Many people are unaware that the first commissioned cavalry in the history of the United States, one of four congressionally commissioned dragoon regiments, was formed in and consisted largely of men from Connecticut.
In addition to being the first commissioned cavalry, Sheldon’s Horse formed the first pony express; constituted part of the first organized spy ring under General Washington; executed the first cavalry charge by US forces on American soil; counted twenty of its members as part of Washington’s official entourage and who were with him at the Siege of Yorktown; was the only force to achieve victories on foot, on horse, and at sea; included one of the first recipients of the Order of Merit – the Purple Heart – for bravery in action against the enemy.
Commissioned December 12, 1776, the regiment operated extensively in the Hudson River Valley, the Mohawk Valley, lower New England and across Long Island Sound until its return to state control in 1783.
Sheldon’s Horse is credited with playing a significant part in winning the American War for Independence and a key role in unwinding the Arnold-Andre affair.
Eric Chandler is a resident of Norwalk, CT and has been involved in American Revolutionary War Living History since 1974. He has been a member of Sheldon’s Horse since 1996 and serves as the regimental adjutant. He has portrayed infantry, light infantry, whale-boat raider and both mounted and dismounted dragoons. He may also have been a spy. Come and find out.
Arranged by Andre Guilbert