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3rd Cavalry Museum

Fort Hood, Texas


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The Third Cavalry Museum is a window to the past, providing a view back to the beginning of an3rd Cavalry Museum Army organization that was as unique in 1846 as the only Regiment of Mounted Riflemen as it is unique today as the only Armored Cavalry Regiment. The Museum with its fantastic displays documenting the officers and troopers in the regiment will take you on a journey back in time more than a century-and-a-half to experience the continuing story of the Brave Rifles.

The new Third Cavalry Museum, located on Fort Hood, Texas, is part of a campus that includes a fantastic outdoor display of equipment, the Third Cavalry Association gift shop, as well as a children's exhibit, a research room and classroom.

Today, the 3d Cavalry Regiment, is the Army's newest Regiment of Strykers, and one of the Army's elite brigade-level combined arms units, consisting of nearly 5000 Cavalry Troopers; it is easily one of the most powerful brigade-level combat formations in the world.

The Regiment has a history in the United States Army that dates back to 19 May 1845, when it was3rd Cavalry Museum created in the Regular Army as the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. This unit was reorganized at the start of the American Civil War as the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment. In January 1943, the Regiment was re-designated as the 3d Cavalry Group (Mechanized). Today, the unit is equipped with stryker vehicles. The 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment was the last heavy armored cavalry regiment in the U.S. Army until it officially switched over to a Stryker regiment in 2011.

Under various names it has seen action during ten major conflicts: the Indian Wars, the Mexican-American War, the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, World War I, World War II, the Persian Gulf War, SFOR in Bosnia, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Twenty-three of the Regiment's troopers received the Medal of Honor, all awarded for gallantry in action between 1871 and 1898. The list includes William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, whose award was rescinded in 1916 for not being a member of the military. Cody's medal was reinstated in 1989.

The 3d Cavalry Regiment's structure consists of six Cavalry squadrons. Each Cavalry squadron is divided into four Cavalry Troops/Batteries/Companies. The regiment also controls four independent companies/troops.

The Regiment was authorized by act of Congress in May 1846 to protect emigrants in the Oregon3rd Cavalry Museum Trail, and it was under orders to proceed on its mission at the earliest practical date. However, the Mexican-American War intervened and the Regiment found itself diverted to participate in the invasion of Mexico. Here, in the heat of the campaign, was born the Regimental Accolade. As the Regiment lay bloodied and exhausted from fierce fighting at Contreras, Mexico, General Scott arrived and each man stood at attention as the General approached. General Scott, who was about to order them into another fierce battle, became so overcome by this display of valor that he removed his hat, bowed low and proclaimed: "Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!" So was born the Regimental Accolade, and the source of the Regimental Motto.

In April 1861, the Civil War broke out and 13 officers left the Regiment to join the cause of the Confederacy, including future generals Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, William W. Loring, Dabney H. Maury, William H. Jackson, George B. Crittenden, and John G. Walker. Not a single enlisted man left the regiment.

On 3 August 1861, all mounted regiments of the U.S. Army were classified as "cavalry", and the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen was re-numbered the 3d U.S. Cavalry Regiment, headquartered at Fort Thomas, third in precedence in the Regular Army. At the outbreak of the war, a Confederate force of about 3000 Texans began a campaign at Fort Bliss, Texas to seize the territories of New Mexico and Colorado. The 3d U.S. Cavalry Regiment was one of the few Regular Army units in the region available to oppose them. On 25 July detachments of Companies B and F were involved in a3rd Cavalry Museum hard fight at Mesilla and joined Company I when it surrendered with Fort Fillmore on 26 July.

The regiment remained in New Mexico fighting hostile Indians, as well as, Confederate Troops until the regiment re-deployed to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri in September 1862. In December it relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, where it spent 1863 performing duties for XV Corps, Army of the Tennessee. Between October and December 1863, the 3d Cavalry participated in operations on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and fought in skirmishes at various locations such as Barton Station, Cane Creek, and Dickinson's Station, Alabama.

In April 1866, the 3d Cavalry was once again ordered to the New Mexico territory to campaign against the Indians. Beginning in February 1870, most of the companies of the 3d Cavalry Regiment began moving individually to the Arizona Territory, but the Regimental Headquarters and Company I moved to Camp Halleck, and Company D to Camp McDermitt, both in northern Nevada. Late in 1871, the Regiment was transferred north to the Department of the Platte, which included what are3rd Cavalry Museum now the states of Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas and Nebraska. The 3d Cavalry became the main cavalry force for operations in the Black Hills region.

During the summer of 1876, the Regiment participated in the Little Big Horn Campaign against the Sioux and Cheyenne. Ten companies of the 3d Cavalry fought in the Battle of Rosebud Creek. This was the largest battle between the Army and the Indians in the history of the American West, with 1,400 friendly Indians and Troopers opposing more than 1,500 hostile Indians.

In April 1898, the Regiment was assembled at Camp Thomas, Georgia in Chickamauga National Park and assigned to a brigade in a provisional cavalry division. In May, the Regiment arrived in Tampa, Florida. On 8 June, the Regiment, embarked on the transport Rio Grande for Daiquiri, Cuba.

One of the Army's objectives was to seize the Cuban positions on the high ground around the landward side of the city of Santiago, a Cuban seaport. This would force the Spanish warships in the harbor to sail out to face the U.S. Navy. The cavalry division, of which the Regiment was a part, was one of three divisions assigned the mission of assaulting these hills, known as the San Juan Heights. The 3d Cavalry was one of five regular U.S. Cavalry Regiments engaged there.

When the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, 400 years of Spanish rule in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands came to an end. The United States, as a new3rd Cavalry Museum world power, saw the Philippines as the perfect location for a naval facility to support a new Pacific fleet. 3d Cavalry units had barely arrived at their new duty stations in the U.S. when, it was ordered to the Philippine Islands to operate against the insurgents who were trying to prevent the United States from taking control.

The deploying troops landed in Manila in October 1899. The 3d Cavalry remained on the island of Luzon until 1902, fighting sixty-two engagements during that time. The fighting was often fierce with no quarter asked and none given. This would be the first time the U.S. Army would fight in a jungle environment, and the first time it would fight a counterinsurgency. The Regiment returned to the United States in detachments between April and November 1902. The headquarters, band, and Troops A, D, I, K, L, and M were stationed in Montana, Troops B and C in Wyoming, Troops G and H in Arizona, Troop E in Idaho and Troop F in North Dakota.

In August 1917, the Regiment was alerted for overseas duty. Arriving in France in November, the3rd Cavalry Museum Regiment was broken up and operated three major remount depots until the war's end. The only actual 3d Cavalry unit to see action in World War I was K Troop, which was detached from the 3rd Squadron and participated in the last three engagements prior to the Armistice of 11 November 1918. After World War I, the Regiment deployed back to the United States and executed a garrison mission until the beginning of World War II. In July 1932 Major George S. Patton, under order of Douglas MacArthur, led the 3d against the Bonus Army in Washington D.C.

In January 1943, the Regiment was re-designated the as the 3d Cavalry Group (Mechanized). The 3d Cavalry Group arrived in France in 1944 and was attached to XX Corps. On 17 November 1944, after numerous fierce battles, the 3d Cavalry Group Troopers became the first to cross into Germany.

On 31 August 1944, the 1st platoon of B Troop, 3d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, with 30 men, 6 Jeeps armed with .50 cal MG, and three M-8 armored cars with 37 mm guns made a raid behind enemy lines to Thionville, France in a desperate attempt to prevent the bridge across the Moselle3rd Cavalry Museum from being destroyed by the Germans.

The platoon conducted the raid 75 miles behind enemy lines as US Forces advanced slowly towards the Moselle River to affect a crossing on its push toward the German "West Wall". Troop commander Captain James D. Jackson succeeded in crossing the river to the eastern approach to the bridge and cut the wires leading to the demolition charges, and was wounded in the attempt. An enemy sniper then killed Sgt. T Baker when he assumed command, at that time Pvt. Lawrence Webb manned the .50 cal machine gun atop one of the Jeeps and fired upon the sniper until he was wounded himself. Sgt. Baker was the only fatality among the raiders.

Their mission accomplished, the platoon crossed the dynamite-laden bridge to rescue Jackson before falling back, fighting their way out. In so doing, they were no doubt the first American troops to cross the Moselle in WW-II. The platoon suffered 6 casualties and 2 Jeeps lost. Captain Jackson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and the bridge over the Moselle was temporarily saved from destruction. The remainder of the Army did not reach and cross the Moselle until 12 September at Arnaville, France.

Mon - Fri 9 am - 4 pm
Sat 10 am - 4 pm
Sun noon - 4 pm

3rd Cavalry Museum
761st Tank Battalion Ave
Fort Hood, TX 76544

Touring the 3rd Cavalry Museum