WHISKEY THE MILITARY HORSE
On a bluff overlooking the beautiful Mississippi River near Historic Fort Snelling in Minneapolis, is a fenced in grave with a marker that simply reads, "Whiskey, a great horse; a stout heart.” When I first saw this grave I had no idea who Whiskey was, or why he deserved such a prominent final resting place, so I decided to do a little research.
Whiskey was the last warhorse to be stationed at Fort Snelling, and marked the end of the cavalry era. However, Whiskey was no ordinary horse. Shortly after arriving at Fort Snelling, in 1921, his superior intelligence was noted, and that was put to good use.
Whiskey performing in the 1930's (jumpinghorse.blogfa.com).
Whiskey was taught to perform tricks in special shows that would delight attendees in the years between the two World Wars. He was famed for jumping through rings of fire, jumping over mule teams, and bowing to the crowds. His performances delighted everyone who saw them, and he became quite famous.
In 1936, at the age of twenty-five, Whiskey was retired. He died a few years later in 1943, and was buried with full military honors. His grave has been moved twice over the years, first to make way for the Highway 55 construction, in the 1960’s, and then later in 2002, it was moved to make way for the light-rail that serves the area. Interestingly, his final resting place on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River is near where the pasture he spent his retirement in was located.
Whiskey's final resting place on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.
Whiskey delighted and was loved by all who saw him. Rather than riding into battle, he rode into history has one of best the public relation programs the military could have.
***What are some of the interesting historical markers that
have caught your attention over the years?