The famous, famously mysterious and famously iconic founder of a Civil War legacy, " Justin Morgan ", never to have his own name- but his original owner's.
Well, you sure cannot do a single thread, " Morgan Horses In The Civil War ". For one thing, there were too many , for another, boy, are there a few myths and for another- you'll see.
We tend to see how valuable they were considered across the board by gifts given to officers of Morgan horses. What seems so crazy is the idea these treasured animals would be ridden into battles and stood every chance of being killed.
We tend to like our war and era in the bullion cube presentation. You know. Condense the information, wrap it all up, and give it to us, quick. Disclaimer being a few here I can name whose understanding of History includes hours spent, fishing rod, hook and worm patiently immersed in Time's murky well.
Papers all over the states, North and South, ran ads like this. ' Bloodlines ' mattered more than substance, these famous names added zeros to fees.
Gen. Marsena Patrick seemed awfully happy to get his hands on one, wish we knew the name.
Horses? They're still down there. Bullion cube version on Morgans, for instance seems to be Vermont regiments galloped to glory, or death, or glorious death on these ridiculously marvelous animals, because they were Vermont animals. A few famously carried famous men, one so well he was stuffed for the honor and we get to look at him. Yep, yep, that's a Morgan, all right. Where's the stuffed general's head, next to him, in a glass case?
Rienzi/Winchester, unstuffed, oops, seem to have lost the rider's head. Phil, someone or other......... Sounded important.
In all honor to horses of the war. ' The Morgan ' deserves something better than Rienze's, or Winchestor's ( renamed along the way ) awkwardly stuffed remains, telling their story. And please will someone go bury the old guy? Tolerating Sheridan for as long as he did should indicate something of a Morgan's famous, even temperament.
Vermont was one New England state understandably, justifiably proud of ' their ' breed. Historically, supposedly a man ( we all know this ) named Justin sold an astonishingly versatile horse, which for some reason retained his name- Morgan. No need to get into genesis, suffice to say that I'm not sure in 2018 we understand how huge a topic was The Horse. Morgans quickly became so popular and sought after, from Florida to Maine, prices rival numbers which would make you suck in your breath 200 years later.
SO proud of the breed, when the 1st Vermont was famously mounted on Morgans, ' purists ' and breeders had a kind of snit. OH no, not real Morgans! Well, they were. Morgans were nothing if not horses whose first grandfather was a famous mongrel. Pretty funny. Note writers of this article were not hundreds of mile south, astride any horse at all, fighting a war.
Posted these before. Valuable or no, getting one's prized Morgan from home to the war?
And no dock? Another creative solution- pitch them in the water, boats picked up ropes, leading them to shore.
Published pre-ACW, a book on the breed extolled virtues by the score. This was one of them.
Personal opinion is a lucky chance crossed a draft/Arab stallion with a draft/Arab mare, solidifying benefits and genetics but that's opinion. Endurance came from both sets of genes, temperament, draft, and it's always seemed a no-brainer where on earth their looks originated. Could be some Welsh in there- but we'll never know. Horsemen, and women adored this breed, almost legendarily.
Gen. Mitchell's horse is certainly depicted as whole, lot better looking than he- and is typical of the much prized attributes of the era Morgan. Flashy, sure but they really were ( and are ) kinda perfect.
Horrible accounts of young General Farnsworth's ' charge ' include the cavalry's horses lost by the dozen. Sent in to be butchered by Kill Calvary, you're just not clear on why anyone put Kill Cal in charge of a single horse, much less trooper. They were Morgans, and despite whining by those fat wallets at home. some of Vermont's best.
New Hampshire prided itself on sending men to war on Morgans. Hysterical articles in PA papers from 1861, bemoaning the camps around Philadelphia. PA regiments had no horses. None. Officers had to train by walking the maneuvers, no lie. Reporter speaks of the New Hampshire Morgans ridden nearby, and how shameful PA provided none. Ha!
Probably the first budget crisis. We're good at those, here in PA.
There's a lot, lot on ' Morgans in the ACW '. Really, to get some small idea of the whole, delving into how incredibly important was The Horse, as a strut, societally, is helpful. How many social norms, vanished today, revolved around The Horse doesn't seem to have been investigated. Or what giant, beautifully imaged holes have been left, since their departure from our every day lives.
Yes, famous Morgans have their place- unfortunately one in a glass box, as a kind of macabre honor. Of the 6 million horses and mules perishing, beginning in 1861, we'll never know how many Morgans were lost. Perhaps it is better not to know.
From better days, when, North and South, horsemen bought this book. 1859. Just to worship, like horsemen did, Justin Morgan's accidental horse.
PS, please no one post poor Rienza's photo? We've all seen him, in mid prance for 150 years. He needs a rest.