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Post by Hovannes » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:11 am

The kind with horses, that is.

I'm not old enough to be an Old Fashioned Gentleman but I'm old enough to have met a few Old Fashioned Cavalrymen

I've had the pleasure of meeting two real live former Cavalrymen.
The first was an elderly black man who had grown up in an orphanage in Texas.
I worked with him moving furniture one summer while I was in college in the late 1970's---he had to be one tough guy!
After he was too old to stay in the orphanage, he joined the segregated Cavalry (what else could I do?)
and was sent to the Philippines, which according to my new friend, was like being in the lap of luxury with laundry service, good food and servants!
He served his time and aged out at the start of WW2 and the horrors that enveloped the PI
Did I mention that this this guy was very old and very tough?

The second Cavalryman I met was the father of a fellow I used to have coffee with. His father was a sweet old man with a bit of dementia (this was before the dementia awareness campaigns) and the only times I recollect him getting excited was the last weekend in April when the rodeo was held. He had the habit of leaving a note reading "Gone to rodeo" and simply walking away. His two grown sons would then have to comb that part of town to find him before nightfall.

Three more "brushes" with the US Cavalry maybe worth mentioning---

When I was billeted at Ft Huachuca AZ the post had a ceremonial Cavalry outfit, IIRC a column of twenty troopers and period uniform & equipment. They were pretty cool to see.

On the road to Los Angeles there is Fort Tejon, now a State Historical Park, and at one time home to the 1st US Dragoons. The Dragoons were reorganized as the Cavalry at the start of the US Civil War---an unpopular move from what I've read.

For a time in the 1890's, the US Cavalry patrolled what would become Yosemite and Sequoia National Park(about 50 miles from my house) during the summers.
The 9th Cavalry segregated whites and buffalo soldiers, but both rode the 16 day journey from the Presidio in San Francisco to Yosemite and Sequoia. Troops K and L served in Yosemite while Troops M and I served in Sequoia under a black commanding officer, which was very unusual in the segregated US Army.

Some time ago I found an ancient US cavalry feed bag in a junk shop which I suspect was a relic of one of those units from it's markings, and passed it on to a friend who collects such stuff.

I hope this wasn't too boring!
"What doesn't kill you, gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor."

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