When the call for volunteers to "preserve the Union" went out, brave men rallied to the thirty-eight star flag of the United States of America. Among these patriots were the men of the 5th Iowa Cavalry, which were drawn together from companies raised in four different states. Companies A, B, C and D were organized in Omaha, Nebraska, during the fall of 1861. Company E formed at Dubuque, Iowa. Company F gathered together in Missouri, initially identified as the Fremont Hussars. Fellow Missourians came together as Company H at Benton Barracks a few days after Christmas. Companies G, I and K were assigned to the regiment, having been formed as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Independent Companies, Minnesota Cavalry at Fort Snelling. The final two companies with their colorful names were also from Missouri; Companies L (Naughton's Irish Dragoons) and M (Osage Rifles) enlisted in the war effort at Jefferson City and St. Louis respectively. The fact that the unit was comprised of men from numerous locales played a role in the regiment's initial name. Rather than being identified by a State loyalty, the regiment was organized as "Curtis Horse," by order of General Fremont, and in honor of General Curtis, who was in command of the Missouri area.