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Gen. R. E. Lees war-horse.

In view of the fact that great interest is felt in the monument about to be erected to General Lee, and many are desirous that his war-horse should be represented in the monument, and as I once owned this horse, I herewith give you some items respecting this now famous war-horse, ‘Traveller.’

He was raised by Mr. Johnson, near the Blue Sulphur Springs, in Greenbrier County, Va. (now West Virginia); was of the ‘Gray Eagle’ stock, and, as a colt, took the premium under the name of ‘Jeff Davis’ at the Lewisburg Fair for each of the years; 1859 and 1860. He was four years old in the spring of 1861.

When the ‘Wise Legion’ was encamped on Sewell Mountain, opposing the advance of the Federal Army, under General Rosecrans, in the fall of 1861, I was major of the 3rd Regiment of Infantry in that Legion, and my brother, Captain Joseph M. Broun, was quartermaster to the same regiment. I authorized my brother to purchase a good, serviceable horse of the best Greenbrier stock for our use during the war. After much inquiry and search he came across the horse above mentioned, and I purchased him for $175 (gold value) in the fall of 1861, of Captain James W. Johnson, son of Mr. Johnson first above mentioned. When the Wise Legion was encamped about Meadow Bluff and Big Sewell Mountain, I rode this horse, which was then greatly admired in the camp for his rapid, springy walk, [100] his high spirit, bold carriage and muscular strength. He needed neither whip nor spur, and would walk his five or six miles an hour over the rough mountain roads of West Virginia, with his rider sitting firmly in the saddle and holding him in check by a tight rein, such vim and eagerness did he manifest to go right ahead soon as he was mounted.

When General Lee took command of the Wise Legion and Floyd Brigade that were encamped at and near Big Sewell Mountain in the fall of 1861, he first saw this horse and took a great fancy to it. He called it his colt, and said he would need it before the war was over. When the general saw my brother on this horse he had something pleasant to say to him about ‘my colt,’ as he designated this horse.

As the winter approached, the climate in West Virginia mountains caused Rosecrans' Army to abandon its position on Big Sewell and retreat westward. General Lee was thereupon ordered to South Carolina. The 3rd Regiment of the Wise Legion was subsequently detached from the army in Western Virginia and ordered to the South Carolina coast, where it was known as the 60th Virginia Regiment under Colonel Starke. Upon seeing my brother on this horse, near Pocotaligo, in South Carolina, General Lee at once recognized the horse, and again inquired of him pleasantly about his colt. My brother then offered him the horse as a gift, which the general promptly declined, and at the same time remarked: ‘If you will willingly sell me the horse I will gladly use it for a week or so to learn its qualities.’ Thereupon my brother had the horse sent to General Lee's stable. In about a month the horse was returned to my brother, with a note from General Lee stating that the animal suited him, but that he could no longer use so valuable a horse in such times unless it were his own; that if he (my brother) would not sell, please keep the horse, with many thanks. This was in February, 1862. At that time I was in Virginia on the sick list from a long and severe attack of camp fever, contracted in the campaign on Big Sewell Mountain. My brother wrote me of General Lee's desire to have the horse and asked me what he should do. I replied at once: ‘If he will not accept it, then sell it to him at what it cost me.’ He then sold the horse to General Lee for $200 in currency, the sum of $25 having been [101] added by General Lee to the price I gave for the horse in September, 1861, to make up for the depreciation in our currency from September, 1861, to February, 1862.

In 1868 General Lee wrote to my brother stating that his horse had survived the war and was known as ‘Traveller’ (spelling the word with a double ‘l’ in good English style), and asking for its pedigree, which was obtained as above mentioned and sent by my brother to General Lee.

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