On an expedition such as the ‘Ohio Raid’ the exchanging, or impressment, of horses is a military necessity.
crossed the Ohio River
his men were riding fine Kentucky
horses, many of them thoroughbred, peculiarly adapted to service on a long and exhausting raid into an enemy's country, but they had their limitations.
Traveling rapidly and continuously a distance of a thousand miles was too much, even for horses that were ‘bred in Old Kentucky, where the meadow grass is blue.’
When the Kentucky
cavalryman exchanged his faithful equine freind for an Indiana or Ohio farm horse, he did so reluctantly, even tearfully, and felt that he had made a bad ‘trade.’
Some of the raiders necessarily ‘swapped horses’ three or four times within twenty-four hours. To the cavalryman who is far from his base, and dismounted, visions of prison life appear, and if a horse is anywhere within reach he will ‘capture’ it, peacefully if he can, forcibly if he must.