The Thirteenth Cavalry was organized at Camp Douglas, Illinois, in December 1861, by Colonel J.W. Bell.
Moved to Benton Barracks, Missouri, where the Regiment was armed and equipped. Moved for the field, in February 1862. Was on duty in southeast Missouri until June 1, 1862, when it joined General Curtis' army, at Jacksonport, Ark. Moved, with General Curtis through Arkansas, taking part in the skirmishes of the campaign, to Helena, Ark. Returned, with General Curtis, to Missouri, in the fall of 1862, and was engaged with General Davidson in the campaign of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, driving Marmaduke and his command from the State.
In July 1863, the Regiment moved, with General Davidson's Cavalry Division, into Arkansas, taking part in the battles of Brownsville, August 24 and 25; Bayou Metre, 27th and 28th; Austin, August 31; and again at Bayou Metre, September 4. The Thirteenth was the first Regiment to enter Little Rock, on its capture, September 10, 1863, and was engaged in the pursuit of Price, to Red River.
In the spring of 1861, the Regiment accompanied General Steele in the expedition to Camden, taking prominent parts in the actions at Arkadelphia, Okolona, Little Missouri River, Prairie du Anne, Camden and Jenken's Ferry, during the month of April.
After returning to Little Rock, the Regiment was engaged in many raids and scouts, and in skirmishing with the forces of Shelby and Marmaduke, defeating them at Clarendon and Pine Bluff.
In the summer of 1864, the Regiment was stationed at Pine Bluff, in Colonel Clayton's Brigade, and engaged in scouting and picketing.
On January 25, 1865, the Cavalry Division having been discontinued, the Regiment was assigned to duty at the post of Pine Bluff. In April, detachments of the Regiment were sent to take possession of Monticello, Camden and Washington, leaving Headquarters at Pine Bluff.
Mustered out August 31, 1865, and received final pay and discharge at Springfield, Ill., Sept. 13, 1865.
List of battles and skirmishes in which the Thirteenth Cavalry was engaged:
Pitman's Ferry, Ark., July 20, 1862; Cotton Plant, Ark., July 25, 1862; Union City, Mo., August 22, 1862; Camp Pillow, Mo., August 29, 1862; Bloomfield, Mo., September 13, 1862; Van Buren, Mo., December 21, 1862; Allen, Mo., January 17, 1863; Eleven Point River, Mo., March 26, 1863; Jackson, Mo., April 22, 1863; White River, Mo., April 23, 1863; Bloomfield (2d), Mo., April 24, 1863; Union City and Chalk Bluff, Mo., April 25, 1863; Bushy Creek, Mo., May 31, 1863; near Helena, Ark., August 8, 1863; Grand Prairie and White River, Ark., August 16, 1863; Deadman's Lake, Ark., August 17, 1863; Brownsville, Ark., August 24 and 25, 1863; Bayou Metre, Ark., August 27 and 28, 1863; Austin, Ark., August 31, 1863; Bayou Metre (second), Ark., September 4, 1863; Little Rock, Ark., September 10, 1863; Benton, Ark., September 11, 1863; Batesville, Ark., October 22, 1863; Pine Bluff, Ark., November 28, 1863; Arkadelphia, Ark., April 2, 1864; Okolona, Ark., April 3, 1864; Little Missouri River, Ark., April 4, 1864' Prairie de Anne, Ark., April 10, 11 and 12, 1864; Camden, Ark., April 15, 1864; Jenken's Ferry, Ark., April 30, 1864; Cross Roads, Ark., September 11, 1864; Mount Elba, Ark., October 18, 1864; Douglas Landing, Ark., February 22, 1865; Monticello, Ark., March 28, 1865.
In accordance with orders received from Headquarters Department of the Missouri, the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry will be consolidated immediately. The eight companies which now compose the Regiment will be consolidated into (3) companies, in accordance with Paragraph 2, General Orders No. 86, War Department, and Major L. Lippert, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, is designated as the Major to be retained in command of the Battalion. Major Lippert will designate the proper company officers to be retained under the new organization.
In accordance with General Orders, No. 86, War Department, Colonel J.W. Bell, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, will be mustered out of the service of the United States, the command, by consolidation, being less than that to which his rank entitles him.
Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Hartment will also be mustered out of the service.
Major Charles Bell, Thirteenth Illinois Cavlary, will also be mustered out of the service, in accordance with General Orders, No. 86, War Department.
Captain D. W. Cheek, Thirteenth Infantry, U.S.A>, and Assistant Commissary of Musters, will proceed immediately to Pilot Knob, Mo., to carry out the provisions of this order.
By order of Brigadier General DAVIDSON.