Wednesday, December 8, 2010

General Sheridan's Stuffed Horse

Rienzi was the war horse of Union General Phil Sheridan and you can still see him in a glass case at the Hall of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

In 1864, Sheridan rode Rienzi 12 miles at full gallop to held win the day at the Battle of Cedar Creek. In all, Rienzi was at 19 battles and after his death, was stuffed and put on display at the US First Army Museum in New York City. The museum burned down in 1922, but Rienzi was saved and given an Army escort to the Smithsonian.

Rienzi died in 1878. he had originally been presented to Sheridan by the officers of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry in Mississippi in 1862. On October 19, 1864, Sheridan rode Rienzi from Winchester to Cedar Creek, a ride immortalized in Thomas Buchanan Read's poem "Sheridan's Ride."

The horse's name was changed from Rienzi to Winchester after this battle.

During the war, Rienzi/Winchester was wounded four times and put out to pasture afterwards.

Quite the Horse. --B-R'er

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