Robert E. Lee and Traveller.
No doubt the most famous horse in Western history was
Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great. Here in
America the most famous is probably Traveller, the horse
ridden by General Robert E. Lee for a good while during
the Civil War and until his death.
Here's an account of Lee and Traveller, as well as some
of Lee's other horses.
[Traveler] was purchased by Major Broun in the Spring of
1861 at the price of one hundred and seventy-five dollars
in gold. The price paid by General Lee, (his own valuation,
as Major Brown offered to present the horse to him,) was
two hundred dollars. General Lee himself gave the name
When he returned to Richmond in the Spring of 1862, he
brought back with him The Roan and Traveller. During the
battles around Richmond that summer The Roan, who had been
gradually going blind, became unserviceable, and General
Lee began to ride Richmond again, and continued to do so
until the death of the horse soon after the battle of Malvern
Hill . He now began to ride Traveller regularly.
Traveller had no vices or tricks, but was nervous and spirited.
At the second battle of Manassas, […] General Lee was at the front
reconnoitering; [he] dismounted and holding Traveller by the
bridle, the horse became frightened at some movement of the
enemy and plunging pulled General Lee down on a stump, breaking
both of his hands. The General went through the remainder of
that campaign chiefly in an ambulance. When he rode on horseback,
a courier rode in front leading his horse. It was soon after
this that General J. E. B. Stuart purchased for General Lee…
the mare Lucy Long. She was low, and easy to mount, and her
gaits were easy. General Lee rode her quite constantly until
toward the close of the war, when she was found to be in foal
and was sent to the rear. About this time some gentlemen of
South West Virginia presented to General Lee a fine large sorrel
horse whom the General named Ajax. This horse had a fine walk
but was too tall for the General, who seldom rode him; riding
Traveller almost constantly until the end of the war, and,
indeed, until the time of his death, October 12th, 1870.
excerpted from "General R. E. Lee's War-Horses,"
Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XIX. Richmond,
Va. 1891. As quoted in Civil War Potpourri.
(Hmmm. It seems that Lucy Long did a bit of fooling around
while in camp!)