“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Highland Falls in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Army Mule

The Army Mule Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
1. The Army Mule Marker
Inscription.  Since 1899 the mule has been the West Point mascot promoting the spirit of the Corps of Cadets. Mules were very important to the Army in the late 1800s through World War I. While not regular cavalry mounts, mules were used extensively to pull supply wagons, caissons, and artillery pieces. Mules are stronger, more surefooted, more intelligent, and eat less than horses. Riding mules like “Hannibal” were used by mounted guards and by messengers.

Hannibal (249-183 B.C.) was one of the greatest military leaders of all time. “Hannibal” was an exceptional West Point mascot. He served the Corps of Cadets faithfully from 1947 – 1964.
Erected 2004 by Company M, 2nd Regiment, West Point Class of 1954.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsMilitaryPatriots & Patriotism. A significant historical year for this entry is 1899.
U.S. Military Academy Mascot image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
2. U.S. Military Academy Mascot
This monument honors all of the intrepid mule riders since 1899 who promoted the indomitable spirit of the Corps of Cadets. It was sculpted by J. David Nunneley.
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41° 22.38′ N, 73° 57.833′ W. Marker is in Highland Falls, New York, in Orange County. Marker is on West Point Hwy, on the left when traveling north. Marker is on a median between West Point Hwy and Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Highland Falls NY 10928, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Iranian Hostage Reunion (here, next to this marker); Abrams Gate (within shouting distance of this marker); Capt. Molly Corbin (within shouting distance of this marker); Warner Sisters (within shouting distance of this marker); Andre Cavaro Lucas (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); USMA Iraq and Afghanistan Deaths (about 500 feet away); The Long Gray Line (about 600 feet away); Buttermilk Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Highland Falls.
Additional commentary.
1. Hannibal's Fifth Birthday Bash
The West Point graduates of Company M-2, Class of 1954, who erected the monument of Hannibal, in conjunction with The Village of Highland Falls and The West Point Thayer Hotel, will celebrate Hannibal's fifth birthday. This gala event, dubbed "HANNIBAL'S
Mascot Nameplate image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
3. Mascot Nameplate
The statue of Hannibal, the Army Mule, is located across the street from the West Point Visitor Center.
FIFTH BIRTHDAY BASH", will get underway at 2:00 PM on Saturday, 25th of April 2009.

This celebration will be a part of the West Point Class of 1954's fifty-fifth reunion. Jan LeCroy of Dallas TX, and George Perrin of Miami Fl, both Class of '54 Mule Riders, will be there. Steve Townes of Irving TX, Class of '78 Mule Rider and donor of the current Army Mules, is also expected. Also expected is Mr. J. David Nunneley, the sculptor from Broken Arrow OK, who created this heroic monument of Hannibal.

Current Mule Mascots "George", "General Scott", and "Raider" will be at the bash along with Cadet Mule Riders Micah Lockhart, Keri Anderson, Jacob Haag, and Oakland McCullough.

Highland Falls Mayor Joe D'Onofrio and Thayer Hotel manager Don Sagaria are working on many details to make "HANNIBAL'S FIFTH BIRTHDAY BASH" a grand event. Mule Cookies and Mule Punch will be served.
    — Submitted December 26, 2008, by W.C. "Tiny" Tomsen of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

2. The vet for the mules during Hannibal's time
My father was the fill-in veterinarian for the West Point mules
Credit Plaque on Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2008
4. Credit Plaque on Reverse
This statue was donated to Highland Falls in recognition of their great support to West Point and the Corps of Cadets.
during the early 1960's. He was stationed in NYC and was driven to West Point a couple of times a week when on duty to look after the mules. I have a photo of my mother pregnant with my older brother sitting upon one of the mules and when I went there for a football game in the late 1990's, I visited and also took a photo with the mules.

My father is now recovering from brain cancer (he is 75 and still practiced veterinary medicine until June), but I will tell you, those were the best days of his life. He was an Army Officer and he often spoke of the Sgt. Green, the army man who drove him there weekly, with great fondness. I do wish I could meet Sgt. Green some day. Sgt. Green was an African American man and my father was a caucasian Kentucky Boy, and this was in the 60s, and my father often said he met a friend for life, teaching me at a very young age great respect for the civil rights movement. The Army Mules hold a very dear place in my heart. I will always think of them when I think of my father.

As a side note, my mother is an identical twin and her twin sister ended up marrying a a West Point graduate. Robert McConnell. The second greatest man, besides my
Hannibal's Fifth Birthday Bash image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2009
5. Hannibal's Fifth Birthday Bash
The town of Highland Falls and the West Point Class of 1954 celebrate the Fifth Birthday of Hannibal, the Army Mule Mascot.
dad, I know. Small world.
    — Submitted November 16, 2010, by Micah Guilfoil of Louisville, Kentucky.
Hannibal and Ranger II image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2009
6. Hannibal and Ranger II
The current Army mascot, Ranger II, poses in front of the statue of an earlier Army Mule during Hannibal's Fifth Birthday Bash.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 7,920 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   5, 6. submitted on April 25, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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May. 12, 2021