Dairy of Capt. William A. Thornton, 1855

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:15 pm

A wonderful glimpse of travels across plains by an Ordnance officer. Earlier in 1855, Capt Thornton sent a report to Secty of War Jefferson Davis of a similar expedition. The observations made regarding horse equipment in use by his dragoon escorts were quite influential in the horse equipment trials that began later in the year.

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Kurt Hughes
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Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:11 pm

Todd thanks for posting this. Reading the diary brings to life the impact of Cholera. There are many interesting parts but in particular the fire and the loss of the tents, baggage and sixty muskets (46 were able to still be used) later is quite shocking and the fact they injure four men, followed by the sentence 'Fortunately many of the muskets had been loaded by the introduction of the ball before the powder, which fortunately saved many lives'. If I understand that correctly they would have not been much use if attacked.
The risk of fire is of course high, equally from reading other period accounts there is the additional high risk to life when crossing rivers.

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