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Henry Page: 1863

Henry Page: 1863

August 1863. "Bealeton, Virginia. Army of the Potomac headquarters. Captain Henry Page, Assistant Quartermaster." Seen here a few weeks ago minus his two-legged friend. Wet plate glass negative. View full size.


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Saddlebred war horse

Most likely an American Saddlebred, which were the most popular breed of war horse in American. They are noted for long up-right necks among other nice qualities

Brand, coat color, bit

The brand on the horse's shoulder is 1:S -- not enough of a historian to make sense of it; may identify the breeder or the source of the horse.

The horse is what's called a roan -- white hairs interspersed evenly with color. Hard to tell from a black & white image, but may be a "strawberry roan" -- base coat bay (bright brown with black mane & tail). It's not a common coat pattern in Thoroughbreds, which indicates this is not a pure-bred anything horse.

Also not enough of a historian to say if that's a standard Army issue bit or not.


Or is the guy on the left flailing in an attempt to "turn the Page"?

The two-legged friend

He's there to get the horse's attention for that classic ears pricked forward look. An arm waver out of frame is still used today to get this sort of equine shot. The next time you see a similar horse-and-rider photo you can bet there's someone out in front clucking and waving.

Hi, horse! Hi, horse! Hey-y horsie!

The final test of discipline in an Army horse is whether or not it can resist the temptation to wave back.


Amazing very old photo.

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