Company H of the 5th New York Cavalry
Charles F. Hammond, an iron entrepreneur in the Crown Point, NY area, assisted his son John Hammond with raising volunteer cavalry for the civil war after the First Battle of Bull run (or First Manassas). Charles Hammond advanced the funds with which to purchase the mounts for the entire company (H) of the Fifth New York Cavalry.
The government allotted $125.00 to purchase each horse for cavalry service. Within 30 days the Hammonds had selected and purchased 108 horses. Many farmers sold their horses at the government price. However, if a horse cost more than the allowed government amount, Hammond made up the difference in the price. The quality of the horses was such that when passing through New York on their way to the battle front, offers of $300.00 was made for some of the horses.
The horses which Hammond purchased were closely related to or sired by the Morgan stallion Black Hawk. Black Hawk was famous for his wins on the trotting track and for the quality and speed of his offspring. His most famous son was the World Champion Trotter Ethan Allen.
Black Hawk was owned by David Hill of Bridgeport, VT located near Lake Champlain which bisects the Champlain Valley between Vermont and New York. His descendants were numerous throughout the Champlain Valley on both sides of the lake. They were famed for their quality and elegance.
Of the 108 Morgans which left for the war, or 6 or 8 survived. Five were bought back from the government by their masters. Monuments to three of the horses which served in this unit were erected in Crown Point, NY after they passed away. The granite monument for “Pink” stand 12 feet high. The stones for Billy and Jeff were more modest.
The Fifth New York was destined to fight side by side with the First Vermont Cavalry throughout most of the war. The First Vermont Cavalry was also mounted on Morgan horses. Both units obtained a high reputation during the war. The success of both units was credited, in part, by the quality of their horses.
In most instances, the names and other details of the horses that served in the Civil War went unrecorded. The Morgan horse of Company H have proven to be an exception to this rule. So of the Morgan horses that served with this unit included:
Billy Jeff Cockeye(KIA) Nellie (KIA)
Pink Prince Frank(KIA) Jack(#1)
Mink Charley Brydon’s Nellie Topsy(KIA)
Jane Pomp Wyman Horse(KIA) Black Dick
June Lucy Mollie Sukey
Dunlaps Mare Jack (#2)(Died of colic)