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 General Military History    
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 455

Cavalry Questions
Posted on: 11/28/2016 1:46:27 AM
Have a couple of questions on usage and stamina of the mounts. Mainly talking Civil War as reading a couple of bio's on Cavalry Commanders has gotten me curious. Just how far per day could you travel pushing the mounts and how many days could you repeat until they started breaking down? How far and how many days without pushing the envelope? Yes I'm thinking the various "raids" with these question. Just how many days of picket or screening duty could the mounts do before they started to break down? How much feed and fodder needed per day per horse on average?

Now just wondering but what was the purpose of the headgear of the Napolionic Cavalry? Some of the helmits I get but some of the other style? Fassion or some function?
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"

Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class

Posts: 442

Re: Cavalry Questions
Posted on: 11/28/2016 7:53:42 AM
Hi John,

It would really depend on the terrain and the availability of forage for the horses. The dash across the veldt of the British cavalry division (5,000 strong) in 1900 by General French, in the space of a few days, effectively destroyed the only sizeable British mounted force in South Africa, and the destruction of this force was largely due to lack of rest for the horses, lack of suitable foraging, lack of suitable facilities and lack of replacement mounts for the troopers. A cavalry force with sufficient replacement mounts and plenty of food should be able to stay in the field for a few weeks before needing proper rest and recuperation.

As to the specifics, I'm sure somebody far more informed than me can help out there.


"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."


top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major

Posts: 3295

Re: Cavalry Questions
Posted on: 11/28/2016 1:42:41 PM

[Read More] is Field Manual 2-15. It states,

185 d.(1) Horse elements of Cavalry on good roads in daylight under favorable conditions, with well-seasoned men and animals, are able to march 35 miles per day at the rate of 6 to 6.5 miles per hour for six days a week as long as the situation requires.

 The manual, page 158, goes on to state:

Horse elements of Cavalry can march cross country over favorable terrain without any material reduction in the rate of march, except in heavily wooded terrain.

 The manual then goes on to mention other terrain that slows or blocks cavalry, such as slopes and marshy terrain. Perhaps worth a look.


With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

 General Military History    
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