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ance and do duty in a proper military manner when called upon by the authorities.
The seed sown by Governor Everett fell on good ground. Thomas Davis communicated the Governor's desires to a number of his friends and they took up the mission, extending the idea among their friends who included teamsters, stable-keepers and market men, all persons owning and familiar with horses, and on November 1, 1836, they met and formed the National Lancers and enrolled themselves as cavalrymen in the service of Massachusetts.
Sixty-four members were recruited as the original number and they elected as their officers : Thomas Davis, captain; Lewis Dennis, first lieutenant; Peter Dunbar, second lieutenant; Lewis Monroe, cornet. The organization was effected quietly; and by order the new cavalry corps was assigned to the Second Regiment, Third Brigade, First Division of the Massachusetts Militia on April 13, 1837.
The first appearance of the National Lancers as a part of the mili LANCER IN FULL DRESS UNIFORM tia was on May 12, 1837, when fiftyeight strong they rode on Boston partment in the discharge of their Common and there drilled as caval- duty. It was not long before a mob ry. The meetings of the organization of ten or twelve thousand people had been conducted quietly and the was gathered in Broad street and presence of the corps was not gen- vicinity; and though prompt measerally known, but they impressed ures were taken and the ringleaders themselves on the minds of the citi- arrested, the separate military comzens most emphatically, for only a panies were notified that their few days after their initial parade, presence was required to prevent on June 11, occurred what is known further outbursts. They appeared as the "Broad Street Riot,” and the with commendable promptness and Lancers were summoned to assist among them, according to a conin preserving the peace.
temporary account: “The new horse The disturbance was occasioned company of Lancers, under comby the interruption of a Catholic mand of General Davis. They funeral procession by the fire de- marched in close column and cleared popular interest. They had been rendered more efficient by the presence of the Polish Lancers and France led the world in the number and power of that class of mounted men. The uniform adopted followed the style affected by those organizations in the French army: the uhlan schapka—the peculiar helmet of red and blue—a close-fitting coat of green, double-breasted, which buttoned one way was entirely green and buttoned the other showed a plastron of scarlet; red trousers with the section from the knee to the ankle of green like the coat. The armament was a sabre, a Aintlock pistol and the lance with a scarlet pennon with two points.
In this characteristic and striking uniform the National Lancers made their first parade on June 14, 1837. Preceded by a mounted band the command marched through the streets of Boston to South Boston where they paid their respects to Brigadier General Aimee. They visited the residence of Jarvis Brairan, one of the members, where a
lunch was spread. The day closed GOVERNOR GUILD AS 2ND. LIEUTENANT with a dinner in Concert Hall.
From that day to this, the 14th of the streets, so that by half-past June is the hallowed day of all the seven order was restored.”
year in the calendar of the National The military were retained on Lancers and it never passes without duty all night, sentinels being posted proper observance. The parade has and every church guarded to pre traversed the principal streets of vent false alarms. The next day all Boston and round the board at the was peaceful and the promptness of banquet have sat men famous in the the National Lancers was no small annals of the city, state and nation. factor in bringing it about.
The first parade was described by The new cavalry corps showed a a newspaper of the time as follows: decided taste for the dashing and "National Lancers. This newly orspectacular when they chose as ganized troop made their first dress their character the Uhlan or Lancer, parade on Wednesday, under the adopting that uniform and arma- command of General Davis, and atment. The armies of Napoleon had tracted to the Common several not ceased to have their influence on thousand spectators to witness their evolutions and truly soldier and embracing the State House, like movements. The day was un- the old Hancock House, the great usually fine and their brilliant uni- tree, the frog pond, and also the forms were exhibited at great ad residences of the present and three vantage. Their ranks were pretty ex-mayors of the city, viz., Messrs. full, numbering sixty-six, we believe: Phillips, Otis and Armstrong. This several, however, were necessarily is a new view of the Common taken excused: and among these was Lieu- by Mr. Hubbard. In the centre of tenant E. Coleman, a gallant offi- the Common the Lancers are reprecer, who was confined to his room sented as coming into line for rehy illness, from exposure while on view by the Governor, as on their duty at the riot Sunday night. first public parade, and also a view
“In the afternoon a procession of the Governor and accompanying was formed which escorted the officers in uniform. state and city authorities, their "The standard is on white satin, guests, through the principal streets is decorated with gold bullion and to Concert Hall, where at half past arranged after the manner of old five o'clock, the whole company sat Knights Templars. The staff is down to altogether the most sump sutmounted by a bronze horse, from tuous entertainment we have seen the foot of which hang three pendserved for a similar occasion. Elo ants, white, red and green, the colquent and appropriate addresses ors of the uniform of the company. were made by the Governor, the On the top of the vignette is the Mayor, the Adjutant General, Colo- national Eagle bearing the words, nels Thomas and Winthrop, Rev. 'For Liberty, Union and the Laws.' Mr. Robbins, Dr. Flint, J. C. Park Underneath is the American standand others. The sentiments were ard and the Lance, bearing the ingenerally patriotic and racy and scription — ‘Presented by Edward the 14th of June will hereafter be Everett, Aug. 30, 1837.'” memorable as the anniversary of Following the presentation the the brave and gallant Lancers." Lancers took the Governor under
The favor of Governor Everett their escort and marched to Camfor the new cavalry company was bridge. A newspaper of the time shown by his gift of a banner, says: “National Lancers. This new which event took place before the and unrivalled corps of cavalry State House on the morning of Au- made a splendid appearance on gust 30, 1837. The Lancers arrived Wednesday and performed in fine at the State House at 7.30 o'clock style the escort duty to the Govto escort him to Cambridge and ernor and council in their attendthere the Governor in a short ad- ance upon the literary exercises at dress presented the banner.
Cambridge.'' As described at the time by the On March 26, 1845, the full dress Columbian Sentinel, the banner uniform of the corps was changed. was, and still is, as follows: “On The green and red was discarded, one side is a copy of the arms of and instead was adopted a scarlet the State; on the other is a view of coat with two rows of gilt buttons
Boston Common, taken from a posi- bearing the organization initials. A -- tion near the head of West Street, pair of scarlet and blue epaulets
and a white belt set off this coat to spirit. Captain Lucius Slade was advantage. Sky-blue trousers took then in command; Oren H. Shaw the place of the green and red ones and Atherton H. Stevens, Jr., were of the original uniform. The hel- lieutenants, and these three officers met remained unchanged and no began to recruit as many companies change has it suffered in recent for the ist Massachusetts Cavalry. years. Its appropriate colors, the Lieutenant Shaw organized Combrilliant sunburst on the front, the. pany C; Lieutenant Stevens, Complume of swan's feathers and the pany D; and Captain Slade, Comcord of heavy gilt bullion add much pany G making more troops from to the costume which is one of the the National Lancers than were most striking and brilliant of any furnished by any other cavalry orof the characteristic uniforms in the ganization in the state. Under country and the only Lancer uni- command of these three officers as form in the United States. An ap- captains they marched to Readville propriate dress uniform of neat de- where they were mustered into the sign completes the wardrobe, and Volunteer Army with the excepthe Lancer is provided for all occa- tion of Captain Slade who for sions.
proper reasons did not enter the serWhen mounted the corps forms vice. A number of other Lancers one of the most glittering military were in the companies, among them pageants to be seen in the country. being: Lieutenant Charles E. Rice, The shining lances, the fluttering Lieutenant Walker Miles, Lieutenscarlet banners, the waving white ant George F. Jennings, Lieutenant feather plumes and the gorgeous J. H. Wyman, Quartermaster Lucolor of the coats with the flash of cius W. Knight, Sergeants Samuel sabre and horse-housings make a Wright and William H. Guild, parade of National Lancers a pic- while later the names of others ture not easily forgotten and one were enrolled among the defenders which is familiar to every graduate of the Union. of Harvard University of the past The history of these organizahalf century.
tions is part of the story of the The war record of the National Civil War, and need not be reLancers, though limited on account hearsed here, but the name of one of peculiar conditions to that of in- man comes out prominently for the dividuals, is not to be ignored. part he played, that of Atherton H. There was no opportunity for ser- Stevens, Jr., who later became vice in the Mexican War as a com- major in the 4th Massachusetts mand, but when the Civil War be- Cavalry, in which capacity he was gan the corps was not idle. At that the provost marshal of the 24th time the ranks of the corps were Army Corps and participated in the filled principally by men of mature fall of Richmond. years, men with families and estah- Charles Carlton Coffin, the hislished business associations. The torian, in describing the taking of majority were beyond the limit for Richmond says: "A little past four military service in the field, so the in the morning Major Atherton H. war was not for them. But there Stevens, with two companies of the was no lack of the true patriotic 4th Vassachusetts Cavalry, recon