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[331]

A riding cob in Washington, 1865 not the sort for cavalry This skittish little cob with the civilian saddle, photographed at the headquarters of the defense of Washington south of the Potomac, in 1865, was doubtless an excellent mount upon which to ride back to the Capital and pay calls. But experience soon taught that high-strung hunters and nervous cobs were of little or no use for either fighting or campaigning. When the battle was on and the shells began to scream a small proportion of these pedigreed animals was sufficient to stampede an entire squadron. They took fright and bolted in all directions. On the other hand, they were far too sensitive for the arduous night marches, and lost in nerves what they gained in speed. A few of them were sufficient to keep a whole column of horses who would otherwise be patiently plodding, heads down, actually stumbling along in their sleep, wide awake and restive by their nervous starts and terrors. The short-barreled, wiry Virginia horses, almost as tireless as army mules, proved to be far their superiors for active service.

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