Sifikas states that this battalion consisted of four companies. The men were from the counties of Effingham, Screven, Liberty, Bulloch, Lamar, and McIntosh.
The Georgia 1st Cavalry Battalion was organized with four companies about September 27, 1861. It was consolidated with the 2nd Cavalry Battalion and designated as the 5th Cavalry Regiment on January 20, 1863 per S. O. # 20, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The First Battalion was organized from the First Squadron, Georgia Cavalry and other independent companies some dating from the Revolutionary war era.? The battalion was assigned to the Department of Georgia under the command of Brigadier General H. W. MERCER. The Department of Georgia was a division of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida, under Major General P. G. T. BEAUREGARD. The Battalion was commanded by Lt. Colonel Charles SPALDING. The 1st Battalion served as coastal guards, covering the area from lower South Carolina to the Altamaha River in Georgia, until early 1863.
In 1861 actual hosti1ities began, & early in the summer the Lamar Rangers had been mustered into service, & stationed at Sunbury. All volunteer companies seeing the necessity for active preparation, the Troop went into an encampment at Hester's Bluff, near Sunbury in the month of August  for the purpose of drilling, & doing picket duty on the coast under the following officers, Capt Abial Winn, 1st Lieut H. L. Walthour, 2nd Lieut W. A. Fleming, 2nd Lieut Jr. G. F. Handly. In September the number of days for which the Lamar Rangers had enlisted having expired, the Troop were ordered to relieve them, & about the first of October , they were mustered into the regular service for six months with pay, by Lieut Berry C.S.A.
The companies then doing duty on the coast of Liberty & McIntosh Counties were the Liberty Independent Troop, & Liberty Guards on the Liberty Coast, & the McIntosh Light Dragoons, & the Lamar Rangers, who had re-mustered under Capt Wm. Brailsford, on the McIntosh Coast.
The scheme of forming a Regiment having failed, the four companies formed a Battalion, & Lt. Col Charles Spalding took command. The Troop remained at Sunbury until the fall of Port Royal, when they were ordered to move to Riceboro, & to do their picket duty from that point, where their services could be available on short notice. ...
On 20 Jan 1863, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of Georgia Cavalry were organized into the 5th Georgia Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Robert H. ANDERSON. The 5th Georgia Cavalry was assigned to Major General ?Fighting Joe? WHEELER'S Cavalry Corps in June of 1864 and fought almost constantly from that time until the end of the war.
There was evidently a second unit known as the 1st Cavalry Battalion formed on 07 JAN 1865.
Charles H. Spalding
Military District of Georgia, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (September 1861 ? January 1863)
Picket duty on the Georgia coast.
The Compiled Service Records of the members of this regiment may be found in microfilm roll
series M266. The complete series contains 607 rolls of film. The compiled service records are
indexed on M226. These film are available from the
Roll # CSR-6 Surnames A-L
Roll # CSR-7 Surnames M-Z
The existing records do not identify which men belonged to each company by letter, but there are designations in the records for the following companies:
Captain Brailsford's Company - Lamar Rangers.
Captain Hopkin's Company - McIntosh Cavalry
Captain Hughes' Company - Liberty Guards
Captain Walthour's Company - Liberty Independent Troop
Captain Winn's Company