Pink was a black Morgan horse owned by General John Hammond. He was foaled and raised on the Hammond family farm in Crown Point with other Morgan horses. Crown Point and Ticonderoga were major breeding places of fast-trotting Morgan horses. The Hammond horses and their breeding program were well known.
Pink lived to the age of 30, dying in 1886. The New York Tribune carried an obituary for Pink, and after his death, John Hammond erected a monument in Pink’s honor in the Veterans Memorial Park within the village green in Crown Point. Part of the inscription on the monument reads, “This horse carried his master twenty-five years and was never known to show fatigue, while other horses of cavalry and flying artillery were dying from want of food and exhaustion….”
Citizens of Crown Point turned out in great numbers to support the Union cause during the Civil War. In addition, because Crown Point was known for its Morgan horses, it followed that many of the Crown Point volunteers would serve in the cavalry. John Hammond had recruited 106 men and found 108 horses to serve with them. This became the Company H of the 5th New York Volunteer Cavalry. The company–and Pink–saw action in 88 skirmishes and 34 battles. After the war, Pink was one of five horses who served with such loyalty and distinction that they were brought back home to Crown Point by their masters.
According to local legend, Hammond and his horse were quite close—and toward the end of life, John Hammond took Pink up the freight elevator at Monitor Bay. This was the elevator that normally transported the coal up to dump into the tall stacks of the blast furnace. From this high vantage point, Hammond reportedly showed Pink the expansive view and the great iron empire he had helped create.
In Pink’s obituary, the New York Tribune wrote:
“He was treated during his last years with as much tenderness as if a human being, and up to the date of his death retained his early fire and courage. He has a record of service for his country that any man might be proud of.”
For a detailed history of Crown Point Morgan horses that served in the Civil War, see this series in Vermont Horse and Bridle Trail Bulletin written by John Hammond.