Thursday, January 19, 2023

Horses of the Old West ~Comanche



One of the most famous horses of the Old West was a gelding named Comanche.

Comanche, a mix of unknown origins, gained fame for being the sole survivor of the Little Bighorn massacre fought in 1876. (Though, there were probably unharmed mounts rounded up and taken by the native Americans after their victory.) The horse belonged to Captain Miles Keogh. Captain Keogh had ridden the gelding into battle with the Comanches before, where the horse was wounded by an arrow in the hindquarter but gallantly continued on, thus gaining the name Comanche. He received other wounds in other battles before he was ridden into his last battle at the Little Big Horn. There he was severely wounded, sustaining over half a dozen bullet wounds. He was found by remaining troops of the 7th cavalry the next day. From there he was nursed back to health and retired with orders not to be ridden or put to work. On regimented occasions, he was paraded with the regiment. In June of 1879 he was made ‘second commanding officer’ at Fort Riley where he was kept like a pet and developed a fondness for beer. He lived fifteen years after the battle then died of colic in 1891. When he died, he was stuffed and sent to the University of Kansas where he can still be viewed today.

Comanche was described as a bay dun or bay, was fifteen hands high and both gentle and tough.


Comanche in 1887 photographed by John C. H. Grabill

Much of my information was garnered from Wikipedia, including the above picture of Comanche.





Elephant's Child said...

Smiling at Comanche developing a fondness for beer. I am glad he was put out to pasture too.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm glad Comanche had a happy life at Fort Riley. I saw him (the stuffed version) at the University of Kansas many years ago.


Julie Lence said...

What a beautiful horse! Thank you for sharing, Sandra.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

What a fabulous story! I love it!!

D.L. Finn said...

I loved learning about, Comanche, Sandra. Glad he got some years to enjoy after. Xo

Computer Tutor said...

Those authentic old westerners did love their horses!