Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/175

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Generals in the Saddle.

169

his braided cap, and holding it high above his head, pass through the ranks of his men like a meteor. Meade took good care that his chargers were capable of speed and endurance, and he was very careful of them.

Major-General G. K. Warren was an ungainly horseman. His en- gineering studies and tendencies rendered him careless of his equita- tion, and. of course, he could sit on a horse and gallop, but if he had a position to reconnoiter, out of the saddle would he go, in order to clamber on top of a rock scarcely any higher than his horse's back. There on foot, with solid ground under him, Warren could plan at leisure and with ease. Neither was he particular regarding the sort of horseflesh at his command. His rank gave him a right to the best, and his quartermaster always saw that he was well mounted. He paid no attention to the matter. The animals might be changed daily and the fact entirely escape Warren's attention, so long as the old saddle remained. To him a horse was a military necessity, and I do not believe that he rode on horseback twenty miles after the war ended.

Major-General Burnside was an imposing figure on a horse. His remarkable moustaches and whiskers, with the folded Burnside hat on his head, made him easily recognizable. He always wore full dress, even on the march, while a huge pair of snow-white gauntlets lent additional magnificence to his costume. As a rider Burnside was easy and graceful, and he seemed to love being in the saddle.

Major-General McClellan was one of the handsomest men on horseback in the Federal service. He sat in the saddle with a grace and ease peculiarly his own. All his appointments were in the most correct taste, and his horses were full-blooded animals. Wearing highly polished riding boots coming nearly up to his hips, and wrinkled from the instep to the knee, he would go splashing over the roads until horse, rider, and boots were covered with Virginia mud, probably the stickiest substance in existence. His servant, too, always had a clean pair of boots for the General on his return to quarters, after which the man would spend a couple of hours clean- ing the other pair. The soldiers at Yorktown used to say that " Lit- tle Mac" could collect more mud in an hour's time than any other General in the army. McClellan was passionately fond of horses, and preferred to have them coal black.

General Sherman was a nervous and somewhat careless rider. He wore his stirrup leathers very long, seeming to be, almost all the time, standing in the irons. This appearance was intensified by his