The Oldest Cavalry Horse

Gettmore

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Oldest cav horse.jpg
 
Joined
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Spotsylvania Virginia
It’s possible that Mr. Williams’ desire to save Old Jim was due to the scarcity of horses in the south, especially after 1863. As the war grew into the later years of ‘64-‘65 they were at a premium for just an “ordinary “ mount.
There were numerous accounts of farmers who used their skills to rehabilitate worn out horses.
Great story- many thanks for sharing it.
 
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Sep 15, 2018
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South Texas
I have had several horses live into there 30s but it’s different than 160 years ago........those horses really worked hard and vet care wasn’t as refined as today
A horse living 30+ years is normal. But this was 52 years after the civil war. Plus he was a few years old in 1865. So this horse had to be 55-56 (or older yet)?
 

NH Civil War Gal

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A horse living 30+ years is normal. But this was 52 years after the civil war. Plus he was a few years old in 1865. So this horse had to be 55-56 (or older yet)?

As usual, math and logic has defeated romance! Unless the article states when the picture was taken.

Most horses do not live past 30. Ponies yes, but only a few horses. And for back then with no parasitic care to speak of and other things, life could be short indeed. That horse is looking mighty frail and is underweight by several hundred pounds. Very old horses (and a lot of mammals) just lose the ability to digest nutrients and get thin no matter what and go downhill from there.
 

Lubliner

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As usual, math and logic has defeated romance! Unless the article states when the picture was taken.

Most horses do not live past 30. Ponies yes, but only a few horses. And for back then with no parasitic care to speak of and other things, life could be short indeed. That horse is looking mighty frail and is underweight by several hundred pounds. Very old horses (and a lot of mammals) just lose the ability to digest nutrients and get thin no matter what and go downhill from there.
How much do the emotions of a horse respond to human love, thus producing longevity mainly from such fulfillment?
Lubliner.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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How much do the emotions of a horse respond to human love, thus producing longevity mainly from such fulfillment?
Lubliner.

Some horses and people form very tight emotional bonds.

I‘ve known professional trainers who say horses don’t have the ability to love like dogs or have that emotional bond. Well, they aren’t dogs! But I don’t quite believe that either. I’ve seen horses become very unhappy about leaving owners they loved and not thrive. Not all of course but some.
 

Package4

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A horse living 30+ years is normal. But this was 52 years after the civil war. Plus he was a few years old in 1865. So this horse had to be 55-56 (or older yet)?
I do not believe the claim is that the horse was still alive in 1917, but that when he died at 37 years of age he may have been the oldest Confederate and only Confederate horse remaining. Confederate Veteran Magazine is full of such stories, though some must be taken with a grain of salt.
 
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Some horses and people form very tight emotional bonds.

I‘ve known professional trainers who say horses don’t have the ability to love like dogs or have that emotional bond. Well, they aren’t dogs! But I don’t quite believe that either. I’ve seen horses become very unhappy about leaving owners they loved and not thrive. Not all of course but some.
Well said NH CW Gal- Lee and Traveller had a special bond but he also loved all his horses. He wrote tender letters home of his affection for his Mexican War mount Grace Darling and went to great lengths to get Lucy Long back after she was mistakenly separated from him in 1864.
At running the risk of getting too far off track, I want to share that I had a quarter horse who was gradually going blind. One of my other horses would wait for the blind horse to allow him to follow him to pasture each morning and to the stable at evening. We often worried the lead horse might die first, leaving the blind horse to fend for himself. Luckily the blind horse died first, the lead horse died two weeks later.
 

WJC

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Reading through this thread gives rise to a couple of questions maybe someone here can answer:
1. This article was aboyt the last rebel cavalry mount. Is there any record of which was the last U. S. Cavalry mount to survive the war?
2. Has anyone seen information about the last surviving U. S Cavalry mount after that Army 'decommissioned' it's horses in the 1930s?
Thanks for your reponses.
 

Dave DuBrucq

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Oct 28, 2020
Location
Tennessee
Reading through this thread gives rise to a couple of questions maybe someone here can answer:
1. This article was aboyt the last rebel cavalry mount. Is there any record of which was the last U. S. Cavalry mount to survive the war?
2. Has anyone seen information about the last surviving U. S Cavalry mount after that Army 'decommissioned' it's horses in the 1930s?
Thanks for your reponses.
The last surviving Cavalry Mount after decommissioning died in 1968. His name was Chief.
As for the Civil War, the only long living horse I am familiar with is General Meade's horse, Old Baldy, who survived the war and
outlived his master by ten years, dying in 1882. If the was the oldest surviving Federal horse, I can't say.
 
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