Pvt. Walter Bell

By Kent Worley

Pvt. Walter Bell was an eager volunteer for the 1st Cavalry regiment when it began its formation in May 1862 and became a four-company battalion at Winchester, Virginia in November.  It appears that only four additional companies ever joined the unit.

The 1st Cavalry served in W.E. Jones’, F. Lee’s, and Lomax’s Brigade, then the Maryland Line. Later it was under the command of W.L. Jackson, W.H. Payne, and T.T. Munford. It fought in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Pennsylvania Campaign, and at Beaver Dam Station, Pollard’s Farm, and Trevillian’s Station.

The unit continued the fight in Early’s Washington Campaign, McCausland’s raid on Chambersburg and later in the Shenandoah Valley and around Appomattox and disbanded. The field officers were Lieutenant Colonels Ridgely Brown, Gustavus W. Dorsey, and Robert C. Smith. Private Bell returned homed to Maryland after the unit disbanded.