October 29, 2022 | Last updated Dec 5, 2023

Chief, The Last U.S. Cavalry Horse

The Library/Archives Division holds a small collection of papers and photos relating to “Chief,” the last U.S. Cavalry horse. Foaled in 1932, the U.S. Army purchased Chief in 1940 at Fort Robinson from L.A. Parker of Scottsbluff, Nebraska for the sum of $163. Chief arrived at Ft. Riley, Kansas on April 3, 1941, where he was assigned to the 10th Cavalry and later the 9th Cavalry. Chief was then transferred to the Cavalry School in June of 1942 where he would eventually attain the rank of Advanced Cavalry Charger.

Chief and Sgt. Ben Parker, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1964 (RG4261.PH:1-1)

 

Chief remained at the Ft. Riley Cavalry School throughout his semi-retirement in 1949 and full retirement in 1958. He spent the remainder of his life at the Ft. Riley Riding Club. Chief, the last of the U.S. Cavalry horses, died on May 24, 1968 at the age of 34. A military funeral with full honors was held and was attended by the Commanding General of the U.S. Army.

Memorial program for Chief (RG4261.AM)

Chronology from Chief’s memorial program (RG4261.AM)

 

For more information about the collection, contact the Research and Reference Staff at [email protected].

Tom Mooney – Curator of Manuscripts

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