“Stand to horse!” --an American volunteer cavalryman, October, 1862
“He's not a regular — but he's ‘smart.’
” This tribute to the soldierly bearing of the trooper above was bestowed, forty-nine years after the taking of the picture, by an officer of the U. S. cavalry, himself a Civil War veteran.
The recipient of such high praise is seen as he “stood to horse” a month after the battle of Antietam.
The war was only in its second year, but his drill is quite according to army regulations — hand to bridle, six inches from the bit. His steady glance as he peers from beneath his hat into the sunlight tells its own story.
Days and nights in the saddle without food or sleep, sometimes riding along the 60-mile picket-line in front of the Army of the Potomac, sometimes faced by sudden encounters with the Southern raiders, have all taught him the needed confidence in himself, his horse, and his equipment. |