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08 September 2012

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John Minnerath

The McClellan, a killer to ride, but a halfway decent pack saddle.
We used to have piles of them.
I still have one of the scabbards, a few old US bits, and some other assorted cavalry tack.

mike

Great pic!! I was never a big cavalry buff when I was younger, probably because of the legacies of Custer, the Light Brigade, Polish Lancers vs Panzers, etc. But I now have more respect for horse cavalry after I read Don Rickey's book: "Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay"

http://www.amazon.com/Forty-Miles-Day-Beans-Hay/dp/B000RB26NQ/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347134479&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=fortyt+miles+a+day+on+beans+and+hay

And then later Sholokhov's novels of the Don Cossacks:

http://www.amazon.com/And-Quiet-Flows-Mikhail-Sholokhov/dp/1479125822/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347133276&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=sholokv

Jackie

Looks like a saddle in a John Wayne movie.

turcopolier

Jackie

That is a US Army McClellan sadlle and the other gear that went with it. pl

turcopolier

mike

"40 miles a day on beans and hay in the Regular Army, oh!" A great book. The enlisted men in the 1865-1900 period were half immigrants and half boys who wanted to escape from the family farm. Father served in several mounted regiments from 1916-1936. First he was in the 11th in Mexico, then the 6th, then the 26th then the constabulary in PI. He went from Trooper to Sgt. Major and then became an officer in WW2. He always resented the "fact" that the officers seemed to care more for the horses than the men. You walked half the time while leading the horse. According to him you fed and watered your mount before all else including sometimes eating yourself. He said troop horses would eat army rations if you ran out of fodder. Then if the horse died in the field when you were short of rations and in spite of your best efforts, you ate him/her. He said it was like cannibalism and nobody like having to do that. There was a separate property book in each company sized unit for the animals. They were all named in the book in addition to having a serial number like the soldiers. They had named like " Emma, Lil, George, Freddy etc., always people names. They knw their names of course. He shot a horse by accident on a range when he was a young fellow and the report of survey found him culpable and charged him so much a month after depreciation. pl

William R. Cumming

Curious as to failure of Republicans to document foreign policy mistakes of last four years by DEMS!

And curious with Ron Paul out of race who might pick up
his efforts to audit the FED and also find out how much
went out the back door to bail out US and foreign banks?

Is US behind the funding of ECB guarantee to buy bonds of the PIIGs?

Dan Gackle

Apparently, it pays to keep an eye out in Virginia:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/a-possible-renoir-surfaces-at-a-virginia-flea-market/

John Minnerath

My Dad grew up on an old broke down ranch in Montana and my Grandfather raised horses and sold them to the US Cavalry.
My Dad told me in the early 30's he thought he would try to join the Army Cavalry. He said at that time there were few new recruits accepted, but they could stay in barracks with the regular troops while waiting to see if an opening showed up.
They had to work for their keep though.
His duty was mucking stalls in the horse barns and corrals.
He said the hell with that, that's what he had to do at home!

turcopolier

JM

The army was very small and it was the depression. My father got out after Mexico and tried civilian life for two years then decided he did not like it. He went from Seattle to the 6th regiment's home station. I think it was Ft. Oglethorpe in north Georgia and asked the CO to take him back in. He had known the colonel in Mexico in the 11th. The colonel said, "lonely, are you?" When he answered the right way he was taken back in as a supernumerary Trooper. pl

Fred

Speaking of the Depression, reading of the work Marshall did with the CCC while commanding the 8th infantry regiment in South Carolina impressed me greatly. I can't imagine too many of todays general officers taking the same approach.

John Minnerath

Pat
My Dad joined a unit of the Montana NG in 1936.
In September 1940 Roosevelt inducted them into Federal Service as part of the 41st Division.
He finally ended up in the Pacific for the duration.
They were deactivated after the battle for Manila and were aboard ships headed for the States believing they would be reformed and retrained when the War ended.

Tyler

Are they still making rifle scabbards?

Bobo

Today is the third anniversary of the Battle of Ganjgal and Captain William Swenson is still without recognition for his Valor on that day. The U.S. Army stinks to high heaven on this lack of recognition. I'm sure Captain Swenson could give a crap.

Townie76

Pat I visited Fort Oglethorpe several years ago, you can still tell it was a military post. It is very run down, and the great Victorian Houses are in various state of repair from very good to down right dilapidated. The 6th Cavalry was stationed there between World War I and II. Here is a link to the 6th Cavalry Historical Society http://6thcavalrymuseum.com/photo_galleries0.aspx?action=viewGall&galID=0. Former VMI Superintendent Richard L Irby initially joined the 6th Cavalry at Fort Oglethorpe in 1939 when he graduated from VMI and was then transferred the next year to Fort Bliss Texas where he joined the 2nd Brigade 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by MG Jonathan Wainwright, who would later command the American resistance on Bataan. A number of years ago I came across accounts of Jonathan Wainwrights leadership on Bataan--he truly led from the front, traversing the jungle on foot accompanied only by his enlisted aide and carrying a 03 Springfield slung over his shoulder and a Colt Peacemaker on his side.

turcopolier

townie76

The post WBS posts were all built like that with the big beautiful brick houses. Some also had Victorian revival limestone houses with lots of "gingerbread." Ft. Douglas and the Montana posts were like that. None of these are to be confused with the ugly big brick houses built in the 30s.

When he was at Oglethorpe, he made corporal out of turn because of his useful skills in Headquarters Troop. He lost several teeth defending his promotion against senior sergeants out behind the horse lines.

When he recovered from his injuries he was sent into Chattanooga one day with a staff car and a driver to pick up a new lieutenant and his bride arriving by train. This man had just graduated from USMA. My father handed the lady down from the train and welcomed the lt. to the regiment. The officer told Dad to put his bags in the car. Father summoned a porter, gave him a dollar and told him to carry the bags. The Lt. complained to the CO who laughed and said, "ah, you have met Corporal Lang. Let me tell you about him in Chihuahua." pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

I read somewhere that Mel Brooks had been a cadet at VMI during WWII until the Army pulled out a lot of ASTP students to serve as replacements (IIRC he was an engineer in ETO). Is that accurate?

turcopolier

NR

No. The army put him there as a student but he was not a member of the corps of cadets. pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

IIRC you mentioned briefly that your father had stepped on Patton's boots (perhaps in Mexico during the expedition). Could you tell us the whole story?

Jackie

Pat,
That's why the saddle reminded me of John Wayne in his Indian fighting movies.

I do have a serious question about mules and the Army. I knew an old retired military guy from Leavenworth by the name Colonel Billy. He talked about the mules alot and Europe. Would he have been in WWI or WWII?
Thank you.

turcopolier

NR

Yes. My father ran away from home in North Dakota and joined up for the Punitive Expedition. Patton was Pershing's ADC. My father was 16 (under age). Somewhere down there he came out of a mess tentinto the sun and pushing aside the tent flap to do so. He stepped on someone's foot. This man started scraming ,yelling and cursing. Dad, a mere boy, was understandably shocked. The sergeant major, a Roarke or some such thing, called him over and said "pay no attention. That's Lieutenant Patton. We all know he's a horse's ass..." pl

turcopolier

Jaclie

It could be wither. The army liked mules. They are smarter and stronger than horses but they couldn't bring themselves to ride tham out of pride. Before the Civil War (WBS) the Regiment of Mounted Rifles and the Mississsippi Rifles in the Mexican War rode mules. pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

That's a great story and thank you for sharing it.

turcopolier

NR

Yes. That is real Old Army lore. Dad stood next to Roarke. Patton listened and then walked away. I suppose that he did not want to have an escalating confrontation with this old horse soldier who was a veteran of the Indian Wars in Arizona, the Spanish American War and the US/Filipino War. If it had come to a discussion in front of a senior like Pershing... pl

mike

Pat - You mentioned your Dad served in the 26th Cavalry. Have you read "The Twilight Riders" by Pete Stevens??? Quite a story!

Bobo - Agree with your comment re Captain Swenson. I assume someone in the Pentagon is sitting on that probably because of Swenson's criticism of his superiors during that battle. I would love to have heard that discussion on the radio net that day.

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