View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 08:25 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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Ms Widow, here are some additional facts that may be of interest to you in the matter of horses in the Civil War. These are taken from "Rush's Lancers: The Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry in the Civil War', Eric Wittenberg,  page 5. 

"...Each company had a blacksmith and a farrier who was tasked with caring for the horses' equipment.  Each man had to have a horse and each horse required a saddle, a bridle, stirrups, reins, and a balnket. Each man also required a full complement of weapons: a saber, a pistol, and a carbine.

It could cost as much as $500,000 to raise and mount a regiment of cavalry in 1861; a typical regiment of infantry cost only about $100,000.

Many of these men knew nothing about horses, and knew nothing of their care and upkeep. The cavalry would have a lot to learn before they could expect to take the field as an effective force."

Another interesting passage from the book is on page 24.

"Like the men in the ranks, the horses  also required constant drill. 'We are busy training our horses to stand  fire,' noted one Lancer. 'Some of them, mine in the number, were pretty fiery themselves at first and several men were thrown or severely hurt. When we were making a charge some days ago we fired a volley from our pistols when two men were thrown broke their lances, one is in the hospital.' The same discipline that governed the men applied to their mounts as well.  That discipline paid off later."

Wittenberg's books and others I have read mention that the Civil War specualtive trade in horses for military use was often subject to the corruption of those who bought or sold horses. It was not uncommon for horse dealers to sell at extravangant prices  inferior horses that were sickly, disabled or otherwise unsuited to miltary use.

Last edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 10:38 pm by CleburneFan

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