In November 1862, the Colorado 1st Infantry Regiment was reorganized along with Companies C and D of the 2nd Colorado Infantry Regiment into the 1st Colorado Cavalry. (This was done since the US War Department believed cavalry would be better in protecting the Western trails and for fighting the various Indian tribes.)
The 1st Colorado Cavalry's assignment was to guard the Colorado Territory and its gold mines from possible Confederate invasion, and to protect the ever-expanding white settlements from Indian raids. In 1863, they participated in isolated skirmishes against the Utes, (in "Idaho Territory", part of present-day Wyoming) Kiowas, and Comanches (in Kansas).
In January 1864, re-enlisting troops from this regiment formed the 1st Colorado Veteran Volunteers, also referred to as the Veterans Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Tappan. More than a standard battalion, the Veterans Battalion actually had at least six companies, and remained part of the 1st Colorado Cavalry for administrative purposes. Rosters of the reformed companies appear in the Transcript of Records at the Colorado State Archives.
Troops from this regiment are generally considered to have begun the Indian War of 1864, by attacking a party of Cheyenne at Fremont's Orchard in April 1864. Thereafter, detached companies from the regiment met the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 1864. Traffic on the Platte River trail, one of the main immigration routes into Colorado, came to a halt as the tribes retaliated, and by late summer of 1864 Denver was totally cut off from the east.
The Colorado State Archives has custody of the casualty records, clothing issue records, some of the muster rolls, and the morning reports relating to this regiment.
Attached to District of Colorado, District of the Upper Arkansas and District of the Plains till November, 1865, operating against Indians and protecting stage routes.
Stationed by detachments at Denver, Camps Collins, Curtis, Fillmore, Robbins, Weld and Canon City and at Forts Lyon and Garland.
Skirmish at Grand Pass, Fort Halleck, Idaho, July 7, 1863 (Detachment). Expedition from Denver to Republican River, Kansas, April 8-23, 1864 (Co. "D"). Skirmish near Fremont Orchard, Colo., April 12 (Cos. "C" and "H"). Expedition from Camp Sanborn to Beaver Creek, Kansas, April 14-18 (Cos. ("C" and "H"). Skirmish at Big Bushes, Smoky Hills, April 16 (Cos. "C" and "H"). Skirmish at Cedar Bluff, Colo., May 3 (Co. "C"). Scout from American Ranch to Cedar Bluff May 9-10. Scout from Fort Sumner August 3-November 4 (Cos. "A," "B" and "G"). Scout from Fort Union, N. Mex., August 4-September 5. Affair near Fort Lyon, Colo., August 7. Skirmish near Sand Creek August 11 (Cos. "D," "G," "K" and "L"). Scout on Fort Union Road, near Fort Garland, August 12-16 (Detachment). Skirmish, Atkins' Ranch, August 22. Skirmish, Walnut Creek, Kansas, September 25 (Cos. "L" and "M"). Skirmish, Fort Lyon, October 9. Affairs near Fort Lyon November 6-16. Pawnee Forks November 25 (1 Co.). Engagement with Indian at Sand Creek, Colo., November 29 (Cos. "C," "D," "E," "G," "H"and "K"). Company "B" at Fort Zarah, Kansas, August to October, 1864, then at Fort Garland. Skirmishes at Valley Station and Julesburg, Colo., January 7, 1865. Operations on Overland Stage Route between Denver and Julesburg January 14-25, 1865 (Co. "C"). Skirmish, Valley Station, Colo., January 14 (Co. "C"). Skirmish, Godfrey's Ranch, January 14 (Detachment). Skirmishes at Morrison's or American Ranch and Wisconsin Ranch January 15. Point of Rocks or Nine-Mile Ridge, near Fort Larned, January 20. Gittrell's Ranch January 25. Moore's Ranch January 26. Lillian Springs Ranch January 27. Near Valley Station January 28 (Co. "C"). Operations against Indians near Fort Collins, Colo., June 4-10 (Co. "D"). Expedition from Denver to Fort Halleck, Dakota, June 17-19 (Co."D"). Operations about Rock Creek Station, Seven-Mile Creek, Dakota, June 24-30 (Cos. "A" and "D"). Mustered out at Leavenworth, Kansas, November 18, 1865.
The roster of the 1st Cavalry contains 2439 names.
Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion