Oldest Cavalry Unit – Who Knew?
First Company Governor’s Horse Guards escorting President Taft

First Company Governor’s Horse Guards escorting President Taft and Governor Baldwin
- Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Online

….that the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards is the oldest, continuously active, mounted cavalry unit in the United States.

Chartered in 1788 as the Governor’s Independent Volunteer Troop of Horse Guards, the unit originally served as an honor guard for the governor and visiting dignitaries. The horse guard participated in parades, dedications, and inaugurations and also served as an escort to such notables as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and William Tecumseh Sherman.

The unit’s duties, however, have not been limited to official state ceremonies. During the Civil War, the unit served in Meriden where they were mustered into duty as the First Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. They have also been called to federal service three times. First, in 1916, when they joined patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border and again during World War I when the men fought in France on foot as Company B, 101st Machine Gun Battalion. The third call came during World War II when the Guards joined the 208th Coastal Artillery Regiment.

Originally operating from an armory on Main Street in Hartford, the unit is considered part of the organized militia of the State of Connecticut and is currently headquartered in Avon.

Learn More


“The First Company Governor’s Horse Guards,” 2012.


Howard, James L. The Origin and Fortunes of Troop B: 1788, Governor’s Independent Volunteer Troop of Horse Guards; 1911, Troop B Cavalry, Connecticut National Guard, 1917. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1921. Link.

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