Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Little Sorrel


Tolland County
Connecticut, USA


Little Sorrel was the war horse of General Stonewall Jackson. Little Sorrel was a horse that was captured by Confederate troops at a battle at Harper's Ferry. The horse was given to Mrs. Jackson as a gift who named the horse Fancy.

Stonewall Jackson had been given a horse he named Big Sorrel. That horse was unreliable in battle.  It was terrified of gunfire. So General Jackson “commandeered” Fancy from Mrs. Jackson and renamed him Little Sorrel. The horse was actually smaller and more agile than his previous horse, Big Sorrel.

Jackson was sitting on Little Sorrel at the battle at First Manassas and Bull Run. He actually sat so rigidly that it was said he was like “a stone wall.” Hence he nickname Stonewall Jackson.

Unfortunately for Robert E Lee and the South, Jackson was riding in the dark near Chancellorsville when Confederate troops mistook him for a Yankee and shot him out of the saddle. Doctors amputated his left arm but he died a few days later. 

Little Sorrel was famous and was revered long after the war ended. He was put to pasture at Mrs. Jackson’s home in North Carolina. Later on he was installed as the mascot of the Virginia Military Institute. Many Southerners wanted to see this famous horse and he appeared at hundreds of fairs.

Even old age catches up to a famous war horse. Eventually Little Sorrel could barely walk and he was put to pasture once again at the Confederate Soldier’s Home. A hoist that was used to help little Sorrel to his feet broke breaking the back of the dear horse. He was put out of his misery. His skin was placed on a wooden frame and he stood “at his post” while the rest of his remains were buried at the Virginia Military Institute.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful story Gregg, great to read,

Bob Scotney said...

This is the type of post I love to see on A-Z.