Bonds Between Cavalryman and His Horse

Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
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Captain George Baylor, 12th​ Virginia Cavalry
Photo from his book Bull Run to Bull Run or Four Years in The Army of Northern Virginia

George Baylor was born in Jefferson County Virginia, (now West Virginia) and initially enlisted as a private in Company D, 7th​ Virginia Cavalry at the beginning of the war. He left one of the most intriguing descriptions of the bond between a cavalryman and his horse I’ ve read.

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Cavalry horse by Edwin Forbes – Library of Congress​

“The cavalryman and his horse got very close to one another, not only physically but heart to heart. They ate together, slept together, marched, fought and often died together. While the rider slept, the horse cropped the grass around him and got as close up to his rider’s body as he could get. The loyal steed pushed the troopers head aside gently with his nose, to get to the grass beneath it. By the thousand’s men lie reposed in the field fast asleep from arduous campaigns with their horse grazing quietly beside them and nary a cavalier was trod upon or injured.

They were so faithful and unflattering. When the bugle sounded, they were always ready to respond for they knew all the bugle calls. If it were the saddle up, the feed, or the water call, they were as ready to answer one as the other. And they were so noble and brave in battle. They seemed to love the sound of the guns. The cavalryman might lie low on the neck of his horse as the missiles of death hissed about him. But the horse never flinched, except when struck.”


During the course of the war, Captain Baylor served with various commands. He was commissioned a 2nd​Lieutenant in April 1861 in the 7th Virginia Cavalry, and transferred to the 2nd​. Virginia infantry a month later, where he fought at First Manassas. In early 1862, he transferred again to the 12th​ Virginia Cavalry as a 3rd​. Lieutenant. He served most of the war in that regiment. After being captured in February ‘63, he returned to duty with the 12th​Virginia in time to fight at Brandy Station in June ‘63. He became involved with John S. Mosby in January 1865 and permanently joined Company H, (Mosby's) 43rd Regiment Partisan Cavalry for the duration of the war. He was wounded in combat twice and had three horses killed from under him during the course of the war. I plan to post his description of losing one of his horses later this year.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Great Stuff especially the Mosby connection. Wonder if he had one of these and was active in the UCV after the war. One of my favorite pieces in my collection.
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Never seen one. I bought his book but never finished it. I stumbled on him in find a grave when I was researching for my book. I communicated with the lady that posted his grave and she told me about his book. So I ordered it off eBay and gleaned thought it to get material for my book.
I ll have to finish reading it now! He did survive the war so he might have had a 43rd pin
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
I would say 90++% chance that is Capt. George Baylor kneeling in the first row to the right rear of the gentleman (Mosby?) kneeling in the front row. Baylor came from a relatively prominent family. His father started in the war with Turner Ashby. Thanks for sharing. This is great to know. I stopped reading the book at wars end. So I am not sure what he did but I do know he stayed in Northern VA. Now I got to go finish the book.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Location
NJ
I would say 90++% chance that is Capt. George Baylor kneeling in the first row to the right rear of the gentleman (Mosby?) kneeling in the front row. Baylor came from a relatively prominent family. His father started in the war with Turner Ashby. Thanks for sharing. This is great to know. I stopped reading the book at wars end. So I am not sure what he did but I do know he stayed in Northern VA. Now I got to go finish the book.
Where is Mosby in this reunion photo?
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Expectations and needs are anticipated. When done well the working relationship with animals is almost magic
I have felt that magic. My little mare seemed to be responding to my thoughts ! Was I making this up, was it real ?
Yes, she and I were a team. A bond built on respect and trust. At times felt connected down my spine and seat to her spine and legs.
Being one with the horse sounds a little woo-woo but it did feel as though we were one being.
 
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