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 Old Baldy

Old Baldy

Birth
USA
Death 16 Dec 1882 (aged 29–30)
Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Gen George Meade Room
Memorial ID 12114241 · View Source
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Civil War Animal Figure. As the steed of Brigadier General George G. Meade, Old Baldy carried the General across the bloodiest battlefields during the civil war. He was wounded twice at the first battle of Bull Run, was at the battle of Dranesville; took part in two of the seven days fighting near Richmond; at Groveton, then the second battle of Bull Run, at South Mountain and during the battle at Antietam, he was left on the field as dead, but the next day was discovered quietly grazing in a nearby field. He carried the general at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Gettysburg was the most defining, a bullet entered his body between the ribs and remained there which ended his roll as the conveyer of Meade. The General kept the horse while recuperating and after the war ended a year later, he retired Baldy to a stable at Jekintown, Montgomery County, located outside of Philadelphia. Animal and master remained close and Meade often rode the horse at post war parades around the area to the delight of viewers while at times pleasure riding him through Fairmount Park, of which the General was the first commissioner. When Meade died, Old Baldy served as the "riderless horse" at his funeral and was then moved to Meadow Bank Farm, the General's country home where he remained for some seven years. The animal became the property of John J. Davis the owner of a blacksmith shop located near Jenkintown and he was moved for the final time although already showing symptoms of old age. Finally unable to stand or eat, Baldy was mercifully put down in his stall at age 30, ten years after the death of General Meade. He was buried on the property. A year later the Meade Post #l located in Philadelphia, an organization comprised of Union veterans, with the aid of Davis and several members, exhumed the remains for the purpose of preservation by a taxidermist. The process was suspect and today only the two fore hoofs and the head remain which is mounted on a plaque in a glass case on the wall in the Major General George Gordon Meade Room, The Civil War Library and Museum, 1805 Pine Street, Philadelphia. The head was cleaned and restored in 1991. It is surrounded by memorabilia from the pride of Philadelphia, General George Meade. His uniform is here as well as his magnificent jeweled presentation sword. The horse came into the possession of the General after the original owner was killed months earlier at which time he was wounded in the nose during the battle of Ball's Bluff in Virginia. Meade found him convalescing at a remount station. Impressed with the animal after riding him, General Meade personally purchased the horse at the government price. He was born and raised as a colt somewhere on the Western plains finding his way into the Army via its horse procurement system. It is assumed he was named Baldy because of his white nose and forehead but later after being placed into retirement his moniker became Old Baldy. He was exceptionally cool in battle, reliable and virtually oblivious to the noise of a battle. A pair of Philadelphia-based museums fought in the courts for years over ownership of the mounted head of Old Baldy. In March, 2005, a court decision will allow the horse to stay in the Mead Room as a loan from the Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library. The agreement will be subject to review in ten years.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Donald Greyfield
  • Added: 20 Oct 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12114241
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Old Baldy (1852–16 Dec 1882), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12114241, citing Civil War Library and Museum, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .