previous next

[334] hours, the horses remained saddled for sixty hours. During the expedition, two hundred and thirty horses were abandoned or died, and one hundred and seventy-one were killed or captured by the Confederates--a total loss of four hundred and one animals, or nearly fifty per cent. of those starting on the march. With such hardships, it is little wonder that it became necessary to send thousands of horses back to the depots for rest and recuperation.

But, of course, one of the main purposes of the great horse-depots of the Civil War period, was not to recuperate horses already in the military service, but to receive, condition, and issue thousands of animals purchased throughout the country for army use.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, the Federal Government purchased 188,718 horses in addition to 20,308 captured from the Confederates and reported; while during the first eight months of the year 1864, the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, alone, was supplied with two complete remounts or nearly forty thousand horses.

The price paid to contractors by Federal purchasing agents averaged about $150 per head, and occasionally really high-class horses found their way into the lots received at the depots. More often, however, the reverse was the case, and the inspectors of horses were usually at their wits' ends detecting the many frauds and tricks of the horse trade, which dealers attempted to perpetrate on the Government. Men otherwise known to be of the staunchest integrity seem to lose all sense of the equity of things when it comes to selling or swapping horses; and this is particularly the case when the other party to the transaction is the Government, a corporate body incapable of physical suffering and devoid of sentiment.

The Giesboro depot received between January 1, 1864, and June 30, 1866--a period of two and one-half years--an aggregate of 170,654 cavalry horses. Of this number, 96,006 were issued to troops in the field, 1574 were issued to officers,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 30th, 1866 AD (1)
June 30th, 1864 AD (1)
January 1st, 1864 AD (1)
1864 AD (1)
1574 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: