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Five Famous Warhorses


Bucephalus1. Bucephalus
Rider: Alexander the Great
When: 355 BC
History: Bucephalus is one of the most famous horses in history and was the mount of Alexander the Great. History recalls him as a massive creature with a massive head, coated in black with a star on his forehead. He was reportedly untamable by any until he met Alexander who soothed the horse by speaking to him calmly and turning him away from his shadow. The two road into countless battles together before Bucephalus died at the age of 30 from wounds sustained during the Battle of Hydaspes where Alexanders army defeated King Porus in 326 BC.

2. Marengo
Rider: Napoleon
When: 1799
History: Imported to France as a six year old, he was named for the Battle of Marengo during which he carried his rider to safety. Small for a horse, only 14.1 hands, he was a steady, reliable and courageous mount capable of great feats. Wounded eight times over his career as Napoleon's mount, he carried the man in the battles of Austerlitz, Jena- Auerstedt, Wagram and Waterloo. He was also used to run 80 mile gallops from Valladolid to Burgos and often completed the journey in five hours. He was captured in the Battle of Waterloo and transported to the United Kingdom. He died at the age of 38 and his skeleton is on display in England's National Army Museum, sans one hoof that was turned into a snuff box for the officers of the Brigade of Guards.

3. Traveller
Rider: Robert E. Lee
When: 1861
History: Traveller was purchased for use in the Civil War in 1861, but did not come into General Lee's possession until February of 1862 when he purchased the horse he had come to call his "colt" after being transferred to South Carolina. It was Robert E. Lee that named the horse with two L's in the British spelling, as his prior name had been Greenbrier. Known as a horse of great stamina, he was usually a good horse and difficult to frighten, however he was known for being nervous and spirited and at one point became so frightened by advancing enemy troops that he pulled a grounded General Lee into a stump and broke both of his hands. Traveller lived only a year after the death of Robert E. Lee and his remains are resting next to the Lee Chapel at the Washington and Lee University.

4. Cincinnati
Rider: Ulysses S. Grant
When: During the Civil War
History: Always fond of horses, General Ulysses S. Grant was an excellent horseman and excelled in horsemanship while at West Point. Cincinnati was obtained during the Civil War and was a gift from an admirer. He was a large horse, towering at 17 hands, and quickly became a favorite of General Grant's. It was Cincinnati that Grant chose to ride to negotiate the surrender of Robert E. Lee and it is Cincinnati that is seen in almost all depictions of General Grant.

5. Comanche
Rider: Miles Keogh
When: The Battle of Little Bighorn
History: Part Mustang and Part Morgan, this famous gelding was wounded while fighting in Kansas. He continued to let then owner Captain Myles Keogh fight from his back despite the arrow in his hindquarters. This earned him the name Comanche because of his bravery. When Captain Keogh rode Comanche into the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, the entire detachment was killed, however Comanche was found two days after the battle severely wounded. He was transported back to Fort Lincoln and nursed back to health. Once healthy, he was retired and given to a life a leisure as a remembrance of the 7th Calvary. Comanche died in 1890 and is one of two horses to be buried with full military honors. His remains are interred at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum.


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