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Federal Detachment

15th Pennsylvania Cavalry (detachment)

"The Anderson Cavalry"
Organized: Philadelphia, PA; mustered in July-Aug 1, 1862
Disbanded/Mustered out: Nashville, TN 6/21/1865


Commanding Officer at Antietam:
  Col. William J. Palmer


This Detachment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Division - Pleasonton's Cavalry Division

Unit history

After successful operations with his troop as escort to General Buell, Captain William J. Palmer got permission 21 July 1862 to return to Pennsylvania to recruit up to a battalion. He actually raised a full regiment, and was promoted to Colonel 9 September 1862 as a result. The unit was attractive to men "from wealthy and influential families" because of their usual assignments as headquarters escort.

On the Antietam Campaign

The Regiment was still largely in Pennsylvania in training at the beginning of the Maryland Campaign. About 250 men of the Regiment were sent to Greencastle to defend the State boder and procure horses for the unit. They participated in skirmishing and a detachment moved to Hagerstown, Maryland.

"During the Battle of Antietam the detachment did service as scouts and returned stragglers to their units. During this period Captain Palmer was captured while within Confederate lines in civilian clothes while gathering information for General McClellan. "
(from Harrison)

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #122: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 10 AM to 17 Sep, 6 PM
Tablet #21: Cavalry Division - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 8 PM
Tablet #121: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 8 AM to 17 Sep, 6 PM

After the Antietam Campaign

By then-Colonel Palmer returned to his regiment in service in the West under General Rosecrans in February 1863. They saw service on the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns, and in the relief of Knoxville. They were then in East Tennessee. In early 1864 they were at Chattanooga and Nashville. Toward the end of the war they were on Stoneman's raid in to Virginia and North Carolina.

"The Anderson Cavalry made their final contribution to the war effort by capturing General Braxton Bragg and his staff, and participated in the pursuit of the fugitive President Jefferson Davis."
(from Harrison)

References & Notes

This material was garnered largely from the SW Civil War site of Tim Harrison, now defunct (2009), and the Pennsylvania in the Civil War pages.

We have 3 individuals in the AotW database for this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
ACorpTaylor, Anthony         We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
DCorpWills, Andrew Woods        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
F&SColPalmer, William Jackson        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person


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