When the Civil War began, Oregon federal troops were dispatched east to help the North, which meant that trade routes along the Oregon Trail were left unprotected. The 1st Oregon Voluntary Cavalry Regiment was formed in 1861 to help protect trade routes from some Native Americans and miners, and to escort wagon-trains to safety. On November 11, 1864, the 1st Oregon Infantry Regiment was formed, to assist with the same duties tasked to the cavalry. The cavalry and infantry each played a crucial role in the Snake War.
We’ll revisit this history on the 150th anniversary of the infantry’s founding.
- G. Thomas Edwards: Former professor of history at Whitman College