Last modified: 2005-12-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: us army | cavalry | guidon | ninth | buffalo soldiers |
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image by Rick Wyatt, 20 May 1998
The Cavalry Guidon was a pennant shaped flag with two rows of circles in the canton. The U.S. Cavalry used guidons in the Civil War as well as the Plains Indian Wars later on. The cavalry were the last of the three branches of service of the U.S. Army to get to carry the Stars & Stripes in battle - artillery was first in 1836, infantry then in 1842 and the cavalry at the start of the Civil War.
There were several contract flag makers for the U.S. Army in the Civil War and each had a certain canton star arrangement that once you get to know them you can tell the manufacturer. I think - but am not sure - that the cavalry flags were the same way. The infantry flags definitely were.
Greg Biggs, 11 January 1998
Here's the chronology.
U.S. Army cavalry regiments (actually armored recon and air cavalry) have red-over-white guidons with the regimental number over the troop letter. This is the type of guidon used by separate squadrons of the cavalry, i.e. the one-squadron regiments which provide the armored recon element within divisions. Multi-squadron cavalry regiments are brigade-sized formations which provide the recon element within a corps. The guidons for troops of these regiments have the squadron letter horizontally centered near the hoist, so that it is white on the red half of the guidon and red on the white half.
Tom Gregg, 26 May 1997
image by Rick Wyatt, 18 November 1998
This is the guidon that was carried by the U.S. 9th Cavalry Regiment, Company I. Earlier this year I had these flags made. After the Civil War, the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments were made up of black soldiers and white officers. They were nicknamed the "Buffalo Soldiers" by the Indians because of their fierce fighting qualities and the texture of their skin and hair. Over the past few years the Buffalo Soldiers have become more widely known. Last year there was a movie made about them. They are becoming quite popular with re-enactors, just like the Civil War and Revolutionary War guys.
Rick Wyatt, 18 November 1998