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Farriers of the Federal cavalry.

These photographs were made at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac in August, 1863, the month following the battle of Gettysburg, where the cavalry had fully demonstrated its value as an essential and efficient branch of the service. Every company of cavalry had its own farrier, enlisted as such. These men not only had to know all about the shoeing of horses, but also had to be skilled veterinary surgeons, such as each regiment has at the present day, coming next in pay to a second lieutenant. Plainly visible are the small portable anvil on an overturned bucket and the businesslike leather aprons of the men. An army “marches upon its stomach,” but cavalry marches upon its horses' feet, which must be cared for. In the larger photograph the men have evidently just become aware that their pictures are being taken. In the smaller exposure in the corner, the man holding the horse on the right has faced about to show off his horse to the best advantage; the horse holder on the left is facing the camera, arms akimbo, and a cavalryman in the rear has led up his white-faced mount to insure his inclusion in the picture.

Farriers of the Federal cavalry.

With the farriers of the Federal cavalry


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August, 1863 AD (1)
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