Lexington, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
General Lee’s Beloved Traveller
General Lee’s Beloved Traveller
Rarely has an animal captured so much affection.
Traveller, first called Jeff Davis and later Greenbrier, was born in 1857 near Blue Sulphur Springs (now in West Virginia). In 1862, Lee purchased him and renamed him after one of George Washington’s horses. This sturdy American saddlebred, sixteen hands high, iron gray with black mane and tail, carried Lee through many of the Civil War’s major campaigns, and later on pleasant late afternoon rides into the hillsides around Lexington.
Not long after Lee’s death, Traveller stepped on a nail and developed tetanus. He died in the summer of 1871 and was buried in a ravine behind the college. A century later, his skeleton was reburied here. The Virginia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, marked the grave and his stable.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Animals. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1857.
Location. 37° 47.239′ N, 79° 26.514′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lexington VA 24450, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Traveller’s Grave (here, next to this marker); William Graham (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington and Lee University (within shouting distance of this marker); Cyrus Hall McCormick (within shouting distance of this marker); Oklahoma Survivor Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Cyrus Hall McCormick (within shouting distance of this marker); Christopher James Coffland '88 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); David Rohrer Herr, Jr. '84 (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
More about this marker. An 1866 photograph of Robert E. Lee on Traveller, by Michael Miley, appears on the left of the marker. It has a caption of “During Lee’s presidency of Washington College, Traveller grazed on the campus front lawn and shared a stable with Lucy Long and Ajax, Lee’s other horses. The doors of the stable, now a garage, remain open to allow Traveller’s spirit to roam freely.”
On the right side of the marker is a photograph of Traveller’s Skeleton. Below this is the caption “Not long after his original burial, Traveller was disinterred and his bones sent to New York for preparation for display. In 1907, the mounted skeleton was finally placed in the university’s Brooks Museum of Natural History. From 1929 until the renovation of the Lee Chapel in the early 1960s, it was displayed in the chapel museum.”
Both of these photos are from the Leyburn Library Special Collections.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 850 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.