The Cavalry Stables

The Cavalry Stables (HM1MS3)

Location: Fort Laramie, WY 82212 Goshen County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 12.377', W 104° 33.383'

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Fort Laramie National Historic Site

Most of the four generations of cavalry stables constructed at Fort Laramie were located here, just below the rise you are standing on. Measuring as large as 310 by 28 feet, the stables were made of log or board and batten construction. Typically configured with a double row of stalls, each stable housed 80 to 100 animals. Altogether, as many as 350 cavalry horses were kept here.Mountains of manure produced by the cavalry horses were a continual problem for the garrison. A report dated September 1874 noted:       . . . the heaps of manure from the Cavalry stables, all of which has accumulated and been deposited for many years on the north side of . . . the Post is offensive in every particular and a general nuisance.Groundwater pollution and the strong odor of horse dung made it essential to locate the stables as far possible from the garrison living quarters - and downwind from the post.Several times a day the stables became a beehive of activity. At 6 a.m. and again in late afternoon trumpeters sounded stable call summoning cavalrymen to groom, feed, and care for their mounts. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon trumpet calls alerted troopers that it was time to water their horses. Drill call brought cavalrymen to the stables to retrieve their horses to practice mounted tactics.The military abandoned Fort Laramie in 1890 and auctioned off its buildings. Most of the buyers were homesteaders seeking to reuse the lumber to build their own homes and barns. Because they contained so much wood, the stables were highly sought after at the auction. For this reason, none of Fort Laramie's stables remain.Indian Ponies and Cavalry HorsesHorses used by the U.S. Cavalry and Northern Plains Indians differed greatly. Army specifications called for cavalry horses to be "geldings [castrated males], of hardy colors, sound in all particulars, in good condition, well broken to the saddle, from 15 to 16 hands high [60 to 64 inches], not less than 5 nor more than 9 years old . . . "The typical Indian pony was much smaller, stockier, and more agile. The powerful cavalry horses could easily outrun an Indian pony in short to intermediate distances, but in prolonged pursuits the advantage belonged to the pony. During long summer campaigns the cavalry horse was overmatched. The Indian pony foraged comfortably on native grasses while army horses depended on grains supplied by wagons.Lightly loaded, the Plains Indian horse carried only the warrior, his fighting equipment, and saddle. Conversely, the fully equipped cavalry horse bore not only the rider, but equipment, supplies, and a much heavier saddle that averaged 125 pounds in total.
HM NumberHM1MS3
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 536620 N 4672775
Decimal Degrees42.20628333, -104.55638333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 12.377', W 104° 33.383'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 12' 22.62" N, 104° 33' 22.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Co Rd 53, Fort Laramie WY 82212, US
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