Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
When the angel Gabrielle tells you " Welcome this creature " you listen. Legend has it Ishmael first saw this animal galloping out of a dust storm, a gift from Heaven. It's a longer story and quite a few versions are out there but that's the gist.
I'm personally not all that interested in history after the combustion engine arrived. OH the big stuff sure, everything just became a little boring after we lost our partnership with the horse. In 2019 we sit in increasingly sequestered, sealed and comfort controlled metal pods that transport us from A. to B., where you get out to engage whatever you came there for. Most of the world we whizzed past has been missed and apart from my daughter ( who names her cars ) there's simply no interaction beyond swearing at other drivers, the price of gas and your garage bill when the pod quits at intersection.
There's a reason so many, many photos out of the ACW feature someone's beloved horse. Status accounts for some, ' blooded horses ' an indication owners were wealthy men. It's not a romantic, fee-good notion understanding how vital these animals were and how genuinely cherished.
" Captain Beckwith's horse, Brandy Station ". No sign of Beckwith, it's about his horse.
Looks Morgan-y to me.
George Washington was a horse nut anyway, his war horse Blueskin another of Gabrielle's most famous gifts. You don't see the man being as enthusiastic about a future black limo. Blueskin, Bucephalus,Copenhagen- horses out of past wars. Jeff Davis, Little Sorrel, Old Baldy, Frank- famous horses of the ACW were only a few. We lost 6 million, how many went to war?
We lost a LOT. Yes, certainly ' progress ' can be er, good, the world got smaller, this ridiculous concept called The Economy exploded with the advent of cars and it's more comfortable sitting in heated/cooled comfort. Not sure we traded up and it's unclear in 2019 we quite get how massive a change it was.
Also Brandy, these Captain Sharp's- I ' think ' one was Gimlet although not positive. You took photos of your horse because these animals were part of your life. I'm not sure I have a photo of our mechanic with the truck. It's a nice truck. It's not very interactive.
Six million horses and mules were lost between 1861-1865. Six million gifts from Gabrielle himself. The thing is, apart from the famous/well known names of horses either ridden by famous/well known and the long-lived war horses that made news we're still a little clueless. Horses are pretty decorations in fields we drive by- in the cars that changed everything.
We wouldn't haven eaten much without them. Horses civilized the world then carried us into wars when the whole thing broke down.
Snip from an LoC tif, Washington DC 1865. Carts and carriages parked on the street and in the small stables later converted into garages. You still see alleys in small towns lined with them. They're vanishing, you can still find them.
Looking for stories evoking our past, the daily relationship we had with an angel's gifts. A steamer went down ( I think Hatteras? ), carrying with it 200 horses, private mounts of officers and many of them gifts towns bestowed on men marching off to war. Newspapers mourned the loss of those horses first then listed men lost in the disaster. We're so used to horses as backdrops to the war it's easy to discount what they were to daily, heck, hourly life.
Leaving out the handful of horses with whom we're familiar ( as dear as their names may be ), anyone have favorites, favorite stories and less-known stories of the era and war? I'm still trying to re-find an account by a cavalry trooper who was forced to walk to Richmond when captured watching a Confederate officer ride his horse. He never saw it again and mourned it for the rest of his life. Wasn't it Tillie's father at Gettysburg who begged for the return of the family's elderly mare? She was a friend, not their horse.
Carriage with match greys, the Grand Review parade. I'm sorry but it beats waving from a convertible.