Rienzi …. American Civil War Hero

I am starting Remembrance with honoring one of the horse heroes and reblogging a post about Rienzi. .


Colonel Phil Sheridan first saw the black gelding in Rienzi,  Mississippi and named him after the town.  He rode him for the next three years through 45 engagements including 19 pitched battles and two cavalry raids.
On October 19, 1864 Sheridan and Rienzi had galloped south from Winchester toward the sound of battle. Sheridan’s troops were worn out and terrified under a fierce assault from the Confederates.  Rienzi may have been exhausted but he carried Sheridan forward and into the battle, roused the troops and led them to victory!
 This story is immortalized in the poem “Sheridan’s Ride” by Thomas Buchanan Read who also painted the horse and his rider. The horse became a national hero a much loved by all especially school children. It is  not recorded if he found the fame irksome but he was credited with assisting Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party in winning the election of 1864.

img_8070Sheridan’s Ride

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6 responses to “Rienzi …. American Civil War Hero”

  1. workinacresnothours Avatar

    Great reading, I love the gallantness of these men & the relationship with their horses would have to have been beyond what we could ever comprehend. I love history stuff we had a great + Uncle who was the first mounted police officer (well known for his love of horses)in the Bellingen area where our ancestors settled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Yes it is a long way from being a sport horse.interesting to hear about your Great Uncle. I had an Uncle in the Scots Guards and he used to ride in Troopingthe Colour.He continued doing that even after he retired . He said they didn’t have anyone who new how to ride who could take over for him! I think that there were lots of riders but not of the right rank perhaps.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert Parker Avatar

    My father is something of a Civil War buff, and the story of Sheridan‘s turnaround victory in the Shenandoah Valley is one of his favorites. But I had no idea that Rienzi had survived so many battles. The general was 5’5” so he needed a tall horse to see what was going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I am always interested in the Civil War because we pass through many of the famous battlegrounds on our way down to Florida. Thanks for commenting Robert.


  3. Emma Cownie Avatar

    I had to look up the poem and the horse is definitely the hero of that verse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I think that there were many horses who were heroes of wars. Thanks for looking up the poem and leaving comment Emma.

      Liked by 1 person

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