Nathan Bradley
1st New York Dragoons
September, 1863
Manassas, Virginia

The 130th New York Infantry went to Manassas to be trained and equipped as cavalry. The very first night, rebels caused a ruckus, trying to get into the camp. There were gunshots, but no harm was done, and the rebels left. It was a foreshadowing of the regiment's time in Manassas.

Colonel Gibbs had polished the men as an infantry regiment, and now he remade them as a cavalry regiment. From the school of the trooper, to the school of the platoon, to the school of the squadron, from saber to revolver to carbine, he trained them.

The regiment was no longer the 130th New York Infantry. The designation assigned to the regiment at first was 19th New York Cavalry, which didn't suit the colonel or the men. They desired a spiffier name, to be the First something rather than the Nineteenth. There was already a 1st New York Cavalry, also called the 1st New York Lincoln Cavalry. And the same month, a new regiment was being formed, the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry. Several names were proposed by the men, and finally the name "1st New York Dragoons" was chosen. The governor of New York would have to approve the change, but the men all began using it preemptively or presumptively, depending on one's point of view.

As for Nathan Bradley, as he worked and drilled, his gonorrhea symptoms cleared up over time. His anger at Miss Canterwall began to diminish while his guilt for having transgressed his marital vows began to increase. When his symptoms had been clear for a while, he thought he was finished with the disease Miss Canterwall had blessed him with.

Throughout the conversion to cavalry, the camp was frequently harassed by rebels, including Mosby's guerrilla band. The Dragoons took it as a personal challenge and looked forward to the time when they could meet on even footing. Soon enough, the regiment completed its cavalry training and was attached to Brigadier John Buford's 1st Division, Merritt's reserve brigade. And the division was moving into the field.

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© 2019 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be re-published without written permission of the author.