Nelson (horse)

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Washington (left) on Nelson at Valley Forge
"Washington at the Battle of Trenton", shown on Nelson

Nelson or Old Nelson was George Washington's horse and one of several horses owned by George Washington. He was a chestnut with a white blaze ("white face") and white feet. The horse was acquired by Washington in 1779 and died in 1790 at about the age of 27, quite old for a horse in that era.[1] Some sources attribute his death to an accidental gunshot wound to the back.[2][3][4] As Washington was known for being a skilled horse rider, Nelson was a significant icon for a number of years, being one of Washington's favorite horses.[5]

History[edit]

Nelson was foaled in 1763 and was given to Washington in 1778 by Thomas Nelson of Virginia, after whom the horse was then named, and given to Washington in New York at the time. Washington stated that Nelson was his most favored horse to use during the Revolutionary War, as he was not easily provoked by gunfire.[1] The other horse he rode during the Revolutionary War, and on whom he is more often portrayed, was his gray horse, Blueskin.[6]

Washington ceased to ride Nelson after the war. Nelson and Blueskin were retired and lived at Mount Vernon post-war.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Nelson". George Washington's Mount Vernon. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "George Washington's horse". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Papers of George Washington". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The First Horse Nelson, which George Washington rode during the Revolutionary War". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "George Washington's Mount Vernon: Nelson (horse)". Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Feldman, Laura. "Horses of War". American Cowboy. Retrieved 20 December 2014.