Thursday, January 23, 2014

Grant’s Horses

Ulysses Grant loved horses and had several favorites during and after the Civil War:
Ulysses S. Grant developed a love for horses early in his life. As a small child, he played near the horses at his father's tannery, even crawling among their hooves. "Horses seem to understand Ulysses," said his mother. As Grant grew, he became an accomplished rider. General Grant rode many horses during the war. One of these was a black pony named Jeff Davis. This pony was taken from a farm owned by Joe Davis, brother of the Confederate president. Grant liked this horse so much that he asked the quartermaster to appraise it. The general then bought Jeff Davis and kept him for the rest of the pony's life. Egypt was another horse of Grant's. This horse was a gift from a group of people in southern Illinois. This area of the state is known as Little Egypt, which is how the horse got his name. Grant kept Egypt with him long after the war was over. The most famous of General Grant's horse was probably Cincinnati. The general was visiting his ill son in St. Louis when he received this horse from a man named S.S. Grant. This man was very ill himself, and no longer able to ride the horse. He thought that the general would give his beloved horse a good home and wanted the general to accept the horse as a gift. There was one stipulation: General Grant must promise that neither he nor anyone else would ever mistreat the horse. General Grant accepted the offer and named the horse Cincinnati. The general thought that Cincinnati was "the finest horse that I have ever seen." The horse was eighteen hands high and was descended from Lexington, a record breaking thoroughbred. At one point, General Grant supposedly refused an offer of $10,000 in gold for the horse. Very few people were permitted to ride Cincinnati, but General Grant did make an exception for President Lincoln, who reportedly enjoyed riding the horse very much. Jeff Davis, Egypt, and Cincinnati went to the White House with Grant after he was elected president. There is no doubt that Ulysses S. Grant's love of horses lasted his whole life. No matter the task before him, he always had time for his horses. 

You can also check on this site on the White House stables!

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