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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Old Baldy: 1863

Old Baldy: 1863

October 1863. "Culpeper, Virginia. Gen. George G. Meade's horse, Baldy." Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

 

Mount Baldy

I like the idea that the picture is putting into my head, that Old Baldy is about to undergo some "training," wearing a surcingle and side reins, which would have been used on a lunge line to give the horse exercise without the burden of a rider. It helps them find their own balance and develop back muscles that can atrophy after long hours under a rider. Good to think that his "people" were thinking about that, as sometimes it seems horses were simply tools.

Hell of a Horse

According to the story of Old Baldy, he was wounded 14 times in as many battles and survived the war and General Meade. Were the army Veterinarians that much better than the MDs? A gunshot or artillery wound in the Civil War usually led to death from infection or amputation or both. His head being mounted on the wall reminds me of the story about the man who graduated as a Veterinarian and then went to Taxidermy school. His office shingle read Veterinarian/Taxidermist -"Either Way- You Get Your Pet Back"

Re: Big Horsey

I don't know much about horses but the average height of a U.S. soldier during the War was 5'8", shorter than the average man today.

George Meade

According to family lore I am somehow related to Gen. Meade. While researching the man it is very interesting to note that he spent the biggest part of his military career building lighthoueses, including the iron skeletoned ones along the Florida Keys as welll as Barnegat, NJ; Absecon in Atlantic City and numerous others.

He almost single handedly converted to the expensive but very superior fresnel lenses over his boss who had a financial interest in the other type of lighting!

A very interesting and complicated individual.

Old Baldy

Here's the interesting, though a bit creepy, story of Old Baldy.

Big Horsey

Unless the man is unusually short, Baldy looks to be at least 16 hands. Probably chestnut or light brown; a pretty boy.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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