3rd Irregular Cavalry

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3rd Irregular Cavalry, Bengal Army, also known at various times as Rohilla Cavalry, and Tait’s Horse.


  • 1815 raised as 3rd Irregular Cavalry
  • 1857 mutinied

The 3rd Regiment of Irregular Horse was raised at Bareilly in 1815 by Captain H. Roberts, of the 5th Light Cavalry, and was chiefly composed of ‘ Rohillas,’ a race of men descended from the Afghans who settled in the province of Rohilkund after conquering it. He and his regiment distinguished themselves often during the Pindaree and Mahratta wars in 1817-18 and 19.

Captain Roberts was directed to enlist 2,000 men; these were divided into two regiments. He retained one himself, and the other was given to Captain George Cunningham. These two corps were originally designated the Ist and 2nd regiments of Rohilla Cavalry. Major Roberts, on going to England, was succeeded by his second in command, Lieutenant Blair. Captain Blair gained great credit, some years after he obtained command, by marching his regiment the whole distance from Bareilly to Cachar, beyond Bengal (without losing any of his men by desertion), to serve against the Burmese under Major-General Shuldham. This corps, of which the designation had been changed to the 3rd Irregular Cavalry, also distinguished itself during the second Cabul Campaign under Captain Tait, who assumed command in 1840, and served until 1851. During his command the regiment was universally known as Tait’s Horse. The command passed to Captain Mayne in 1851, who was the commanding officer at the time of the Mutiny[1]

Historical books online


  1. Article "A Sidelight on the Indian Mutiny", see above.