In Kansas: Echoing Hoofbeats

The faces of these old horse soldiers were lined, and stories were written on the lines. Traces were visible of more than a random share of scars and broken noses and of skin reddened by weather and bourbon. Their bodies had stiffened, but hands, forearms and shoulders remembered easy strength. They had aged, but that surely was not all they had done.

What is now called the horse cavalry, to distinguish it from the armored cavalry of tanks and jeeps that replaced it, was phased out of the U.S. Army slowly, over a period of years that began in the early...