Many incidents connected with the horse purchases for Government will probably become matters of history hereafter, and we will add one just learned from a friend, which we think will stand pre-eminent among the evidences of the honesty of the loyal men who acted as agents or the Government.
A number of horses were purchased at various prices in the Juniata region, which were examined and passed by an inspector named Sherbourne. As the Government had no forage the horses were placed among farmers in the vicinity to board. Among the rest, an old farmer on Shaner’s creek was allotted six head. He took excellent care of them, and was getting along finely, until one day one of them slipped his wind and his spirit soared away to where oats is plenty, the pasture forever green, and no driver’s lash to goad him on to labor – fabulously known as horse heaven. The farmer was alarmed, because, honest, conscientious man as he was, he feared Government might hold him responsible for the loss of this fine army nag. In order to clear his skirts, if possible, he summoned half a dozen of his neighbors to hold an inquest and post mortem examination over the dead body of the charger, that they might testify that he did not die of neglect or inattention. The conclave assembled, and after due deliberation, decided that the horse had died of old age – one of the jury of inquest testifying that he had known the animal personally for twenty-seven years. – Harrisburg Patriot.
– Published in The Dubuque Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, Friday Morning, February 7, 1862, p. 2