Remembering the War Horses

Tuesday's Horse

Civil War Horse Monument. The War Horse. At the Virginia Historical Society on The Boulevard, Richmond, Va. Created by Tessa Pullan. The War Horse is a memorial to the Civil War horse, designed by Tessa Pullan of Rutland, England, and given to the historical society by Paul Mellon.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Here are some of the way horses have been used in wars and conflicts. Millions upon millions have died for it. They didn’t give their lives. The lives were taken.

American Civil War

More than 1,000,000 horses and mules were killed during the U.S. Civil War. In the early days of the conflict, more horses than men were killed. Just at the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg alone, the number of horses killed was about 1,500—881 horses and mules for the Union, and 619 for the Confederacy.

Eric J. Wittenberg, the award-winning Civil War historian, writes:

During the…

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20 responses to “Remembering the War Horses”

  1. Amy Avatar

    We are not kind to these intelligent creatures, not at all. I downloaded the Perfect Horse, but have no heart to read on…
    Thank you, Anne for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      The book does have a reasonably happy ending if you want to give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie Avatar

    The horse and USA are so linked in History, yet surprisingly they are not native to North America. I found these figures about the death toll of horses during the Civil War very shocking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      The loss of life in the American Civil War is shocking for both horses and humans. Some 800,000 people died . I believe it is the biggest loss of life of any war the Americana have been in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie Avatar

        That’s interesting – I think all civil wars are brutal and take generations to heal.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          Since I spend time each winter in Florida I can tell you that the South has still not recovered from that war. Economically perhaps but the attitudes are still entrenched .

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Emma Cownie Avatar

            That’s very interesting, maybe that says a lot about how the South was treated by the those from the Northern States (I’m afraid I am using those carpetbaggers in “Gone with the Wind” as my reference), the South had been very rich and then became poor.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. anne leueen Avatar

            Well it is a discussion we could have on that. I have read several books on the war I including two that were letters from soldiers. The South had no ships, no navy,no railroads and no manufacturing. They has cotton and they thought the British needed cotton so badly they would join the South. The Brits turned out to have a stockpile of cotton and looked for other producers. The South did well to last as long as they did really

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Emma Cownie Avatar

            That’s very interesting. I have read that the civil war had a terrible effect on the cotton industry in the NW of England. Something called the ‘Lancashire cotton famine’ and many thousands of Lancashire mill workers lost their jobs.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. anne leueen Avatar

            Do you know when that took place? I think during the American Civil war Britain started looking abroad and I think to India for cotton production. But I may not be correct.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Emma Cownie Avatar

            Cotton Famine also known as the Cotton Panic 1861–65 which is pretty much the time of the Civil War, I guess.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. anne leueen Avatar

            Yes it is exactly the time of the Civil War. So the South thought they had a connection with Britain that could get them onside but the British did not share that opinion. It was only in the second year of the war that the issue of emancipation came into prominence. Before that it was a question of the South not wishing to be governed by Washington and a government that was distant and removed from them and their way of life. Interesting to look back on it now and to think about the fact that Lincoln was a Republilcan!

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Emma Cownie Avatar

            I think the issue of the south not wanting to be governed by the north was crowded out by the issue of slavery (the north told a better story even if was the whole truth) – many cotton workers were supportive of the northern cause because of this even though it caused them economic hardship. I am very hazy about the Republicans/Democrats thing historically.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. anne leueen Avatar

            Well when I was doing my spate of Civil war reading I was shocked to learn Lincoln was a Republican. And when he was running for the presidency there was a huge number of candidates and he was far from being a front runner. And now who can imagine not having had him during that war. Today the Republicans are seen as the right and all that goes with it. Lincoln is honored as a campaigner for human rights. How the world turns eh?

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Emma Cownie Avatar

            I think History get rewritten and revised by each generation, seeing what they want to see. In the UK King John used to be known as “bad King John” until the Victorians came along and were impressed with his careful record keeping (for taxes, mostly, which one of the reasons why people had hated him).

            Liked by 1 person

          10. anne leueen Avatar

            You are right Emma history changes the perspective. Taxes have always been a hot topic. We have a new provincial Premier here who wants lower taxes which was popular during the election. But now he is cutting education,child care programs and health care and the protests have been so bad and his popularity has plummeted and now he is postponing those cuts. What I want to know is what were the sectors he was NOT cutting ?

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Emma Cownie Avatar

            His pay, probably!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura Avatar

    It’s interesting that you wrote this post, I just watched the movie War Horse, it was very painful to watch even though it was just a movie, it was based on a factual story; it just tore my heart out. Horses have been the innocent victims of the hatefulness and thoughtlessness of humanity and has caused so much pain and suffering to these beautiful animals. Thank you Anne for sharing this poignant and important reminder that our carelessness can wreak havoc on innocent lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      to give credit where it is due the post was originally posted on Tuesday’s horse and when I read it I thought is was so well researched and so appropriate for Memorial Day that I shared it. I saw War Horse onstage in London. It was incredibly moving and so dramatic. All the horses were huge puppets and from the first foal that appeared on the stage we all accepted them as horse. Remarkable theatre. Thanks so much for your comment.


  4. littlepiecesofme1 Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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