... the Colonel's horse maneuvered disagreeably close to its edge.

SWMODave

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,334
Location
Southwest Missouri
#1
1.jpg

In spite of the seriousness of the battlefield some amusing things will occur. Frequently an officer’s horse will give him trouble, and raise a laugh at his expense. During the battle of the 16th, Col. George Lay, formerly of the old army, and on the staff of Gen. Scott, was serving on the staff of Gen. Beauregard.

During the early part of the day the General had dismounted and sat upon the earthwork, giving orders through his staff, and receiving reports from the General commanding the troops engaged on the right, left, and centre. Col. Lay’s horse became right restive when the shells would scream past or explode near by, and gave him considerable trouble as he held him by the bridle in the road. In front of the earthwork was a deep ditch full of water, and the Colonel's horse maneuvered disagreeably close to its edge.

Finally a shell burst close by, and the horse backed, and continued backing in spite of his (Lay's) hallooing " Whoa! Whoa!" and being dragged at the other end of the bridle. The contest between the two, brain and matter, became so intense that all the staff laughed and watched. The gallant steed was rapidly bringing his rear to bear upon the edge of the ditch, notwithstanding the appeals of the Colonel, when, with one more step too far to the rear, ker-splash! he went into the muddy ditch, leaving the Colonel upon the bank in a quandary as to what was the next proper move to rescue the brute, — coaxing wouldn't do it, and no other means could be resorted to.

And there the Colonel sat on the edge of that ditch during the whole battle watching his horse, who seemed content to be safe from the enemy's fire. When the battle was over a pioneer party dug steps into the ditch and the sensible brute was rescued.

In Camp and Battle With The Washington Artillery
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
118
#5
In spite of the seriousness of the battlefield some amusing things will occur. Frequently an officer’s horse will give him trouble, and raise a laugh at his expense. During the battle of the 16th, Col. George Lay, formerly of the old army, and on the staff of Gen. Scott, was serving on the staff of Gen. Beauregard.

During the early part of the day the General had dismounted and sat upon the earthwork, giving orders through his staff, and receiving reports from the General commanding the troops engaged on the right, left, and centre. Col. Lay’s horse became right restive when the shells would scream past or explode near by, and gave him considerable trouble as he held him by the bridle in the road. In front of the earthwork was a deep ditch full of water, and the Colonel's horse maneuvered disagreeably close to its edge.

Finally a shell burst close by, and the horse backed, and continued backing in spite of his (Lay's) hallooing " Whoa! Whoa!" and being dragged at the other end of the bridle. The contest between the two, brain and matter, became so intense that all the staff laughed and watched. The gallant steed was rapidly bringing his rear to bear upon the edge of the ditch, notwithstanding the appeals of the Colonel, when, with one more step too far to the rear, ker-splash! he went into the muddy ditch, leaving the Colonel upon the bank in a quandary as to what was the next proper move to rescue the brute, — coaxing wouldn't do it, and no other means could be resorted to.

And there the Colonel sat on the edge of that ditch during the whole battle watching his horse, who seemed content to be safe from the enemy's fire. When the battle was over a pioneer party dug steps into the ditch and the sensible brute was rescued.

In Camp and Battle With The Washington Artillery
Better than getting the horse shot out from under you, I suppose!

In General Grant's memoir (Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, Complete) he mentions General Sherman's troubles at Shiloh:

"A casualty to Sherman that would have taken him from the field that day would have been a sad one for the troops engaged at Shiloh. And how near we came to this! On the 6th Sherman was shot twice, once in the hand, once in the shoulder, the ball cutting his coat and making a slight wound, and a third ball passed through his hat. In addition to this he had several horses shot during the day."

Ulysses S. Grant. Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete (Kindle Location 3111- 3112).
 

lelliott19

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
5,656
#14
While researching period newspapers, I found a report on the Battle of Wyatt, Miss, 14 October 1863. A Union officer's horse was spooked and he reared up, causing the officer to fall off and directly down a well.
I can't find that report now.
1560483507607.png

The Daily Register.(Wheeling, WV), November 05, 1863, page 2.
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,741
Location
Collierville, TN
#16
Also the "Chambers" referenced in the article is Brig-Gen. James R. Chalmers: not a guerrilla.
This small skirmish occurred at Wyatt(currently the Wyatt's Crossing Public Use Area, aka, a boat ramp) after General Chalmers' West Tennessee Raid against the town of Collierville (11 Oct). Chalmers ordered a rear guard to protect the crossing of the Tallahatchie River until all his men could safely cross and return to his HQ's at Oxford.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
118
#19
Yeah, shadow lines on the pavement, oh my gawd plastic bag! And once a horse that shied at the wildflowers on the trail! Oy! He did not like the Wild Sweet William at all, thank you very much! And yeah, I’m the person they ask to ID the flora and fauna on the trail.
Back when I rode a lot, I rode a horse who would only learn about things one eye at a time -- he's pass the flapping sheet on the left side and shy and shy until he got used to it, then low-and-behold, he had to learn to pass it on the right as well. Left eye thought it was ok, but right eye was NOT SO SURE!
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
118
#20
Yeah, shadow lines on the pavement, oh my gawd plastic bag! And once a horse that shied at the wildflowers on the trail! Oy! He did not like the Wild Sweet William at all, thank you very much! And yeah, I’m the person they ask to ID the flora and fauna on the trail.
Back when I rode a lot, I rode a horse who would only learn about things one eye at a time -- he's pass the flapping sheet on the left side and shy and shy until he got used to it, then low-and-behold, he had to learn to pass it on the right as well. Left eye thought it was ok, but right eye was NOT SO SURE!
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top