Monday, January 24, 2011

Robert E. Lee's Other Horse

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

I feel bad for Lucy Long. Who is that, you ask?? Well - allow me to tell you. Lucy Long was Robert E. Lee's primary back-up horse.

But she doesn't get the respect she deserves. That all goes to Lee's most famous horse, Traveller, Oh sure, he was a sturdy fellow...16 hands high and eleven hundred pounds to be exact. In 1859, when he was a colt, he won first prize in a horse competition in Lewisburg. Virginia. He is featured in all the famous paintings and pictures of Lee on horseback, on all the monuments - some of the most well known being in Richmond and Gettysburg. Hell - there is even a book about the Civil War from Traveller's perspective. I kid you not. In Traveller, Lee's trusty mount narrates his wartime adventures to a cat in his retired master's horse dialect, of course.

But what about poor Lucy Long? No pictures, no famous stories, no monuments, no books.

I did a little poking around and managed to find out a few things. Through the usual channels (i.e. wiki) I found out that Lucy Long was a brown mare and the number two horse who stayed with the Lee family until she died at the age of 34.

Further poking around yielded a tad more information. Volumes XVIII and XIX of the Southern Historical Society Papers (1890-91) discuss Lucy Long in more detail. I quote: "Lucy Long was a present to General Lee from General J.E.B. Stuart in 1862, when the former was conducting the Sharpsburg campaign. She was a low, easy moving, and quite sorrel mare." Continuing on..."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 sent to the rear."

But that's about all I got - not even a picture. The closest I have come to an image is the brief cameo in the film Gettysburg...but that's it. So if anybody has a picture of Lucy Long - please send it my way! It is time to resurrect the popularity of the number two horse. Maybe a monument in Richmond is in order.




  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Keith Harris and Keith Harris, Craig Swain. Craig Swain said: RT @MKeithHarris: Robert E. Lee’s Other Horse [...]

  2. I've been interested in Lucy Long for years. I believe she was an Arabian (aka oriental Horse).
    In my radings on the Civil War I came across one passage that claimed Lee rode her more than Traveller. It was a library book. It was a few years ago, but I will see if I can find it again.
    Her Gettysburg cameo was not very flattering.
    I hope to hear from you I would like to know more about her.

  3. Thanks for the post - I would love to learn more about Lee's backup, but rarely find any mentions. If you do indeed find the book again, please forward me the title :)


  4. My wife and I both bought Harley Davidsons this year. I wanted to name out mounts after confederate horses. After a short time with my 93 Heritage Softtail Classic, I decided to name her "Lucy Long" because of course of the historical name, and secondly because there for some time, every time I took her out for a long ride, something came loose. She is low and indeed easy to mount and she is indeed easy moving. My wife of course then chose to name her 96 Road King "Traveller".

  5. I love it Doc - now you are well equipped should you decide to invade Maryland!

  6. I found your articular, a wonderful read.
    I have yet to find a picture of Lucy Long as well.
    I have an 8 year old Mare.
    I have named her Lucy Long!!!
    Long live Lucy Long!!
    Thank you for your fun info!