Tenth Cavalry Band

Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Colonel Vance W. Batchelor, a captain in the 10th Cavalry described a typical parade:

The 10th Cavalry, being mounted, of course had a mounted band.  The band horses were old, gentle and easily managed.  While the musicians were playing the reins were over the pommel and the riders guided their mounts with their legs and knees.

[At the end of the parade] the troops would form at the lower end of the parade ground, draw sabers and prepare for the charge.  The trumpet in the band would blow ‘Charge’ and up the hill we would come at a dead run.  This was fun for all.  The fast horses got their first and there was great confusion.  We had to reform before going back to the stables.  That ended the band’s part of the ceremony and all the band horses knew it.  While we were reforming, the band departed for the stables in complete disorder.  Every quiet and gentle horse became spirited, and had but one desire, and that was to gallop to the stables as fast as they could go.  Imagine the scene, a bass drum player holding fast to his drum and while the other hand trying to control a runaway horse.  The bass horn player had just as difficult a task.  We used to sit on our horses and watch that performance with glee.”

This photograph shows the 10th Cavalry band in front of the barracks at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, c. 1918.

2013.33.5, Courtesy of Fort Huachuca Museum