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Old Charlie
Birth: unknown
Death: May 17, 1886

Work, Show Horse. Horses played a major part in the life of Buffalo Bill Cody who during his 70 years had many horses. Prince was his first, given to him by his father while growing up in Kansas as a youngster. During his early years as a hunter and during the Indian Wars, he possessed many outstanding steeds. One of special note was a horse named Buckskin Joe acquired by trade from a Pawnee Scout attached to Fort MacPerson. During scrimages against the Cheyenne, the big, yellow horse was one of the greatest long distance horses of the war which on several occasions saved his life by carrying him safely out of range of hostile Indians. After a grueling 200 mile ride, the animal went blind. Buffalo Bill retired the horse to his ranch and upon his death from old age, (trademark tradition of providing special burials for his horses) interred him on his ranch with a marker simply stating, "Old Buckskin Joe." His later career as America's most prominent showman produced many famous horses as he toured the county and Europe staging wild west shows...Isham, Brigham, Tucker, (horse in the famous Rosa Bonheur painting) Powder Face, Muson, Duke and his last horse, McKinley who walked riderless ahead of the caisson carrying his casket during the extravaganza 1917 Denver funeral. However...His all time favorite and most famous animal of his time was a half-breed Kentucky steed which Bill rode from a young age hunting wild horses called "Charlie." Because of the animal's extraordinary speed and endurance, he had on occasion run down wild horses after chases of over fifteen miles. Bill told of a time where he wagered five hundred dollars that he could ride Charlie over the prairie one hundred miles in ten hours...the distance was completed in nine hours and forty five minutes. When Cody started his "Wild West Show" in Omaha, Charlie was the star horse and held that position at all the exhibitions until his death. Buffalo Bill many times uttered the words, "he possesses the intelligence of humans." In the spring of 1886, when the company was returning to New York on the chartered ship," Persian Monarch," after a triumphant engagement in London, Charlie became very ill. Despite excellent care, he grew rapidly worse and on the early morning of May 17th, the horse died. Cody at first wanted to take the remains home and bury it at his ranch in North Platte, Nebraska but then decided to give his horse a sea burial. They wrapped Charlie in canvas covering him with the American flag. Members of the show assembled on deck. Standing alone with uncovered head, Bill stood next to the dead horse and delivered the eulogy...Old fellow, your journeys are over. Here in the ocean you must rest. Would that I could take you back and lay you down beneath the willows of that prairie you and I have loved so well and roamed so freely; but it cannot be. How often at break of day, the glorious sun rising on the horizon has found us far from human habitation! Yet, obedient to my call, gladly you bore your burden on, little heeding what the day might bring, so that you and I but shared its sorrows and pleasures alike. You have never failed me. Ah, Charlie, old fellow, I have had many friends, but few of whom I could say that. Rest entombed in the deep bosom of the ocean! I will never forget you. I loved you as you loved me, my dear old Charlie. Men tell me you have no soul but if there be a heaven, and scouts can enter there, I will wait at the gate for you, old friend." Charlie was committed in mid Atlantic to the sea. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) 
Body buried at sea
Specifically: Interred from ship deck mid Atlantic
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Donald Greyfield
Record added: Jan 15, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13032404
Old Charlie
Added by: Eric Crow
Old Charlie
Added by: Donald Greyfield
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