General Meade's "Baldy"

tmh10

Major
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Pipestem,WV
In the first great battle of the Civil War, at Bull Run, there was a bright bay horse, with white face and feet. His rider was seriously wounded. The horse was turned back to the quartermaster to recover from his wounds received that day. Later, in September, General Meade bought the horse and named him "Baldy." Though Meade became deeply attached to the horse, his staff officers soon began to complain of the peculiar pace of "Baldy," which was hard to follow. He had a racking gait that was faster than a walk and slow for a trot and compelled the staff, alternately, to trot and then to drop into a walk, causing great discomfort.

"Baldy's "war record was remarkable. He was wounded twice at the first battle of Bull Run; he was at the battle of Dranesville; he took part in two of the seven days' fighting around Richmond in the summer of 1862; at Groveton, August 29th, at the second battle of Bull Run; at South Mountain and at Antietam. In the last battle the gallant horse was left on the field as dead, but in the next Federal advance "Baldy" was discovered quietly grazing on the battle-ground, with a deep wound in his neck. He was tenderly cared for and soon was again fit for duty. He bore the general at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. For two days "Baldy" was present at Gettysburg, where he received his most grievous wound from a bullet entering his body between the ribs, and lodging there. Meade would not part with the gallant horse, and kept him with the army until the following spring.

In the preparations of the Army of the Potomac for their last campaign, "Baldy" was sent to pasture at Downingtown, in Pennsylvania. After the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox, Meade hurried to Philadelphia where he again met his faithful charger, fully recovered. For many years the horse and the general were inseparable companions, and when Meade died in 1872, the bullet-scarred war-horse followed the hearse. Ten years later "Baldy" died, and his head and two fore hoofs were mounted and are now cherished relics of the George G. Meade Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in Philadelphia.

Source: "Photographic History of the Civil War: Article by Theo. F. Rodenbough, Brigadier-General, United States Army (Retired)
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Thanks for this. I had heard some of it, not the amount of times Baldy was wounded though and hadn't heard about his wierd gait-cool info. I had to go look something up, because I thought I remembered reading somewhere it's thought Baldy was a Morgan- as was Little Sorrel?

This is of course all over the place, a site called military horse, dot org is had Baldy also.

civil war militaryhorse dot org baldy.jpg
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
A site on Morgans, "The Elusive Civil War Morgans", at

http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/articles/sears_civilwarmorganhorses2.html

The article states that Baldy probably a Morgan.

As to Little Sorrel, was said to be a Morgan but by photo shown on this site, it reveals he was a "Virginia Riding Horse", mostly Thoroughbreds.

Great site with other Morgans from Civil War shown and discussed.
 

wondering

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Location
North of the 49th
Ain't it great so many of these officers saw fit to preserve their mounts in photographs? I mean by the end of the Civil War, they probably knew their horses better than their wives ... such a distinct sense of affection for the proud beasts (kinda like me with my first car). Please keep these stories and pictures coming (on occasion), I can't get enough in this unique collection of American Civil Warhorses! :thumbsup:
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
:rofl: 'Stuffed George Meade', just lost more coffee.

Baldy was a better looking and less intimidating, too.

Hey, thanks for the Little Sorrel info, Donna, had no idea. Boy, dinky kinda thoroughbred, huh? I had no idea the Morgan was so well established by the time of the Civil War regardless, always kind of thought an awful lot of these sturdy things were just cold bloods, lucky crosses with drafts somewhere in the parentage, not the results of deliberate breeding. Best hunter I ever had- just a big, goofy cold blood cross, Tbred, Percheron, a veritable mongerol,no claim to breeding, could jump a gate from almost a standstill, kick the eye outa a fly.
 
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