Cavalry Horses

Eagle eye

First Sergeant
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Location
Michigan City,In
How could you get a replacement horse many miles from home?
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I assume you're referring to CSA cavalry since USA government supplied their cavalry horses (& regulations to provide maintenance for said horses) a CSA trooper was given leave to go home & get another mount or buy one from someone closer then home. No doubt as the war went on & CSA money became inflated at double digits (but soldiers pay stayed the same) many calavary men became infantrymen. Of course, as the war continued, the quality of horseflesh deteriorated and mules became the choice if a CSA trooper wanted to ride with the cavalry.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
There was a cavalry depot, Geisboro, outside of Washington, DC- I'm unclear exactly how it functioned except I've seen it listed under ' remounts ' in indexes. SO massive! Brady did a series of era photographs. I'm also not clear on which would be the best references for Geisboro? Era papers tend to be excellent- official reports, etc. were printed as these war time resources were put in place.

This site seems pretty awesome- title states " Parking For 30,000 Horses ". It did not serve up all the horses needed, guessing- but wow, a lot.

" The area once known as Giesboro Point is now occupied by the Department of Defense's Joint Base Bolling-Anacostia. The installation's major tenant organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is observing its 50th anniversary this year. However, nearly 150 years ago, this parcel of land was not a military intelligence headquarters, but the logistics hub of the Union Army's cavalry in the Eastern Theater. By providing a ready supply of mounts to the Army of the Potomac, Giesboro Cavalry Depot made an important contribution as the army slugged it out in Virginia. Over 200,000 horses were received, issued, died or sold at Giesboro during the war. "
http://civilwarwashingtondc1861-186.../geisborough-point-cavalry-depot-parking.html
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
geisboro crop.jpg

From the hill, overlooking row on row, all stables. Crazy huge.

geisboro hq.jpg

HQ, coming into Geisboro

geisboro paddock.jpg

One paddock. For all its size and history, cannot seem to see many photos of horses at Geisboro

geisboro tents.jpg

Tents, workers
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
I was just reading last night about the horses used by the Missouri Guerrillas' primarily those horses used by Quantrill. As the settlers of KY moved to the western frontier of Missouri, they of course brought their horses with them. So the bloodline of the famed KY thoughbreeds moved to MO.
In the counties of Missouri that had the highest guerrilla activity, they also had the highest ratio of horses to humans, hmmmm? These same counties also raised the greatest amount of feedstuff for horses. Hmmmmm again.
In the families who supported the guerrillas, either directly through their sons or nephews, cousins etc. These families also had the highest ratios of horses to humans. ( I think we have a pattern here).
To be a guerrilla, at least one of Quatrill's guerrillas, you had to have a horse. And since the family system that supported the those guerrillas had a large amount of horses, it was very easy to replace your tired or injured mount. This practice gave the guerrillas a tactical advantage over the Federals chasing them as the Feds didn't have this kind of a supply situation.
I've also read that when a guerrilla obtained a new mount, the first thing they taught the horse was how to jump over obsticals with a rider. Also, as the guerrillas had such a close bond with their animals, the horses were used as sentinals when the guerrilla were in bivwac as their hearing was so much better. The guerrillas learned to watch the horses ears as an early warning devise.

The superiority of theses KY/MO horses were well know and highly valued, especially by the jayhawkers and redlegs from KS. During the war and for years afterwards, a finely blooded horse with a KS bill of sale would read, "out of Missouri, by Jennison" If that was on the horses pedigree, you had a fine animal.
 
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Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Mosby once sent a telegram to Sec of War Stanton asking him how he was expected to win a war with the quality mounts Stanton had been sending him.

I wonder why Morgan didn't get his remounts locally? Surely there were enough unionists in KY to supply him, but perhaps that type of action would have have been frowned upon by his superiors?

One sad fact that I've come across is that on some farms in MO., in order to keep your horse from being taken by either party, the farmers would blind their horses on purpose.
 

CivWar4me

Cadet
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
There was a cavalry depot, Geisboro, outside of Washington, DC- I'm unclear exactly how it functioned except I've seen it listed under ' remounts ' in indexes. SO massive! Brady did a series of era photographs. I'm also not clear on which would be the best references for Geisboro? Era papers tend to be excellent- official reports, etc. were printed as these war time resources were put in place.

This site seems pretty awesome- title states " Parking For 30,000 Horses ". It did not serve up all the horses needed, guessing- but wow, a lot.

" The area once known as Giesboro Point is now occupied by the Department of Defense's Joint Base Bolling-Anacostia. The installation's major tenant organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is observing its 50th anniversary this year. However, nearly 150 years ago, this parcel of land was not a military intelligence headquarters, but the logistics hub of the Union Army's cavalry in the Eastern Theater. By providing a ready supply of mounts to the Army of the Potomac, Giesboro Cavalry Depot made an important contribution as the army slugged it out in Virginia. Over 200,000 horses were received, issued, died or sold at Giesboro during the war. "
http://civilwarwashingtondc1861-186.../geisborough-point-cavalry-depot-parking.html
Thank you for this info and Photos. I did not see evidence of a RR? I'm needing information about shipping horses for sale to Giesboro. These would have been Morgans (the state horse in VT) that were sort after by Artillery as well as Cavalry. Information in VT reports a horse breeder could get between $120 - $150 Civ war dollars. Would the have been a rail link to Giesboro? Any help with this is much appreciated. Thanks
 

EJ Zander

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Location
Gettysburg, PA
Thank you for this info and Photos. I did not see evidence of a RR? I'm needing information about shipping horses for sale to Giesboro. These would have been Morgans (the state horse in VT) that were sort after by Artillery as well as Cavalry. Information in VT reports a horse breeder could get between $120 - $150 Civ war dollars. Would the have been a rail link to Giesboro? Any help with this is much appreciated. Thanks
I looked at 1900 topo map and the Alexandria branch of the B&O railroad went right past Giesboro Point.
 
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