Bonds Between Cavalryman and His Horse - Series II

Jul 19, 2016
Spotsylvania Virginia
On February 18, I posted a thread in this forum on the Bonds Between Cavalryman and his Horse. As stated in that post, Captain George Baylor’s description of that bond was one of the most intriguing I had read. This post is a follow on of that February 18 post.

Describing losing his first of three horses killed from under him in battle. A transcribed of his diary read….

November 1, 1862 while bivouacked at Halltown, Virginian [now West Virginia].

We were occupying some woods near Brown’s farm when in the early morning we were surprised in our camp by a dash made by the enemy’s cavalry. Our horses were unsaddled and unbridled and tied to trees. Awakening from our slumbers and realizing the situation, we fought the enemy on foot and drove them out of our camp and over a hill in our front, the while keeping up a fire with a few men the others retired to camp, saddled, bridled and mounted and making a charge on the enemy, drove them back to Halltown. Just in front of Mr. Shaeffer’s home, my horse received a fatal wound and I a slight one in the calf of my leg, which was not sufficient to render me hors de combat.

I lead my noble animal, which I dearly loved, and her very life seemed bound to mine by dangers shared and daily companionship, to the roadside, where she laid down on the green turf. Her breathing too plainly indicated that death was near. As her eyes rested on me in fondness and affection, human nature could not resist, and kneeling down by her side and clasping my arms around her neck I wept.

When I arose, she was dead. She died and with her life passed away my hopes and aspirations for her whose name she bore. The dream of my young life vanished and the hopes of the future were dissipated.

For those following this series, I plan to soon post a third and last, coming from a Captain in the Massachusetts Cavalry.