Friday, September 17, 2021

Booknotes: The Horse at Gettysburg

New Arrival:
The Horse at Gettysburg: Prepared for the Day of Battle by Chris Bagley (Gettysburg Pub, 2021).

From the description: "Horses are unique because they are flight animals; equines are prey not predator. Yet, from the earliest recorded histories we see these animals used as implements of war. At Gettysburg, these animals were used as mounts for officers, staff, couriers and cavalry. Some were used by the artillery, while others the often-mundane task of pulling supply wagons and ambulances. They required sound handling skills and a great deal of attention to keep them healthy. Sources often quote the number of horses present and the number lost, but there is more to their story. These animals were prepared for battle like the armies who fought here."

With abundant color photography, Chris Bagley's The Horse at Gettysburg introduces readers to the breeds and colorations of the horses used by both armies. It then discusses horse procurement, training, and care before moving on to an equine-oriented narrative of events from the Pennsylvania campaign before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Illustrations comprise a great multitude of monument and landscape photographs along with numerous period artworks, all reminders of the key role horses assumed in nearly every aspect of nineteenth century military support and conveyance.

More from the description: "The field, terrain features, chaos of battle, weather and the distinct attributes of the horse are utilized to reveal a narrative that provides a unique perspective of this battle as well as many of its monuments."

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