HORSE SOLDIER

VOICE OF THE SIXTH OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY

Volume 1, Issue 11                                                                                                                                                                                         Winter,  2003


WINTER MEETING

     The 2003 Annual Meeting of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry was held on Saturday, February 15, in Canton, Ohio.  Nineteen troopers converged on the Markijohn Homestead, along with seven of our fairer members, for a day of business and fellowship.

     The business meeting commenced shortly past 11:00 with the Treasurer’s Report, after which the Treasurer and her cohorts departed to sample the pleasures of the town.  Trooper Vance, who has accepted responsibility for the Morgan’s Raid grant funds, followed with his own report.  New members were then introduced, with currently two Probationary Troopers Wilson and Smith, and two new full members, Troopers Anderson and Mungo.  Two old friends from the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, Troopers Haberman and Stefl, were also invited to join as full members.  Voting was completed with the election of officers, which brought no surprises.  Welcome and congratulations to all!

     Safety issues were discussed in depth, including insurance coverage, safety manuals, and weapons inspections.  Preparations for the Morgan’s Raid event in September were also discussed in great depth, followed by the planning of the 2003 campaign schedule.  The meeting was completed before 4:00, in plenty of time to beat the crowds to the local steakhouse!

 

 

 

“BARS”AND STRIPES

     The command structure of the Sixth Ohio remains stable.

     Lieutenant Hopes was again elected to command our unit. He was also reelected as Line Commander for Company B of the U.S.V.

Cavalry Battalion.  Our unit size continues to support a commissioned officer.

     Sergeant Markijohn was elected to remain in his position, along with his role of Adjutant.

     Corporal Poustie was elected to remain as Line Corporal.

     Corporal Oakley was elected to remain as Safety Officer.

 

     Our current officers have done a fine job through the past year, and we can look forward to another very successful year in 2003!

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 29                                Canton, OH

Fox hunt and cavalry demonstration.

 

April 11-13                             Burghill, OH

Spring training at Fort Hayes—remember to have your horses vetted prior to the weekend, and have your negative Coggin’s report, original and a copy, with you.

 

April 25-26                             Cincinnati, OH

Mort Kunstler Signing.

 

May 2-4                                  Remington, VA

Battle of Kelly’s Ford—All-cavalry event reenacting the March 17, 1863 clash of Generals William Averell and Fitzhugh Lee.  One of the early large-scale cavalry fights.

 

May 16-18                              Sacramento, KY

Battle of Sacramento—reenactment of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry engagement of Crittenden’s Army of the Ohio on December 28, 1861 (Not a unit event this year)

 

May 26                                   Monroeville, OH

Memorial Day Parade.

MORGAN’S GREAT RAID

 

An Essay Condensing the Writings of

 Shelby Foote

     In order to discourage Gen. Burnside, who was known to be preparing for an advance of the Army of the Ohio (and to continue his harassment of the Union supply lines into Tennessee), General Bragg agreed in the spring of 1863 to a proposal by John Hunt Morgan for yet another “ride” into Kentucky.  Morgan also sought permission to extend his field of operations beyond the Ohio River, which was denied.  General Morgan departed from Sparta, Tennessee on June 27, 1863, with the conviction that to obey his superior’s orders would not accomplish his primary objective of halting Burnside.

     On July 2, Morgan crossed the Cumberland River between Nashville and Barbourville with 11 regiments of 2460 men, and a section of rifled guns.  Troops included 4 of Morgan’s five brothers, Calvin, Richard, Charlton, and Thomas, and brother in law Col. Basil Duke.  Thomas, Morgan’s youngest brother, was killed only a few days later in a fight near Lebanon, KY.  On July 8, the raiders crossed the Ohio River near Brandenburg, KY into Indiana.  They initially headed north toward Indianapolis, quickly ending the city’s jubilant celebration of Gettysburg and Vicksburg with the rumor that he was traveling with 10,000 horsemen to capture and sack the city.  Morgan then veered east at Salem toward Lexington, zig-zagging toward the Ohio line at Harrison, about 20 miles from Cincinnati.  With Vicksburg lost and Lee defeated, Morgan’s purpose was no longer destruction and harassment, but simply to distract the Union cavalry as long as possible. This would delay Burnside, who had been forced to give chase and could not advance into Tennessee until this threat was dealt with and his cavalry had rejoined him.

     Morgan entered Ohio on the morning of July 13 with fewer than 2000 men and mounts, already wearing down from the strenuous ride.  He pressed on through the day, rode fast through the northeast suburbs of Cincinnati that night, and on until they reached Williamsburg the next afternoon, covering 90 miles in a day and a half.  After sleeping the night, he set off July 15 on an intended three day ride to fords upstream from Buffington Island, near Pomeroy, OH.  His route took him through or around the towns of Locust Grove, Jasper, and Jackson.  However, he found himself delayed by determined militia and still in Ohio on July 18, when he was forced to call a halt at Chester to wait for stragglers.  This delayed his arrival at the fords until well after dark, when he discovered the river swollen by two weeks of rain, and guarded by 300 infantry with two cannons.  By morning, although the Union infantry had abandoned their posts as the Confederates slept, a gunboat had arrived on the swollen river to deny Morgan access to the fords. Complicating matters further, two columns of Union cavalry, well rested and 5000 strong, arrived from Pomeroy to attack Morgan’s back.  Morgan eventually escaped up the northern end of the valley, losing 120 killed or wounded, 700 captured, including Richard, Charlton, and Basil Duke, both his guns, and all remaining wagons.  300 of Morgan’s men did manage to cross that afternoon at Blennerhassett’s Island, but the ford was deep and the river swift, and a number of men and mounts drowned before the gunboat appeared to halt the attempt.  The remainder of the ride became a winding 6 day chase through Eagleport, across the Muskinggum River, to Salineville near New Lisbon, OH, where Morgan and his remaining 364 troopers laid down their arms on July 26, 1863.  In thirty days, they had covered more than 700 miles, averaging 20 hours a day since crossing the Ohio.  While the results were disastrous, Morgan’s Raiders did accomplish their primary objective of delaying Burnside, which limited the harassment of Bragg as he retreated across the Tennessee River.

 

Foote, Shelby.  The Civil War; a Narrative.  New York, NY:  Random House, Inc. 1963

 

 

 

THE VALIANT STEED

 

Cold Weather

     The horse has evolved well to handle cold weather, and except for occasional individuals of the hot blooded breeds, requires little human intervention to survive comfortably through the winter.  A healthy horse that is left to grow a full coat as the season turns cold will be fine with only rough shelter from rain and wind, calories and roughage to fuel his internal fires, and good water to drink.  Blanketing him will only compress his hair coat, limiting his natural insulation.

     His dependence on us increases when humans start manipulating nature.  Clip or blanket a horse so he grows less coat, and he may not be warm enough without the blanket.  Ask him to exercise to the point of sweat, and his damp coat cannot insulate him as well.  Picket him so he cannot seek shelter, and he’s vulnerable to the weather.  Restrain him so he cannot move around to generate heat, and he may begin to shiver.

     When we bring horses on events during the cooler months, we need to be aware of how we are limiting a horse’s natural coping mechanisms, and be prepared to compensate.  After a hard ride, a sweaty horse may need a light blanket to protect him until his coat is dried and able to keep him warm.  If the animal is shivering, walking him around should generate heat in his muscles to help warm him.  Dried sweat can be brushed, allowing the hair to fluff up to better insulate the horse.  On a clear night, a blanket shouldn’t be necessary for a full-coated horse, but on a windy, rainy, or snowy night, it may compensate for a lack of shelter on the picket line.  Providing plenty of hay will also help—horses generate the most heat from digesting hay.  And plenty of drinkable water helps avoid the risks of winter colic.

     Actual hypothermia is rare in healthy adult horses, and is described as a body temperature below 98’ F in an adult horse, with uncontrolled shivering, depression, and sleepiness.  Recommended treatment includes blanketing the animal and moving it to a warmed area until the temperature is normal, and offering warm water and hot mash.

 

Kellon, Eleanor, VMD.  Dr. Kellon’s Guide to First Aid for Horses.  Ossining, NY:  Breakthrough Publications, Inc.,1990

Smith, Carin A.,DVM.  Cold Weather Care for Horses  www.equinesite.com

 

 

 

 

THE DISTAFF SOLDIER

 

     Several months ago, a newspaper clipping was slipped to me as a story idea.  The article was about Albert D.J.Cashier, an Irish immigrant who joined the 95th Illinois Infantry Volunteers in 1862 at the age of 19.  He fought in 40 battles, received an honorable discharge, and collected a military pension until at least 1911.  When 68 year old Mr. Cashier broke his leg in an auto accident, he was finally revealed to be Jennie Hodgers.

     How many women actually fought the Civil War?  Documentation has been found on at least 250, but estimates go as high as 1000 serving in secrecy.  Women performed all the duties of the soldier, in all branches of the army.  They were promoted through the ranks, reaching captain on both sides of the conflict, with at least one major.  Some were discovered after a very short time, but others fought for months or years before being found out.  Two soldiers with very similar stories each served for over a year, fought in multiple major battles, and were each promoted to sergeant shortly before being discharged suddenly on the births of their new sons (one was on picket duty when “he” went into labor).  Many, after being discovered and discharged, simply moved on and reenlisted in another unit.  Most served in complete secrecy, but a few joined up with family members, and towards the end of the war some fought openly as women.  Disguised women fought and died with their units, some even maintaining their secret in prison camps.

     Ohio’s cavalries were no strangers to this phenomenon.  Ida Bruce left Atlanta and joined the 7th Ohio Cavalry on the death of her parents.  Martha Lindley enlisted in the 6th U.S. Cavalry with her husband, and remained with her regiment even though he spent months in a Washington, D.C. hospital after shooting himself in the ankle.  She served her entire three year enlistment, and was honorably mustered out in 1864.  When William Lindley reenlisted in the 6th Ohio Cavalry, Martha had had enough—she decided to stay home with the kids.  Fanny Lee served with the 6th O.V.C. until she was discovered in Washington, D.C., and sent home.  A surviving photograph of Ohio cavalry veterans shows a beardless, fine-featured man with slender hands sitting between two heavily bearded comrades.  Mary Owens fought with a Pennsylvania cavalry unit until her third saber wound finally revealed her secret, but she married and settled in Massillon, Ohio, where she is buried with an S.U.V. headstone.

     Women had many reasons for donning the uniform, but most served honorably and loyally as long as they were able.  While controversy has always surrounded their place in history, evidence shows that they, too, deserve to be honored for their contributions.

 

Blanton, DeAnne and Cook, Lauren M.  They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War.  Baton Rouge, LA:  Louisiana State University Press, 2002

 

Conklin, Mike.  Not Just an Old Transvestite Civil War Soldier.  Knight Rider Newspapers.  Saune, Illinois

 

 

 

CIVILIAN’S CORNER

 

History of the Sidesaddle

      A thorough study of the equestrienne would probably parallel man’s domestication of the horse, with roots as far back as the first prehistoric little girl perched on her father’s pack horse.  Whether she rode aside or astride, who knows…

     Women on horseback are documented as early as several centuries B.C.  Greek and Roman art portrays women on horseback, but very rarely, and those portrayed are usually goddesses.  They are usually shown riding aside.  Tradition depicts Mary twice riding a donkey at the time of Christ’s birth, but whether she is portrayed aside or astride probably reflects the artist’s culture more than her own.  However, artistic documentation is plentiful throughout the medieval centuries, and indicates that while aside may have been more genteel, women rode both ways.  Both fashions remain well documented through the Renaissance period, but by the 17th Century riding sidesaddle had become the leisure pleasure of the upper class, and by the mid-1800s, a gentlewoman rode exclusively in sidesaddle.

     The saddle, too, has changed through the centuries.  The saddles of the 12th Century were merely pads, and ladies literally sat sideways on the horse, with their feet on a small platform, led passively by a cavalier.  By the late 14th Century, however, the women had taken the reins,  Turning forward and resting only one foot on the platform allowed ladies to guide their own mounts, but it was far from safe, so a front pommel was added over which the rider could hook one knee.  Catherine de Medici is given the credit for inventing a second pommel on top of the saddle in about 1580, but it was not until 1830 that the “leaping head” was invented to brace the rider’s left thigh, finally creating a secure seat.  By the 1870s the right pommel was shortened, and before long a balance strap and safety stirrups finally made the saddle safe to follow the hounds.  In 1890, Col. Charles Goodnight built a deep-seated sidesaddle on a Western stock saddle tree, and the Western Sidesaddle was invented to address the rugged terrain of the expanding west.

     Our small but growing(?) Sixth Ohio Sidesaddle Corps lends grace and gentility to our rough military camps.  Ride on, ladies!!  

 

Miss Margaret

Civilian Alter Ego

 

World Sidesaddle Federation, Inc., www.sidesaddle.org /history.html

Veltri degli Ansari, Ilaria.  A Medieval Sidesaddle, ilaria.veltri.tripod.com/sidesaddle.org

Groisz, Eva.  Riding Side-Saddle, www.damensattel.org

 

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

 

     Spring training’s coming—remember to break in your boots and saddles, build your calluses, and put some miles on your horses before you come!  Don’t forget your Coggin’s test.  And as ever, your corrections, suggestions, and submissions are always welcome!!

Trooper Mick

                                    angelcroft@zoominternet.net