Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/176

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170 Southern Historical Society Papers.

habit of rising in his stirrups on reaching a turn in the road or some advantageous point of observation. While always careful of his an- imals, Sherman did not appear to have that fondness for them that is so common among good horsemen. He was constantly on the go, and his eye seemed to be everywhere except where his horse was treading. Sherman's rein was rather a loose one, for he trusted, apparently, to the natural sagacity of his steed, rather than to his own guidance. Seen at the head of a column of troops, or giving orders for their disposition on the field, Sherman presented a re- markable figure. Riding along the road he was constantly gazing about him, noting the lay of land passed over, as if internally plan- ning how a battle could be fought there. After his retirement from the army, General Sherman seldom mounted a horse, for he said he was getting too old, and had had enough of such exercise.

Major General Hooker was probably the best-looking mounted officer that ever rode at the head of a Federal army. He was a true soldier of the old type, had an easy carriage, a firm seat, and sat in the saddle as straight as an arrow. Sometimes the simile is used, "as straight as an Indian," but an Indian never sits on a horse straight, however he may walk.

Major-General Kilpatrick might be called a born horseman, for he was never so happy as when in the saddle. Though a perfect horse- man in every sense of the word, Kilpatrick did not present a good appearance in the saddle. He rode more like a Comanche Indian than the pupil of a school of equitation, and he could fight like a Comanche, too.

Before Major-General Sickles lost his leg at the battle of Gettys- burg he was a picturesque figure on horseback. Accustomed to the ordinary riding saddle before he donned the uniform, "Dan," as his soldiers always called him, fell into the military one with ease and freedom. Sickles sat in the saddle with an aplomb peculiarly his own, and he appeared to advantage on the gallop, for he rode easily. Most men look well when riding over a clean country road at the head of a moving column of troops, for they form a part of the pomp and circumstance of war. At any rate, General Sickles did, for he was a gallant and brave officer, a gentleman by instinct and breeding.

Major- General Wade Hampton was, like all Southerners, a grace- ful rider. Like Sickles, the loss of a leg has ended his horseman- ship, but he was not deprived of the useful member by a casualty on the battle-field. Wade was a dashing horseman, rather dandified