War Horses

Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
Ont. Canada
Famous Horses of the Civil War
Many a fighting man had one or more favorite mounts, entitled to bountiful corn and fodder, careful grooming, and a name of its own. One clause in the surrender terms at Appomattox in 1865 puzzled some people: every Confederate cavalryman was entitled to take his horse home with him. This provision, insisted on by Lee, was accepted by Grant when he was told that once they returned to civilian life, former soldiers wouldn't be able to plant spring crops without their war horses.


The following are some of the Confederates and the horses they rode into battle and into history:

Belle Boyd - Fleeter - was ridden by this famous Confederate spy.

Maj. Gen. William B. Bate - Black Hawk - was ridden by this general.

Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne - Dixie- this battle steed was killed at Perryville while being ridden by General Cleburne.

Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell - Rifle - a much cherished steed.

Nathan Bedford Forrest - King Philip - possibly the favorite horse of Forrest, who also owned and rode Roderick and Highlander.

Capt. W I. Rasin.- Beauregard - who survived until 1883, was ridden to Appomattox by Rasin.

Stonewall Jackson - Old Sorrel - formerly a Union officer's mount, was acquired by Jackson at Harpers Ferry when she was about eleven years old. Because the mare was so small that Jackson's feet nearly dragged the ground, she was often known as Little Sorrel. Little Sorrel Lane in Somers, Connecticut, commemorates the animal Jackson was riding when he was mortally wounded.

Brig. Gen. Adam R. Johnson - Joe Smith - was ridden by the general.

Gen. Albert S. Johnston - Fire-eater - a splendid bay Thoroughbred ridden by Johnston when he was killed at Shiloh.

Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee - Nellie Gray - this mare was numbered among the dead at Opequon.

Gen. Robert E. Lee - Traveller - by all odds this best-known horse of the war was Lee's favorite. Earlier he owned and rode Richmond, Brown-Roan, Lucy Long, and Ajax. Traveller is the purported author of a ghost-written volume that depicts the Civil War as seen through equine eyes.

Col. E G. Skinner - Old Fox - ridden by this Col of the First Virginia Infantry.

Maj. Gen. Jeb Stuart - Virginia - credited with having prevented the capture of by jumping an enormous ditch. In addition to the mare, Stuart frequently rode Highfly.

M. Jeff Thompson - Sardanapalus - favorite mount of this partisan of Missouri.

Union officers were as dependent on their horses as were their opponents. Had neither side been provided with mounts, the war might have fizzled out in about ninety days. The following is the Union side and the horses that helped them make history.

"Mother" Bickerdyke - Old Whitey - the usual mount of Bickerdyke, who was among the most famous of female nurses.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin E Butler - Almond Eye - the steed ridden by Benjamin "The Beast".

Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard - Nellie - The favorite mare of the general.

Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant - Cincinnati - presented to Grant in 1864 and immediately identified as his favorite horse. When Colonel Grant rode into Springfield, Illinois, in 1861, he was astride a white horse named Methuselah. Grant first rode into battle on the back of Rondy and during the war also used Fox, Jack, Jeff Davis, and Kangaroo.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker - Lookout - acquired at Chattanooga and named for a battle of that campaign, stood seventeen hands high and was cherished by Hooker.

Maj. Gen. Philip Kearny - Moscow - a white horse used in battle by Kearny against the advice of his colleagues may have been his favorite. Because the big horse was an inviting target, Kearny switched to a bay named Decatur and then to Bayard, whose color was light brown.

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan - Slasher - ridden into battle by Logan and depicted by an artist as dashing along a line of battle with all four feet off the ground.

Col. John McArthur - Boomerang - named for his tendency to move backward, was owned by this Col. of the Twelfth Illinois Regiment.

Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan - Kentuck - may have been the favorite mount of McClellan. In addition, McClellan rode a black horse named Bums.

Brig. Gen. George G. Meade - Baldy - wounded at First Bull Run and at Antietam, this horse later took Meade to Gettysburg and a promotion. Philadelphia's Old Baldy Civil War Round Table helps to commemorate the memory of the horse.

Col. Philip Sheridan - Aldebaron - an early mount of Sheridan, gave way to a gelding named Rienzi. After taking him on his famous ride to Winchester, the name of the animal was changed to that of the town. Winchester (or Rienzi) was so revered that when he died, his stuffed body was presented to the Smithsonian Institution.


William T. Sherman - Lexington - possibly the favorite of Sherman, who also rode Dolly and Sam.

Maj. Gen. George Thomas - Billy - named for Sherman, this was the bay war horse of Thomas.
Source: "Civil War Curiosities" by Webb Garrison
 

jgoodguy

Banished Forever
-:- A Mime -:-
is a terrible thing...
Don’t feed the Mime
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Famous Horses of the Civil War
Many a fighting man had one or more favorite mounts, entitled to bountiful corn and fodder, careful grooming, and a name of its own. One clause in the surrender terms at Appomattox in 1865 puzzled some people: every Confederate cavalryman was entitled to take his horse home with him. This provision, insisted on by Lee, was accepted by Grant when he was told that once they returned to civilian life, former soldiers wouldn't be able to plant spring crops without their war horses.


The following are some of the Confederates and the horses they rode into battle and into history:

Belle Boyd - Fleeter - was ridden by this famous Confederate spy.

Maj. Gen. William B. Bate - Black Hawk - was ridden by this general.

Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne - Dixie- this battle steed was killed at Perryville while being ridden by General Cleburne.

Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell - Rifle - a much cherished steed.

Nathan Bedford Forrest - King Philip - possibly the favorite horse of Forrest, who also owned and rode Roderick and Highlander.

Capt. W I. Rasin.- Beauregard - who survived until 1883, was ridden to Appomattox by Rasin.

Stonewall Jackson - Old Sorrel - formerly a Union officer's mount, was acquired by Jackson at Harpers Ferry when she was about eleven years old. Because the mare was so small that Jackson's feet nearly dragged the ground, she was often known as Little Sorrel. Little Sorrel Lane in Somers, Connecticut, commemorates the animal Jackson was riding when he was mortally wounded.

Brig. Gen. Adam R. Johnson - Joe Smith - was ridden by the general.

Gen. Albert S. Johnston - Fire-eater - a splendid bay Thoroughbred ridden by Johnston when he was killed at Shiloh.

Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee - Nellie Gray - this mare was numbered among the dead at Opequon.

Gen. Robert E. Lee - Traveller - by all odds this best-known horse of the war was Lee's favorite. Earlier he owned and rode Richmond, Brown-Roan, Lucy Long, and Ajax. Traveller is the purported author of a ghost-written volume that depicts the Civil War as seen through equine eyes.

Col. E G. Skinner - Old Fox - ridden by this Col of the First Virginia Infantry.

Maj. Gen. Jeb Stuart - Virginia - credited with having prevented the capture of by jumping an enormous ditch. In addition to the mare, Stuart frequently rode Highfly.

M. Jeff Thompson - Sardanapalus - favorite mount of this partisan of Missouri.

Union officers were as dependent on their horses as were their opponents. Had neither side been provided with mounts, the war might have fizzled out in about ninety days. The following is the Union side and the horses that helped them make history.

"Mother" Bickerdyke - Old Whitey - the usual mount of Bickerdyke, who was among the most famous of female nurses.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin E Butler - Almond Eye - the steed ridden by Benjamin "The Beast".

Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard - Nellie - The favorite mare of the general.

Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant - Cincinnati - presented to Grant in 1864 and immediately identified as his favorite horse. When Colonel Grant rode into Springfield, Illinois, in 1861, he was astride a white horse named Methuselah. Grant first rode into battle on the back of Rondy and during the war also used Fox, Jack, Jeff Davis, and Kangaroo.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker - Lookout - acquired at Chattanooga and named for a battle of that campaign, stood seventeen hands high and was cherished by Hooker.

Maj. Gen. Philip Kearny - Moscow - a white horse used in battle by Kearny against the advice of his colleagues may have been his favorite. Because the big horse was an inviting target, Kearny switched to a bay named Decatur and then to Bayard, whose color was light brown.

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan - Slasher - ridden into battle by Logan and depicted by an artist as dashing along a line of battle with all four feet off the ground.

Col. John McArthur - Boomerang - named for his tendency to move backward, was owned by this Col. of the Twelfth Illinois Regiment.

Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan - Kentuck - may have been the favorite mount of McClellan. In addition, McClellan rode a black horse named Bums.

Brig. Gen. George G. Meade - Baldy - wounded at First Bull Run and at Antietam, this horse later took Meade to Gettysburg and a promotion. Philadelphia's Old Baldy Civil War Round Table helps to commemorate the memory of the horse.

Col. Philip Sheridan - Aldebaron - an early mount of Sheridan, gave way to a gelding named Rienzi. After taking him on his famous ride to Winchester, the name of the animal was changed to that of the town. Winchester (or Rienzi) was so revered that when he died, his stuffed body was presented to the Smithsonian Institution.


William T. Sherman - Lexington - possibly the favorite of Sherman, who also rode Dolly and Sam.

Maj. Gen. George Thomas - Billy - named for Sherman, this was the bay war horse of Thomas.
Source: "Civil War Curiosities" by Webb Garrison
Nice post, but please provide a link to where you found it. Attribution is a requirement here at CWT.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
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Jan 16, 2015
Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's “Old Baldy” was wounded on the evening of July 2 at Gettysburg; Meade rode “Blackey” on the fateful July 3. (according to Capt. George Meade - his son and aide, Bachelder Papers II:857)

Maj. Gen. "Uncle" John Sedgwick rode "Cornwall." (They Also Serve Who Only March and March)

Brig. Gen. George Armstrong Custer rode "Roanoke." (CivilWarWiki.net)

Lt. Gen. James Longstreet rode "Hero" at Gettysburg. (Gen. Longstreet, Collision in Pennsylvania, p. 259)

Then Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon rode "Old Milroy," a large black horse, in the same battle. (Gordon Bradwell, Under the Southern Cross, 31 GA)

Maj. Gen. Isaac Trimble's mare "Jinny" was wounded at the same time as Trimble in Pickett's charge; she took her rider off the field before dying.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
http://upfront.scholastic.com/resource/uploads_junior/CivilWar/CivilWar/index-4.html
sorrell old.jpg


hill champ.jpg


Champ and Ambrose Hill, Pinterest

Rienzi_Winchester.jpg

Rienzi
https://www.horsenation.com/2016/02/29/horses-in-history-famous-horses-of-the-civil-war/

gimlet and babcock secservice.jpg

Gimlet, secret service John Babcock's famous horse
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee

xLittleSorrel,P20and,P20Colonel,P20Abram,P20Fulkerson.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3Qt9jqHeIx.jpg


Another image of "Little Sorrel" taken in Bristol, Virginia, in 1885. Holding the reigns on the far right is Confederate Colonel Abraham Fulkerson, of the 63rd Tennessee, one of the "Immortal 600".
 

Hoseman

Corporal
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Location
Virginia
We have all imagined what it must have been like to witness a major battle or to see the wreckage and carnage shortly after the bullets quit flying. It would be an unbelievable thing to see along with the wounded, dying and dead soldiers. Being involved personally and owning horses myself, it would also be an unbelievable sight to see a full corps of cavalry with thousands of horses in one column. Of course there were many other horses pulling wagons, artillery, ambulances, etc. And then the aftermath of battle with not only all the dead men on the field but also hundreds of dead horses strewn everywhere. The horses suffered imaginable horrors just as the men. I have read that NB Forrest had 29 horses shot out from under him during the war. I have always liked the name of one of his horses "Roderick" although I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be the general's horses!
 

Youngblood

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 26, 2015
Did wealthy officers use large breed horses like Clydesdales as their war horses at all? Or just well bred regular sized ones?
 

civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
such beautiful animals it was a shame we use them the way we did I understand the reason but it doesn't make it any less disturbing to me to see a dead horse on a field after the battle.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Did wealthy officers use large breed horses like Clydesdales as their war horses at all? Or just well bred regular sized ones?

I just can't imagine the drafts were ever chosen as war mounts? There are a good amount of officers with their horses- people who love Morgans today are swift to point out the Morgans among them. Guessing a good amount of mix breed, unsure what other breeds were popular 150 years ago. I know I would not care to be riding a thoroughbred around things which go boom but perhaps the breed was not as er, touchy in the 1860's. Drafts were just too slow, took a huge amount of fodder and would not be able to keep up those long hauls. Can you imagine Hancock, riding in front the troops, during the Confederate barrage, on a draft? Goodness. I just thought. Could you imagine Reynolds riding to back up Buford, on a draft? We'd still be waiting for him to get there.

Perhaps this idea drafts were used is from the old wars, when men wore armor and lighter horses would have been brought to the knees trying to carry that kind of crazy load. No idea exactly what breed they were but must have been some kind of draft cross- the experts would know.
 

civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
I just can't imagine the drafts were ever chosen as war mounts? There are a good amount of officers with their horses- people who love Morgans today are swift to point out the Morgans among them. Guessing a good amount of mix breed, unsure what other breeds were popular 150 years ago. I know I would not care to be riding a thoroughbred around things which go boom but perhaps the breed was not as er, touchy in the 1860's. Drafts were just too slow, took a huge amount of fodder and would not be able to keep up those long hauls. Can you imagine Hancock, riding in front the troops, during the Confederate barrage, on a draft? Goodness. I just thought. Could you imagine Reynolds riding to back up Buford, on a draft? We'd still be waiting for him to get there.

Perhaps this idea drafts were used is from the old wars, when men wore armor and lighter horses would have been brought to the knees trying to carry that kind of crazy load. No idea exactly what breed they were but must have been some kind of draft cross- the experts would know.
being a New York boy I know very little about breeds but I find it fascinating thank you for this little explanation.. I used to get aa kick out of my father when the 20s he was a junkman and used to rent the horses for two dollars a day with wagon he told me he loved it running around picking up all things and reselling.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
That article underlines quite a few you see from 1861. Communities tended to make gifts of expensive horses to officers leaving for the war. I've never had the nerve to go track some down and see whether it survived. Some things it's better not to know.
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Too many fine horses were killed or lost. Many were gifts. I always think of General John Hunt Morgan's horse Black Bess. She couldn't cross the river and was lost to him. Another horse was General Albert Sidney Johnston's Fire-eater.
 
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