More than 3 million horses and mules were pressed into service during the American Civil War, with an estimated 50 percent – 1.5 million – being killed, wounded or dying of disease during the conflict.
The last surviving horse to have served in the war appears to have been an equine named “Old Ned,” a horse owned by Benjamin Franklin Crawford, a quartermaster sergeant in Company C of the 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
The Pennsylvania State University Libraries in University Park, Pa., contains in its records an account of the capture of Old Ned from Confederate troops and the horse’s subsequent participation in Civil War ceremonies throughout the remaining decades of the 19th century.
Old Ned, which died in 1898 at the purported age of 43, was captured by Crawford after he had lost his mount during a battle in Virginia.
After the war Crawford and Old Ned returned to…
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