Mr. Forbes says: “ I was strolling along the camp to-day in search of adventure, when I was attracted by a little knot of soldiers at a short distance, and a horse on the ground as though kicking for its life. The horse turned out to be a mule undergoing the process of shoeing. It was a large, strong, raw-boned animal, with a keen, intelligent eye, which would shame many human countenances. One of his fore legs was fastened up with a strap; he having been thus pushed on his side, a rope is then fastened to the remaining foreleg, which is stretched out and held by a crowd of assistants. The poor animal, finding itself powerless, keeps up a continual wail or moaning, much like that of a child in pain. The shoes are fitted and then fastened on, the mule is released and suffered to rise, very much dejected with the rough and ungentlemanly treatment it has received. Mules are being rapidly adopted as draught animals – they are capable of enduring more fatigue, and altogether are far hardier than the horse. They are now used as pack-mules for our cavalry.”
Published in the March 14, 1863, issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.