Eight additional companies were subsequently organized for the First District of Columbia Cavalry at Augusta, Maine, January to March, 1864, but after some service with Kautz's cavalry, these were consolidated into two companies and merged into the First Maine Cavalry.

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