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"For Want of a Shoe Henry Burden keeps the Union " Topic

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American Civil War

404 hits since 6 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 8:43 p.m. PST

…Cavalry in the field.

"This well-known proverb, which continues for several more lines, and ends with the loss of a kingdom, reportedly dates back several centuries, and an internet search as to how the proverb has been used over the years, and continues to be used, is enlightening. However, the practical applications, as well as the business applications, of the proverb in the era when horses and mules provided most of an army's mobility, should be obvious to all.

By one estimate, the Union army purchased 650,000 horses during the war, and seized or otherwise acquired another 75,000 horses in the field. The number of mules supplied to the army carried total purchases to more than one million animals, at an estimated expense of 95 million dollars. When other costs are factored in, including equipment, food and transportation, the army spent 125 million dollars on mounted troops in 1864 alone, or nearly two billion in 2016 dollars. Horseshoes and horseshoe nails accounted for two of the additional expenses, and when one considers the durability of shoes and nails, or lack thereof, especially during periods of heavy campaigning, the importance of a reliable supplier of quality shoes and nails should also be obvious. Enter Henry Burden…."
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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Apr 2018 3:17 a.m. PST

I know that the pre-war regular army only had a few mounted regiments because a cavalry regiment cost three times as much to maintain as an infantry regiment of similar size.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member09 Apr 2018 9:12 a.m. PST

In areas around CW encampments, field hospitals, etc, where the use of metal detectors for digs are allowed etc, horseshoe nails are the most common items brought up. For every bullet or button found, you get 3-4 dozen nails (or more)….

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2018 9:56 a.m. PST



Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2018 8:53 p.m. PST

Well Murphy I think that you really nailed it!

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