In a search I was doing, I came across Traveller, and I thought it appropriate to remember him as well. After all, the 8th Missouri was a cavalry unit, and I'm sure many of the men felt a good connection with their mount as well. I wanted to include a quote from General R.E. Lee regarding Traveller that I really enjoyed.
If I was an artist like you, I would draw a true picture of Traveller; representing his fine proportions, muscular figure, deep chest, short back, strong haunches, flat legs, small head, broad forehead, delicate ears, quick eye, small feet, and black mane and tail. Such a picture would inspire a poet, whose genius could then depict his worth, and describe his endurance of toil, hunger, thirst, heat and cold; and the dangers and suffering through which he has passed. He could dilate upon his sagacity and affection, and his invariable response to every wish of his rider. He might even imagine his thoughts through the long night-marches and days of the battle through which he has passed. But I am no artist Markie, and can therefore only say he is a Confederate gray. – Robert E. Lee, letter to Markie Williams
That is pretty neat stuff...you can tell what the good General thought of his horse. Here is a nice poem written later about Traveller.
- And now at last,
- Comes Traveller and his master. Look at them well.
- The horse is an iron-grey, sixteen hands high,
- Short back, deep chest, strong haunch, flat legs, small head,
- Delicate ear, quick eye, black mane and tail,
- Wise brain, obedient mouth.
- Such horses are
- The jewels of the horseman's hands and thighs,
- They go by the word and hardly need the rein.
- They bred such horses in Virginia then,
- Horses that were remembered after death
- And buried not so far from Christian ground
- That if their sleeping riders should arise
- They could not witch them from the earth again
- And ride a printless course along the grass
- With the old manage and light ease of hand.