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American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion Military history of North America. .

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Old 18 Aug 17, 20:01
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travel by horse

in The Earth is Weeping, it states:
Quote:
Miles drove his soldiers twenty five miles a day, accelerating the pace on August 27..
..this was in 110 temps/etc

my question is, is this fast paced? in the context, it seems like he was pushing his troops
thanks all replies
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 17, 04:21
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Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
in The Earth is Weeping, it states:

..this was in 110 temps/etc

my question is, is this fast paced? in the context, it seems like he was pushing his troops
thanks all replies
British Army Field Regulations 1912 covering the British Army in India and Europe states "small commands of seasoned troops can cover twenty-five miles a day under favourable conditions." although 15 miles per day is seen as the norm so in general it does not seem to be exceptional. However it also states that "Forced marching should be resorted to only when the expenditure of fighting power thereby entailed is justified by the object to be gained." It also warns that marches should take regular days rest about every five days. Average speed for mounted troops when on the march at the walk is 3 mph. One imagines that US regulations would be similar.
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Old 19 Aug 17, 05:33
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The the road and weather conditions need to be added in and fore most the terrain. Marching across Iowa is a bit different than marching in Colorado.
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Old 19 Aug 17, 09:22
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thanks
good points
-I thought what we called humping [ military hike,march ] we were supposed to do 3 miles an hour --without horses of course...that was ''fast'' ...I'm surprised the travel by horse is so ''slow''
...even if we did 2 miles an hour, I'm still surprised by the horse travel speed
...of course, as HPJ states, terrain can be different..we always did the majority of ''fast'' humps on more or less flat roads...this was the North Carolina coast
so I can see cross country travel would be more hazardous for horses
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Old 19 Aug 17, 10:38
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Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
thanks
good points
-I thought what we called humping [ military hike,march ] we were supposed to do 3 miles an hour --without horses of course...that was ''fast'' ...I'm surprised the travel by horse is so ''slow''
...even if we did 2 miles an hour, I'm still surprised by the horse travel speed
...of course, as HPJ states, terrain can be different..we always did the majority of ''fast'' humps on more or less flat roads...this was the North Carolina coast
so I can see cross country travel would be more hazardous for horses
As far back as 1903 British field regs show infantry speed on the march as 3 mph.

Horses are faster than men but don't have the ability to keep that pace up mile after mile, day after day. If a trot, walk, trot, walk approach was used then you could get the average speed up to 5 mph and over relatively small distances trotting got you 7 mph but if you needed your horses to be able to go into action at the end of the march you walked your horses. The old Hollywood westerns where everyone went everywhere at the gallop were stuff and nonsense.

Also don't forget that unless you have lots of baggage horses carrying fodder time has to allowed each day for your horses to graze and then digest what they have eaten. If your horses are eating grass then given the inefficient digestive system of the horse this cycle takes some time and this restricts how long you can spend on the march each day.
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Old 19 Aug 17, 11:06
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
As far back as 1903 British field regs show infantry speed on the march as 3 mph.

Horses are faster than men but don't have the ability to keep that pace up mile after mile, day after day. If a trot, walk, trot, walk approach was used then you could get the average speed up to 5 mph and over relatively small distances trotting got you 7 mph but if you needed your horses to be able to go into action at the end of the march you walked your horses. The old Hollywood westerns where everyone went everywhere at the gallop were stuff and nonsense.

Also don't forget that unless you have lots of baggage horses carrying fodder time has to allowed each day for your horses to graze and then digest what they have eaten. If your horses are eating grass then given the inefficient digestive system of the horse this cycle takes some time and this restricts how long you can spend on the march each day.
very good--thanks ....I was just thinking about horses in the old westerns since I watch them a lot...I was watching one last night where they show the horses speeding for a long time
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Old 20 Aug 17, 08:00
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Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
very good--thanks ....I was just thinking about horses in the old westerns since I watch them a lot...I was watching one last night where they show the horses speeding for a long time
Even the much hyped Pony Express for all its posters showing galloping steeds averaged about 8mph which is not much faster than a trotting mounted soldier complete with weapons, ammunition and equipment. The PE riders were selected from men of about the same weight as modern jockies and carried a limited weight of mail and the relief stations were between 10 and 15 miles apart so it would seem entirely feasible for the pony to do a fast trot for between an hour and a quarter and an hour and 50 minutes. It would then have a day before returning in the opposite direction
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Old 20 Aug 17, 09:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Even the much hyped Pony Express for all its posters showing galloping steeds averaged about 8mph which is not much faster than a trotting mounted soldier complete with weapons, ammunition and equipment. The PE riders were selected from men of about the same weight as modern jockies and carried a limited weight of mail and the relief stations were between 10 and 15 miles apart so it would seem entirely feasible for the pony to do a fast trot for between an hour and a quarter and an hour and 50 minutes. It would then have a day before returning in the opposite direction
excellent example ...good call.....you always see them taking off fast in the movies....a Jimmy Stewart movie comes to mind where they had that type of system....
..in the movie The Searchers, John Wayne warns his comrades about going to fast with the horses....and they needed rest, water, food......they didn't listen, and their horses died...
....the movies/etc have created a lot of myths that some people still believe
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