The two-battalion 8th Cav Regiment was first into battle. It was commanded by Raymond D. Palmer (VMI, 1924), forty-nine. Hap Gay had assumed the regiment would be committed as a "full" and integrated unit, normally mated with the 99th FAB, commanded by Robert W. Holmes. But he was mistaken.
As he had the 24th Division units, Walker fragmented the 8th Cav. The 1/8, commanded by Robert W. Kane, thirty-four, and temporarily supported by the 77th FAB and a few light tanks and A/A vehicles, would block the Taegu - Taejon road, loosely tying in with the 25th Division on its right. The 2/8, commanded by Eugene J. Field, forty-two, and supported by the 61st FAB, which was commanded by Alden O. Hatch, would deploy seven miles south of the 1/8 to block another road leading to Taegu from Muju. There would be no physical link between the 1/8 and 2/8. Gay protested the ispersion of his forces, but to no avail.
While the 8th Cav was moving into its fragmented positions, Hap Gay rushed his two-battalion 5th Cav Regiment forward to provide a division reserve. The 5th Cav was commanded by a dashing old horse cavalryman, Carl J. (Rosie") Rohsenberger, who was nearing his fifty-sixth birthday - far too old for regimental command - and was also almost totally deaf. Rohsenberger ad entered the Army eons ago as a private and slowly worked his way up.
He was a fighter, eager to make a mark in this unexpected conflagration in the vening of his career.
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The visitors closely scrutinized Eighth Army's senior field commanders. Ridgway had nothing to say about the division commanders, but he judged that "some" regimental commanders were "very poor." They were too old and lacked "combat experience and aggressiveness." He named no names, but undoubtedly he was referring to the three regimental commanders in the 1st Cav (Rohsenberger, Nist, and Palmer) and the 24th Infantry's Horton White. Although both Dick Stephens (21st Infantry) and Hank Fisher (35th Infantry) were considerably overage for regimental command, they were doing well, as were the "youngsters," Michaelis (27th Infantry), Beauchamp (34th Infantry), and Moore (19th Infantry). Replacements being sent by the Pentagon didn't help. "Three out of five were over fifty," Ridgway wrote.*